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I’m becoming religious. How do I choose my next step?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

Library » Mitzvot » Should I do them? | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Question:

We are a “secular” family trying to make a transition to leading a more observant life style. We have been keeping a Kosher kitchen for the last several years and go to Shul regularly. We are now considering keeping Shabbat. Is there an order in which one should become more observant? It obviously cannot be an overnight transformation, but how do we correctly choose the “next step”? Are some mitzvahs more important than others?

Just as one on a financial journey has an accountant, and one on a medical journey has a doctor, so too on a Jewish journey one must have a rabbi, a spiritual mentor

Answer:

You are absolutely correct that it can’t be an overnight thing. It must, and will, be a gradual process.

It is therefore essential that your family maintain a close relationship with a local rabbi who can guide you as you grow.

Just as one on a financial journey has an accountant, and one on a medical journey has a doctor, so too on a Jewish journey one must have a rabbi, a spiritual mentor.

Kosher and Shabbat are two very fundamental mitzvahs in Judaism and they are definitely a great start. The next step would be… building a relationship with a local rabbi who can guide you to the next step.

Some possibilities for the next Mitzvah: Family Purity, Mezuzah, Tefillin, or Jewish education for the children.

(You can find a local Rabbi who would be more than willing to help at www.chabad.org/centers.)


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RELATED CATEGORIES

Mitzvot » Repentance
Holidays » Yom Kippur » Repentance

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Tefillin
Black leather boxes containing small scrolls with passages of the Bible written on them. Every day, aside for Sabbath and Jewish holidays, the adult Jewish male is required to wrap the Tefillin--by means of black leather straps--around the weaker arm and atop the forehead.
Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
Mezuzah
A rolled up scroll containing certain verses from the Torah which is affixed to the right-hand doorpost of doorways in a Jewish home.
Shul
(Yiddish) Synagogue.
Family Purity
Laws relating to intimacy between husband and wife. The primary point of Family Purity is the woman's purifying immersion in a ritual bath which allows the couple to resume intimate relations after the woman's menstrual period.