Successful Kiruv Begins With Getting In Line

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about Circle, Point and Line Kiruv. Here’s a summary:

In the widely practiced circle Kiruv, the focus is to move people inside the Circle of Torah Observance.
In the Chabad centered point Kiruv, the focus is performance of a single mitzvah.
In line Kiruv, the goal is to get the individual to take the next step in getting closer to Hashem.

Instead of looking at the ups and downs of each of these models, I’ve decided to focus on the benefits and necessity of Line Kiruv, to encourage people to start thinking about this mindset.

At its root line Kiruv is about growth, and we all need to work on growing. If we’re not constantly working on growing in our relationship to Hashem, than we’re missing the main message of Torah Observance. And if we’re missing the main message, we’re in no position to encourage or inspire others to take spiritual growth steps.

One of the main remorses BTs express is disappointment with the people in the community. When we don’t make it clear that we’re all works in progress, and we have a long road to grow, then BTs lose faith in the power of Torah when they see our glaring imperfections. If we can find the courage to admit we’re far from perfect, then the non-observant will try to accept us in the same way we should accept them, with imperfections and all.

I do believe that we all need to get involve in Kiruv, but not before we are on a growth path, which means consciously focusing on taking the next small steps in improving our Prayer, Torah Learning, Mitzvos Performance, Character Traits, and Acts of Kindness. Successful Kiruv begins with the Observant actively getting on the growth line.

3 comments on “Successful Kiruv Begins With Getting In Line

  1. A BT does teshuva twice. The first is under the influence of kiruv, the second after he/she discovers that frum people are people with human frailties just like everyone else. The Torah itself addresses human frailty and does not sugar-coat or Bowdlerize our history.

  2. I always find this quote from Rav Dessler (Strive for Truth IV, Rosh Hashana section on “Spritual Desires”) very appropriate:

    “One who tries to influence others towards Torah without himself inwardly experiencing the grandeur of Judaism also lives in world of illusion. Consequently he will not succeed in influencing them. Only words that come from the heart-from reality – enter into people’s hearts”

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