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Can You Stop Flip-Flopping?

Tuesday, 8 May, 2018 - 1:19 am

 

Question of the Week:

We all know that the Jewish future is under threat, with many of our youth leaving the fold. In all streams other than the fervently orthodox, the outlook is grim. We can't all be religious. So other than Torah observance, what can we teach the next generation to inspire them to stay Jewish?

 

Answer:

 

Sometimes a question itself contains the answer. Like when a fish asks, "Other than in the water, where else can I survive?" You have the answer, you just would prefer a different answer. But there is none.

 

A fish out of water does not die immediately. In fact, a fish out of water seems quite lively. It flips and flops and dances around, seemingly more active than it was before. An ignorant observer may think that the fish is better off on dry land, free from the confines of the sea. Just look how vibrant and energetic it has become!

 

But we know the truth. This tragic dance will not last. All that intense movement is not an indication of good health, it is a desperate and hopeless grasp at life.

 

A Jew without Torah is a fish without water. We can flip flop for a while, jumping from one ideology to another, this save-the-universe cause or the next, but it won't last. You can only stay Jewish without Torah for a generation, maybe two. Then the flipping and flopping stop altogether.

 

There has always been one and only one answer to Jewish continuity. And that is Torah observance. A kosher home that keeps Shabbos and festivals, an authentic Jewish education taught by people who live it, a direct and personal connection with G-d through studying His Torah, and an active community spirit through shul attendance - this is the water that the Jewish soul needs to survive.

 

This is not about being ultra-orthodox. It's about being immersed in genuine Judaism. And that is open to anyone. In your own way, with your critical mind and passionate heart, engage in the conversation of Torah and bring it into your home. That will ensure the Jewish future, just as it has defined the Jewish past. Everything else is just flip flopping.

 

Good Shabbos,

Rabbi Moss

Source:
Rabbi Akiva, Talmud Brochos 61b 

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