Encouraging Someone to Do More Mitzvos

Dear Beyond BT

I’ve been learning over the phone with someone for over two years. He really enjoys the learning and our relationship is pretty good. Here are my questions:

Should I encourage him to do other mitzvos?

If so, which ones would you suggest?

How would you bring up the subject?


One comment on “Encouraging Someone to Do More Mitzvos

  1. if you are learning through a program like Partners in Torah, speak to the staff for guidance. their help can be really invaluable and you should feel that they are your partner, too. not only can they offer great guidance but sometimes help with making things happen on the sidelines, too.

    in general, the philosophy about encouraging people to do more is to be mechazek them with small things that might be approachable for them rather than going for the biggies which are more long-term. as someone he obviously likes and respects by this point, you are very well placed to offer him some gentle nudges in the form of opportunities to learn more either in a book or through experiencing things. the idea is to go for low-impact ones that won’t rock the boat so majorly, to show him that he can perhaps do more even without making a huge total-lifestyle change. examples: just because he is not ready to start keeping shabbos – which will ruffle his wife’s feathers too much for starters – doesn’t mean he can’t say modeh ani when he wakes up or make a bracha on a banana. she needn’t even know he is doing that, if he is concerned about getting her on board.

    it’s hard to say more than this without knowing about the nature of your time together. discuss it in depth with your PIT advisor or whatever – they will be getting independent feedback from your partner, too, and may have great insight on the situation. for all you know, he’s waiting for you to ask…:)

    some people feel that changing topics after a while shakes things up a little and can affect a change. the relationship, too, should get more and more personal as time goes on so that with time, you offer him a window into your frum life. with this, he may become more and more open to asking pertinent q’s not only about the subject you are learning but a broader range of things, too.

    have nachas!

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