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Why did you start keeping halacha?

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At Shabbat dinner this week I was talking with someone and mentioned how I used to do something before I was shomer Shabbat. He asked me a loaded and complicated question “Why did you start keeping Halacha?”

Yelling over the table in the crowded Chabad dining room, I had to keep my answer brief. I was sitting between people who were also not always religious and observant, and as well as I knew them, it was fascinating hearing their answers.

Normally this blog is political, but this simple innocent question and the answers that came with it got me wondering about the other ba’al teshuva in my life.

What made YOU start keeping Halacha? Leave your answers in the comments. I’ll do the same.

Written by bethanyshondark

November 14, 2010 at 10:50 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. Well, I grew up in USY and after High School I came to Israel for their year program, NATIV. We learned a great deal about the Conservative movement, but I took one thing out of it all. It’s half way. I said you’re either in or you’re out. I’d always believed in G-d, mostly as a Diest in HS, but I certainly had seen his hand in my life. So, I was in. And that was it. I went to Yeshiva to learn more.


    November 14, 2010 at 11:06 am

  2. Yelling over the table, I had to keep my answer brief. This is what it was:

    I am a very logical person, and a history major. That’s the perspective I came from when deciding to become observant.
    I’ve always self-identified as Jewish culturally, and was proud of our resiliency and focus on education and learning.
    When I started to believe in G-d in the middle of a biology class in college (everything worked TOO perfectly to be accidental), I of course began looking at my own religion in a new light.
    Historically, there is no reason why Jews should have survived for as long as we have. We have outlived a dozen civilizations that have wanted nothing more than to destroy us. With every coming generation, through learning and perseverance, Jews have had our lots improved over time. The founding and survival of the State of Israel alone proves there is a divine hand in our history. We made a promise with G-d and entered a covenant, and it’s turned out pretty well for us.
    So why do so many Jews nowadays decide that keeping Halacha is too much effort? To me, keeping Shabbat and Kosher is not a sacrifice, but a delight. I love Shabbat meals with friends, sitting and laughing and talking. I like keeping Kosher – always cognizant of what is going into my body – watchful over everything that I put inside me.
    If keeping all of these laws is not only not an inconvenience, but a joy, why wouldn’t I continue to keep the promise that my ancestors made thousands of years ago?


    November 14, 2010 at 11:06 am

  3. I’m not Jewish myself but I completely agree with what you said about the longlivety of the Jewish people. You guys truly are indestructible and if I was Jewish I would 100% proud of it!

    G-d Bless you all 🙂

    Bobbie Jones

    July 29, 2011 at 6:22 pm

  4. I have never been able to say this about anyone, but “what EvanPokroy said”. Especially and including the Nativ part. I was a religious Conservative jew before that. I had a relationship with Hashem, but not with the binding nature of halacha. That is what changed. But it took me 15 years of process to get to a more constant place…


    January 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm

  5. i plan on converting when the time is right. but in my heart ive always had a jewish soul. and as i went along teaching myself everything from the alef bet to trying to make 100 bracha everyday ( which is easy granted you open your siddur for shacharis , mincha, and maariv) to the shema. and the more i teach myself the more i feel like the empty space in my heart is being filled. so i decided some time ago that i will be keeping halacha because it makes me alot more then happy to do so. i feel like i have meaning to my day. and right now im about 19 years behind schedual for my lifetime of learning…i am borderline depressed that im not in a position in my life where i can finally start my conversion. but in the mean time i can continue to teach myself every detail


    January 9, 2012 at 1:24 am

  6. I work Friday nights and graveyards. I can only dream of keeping Shabbat. Thanks for the encouragement.


    January 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm

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