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Correct Relationship with non-religious family


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

4 Cheshvan 5766
Most of mine and my husbands family are not religeous yet traditional. We keep our distance subtly though have not cut ties. We have had them over for shabatot at which they have shown respect. However we have been unable to have any influence that we know of. I recently sent an article from Rav Amnon Itzchak Shlit"a which was a humurous article on how be a proper Jew without worrying about others comments.(perhaps I was mistaken to mail it?????) I rec a reply titled choices - with a joke about Gan Eden and Gehinom , Gehinom wasnt so bad. Do we just stand by and watch our loved ones moving nowhere, there children growing up with the wrong chinuch......... Is my tfillah enough or should we be doing more hishtadlut.
There is no blanket answer for this question and each case should be dealt with on its own merits, and I can't answer responsibly without knowing the details. Therefore – in general terms, your first obligation is toward your immediate family, if you have them sorted out you should start with your extended family. If a closer connection with your extended family will risk your spiritual welfare of your immediate family – you should carefully adjust the amount of exposure to bad influence; if you can cope with more – it will be a big Mitzvah to show the light of Torah life to your relatives. From the way you write I sense you can do a bit more do bring Yiddishkite closer to them, but again I can't really know. Try to consult with a Torah figure that knows you and your situation somewhat better.
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