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Why be religious?

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein


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Why be religious? I mean, people go to Israel and depend on this trip to make them religious. But then what happens when they ask themselves, "Why be religous"? What do I answer?



"Religious" is an ambiguous word, and means many things to many people. To many young (American) Jews "religious" means "old fashioned", and so the question is, "Why be old fashioned?".

The answer is, don't. Don't be religious.

Be yourself.

The Jews entered an eternal covenant with G-d some 33211years ago.

That covenant is the reason for our existence, and the purpose for our lives. It is thus as relevant as our modern existence, and as fresh as our current lives.

When a Jew asks, "Why should I live in accordance with the Torah?" it is akin to a coffee machine asking, "Why should I make coffee?", a camera asking, "Why should I take photos?", and a tree asking, "Why should I produce fruit?".

The answer is the same: That is what you were created for. That is who you are.

When you succeed in what you were created for, you are functioning properly and producing accordingly. You are pleasing to your Creator, gratifying to yourself, and beneficial to those around you.


  • 1. This email answer was written in 5769/2009


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