Importance of knowing why

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    We are taught and know what to do regards to our traditon and how to do so, but what I think we need more of is the ‘why’. This helps people, especially youth, to have a strong foundation and stay strong.

    Of course, the most important reason is we are obligated by Hashem to.

    Besides that, we should also remind ourselves and others how our actions have an impact. For example, our mitzvahs bring light and blessing to the world, whereas aveiros bring negative energy.

    Therefore, we should be careful to be make a good impact here.

    Obviously, we all make mistakes. But we can still stand back up.

    Each mitzvah can teach us something important in life.

    Also emphasize that torah is nourishment for our soul, connecting us to Hashem each time we learn and practice. Whereas aveiros pull us away. We might not feel inspired all the time. But if we learn the meaning like of the prayers etc. and try to do mitzvahs with JOY, the feeling will develope with continuous effort, personal prayer, and time. Plus, remember every effort counts.

    I also think a good idea for youth is to have a mentor or someone who can give personal guidence when they need it.


    sm29-Someone could create a JustAsk type of website and the best researched and well-written responses could be posted.

    It would be a great forum,both for those with the questions and and those inspired to write a great,clear answer!


    Watermelon: There’s one called Is the type you mean?


    Do the teens answer each other?

    Or does someone check to make sure the answers are correct? (I am not familiar with that site)


    Its a moderated site. I believe its very helpful for teens with questions. Check it out (its not fair to post if you’re past adolescence), you may gain an insight or two.


    One of the most important things parents can do is to NEVER let your kids hear you say (or see you act in a way that says…)

    “Shver tzu zein a Yid”.

    When kids grow up hearing (or feeling) that, though they may not express it, they develop the feeling “so then who needs it?”

    Kids have to grow up in an atmosphere that teaches them “Ashrainu! Ma Tov chelkainu!” Being a Yid is the most wonderful fortune a person could ever have!

    Although I strongly agree with the idea above, of always having answers to questions available, a kid has to first have the interest to ask the questions. If he or she grows up in joyous Yiddish environment, they will ask the questions when they arise, but if they grow up in an oppressive environment where they feel that the Torah life is a burden, they wont care about answers to specific questions, they will just want to throw away the whole package.


    AinOhdMivado, good point. The home should show how beautiful and enjoyable our heritage is. And when things are hard like pesach cleaning, we should express how it helps us to spiritually grow.

    Essentials for a home through our own example are giving over:

    Good middos

    Intellectual Wisdom



    Thereby internalizing it it in our family and staying strong I’YH


    and what about kids that dont grow up with it??


    truth be told: A site like frumteens is a very good idea, but that particular site is not one I would recommend to anybody for a variety of reasons.

    sm29: not just the youth. Everyone should have a mentor. Even more importantly, everyone should know — to the extent of their abilities — exactly Who they’re in all this for. Without that, it just isn’t worth it no matter how enjoyable.


    Riki: Try picking up this “varemkeit” from others’ homes like neighbors, friends etc.


    ItcheSrulik I agree about the mentor and that we should remember that the ultimate purpose is serving Hashem. He is our Parent and knows what is best for us and the world. And like a parent, He wants us to take care of ourself and each other by following the very special Instuction Manual


    Please be a little more open-minded!


    I have another tip that I found very helpful for my own struggles with emunah (yes, guys think about these things too.) I found that most of the newer books, especially the English language ones aimed at the youth, evaded my questions rather than addressing them and that many of the answers they did give just raised more serious questions, so I went a little further back. RaMBaM Hilkhos Yesodei Torah and Hilkhos Teshuva for general background in Emuna and Sefer HaChinukh for explanations of specific mitzvos.


    To strengthen emunah I highly recommend Rav Lazer Brody’s CDs as well as his translations of Rav Arush’s seforim (or the originals in Hebrew for those who can).



    I had the same experience. To put it bluntly, I found the Rambam (the Moreh, Chelek, 8 Perakim, Letters, Mada…) much more – I want to say intellectually honest but I’ll be politically correct and say – much more intellectually stimulating than much of the current literature. The only problem is that much of his hashkafah is not accepted today, at least not where I live. It’s not that I really care, but it becomes a problem when, e.g., a kid has a question, and I have to worry that if I answer him in a way that I think makes most sense and is actually mefurash in the Rambam, his father will come banging on my door because I am indoctrinating his kid with hashkafos inconsistent with the ‘mesorah.’ Which is fine, I get that. It’s just frustrating not to be able to help people. And the worst is when someone asks me to ‘prove’ a concept to someone with ‘questions,’ and I have to argue with the guy that this ‘concept’ has no proof and in fact I don’t see any need to command a belief in it. Alright, that’s my rant for today. Now everyone can pounce on me for being a kofer.


    I had a response that was not objectionable in the slightest. It seems to have vanished. Anyway, the gist of what I said was that I think that it’s important to learn Hilkhos Yesodei Torah before looking at the Moreh because otherwise you won’t understand it. Also, I said that I don’t worry about people calling me a kofer for following the man of whom it is said “m’Moshe l’Moshe…” though I may have phrased it too harshly in the earlier post.

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