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How does one benefit from Judaism?


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Nisan 23, 5776
I have a couple questions that I want to ask a Rabbi. 1. Why is the Jewish religion important? 2. What does the Jewish religion have to offer someone on a personal level, in family relationships? 3. How can it be helpful to people in today’s political and societal conditions? Thank you so much, Faith Karst
Please excuse me but the wording of your question belies a gross misunderstanding, for Judaism isn’t just a religion but is, by definition, also our nationality as well as our moral guide to life, so its importance is unquestionable for us. The God of Israel appears to the world until this very day, through the unique Jewish history, as can be seen in mankind’s Book of Books (the Bible) and today, by the world’s pre-occupation with little but miraculous Israel. The Torah is God’s practical detailed (!) guide to living our personal, family and national lives to their utmost, through the wisdom of His commandments in the world He created, just as one would be wise to follow any manufacturer’s guide, to get the best use of his product. The eternal Torah is the objective Word of G-d which for 3,300 years has been suitably taught and practiced with the help of the Oral Tradition and local orthodox rabbis who have studied Torah often 15-17 hours a day for many years with their rabbis (or you yourself can study rigorously with your rabbis!), thus receiving the Oral Tradition and helping you apply it to your daily, family and national idealistic life. Inevitably, by doing so, you will see the real answer regarding the specialness of Judaism and Israel, in its unique and detailed intellectual and emotional guide to harmonizing the complexity of tradition, morality, ideals, family, nationalism, individuality, modernism and post-modernism, and really all of life. In short, Judaism helps us improve in all aspects of life, to be better, deeper, more idealistic, thinking, altruistic, and in touch with our real selves and be part of something big and eternal!
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