No need to sacrifice ideals

I always hear people giving explanations for why they don’t fully keep certain Torah/Jewish laws. But from growing up in an Orthodox home, I know for a fact that you can keep everything if you so choose. When someone is not yet ready to fully keep Shabbat, then the reason (like, I need to work late Friday) will feel totally legitimate. But once the person decides they really want to keep Shabbos, they will be able to.

Long story short, this video of this young Jewish boxer in NY is very inspirational. Oh, I don’t really like that word suddenly. OK, it’s very hopeful. Dmitriy Salita has made decisions that show such strong character on his part and, what the rabbi says at the end is so true. It proves that you can keep the Torah as much as you want, no matter what profession you’re in.

Watch Dmitriy Salita here.

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7 thoughts on “No need to sacrifice ideals

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  1. This is a great topic. I will have to ponder something on this one. I think it fits right in with my Jewish Journey cuz I have to struggle with this all of the time, especially since I do not live in the orthodox community. I do not have a chance to go with the flow. Every piece of halacha is a choice in my community. So my following of the Jewish “laws” is a slow and steady wrestle (not quite a boxing match for me).

    1. :) mTp, that is such a struggle! It’s interesting. I guess it really is much easier to “just” be part of the Orthodox community if you yearn to keep “everything.” (Lots of “quotation marks.”) Looking forward now to a piece on this. :)

  2. I think this point needs further clarification. The question here is really why people choose not to keep the laws. If someone chooses not to keep the laws because they don’t hold meaning to them, derive no internal benefit (such as refinement of one’s character, feeling of connectedness to the laws, and etc), or simply lack the faith, then I say “Don’t go through with the “dog and pony” show of upholding the laws one doesn’t believe. A number of my friends struggle with this issue on daily basis. Some of them are hurting pretty badly due of the disconnect between internal versus external, i.e. internally they don’t believe in keeping kosher, but outwardly they have to maintain pretense of keeping kosher.

    In a case where one chooses not to keep the laws because it might inconvenience them… Well, isn’t such a person is simply being lazy, and putting up poor excuses as the cover up?

    1. Jewess, I have come to believe, and I may be wrong, that most people, if they are not fully keeping something, it’s because of a deeper reason. If they’re “lazy,” that is very possibly only what it looks like on the outside. But why are they acting lazy about something so important? Is it not possible that it is specifically because they don’t connect to it on a deep enough level?

  3. Deena,

    Very few people are aware of the tools that can help them to learn how to connect to anything, themselves included, on a deeper level. To be aware of oneself requires a tremendous amount of work and patience. From my own personal experiences I can testify that for several years it has been a lot easier to run away from getting to anything on a deeper level, rather than spend time trying to understand it to begin with, let alone connect to it.

    So yes, if we act “lazy” toward something we say is important, it is probably because we don’t connect to it on a deep enough level. But how many people stop themselves and become aware of that thought/idea?

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