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Looking for something deeper than Torah- communion with God


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Av 3, 5774
Dear Rabbi, As a supplement to the initial question: Possibly, the reason why there are soooo many Non-Practicing Jews, ...could it be that they are “yearning” for something more "deeper" …than the Law of Moses, although it was established to set up the Jewish culture, customs, & traditions, morals, civil laws of the land, kosher, & priestly duties, ceremonial laws, etc. Also, the Non-Practicing Jews may desire to have an experience like (Father) Abraham had with G-d, ...a personal and special intimate relationship with Hashem .. communing, etc… like we see throughout the Tanach. ..With Much Respect & Shalom, VM
The eternal Torah is written for all people in all generations. Accordingly, she has to be not only deep but also understandable. That’s the beauty of learning the rabbinic sources (the Oral Law), especially kabbala, Hassidism, philosophy etc. which reveal the deeper and more hidden aspects of the Torah. I definitely agree, the reason there are so many non-practicing Jews is because they haven’t learned the deeper Torah, and tragically, religious education often ends at the age of 13, when one is too young to appreciate her true beauty, and incorrectly sees Torah as just a superficial culture of traditions, rather than a harmonic set of deep and complex ideals. Today (really the past 2,500 years), the “ultimate” is no longer to speak with G-d but to be like G-d, through deeply studying and practicing His Torah (= guide for living, both Written and Oral). In addition, tfila (prayer) by definition is a communion with G-d, and is definitely supposed to be personal and intimate. Here too, learning hassidut and kabbala will help.
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