Have you ever had this conversation?
“Did you hear about Sam and Susan?”
“Really? How many kids?”
“I think three. And he’s far off the derech. Doesn’t believe in G-d,”
And it’s not surprising. Sam was a BT and was told by many FFBs that:
– A Torah observant life is the definitive Jewish Experience
– The values and community of Observant Jews is superior to anything in the secular world
– Learning Torah is intellectually challenging and leads to meaning and truth
All the above are true, but many Observant Jews experience the following instead:
– They don’t keep working on their practice of mitzvos, so their Jewish experience degrades
– The financial pressures take their toll and they feel they are marginal members of the community
– Torah learning is difficult, and without significant time and effort, they don’t reap its rewards
In reality the Torah itself does not make “good life” promises, except for the Jews collectively. The individual promise that are made is that if you continually work on davening, developing your middos, learning Torah, and observing the mitzvos properly, you will develop a deepening relationship with Hashem.
That’s the truth about Judaism and if we can slowly cast aside our occupation with the latest distractions, and focus on bread and butter observance, we can all get a large piece of the unlimited spiritual pie.