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I want to be more religious but it is causing friction in my family?


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Rabbi Shlomo Chein: Welcome. I'll be with you in a moment...what's on your mind?

Abby: well, i am wanting to go to the Chabad in my area, and my mother is discouraging me from going, but i want to.

Abby: she is a very encouraging mother, and person.. its just when it comes to living life in a more traditional way weirds her out. she thinks that if i become orthodox, or more traditional, that she will "lose me"

Abby: and i understand her feelings but i don't know what to do..

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: i see. Although Jewish practice should strengthen familes, this is nonetheless a common fear!

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: how old are you

Abby: almost 20

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: and how involved in Judaism are you?

Abby: very.

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: and has that caused you to be less involved with the family?

Abby: no, its just that i'm finding that i like more stuff from those beliefs than what i've been taught until now

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: ok - i will give you 3 pieces of advice.

Abby: ok

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: 1) Offer your mother to come along with you - basically, you want to show her that you are not trying to run away from the family, and that she won't lose you. Rather you are simply trying to learn more about your heritage, and you would be thrilled if she came along with you

Abby: ok

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: 2) Never tell your mother what to do regarding Judaism, and especially don't tell her she is doing something wrong!!! If you learn new things, they are for you - they are not to make you become your mother's rabbi!

Abby: oh aha i know that

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: 3) Take extra measures to show her you love her and the family. Make sure you are at family events. Make sure you call from college. You can even make a special call every Firday afternoon to wish her a Good Shabbos - this way she will see that Judaism is making you get closer to your family, not further. If for some reason you need to miss a family event due to a Jewish observance, MAKE SURE you make a rain check and make up for it shortly thereafter with a special visit etc.

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: points 2) and 3) might seem simple and obvious now, but you don't know how many people "forget" this later, and don't realize how important it is

Abby: yes, thank you so much

Abby: i agree with everything you're saying

Abby: thank you thank you thank you

Abby: lilah tov and shavua tov!

Rabbi Shlomo Chein: all the best

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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Life Cycle » Marriage » Family Life

Chabad, an acronym for Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding, is the name of a Chassidic Group founded in the 1770s. Two of the most fundamental teachings of Chabad are the intellectual pursuit of understanding the divine and the willingness to help every Jew who has a spiritual or material need.