Ahavas Yisroel !

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    For those of you who have not ever experienced religious troubles, confusion, & disbelief, do not understand what it is like for those who do, & even the one’s who have had issues now or in the past do not know how each and every individual Jew has had to handle religiosity. Every person was created differently in their thought process, sensitivities, reactions & how they utilize their “free will.” For instance just because someone has depression doesn’t mean the Dr gives everyone with that illness the same medication, because everyone responds to the same drugs differently, and needs other forms of “treatment.” So you must look at Jewish people the same way, every Jewish person will respond differently on how you try to “micarev” or talk frumkeit in to them. You can’t do the same thing for person A that you do for person B, nor can you look at them the same. Everyone has a different past. Everyone has been through things that may not be visible to the outside world. Even if you think you”know” the person inside and out.

    So the next time you see someone not dressed appropriately, or not acting in a Frum fashion, or not keeping kosher, and so on and so forth. Don’t think the WORST of them. They may be on a different level of religion. They may have come very far from where they were. Don’t judge them harshly, Don’t give them mussar. Do Treat them nice, Please talk to them like human beings, Don’t stare and make them feel uncomfortable. Those things will only drive them away and ruin everything they had accomplished until now. Converting to Judaism, becoming religious, or coming back to religiosity is a very fragile state in a person’s life. All they want is acceptance, love, warmth, & learn Yiddishkeit in a pace they are comfortable with. So the next time you see someone you think is not doing things the “kosher” way, stop before looking and judging and speaking, your kind words & actions may make all the difference in the world.


    how would you handle a rebel who decided to be mechalel shabbos out of bitterness / depression? (not necessarily due to lack of belief – if it matters)

    someone confided to me that she started doing some not good things (although privately)

    I don’t know what to tell her. If I tell her to stop, I might lose a chance to make her come back, on the other hand it’s my achryus if I ignore it, isn’t it?

    Pashuteh Yid

    Yoshi, you are right. I often shudder when thinking aout what if I met a non-frum person, and wanted to invite him for a Shabbos and take him to shul. What in the world would he see that might motivate him? Would the type of davening in most shteiblach and yeshivishe shuls and the general attitude and behavior of the mispallelim be positive or negative on a total beginner. Do people come over and wish a warm shalom aleichem to a stranger, or just talk with their old buddies afterwards.

    Are their any nice niggunim, or just fast mumbling. Would the drasha be comprehensible to a beginner, or just yeshivishe raid?

    I get nervous thinking about it.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Willi, Reb Shlomo Carlebach Z”L once demurred to serving on a Beis Din, saying, “In my entire life, I never told anybody what to do. I don’t want to start now.” There is also a story in the book Holy Brother about a woman who said she would try shul, provided nobody ever told her what to do. She said I will keep going as long as nobody ever tells me how to act, or to be observant, etc. Each week she went, and sure enough nobody ever told her what to do. Finally after about 6 years, she became frum, and raised a wonderful frum family.

    If there was ever an expert in Kiruv, it was Shlomo. Who comes close to his numbers?


    Yoshi’s comments are wonderful and “to the point”. Interesting, isn’t it, that virtually no one has commented on his words-positively or whatever. I wonder whether all those zealots, whose names I shall not mention and whose postings are everywhere but here , understand what yiddishkeit is all about? And, Pashute Yid, by quoting Shlomele zz’l , you have just written yourself out of the PC “yeshivish” crowd….Join the club and don’t worry, Shlomele zz’l is busy singing with Dovid Hamelech right now!


    willi – if she’s indeed doing it out of depression then she needs to get professional help. The first step and top priority is to get her emotionally healthy by treating the depression. The religious stuff can be worked on only after that.

    Feif Un

    willi, I was once in the same situation. I pointed out to the person that from what he was telling me, it seemed that he realized what he was doing was wrong. I asked him if he felt guilty after doing these things, and he replied that he did. I told him that if he didn’t do it, it would make him feel great. He replied that doing the act made him feel great too – it was only afterward that he felt bad. I asked him how long he felt good for, and he said not long, but the guilt lasted a lot longer. I told him that if he abstained from doing it, he’d feel good for longer, and wouldn’t feel guilty at all. He tried harder, and told me later that he did feel a lot better, and was better off for it.


    Those of us who have spent time outside Brooklyn/Lakewood etc. highly concentrated areas of Torah, can see that many of these Yidden are truly interested in becoming more religious. Unfortunately they did not have the means. If we can open up to them and show them the beauty of our religion they would take to it. Kiruv is more than just a slogan to be used by organizations. Individuals should do their part as well, even if it just means saying hello/Good Shabbos to someone from outside our area who might look different.

    Will Hill

    Be liberal in your Ahavos Yisroel and conservative in your judgment.

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