Monday, March 15, 2010

Life and Religion

It is interesting to see how life changes with responsibility. Unless someone goes into the pulpit or chinuch (teaching) there is no way to focus one's life on Judaism as can be done while in regular school. Life has so many distractions and obligations that a person that desires to care for his or her family can not just sit and think about G-D and religion. This is something reserved for the youth.

This is why our younger years are so important, it is when we create our foundation for who we will be and what we believe. Most people do not change as they get older, in fact, they usually get more stubborn and refuse to change.

However, even after we begin our path to responsibility and restrictions on time, we must set aside time, if only for 5 minutes, to think about G-D and Judaism. This can be through learning a sefer or discussions with friends. The most important point here is that one should constantly have G-D and Judaism on the mind. Realistically, it is impossible to focus on these things all day, but one should try and incorporate them into everyday thoughts.

These problems are why I think halacha is so important because there is very little time that most people can actually sit and learn. Halacha forces a religious Jew to constantly be aware of his religion from what he is going to eat to how he must behave. A Jew can never just let go and do whatever he or she wants, but must realize that all their actions are being scrutanized. Halacha is there for people that are living their lives to still be able to connect to their religion on a regular basis even though they don't have time to delve into the sources.

This is the beauty of Judaism. It is not an external set of ideas that one must separate from regular life. Judaism is all about incorporating the religious ideals into every aspect of life. Even a person with no time can still be extremely devout because if one lives their life and acts in accordance with halacha then they are connecting to G-D and following His will.

Some people think that the only way to connect to G-D is to learn Gemorah all day. This is but one aspect of Judaism. The biggest idea is that one should live their life according to the Jewish way of life. By doing this, one connects to G-D since they are constantly thinking of Him and actively incorporating Him into life.

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