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How to save Judaism!

Thursday, 10 October, 2013 - 11:57 am

Did you read about the Pew research study about Jewish life in America?

In short: less Jews are affiliating in the old fashioned “membership” synagogues, more are in interfaith marriages, “Orthodoxy” is growing etc. There are all the pundits out there; Shmuly Boteach with his “three ways to give mouth-to-mouth to our dying community”, Jeffery Salkin saying we need real repairs not “a little spackle here and there” or Tzvi Nightingale from Aish HaTorah saying they are missing the exploring Jew.

The Baal Shem Tov taught that from everything you hear or see in this world you must find a teaching in how to serve G‑d. Therefore, I’d like to share with you a story.

When I was in California 2 weeks ago, I attended a Farbrengen (Chassidic gathering) for young adults who grew up in the Lubavitch community and want their children to “affiliate” with Lubavitch. The speaker, Rabbi Bistritsky, gave them his recipe for raising their children to be Lubavitchers. I think that his solution for the micro – Lubavitch would work in the macro – Judaisim as well.

Rabbi Bistritsky gave a parable from sports. The majority of children follow the same sport and are the fans of the same team as their parents. Why? Because the parents sacrifice for their team; whether it is with time, money or passion. Even the busy parents make that sacrifice. Even the ones who tell the Rabbi I don’t have time for a class – those same parents have time for the Raven’s game.

Rabbi Bistritsky implored these 30 year olds to follow this method: 1)Think “what does it mean to me to “live as a Lubavitcher”? and 2) Act – What sacrifices will I make so that I can say I live as a Lubavitcher?

So what is the solution for the macro? 
1)Think - what does it mean to me to live as a Jew? 
2) Act – What sacrifices will I make so that I can comfortably say – I live as a Jew?

Do you have another solution?

What is the next Jewish event you are going to attend in Harford County? No affiliation required :). See upcoming events here.

Rabbi Kushi Schusterman 

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