LESSONS OF JUDAISM

 

Value of Routine

   A man walked into a restaurant and sat down at a table.  “What will you have?” asked the waiter.  The customer shook his head. “Not a thing, I’m not hungry.”  The waiter stared.  “Then why come in here?” The customer shrugged his shoulders.  “Well you see, this is my lunch hour.”

 

   Routine is a valuable tool for the Baal Teshuvah.  A person who grows up in an observant home is trained in Jewish practices and customs.  They are an integral part of his behavior.  In contrast, the Baal Teshuvah can often be identified by small nuances in manner.  Practices and customs learned as an adult are not as ingrained as when trained from birth.  Trying to learn, remember and make these practices a part of one’s life can be overwhelming.  The more practices one can make routine the more can be learned.  The mind can only keep track of so much.  Routine lets one carry less burden and grow more.  Once something is part of a person it is possible to move on to learn another thing without being overwhelmed. 

 

   For example, praying in a certain place at a certain time.  In that case it is easy to daven regularly because there is a routine.  When out of town it is harder to daven because it is outside the routine.  Pirket Avot utilizes this principle when it teaches that it is good to establish a set time of study.1     Establishing a personal tradition is like cutting a channel for running water.  It allows the easy performance of mitzvoth without struggling against inertia or the urgency of non spiritual matters. 

 

   On the other hand, when it comes to avoiding the danger of routine the Baal Teshuvah has an advantage.  The danger of routine is that practices are not done from the heart.  “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.”2  It isn’t routine that is bad it is the attitude.  Since practices are newer for the Baal Teshuvah they can be performed with a fresher attitude.         

 

   Routine is a valuable tool when used correctly.  One wants to do mitzvoth with kavanah (concentration), but primarily one wants to be doing them.

1. Pirket Avot 1:15

2. Isaiah 29:13

 

TOPICS

 

Growth

Equilibrium

Find a Good Teacher

Judaism, A Religion of New Beginnings

Knowledge and Wisdom

Never Give Up

Our Greatest Teacher

Progress

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Truth; Our Most Powerful Tool

Value of Routine

Relationship: To G-d

Dishonoring Torah

Feeling Close to G-d

G-d Wants the Heart

Incomplete Offering

Time Spent

Whole and Willing

 

 

Prayer

Answers to Prayer

G-d Will Answer Your Prayers

Most Effective Prayer Offered

Purpose of Prayer

Why Prayer Services Aren’t More Entertaining

Role of The Jewish People

(Purpose of Creation)

Eternal Life

Everything is Connected

G-d’s Hidden Presence

Key to Success

My Part

Our Actions Change the World

Revealing the Concealed

Why the Animal Soul Controls the Body

 

 

Relationship: To Another Jew

Harbor No Enmity

Practicing Forgiveness

Spouses

Who Are your Victims?

The Soul’s Mission

Just Right

Leaving a Mark on the World

Perfect Family

Perspective

Repair Your Part

 

 

Relationship: To Community

Charity Given With Joy

Love Every Jew

Mitzvah of Giving Up

Single Entity

Special Role of the Baal Teshuvah

Unity From Acceptance

Whole Story

Trust and Faith

Choices

Choosing for a Purpose

Don’t Put G-d in a Box

Faith

Stick With G-d

 

 

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