April 3, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm #608845
I am a yeshiva bochur who is struggling with my emunah. Does anyone have any books or shiurim that i should look into which can help strengthen my emunah?April 4, 2013 1:28 am at 1:28 am #1194801
Garden of emunahApril 4, 2013 1:48 am at 1:48 am #1194802
Saying Parshas Haazinu is a Segula for Emuna. So is Sippurei Tzaddikim. Get more, and deeper, into Torah and Mitzvos. Daven to Hashem for more Emuna.
Speak openly to Hashem; tell Him that you will remain loyal even with all the questions you may have. This is very powerful and can break through barriers of Emuna.
There is no Mitzva to entertain every opposite-of-Emuna thought.April 4, 2013 2:02 am at 2:02 am #1194803
There are billions of paths to Emunah in this world, one for each person. Find what speaks to you. There’s something in this universe that HKBH tailored just for you. Recognizing that fact will allow you to recognize Him.April 4, 2013 3:29 am at 3:29 am #1194804
Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh (the sefer)
Although the song is also nice.April 4, 2013 3:36 am at 3:36 am #1194805
I think Chovas Halevovos, shar habechina.
Rabbi Miller ??”?’s many seforim and tapes
Shofar series – Rav Amnon Yitzchok ????”? – I found them to be extremely fascinating!April 4, 2013 5:53 am at 5:53 am #1194806
A book or sefer is a great start but it will only help you so much. Emunah requires thought and reflection. Think about all the good things you have in your life and try to be aware of the daily chassadim Hashem does for you. Try to see the Hashgacha Pratis in your life.
The way to really connect with Hashem and build real emunah though is through Tefillah. Work on your Davening and talk to Hashem like its just the 2 of you.
I would certainly recommend Rav Millers books. Many of my Rabbeim have recommended his book and although I never read through any of his books from cover to cover, I have read bits and pieces over the years. Additionally, I have heard or read many things brought down from him and they really open your eyes to proper Torah Hashkafah.April 4, 2013 6:40 am at 6:40 am #1194807
What question is bothering you?April 4, 2013 6:23 pm at 6:23 pm #1194808
mr: For a change, I second WIY. Emunah comes through practice. I would add that it is important to remember that while when we daven we talk to God, when we learn that is God talking back (Rav Soloveichik). Try learning sefarim on emunah in particular and Torah in general that discusses emunah. Haazinu is more than a segulah for Emunah, it is Moshe’s own mussar shmooze on Emunah. Many chapters of tehillim are also David’s teachings of Emunah. Try reading these perakim both simply and with mefarshim.April 4, 2013 9:00 pm at 9:00 pm #1194809
I suggested permission to believe by Lawrence kelleman. I had serious doubts and didn’t want to believe until I came across the book and out of curiosity (and because its small) I picked it up. Turned me into a baalat teshuva.April 4, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm #1194810
write or wrongParticipant
These books helped me: Garden of Emunah by Rabbi Shalom Arush, Chizuk by Rabbi Eliezer Parkoff, Trust Me by Rabbi Eliezer Parkoff, Thoughts for a Jewish Heart by Rav Ezriel Tauber.
I would also recommend Derech Hashem by the Ramchal. In order to really strengthen our emunah, we have to have, or at least try to have, an understanding of Hashem and His goodness, and His relationship to us. I think this is basic and should preceed any other reading. Hatzlacha!April 5, 2013 12:43 am at 12:43 am #1194811
What does “struggle with Emunah” mean? Do you think there is, lo aleinu, no God? Do you think that the world is not < 6000 years old? Do you think that some chassidic rebbes cannot revive the dead? If you are more specific, we can tailor our advice. Or just buy you a ham sandwich, if you’re beyond hope.April 5, 2013 3:50 am at 3:50 am #1194812
The Kanoi Next DoorMember
“Emunah comes through practice.”
What do you mean? How does one practice believing?
For sources, I second interjection’s suggestion of Lawrence Keleman’s Permission to Believe / Permission to Receive.April 5, 2013 7:00 am at 7:00 am #1194813
You act like you believe i.e. keep halacha, do mitzvos, daven like you mean it not just like you’re expected to be seen in shul. Just “faith” without doing anything is a Christian concept.April 5, 2013 2:05 pm at 2:05 pm #1194814
I enjoyed Soul Searching by R’ Yaakov Astor. His other books look good too.
All the books of R’ Shalom Arush and R’ Lazer Brody are worth reading.
Re: practicing faith, consider the pasuk “Taste and see, the Lord is good; happy is the man who trusts in Him.” (Tehillim 34.) Perhaps this means we should try out trusting in Hashem and then we’ll see how good it is.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov has a number of teachings about strengthening faith in Likutei Eitzos. Google “How can one come to have faith in the things one must believe in?” and the translation of the relevant chapter of the sefer will come right up.
I find Aish-style analyses of history to be pretty convincing evidence of the truth of Judaism. It’s hard to learn about our history and not see Hashem’s hand in it.April 5, 2013 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #1194815
I’ve disliked nearly every modern book on Emunah that I could find and read. They almost invariably try to “prove” that the Torah is emesdik using what is mostly junk science. The problem with that approach is that as soon as someone comes up with a way to invalidate that science or logic, the Emunah goes pop!
Emunah comes from within. The only way to strengthen ones Emunah are through personal actions and thoughts. If one is having difficulty with that, speak with a Rebbi or teacher as he/she will be infinitely more helpful than a simple book.April 5, 2013 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm #1194816
OP: It really depends on what is bothering you, what kind of personality and thinker you are, why this is bothering you, your level of education, ect.
Different thinks speak to different people, and oftentimes, things on emunah that don’t speak to a particular person will actually have the effect of creating an even greater crisis in emunah.
For example, I can handily deconstruct and destroy just about everything Lawrence Kellerman writes on emunah, find R. Avigdor Miller’s writings to be polemic and completely unconvincing, and think that R. Arush’s (and R. Lazer Brody’s) books are actually rather laughable. Additionally, I find that the philosophical works of most Rishonim (Moreh Nevuchim, Chovos Halevavos, Abarvanel, ect.) are dealing with questions and are giving answers that are completely irrelevant to my considering my own experiences and education in the contemporary world.
By contrast, I find R. Samson Raphael Hirsch’s ideas to be absolutely compelling, although in large part he mostly ignores the issue of “emunah” (in its usual sense).
Each of these kinds of works were written to speak to certain kinds of people.
You should try to talk with people who are broadly knowledgeable about many areas of knowledge, and they may be able to steer you in the direction of works that are more likely to appeal to your own unique intellect and sensibilities.April 5, 2013 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #1194817
TIDE- did you ever read about Pascal’s wager?April 5, 2013 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #1194818
TIDE, I obviously don’t agree with all you said, but I agree that Rav Hirsch’s teachings are really compelling. His sefer Horeb: A Philosophy of Jewish Laws and Observances should be required reading for all Jews. It’s written in a beautiful and stirring style that I’ve never seen anywhere else. The introduction to the translation by R’ Isadore Grunfeld is really good too.April 5, 2013 4:07 pm at 4:07 pm #1194819
Of course. And . . . ?April 5, 2013 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #1194820
If you continue keeping the Torah and trying to believe in Hashem as hard as you can, eventually you’ll end up believing.April 5, 2013 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #1194822
There’s an exceptional series on emunah by R’ Dovid Sapirman. You can visit his website animaamin.org/news/ . It is a 10 hr series, and it’s available for free download on the website.April 5, 2013 4:42 pm at 4:42 pm #1194823
I agree with you. Not sure what that has to do with Pascal’s Wager, though. In any case, my point was that “believing in Hashem” likely consists of very different things for very different people. I personally prefer to focus my energies on understanding and following halacha rather than on theological speculation about something as amorphous as “belief in Hashem.” That may work for some, but it certainly does not for all. Each one of us is wired at least a little bit differently, and each needs to find the approach that enables them to move forward as a productive human being and Jew.April 5, 2013 4:46 pm at 4:46 pm #1194824
Pascal’s Wager is NOT Emunah, as you do not truly believe.
I like Veltz’ response.April 5, 2013 4:58 pm at 4:58 pm #1194825
gaw- at first. That’s to help you until you do. It worked for me when I was twelve. Then I started listening to shiurim and that led to real emunah. Note I mentioned simpletoremember.com earlier.April 5, 2013 5:28 pm at 5:28 pm #1194826
Gamanit: That might work for Pascal’s religion, where belief is the only requirement and it’s just a 50-50 choice. How do you get Pascal’s Wager to work when it involves convincing them to keep Shabbos, Kosher, Arayos, etc.?April 5, 2013 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #1194827
When I was twelve I actually didn’t read Pascals wager itself, I just myself figured that if the Torah is indeed true than I’ll get punished for doing aveiros. If it isn’t than I’ve lost nothing much. The potential loss is so much greater than the guaranteed gain that it’s just not worth it. Ask any investor whether they would invest in something where the potential loss is much greater than the potential gain. Only a gambler would do it.April 5, 2013 6:19 pm at 6:19 pm #1194828
If there were a point that could be made here that would be the exact opposite of relevant, it would be Pascal’s Wager. OP is struggling with Emunah, not with choosing to act a certain way. But belief (as opposed to action) is the very thing that Pascal’s Wager doesn’t address.April 5, 2013 7:24 pm at 7:24 pm #1194829
Veltz meshugener- Exactly!! on the outside I look like any other frum yid, I follow all halachos…Its just that I wish it would mean more to me and I would WANT to do it more…April 5, 2013 7:55 pm at 7:55 pm #1194830
LOL On the inside you look like every other frum yid too.April 5, 2013 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm #1194831
I consider my own level of Emunah firm but having heard some of Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi’s lectures on the fabulous complexity and reliabilty clearly evident in Creation (similar to some of Rav Miller’s dissertations) has bolstered my Emunah even more. Consider it the very real Yetzer Hora trying to trip you up.November 27, 2016 1:29 am at 1:29 am #1194832
It is interesting that TIDE feels comfortable saying that not every influential rabbi necessarily speaks to him/her.November 27, 2016 1:58 am at 1:58 am #1194833
Lightbrite – I would definitely say the same thing. Although not necessarily in exactly the same way that he did.
It is important to distinguish between different types of “influential Rabbis”. Some of the people he mentioned are not Gedolim.They are simply knowledgeable people who wrote good books that many people like. You don’t have to agree with everything they say.
When it comes to Gedolim, you can’t disagree with them, but you can certainly say that what they are saying doesn’t “speak to you” especially when it comes to the type of topic being discussed here.
However, in all cases, one must be careful of Loshon Hora. It is assur to criticize a book or a speaker.
Personally, I have certainly found that many speakers do not “speak to me”.November 27, 2016 2:01 am at 2:01 am #1194834
Regarding books on Emunah, I read parts of “Living Emunah” by Rabbi Ashear, on Shabbos, and I really like it! I was feeling very down about something, and it really helped.
Highly recommended! I think it may be up your alley, Lightbrite. And most people’s, for that matter.November 27, 2016 2:03 am at 2:03 am #1194835
“It is interesting that TIDE feels comfortable saying that not every influential rabbi necessarily speaks to him/her.”
It has happened to me that I read a particular book at one stage of life and felt very turned off by it, but when I read it years later after I had acquired a different perspective on life, I found I really liked it.
So something may not speak to you now, but at a different stage of life, you may find that it does.November 27, 2016 2:07 am at 2:07 am #1194836
How do we determine who is a Gadol? Aren’t some people Gadolim to their followers? Are they officially considered Gadolim?
I’ve wondered this before about certain rabbis. I’ve called them Gadolim because they are popular, but I really don’t know the requirements. Is it true that we don’t have Gadolim today?
Also, TIDE mentioned some individuals who are sometimes considered Tzaddikim.
Thanks for your input. You’re like CR’s Queen of Lashon Hara Rulings 🙂November 27, 2016 2:38 am at 2:38 am #1194837
Who is a Gadol? That is a very good question. There may be some people about whom it’s unclear if they are considered Gedolim or not, but with most people, I think it is pretty clear.
What makes it confusing is the way people throw terms around. I am using the term Gadol here to refer to the Gedolei Hador – the true Gedolim – those people for whom our respect must be absolute and we can’t possibly disagree with. And yes, we do have people like that today – people such as Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Shlita, and Rav Shteinman, Shlita.
However, some people use the term Gadol more loosely, according to its literal meaning which is “Great”. They use it to refer to any “adam gadol”/great person.
Rav Avigdor Miller, zatsal, for example, was an “adam gadol”, a Talmid Chacham and a Tzadik, but he was not a gadol hador. It seems to me that it would be okay for someone to disagree with him, albeit respectfully. However, they should take into account that he was much greater than them and they may not know enough to really disagree with him, and t/f they should exercise caution when doing so.
Rabbi Arush and Rabbi Keleman are very knowledgeable people and tremendous educators and writers. I think they are considered to be Talmidei Chachamim, but I do not think they are considered to be in the same league as Rav Avigdor Miller, zatsal, and I don’t think they would be considered as authoritative a source as him.November 27, 2016 2:41 am at 2:41 am #1194838
“Also, TIDE mentioned some individuals who are sometimes considered Tzaddikim.”
Being a tzaddik is not enough to make someone a gadol. Someone can be a tzaddik and be a very simple person.
But someone does have to be a tzaddik in order to be a Gadol. But they also have to have other qualities as well.November 27, 2016 2:44 am at 2:44 am #1194839
“Thanks for your input. You’re like CR’s Queen of Lashon Hara Rulings :)”
We have to always be very careful about LH. But online, we have to be SUPER-careful. Any word of LH online is immediately accessible to thousands of people AND it stays there forever for everyone in the world to read. It’s pretty scary!
There are few things for which one can chas v’shalom lose his cheilik in Olam Haba permanently. One of them is being a “baal loshon Hora”. I heard that someone who posts L”H is in this category.
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