October 21, 2013 12:21 am at 12:21 am #610950
What is the purpose of life
— Serving G-d?
— Obtaining a share in the World — to — Come?
— Obtaining success?
— Expressing oneself?
— Political goals?October 21, 2013 1:41 am at 1:41 am #981869yytzParticipant
Depends on your hashkafa. Everyone is meant to serve Hashem, and part of each Jew’s purpose is to study Torah and fulfill mitzvos (including such “spiritual” mitzvos as loving and fearing G-d, and trusting in Him). But chassidic and kabbalistic thought teaches that each person has a particular soul correction they are also meant to achieve in this life. If a person has a strong interest in a particular mitzvah or good deed, whether it is tefillin or feeding the hungry or achieving worthwhile goals in public policy, it is possible that their life’s mission is to concentrate on that to some extent. Or if a person has a particular weakness, such as a tendency to commit a certain kind of sin or a negative character trait, then part of their purpose in life is probably to correct this behavioral pattern.
Each group within Yiddishkeit has different emphasis, leading to a different vision of what is our life’s purpose. For example, if you read the works of R’ Shalom Arush you will get a sense that attaining emunah and bitachon, and thus true happiness and character refinement, especially through hitbodedut (personal prayer in one’s own words) is one of the main purposes we should all be striving towards.October 21, 2013 2:14 am at 2:14 am #981870
Man’s (specifically a Jew’s) purpose of creation was to serve his Creator (incidentally thereby obtaining a portion in the world to come). That is everyone’s hashkafa. The only difference in opinion is by which method, where to put the emphasis. (I don’t have access to Hebrew now (Rabbeinu Google), I think there’s a Passuk in Navi Yeshaya something to the effect “I created you Yisrael, a servant for me”.
And for that special opportunity, privilege we give thanks thrice daily in the great tefillah of Aleinu.October 21, 2013 3:29 am at 3:29 am #981871
>> Everyone is meant to serve Hashem, and part of
>> each Jew’s purpose is to study Torah and fulfill
>> mitzvos (including such “spiritual” mitzvos as
>> loving and fearing G-d, and trusting in Him).
>> But chassidic and kabbalistic thought teaches
>> that each person has a particular soul correction
>> they are also meant to achieve in this life.
Thank you very much — I have read that many souls come to this world many times to fulfill all 613 mitzvot.October 21, 2013 3:35 am at 3:35 am #981872
>> Man’s (specifically a Jew’s) purpose of creation
>> was to serve his Creator (incidentally thereby
>> obtaining a portion in the world to come). That
>> is everyone’s hashkafa.
Thank you very much.
That is very difficult to follow for someone raised in a secular Jewish environment. There the purpose of life is to become a lawyer/doctor/professor. I did a PhD in Mathematics which I hate, thus I can not and would not get a job in math. I wanted to be a writer/advocate, but I have no formal education. Thus all my chances of what seculars call success are lost.
Maybe it was G-d’s blessing to me that I could not succed in this life — so that I would return to service of G-d and maybe obtain a share in the Next World. Can I become a part of Orthodox Jewish community.October 21, 2013 4:17 am at 4:17 am #981873LublinerMember
Our purpose in life is to make a dwelling place for g-d down here in this physical world. How do we do it is the question we need to ask ourselves. The simplest answer is by every individual taking advantage of his g-d given talents and using them to the fullest in spreading torah and mitzvos in a manner of leading by example and being a light onto the nations around us.October 21, 2013 4:43 am at 4:43 am #981874
It is the same Creator Who placed you originally in your position, circumstances, who understands your innermost trials, wants, urges and emotional and mental make-up. Our great Rabbis say in the Talmud, “G-d does not make tyrannical and unreasonable demands.”
He understands the need for slow steps one starting anew and afresh must take. To Him they are so precious, as dear as offering sacrifices.
Hatzlacha!!October 21, 2013 5:52 am at 5:52 am #981875eclipseMember
help others…ESPECIALLY your own family that Hashem put you in
break bad midos
learn Torah and then actually keep it
and more, of course
but this alone can keep one busyOctober 21, 2013 7:59 am at 7:59 am #981876no longer need seminaryMember
well the purpose of this word is so it can be perfected. I guess thats why we are here-to perfect it..October 21, 2013 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #981877chani91Member
the purpose of living is to find out hat your purpose is
???? ???? ??? ????? ??????!!!October 21, 2013 4:17 pm at 4:17 pm #981878streekgeekParticipant
chani91 – You make that sound so easy. Maybe you want to help me?
Maybe you want to help us all?October 21, 2013 7:22 pm at 7:22 pm #981879
>> He understands the need for slow steps one starting
>> anew and afresh must take. To Him they are so precious,
>> as dear as offering sacrifices.
Thank you very much. The main issue for me is to keep motivation. I had religious awakenings, but then I was back at secular life. The longest awakening was in Jan ’91 — ‘Jan 94. The second was Oct ’96- Feb ’97. The third was Spring — Summer ’03. This one started Summer ’13.
Most secular Jews believe in G-d. I have kept Sabbath and most of kosher since ’96. But most of the time a secular person is occupied with worldly pursuits.
How can I keep motivation to become observant?October 21, 2013 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #981880
>> help others…ESPECIALLY your own family that Hashem
>> put you in break bad midos
Unfortunately there is a deep conflict within my family. They believe my purpose in life is to become a mathematician, I wanted to be a writer/advocate. I have lost everything in life.
How can I become a part of observant community?October 21, 2013 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #981881
Most secular Jews are not Atheists. 84% of American Jews including myself believe in G-d and His Torah.
But on everyday basis a secular Jew may devote only a few minutes a day to Mitsvas. The rest of the time he/she pursues secular goals such as being a doctor/lawyer/mathematician/advocate/writer. Now all I lived for has fallen apart. I do not know what to do now.October 21, 2013 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #981882
How should I know. There are so many other smart, intelligent individuals that frequent this fabulous place, the CR. Then, of course there are numerous organizations that do kiruv, they have the right resources to do it right. To make someone feel at home, validate their feelings, emotions. Explain Torah concepts in a way that will be understood better. Me? I wouldn’t know, else I’d too be a baal teshuva – I could sure use some teshuva.
That being said, I don’t truly get the picture (from what you’ve chosen to reveal), that you’re unobservant, or not frum in any way now. Is your problem that you feel you don’t have time or want to expend attention to Torah and mitzvhos? A lot of us (you’d call frummies) do that too. Many have degrees, professions, jobs, things they must devote their time (and lives) to. That’s the way Hashem made the world. As Medresh (Eicha) says “If I don’t work by day, I won’t eat by night”. Hashem fashioned the world just so that one must somewhat devote attention to the mundane. The only difference is how much, the balance. And that is the difference between one who has chosen to be an oved Hashem, and one who “will just do” – a practicing Jew, keeping all mitzvohs.
An oved Hashem will direct his mind constantly to HaShem ????? ?` ????? ????, and work and do the mundane the barest minimum. Others fall for the temptations of the worldly trappings, and forget the main thing, the ikkar.
To sum it up, I get the picture you’re already “here” just an additional “boost” maybe is needed.October 22, 2013 1:39 am at 1:39 am #981883
>> Is your problem that you feel you don’t have time or
>> want to expend attention to Torah and mitzvhos? A
>> lot of us (you’d call frummies) do that too.
I do not know. I am really Lost. I am lost between three directions:
Direction 1: I understand that I must serve G-d and work for obtaining a share in Eternal life.
Direction 2: My heart pulls me to be a writer/advocate — have not engaged in writing/polemics for a long time.
Direction 3: I am suppose to work on my unpaid internship for my Mathematics PhD — so I pretend to work.
>> A lot of us (you’d call frummies) do that too. Many
>> have degrees, professions, jobs, things they must
>> devote their time (and lives) to. That’s the way
>> Hashem made the world.
I do not work. I pretend to work for my unpaid internship. I thus do almost nothing.
>> I get the picture you’re already “here” just an
>> additional “boost” maybe is needed.
I am mostly for obtaining guidance.October 22, 2013 2:29 am at 2:29 am #981884ChchamMember
The purpose of life is to live life with purposeOctober 22, 2013 3:46 am at 3:46 am #981885
Sounds like you’re describing me! I also do not work (regularly), my “work” here attests to that. And I have less than you, I don’t have any degrees to pursue. Also I’m not a writer. So you’re ahead of me.
Next. Your three options are not exclusive, as I wrote to you previously. One can be a perfectly upright, God-fearing, righteous, Jew and still pursue a degree. That is called hishtadlus. Nothing AT ALL wrong with it. Just that your motivation should be, as the Rambam says, in order to better serve the Creator. So then it’s considered as a tool for Kedusha. But that’s all for later. Now, it’s just important to know that it’s not going against Hashem’s will at all.
Do your best in your worldly endeavors, and then do your best connecting to HaShem in the Shul and bais medrash (or wherever).
Hatzlachah!!October 22, 2013 3:58 am at 3:58 am #981886
One more thing,
If you’re mostly for seeking guidance, then know that you’ve already reached somewhere. There are others, returning members of our nation, who have made up their minds up regarding what a Jew is supposed to be, what he’s supposed to do and keep, skewed and warped hashkafos etc. (one or two even chanced by here in the past, and tried to spew their great “findings”, “revelations” before they were booted out by diligent mods). No. One who is not ready to accept the authority of a competent Rav, Rabbi, Dayan or manhig will have NO CHANCE of becoming a true observant Jew.
I don’t know who you should turn to, do your homework well. But you’re already a few steps in the right direction.October 22, 2013 4:32 am at 4:32 am #981887
Thank you. Unfortunately my PhD in Mathematics is a useless degree. I can not and would not get a good job in the subject I do not like. That already was a great waste.October 22, 2013 5:46 am at 5:46 am #981888SanityIsOverratedParticipant
From what I’ve gathered, the purpose of life is to recognize ourselves. Who we are with both our strengths and weaknesses. Then break free of those bonds. Many of the Mitzvos bring constant awareness to what we do. Being human, many feel limited by their genetics, emotions, and background. God gave us the freedom to choose. We can choose to be ourselves, or we can choose to be greater.
Being Jewish, we are the Keepers of the Torah. Not a simple job. We have been entrusted to carry it through history. Faith has kept It alive even now. Today, we live by the words that continually expose the Torah as a blueprint for mankind.
That’s how I personally translate my Judaism, and how it defines my life.
So how does this work practically speaking for you? Find what speaks to you. If writing brings you purpose, then that should be your goal. The only one you should want to be a success for, is your Creator. I know it can be difficult when the family looks at you as a failure. The question is, do they care for your happiness, or only for your success? What use is it being at the top if you are unhappy? Still, it need not go to waste. Perhaps you can use your mathematics degree for a temporary job while you go back and train as a writer?
(I also went to college for something miserable. However, I’m hoping I can use my skills to get a decent job so I can pay my way through a degree for something more suited to me)
Life is what you make of it. I hope this can help you somewhat.October 22, 2013 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #981889
Thank you — everyone’s input is very helpful. I must become more observant especially since I have failed to achieve a good life here.
>> Being Jewish, we are the Keepers of the Torah.
>> Not a simple job.
At least I can keep much much more then I did so far.
>> The only one you should want to be a success for,
>> is your Creator.
That is true. Most secular Jews believe in G-d and follow some mitzvot. They also understand that observant Jews are right.
>> What use is it being at the top if you are unhappy?
I can not get a job as a mathematician. I am not sure if the I can not or I would not or both — because I will not be happy there.October 22, 2013 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #981890SanityIsOverratedParticipant
Can not, and will not are two very different things. Can not is something that just is. Will not can be changed. May I ask what it is about mathematics that makes you so unhappy?
Personally, although it is not my field of interest, I do find mathematics fascinating in it’s perfection. The incredible ways that math and science interacts constantly increase my awareness as to the amazing world Hashem has given us. So to me, math can be used to serve Hashem as well as many other subjects.October 22, 2013 7:01 pm at 7:01 pm #981891rebdonielMember
A person’s tafkid in life is to do the will of HaShem. To follow the Torah, and be a good Jew, to study torah, have a source of livelihood (parnassa), raise a family, etc.October 22, 2013 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #981892
>> Can not, and will not are two very different things.
>> Can not is something that just is. Will not can be
>> changed. May I ask what it is about mathematics that
>> makes you so unhappy?
I do not know. I just do not like it and I did not like it long before I started working on my PhD. I do not see any point in doing what makes me unhappy. I can pretend to work on my unpaid internship but in 3.5 years we have produced very little.October 22, 2013 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #981893
>> A person’s tafkid in life is to do the will of HaShem.
The vast majority of American Jews (84%) and even greater majority of Americans (90%) believe in G-d. Unfortunately for many Jews, the life is occupied by other issues
Thus, many people perform very few mitsvot.October 24, 2013 1:25 am at 1:25 am #981894the-art-of-moiParticipant
The purpose of life is to figure out what the purpose of life is and do it.October 24, 2013 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #981895streekgeekParticipant
TAOM – Maybe you could help me! You sound like you know what your talking about. Would you do me a favor and check out the thread I recently posted?
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.