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2 plus 2 factors to mekarev

[1] Emes & [2] Tov – plus – [3] Love & [4] Support

 

[1] Believe it’s true

(This you might call Toras Emes or Objective truth)

To believe it’s true ideally means:

a) INTELLECTUALLY: To believe Hashem gave us the Torah. It has been accurately transmitted, to have at least a basic understanding to why doing its mitzvahs is important and there are real consequences by living by them, schar v’onesh, in this world and the next (besides the good life which comes from them).

Some have not gone through Discovery / Arachim style ‘evidence’ of proof but intuitively believe it’s true:

b) INTUITIVELY: I perceive ‘within my soul’ that it is all true.

Comment: If one can help a person have both an intellectual and an intuitive belief that is obviously best. 

Negiahs:

Individuals may not accept evidence or proofs if they have negiahs (biases) e.g.

  • Non Jewish boy / girl friend
  • Experienced ordeals and see G-d as bad
  • Bad experiences with those representing Judaism
  • In general they find it very hard to break free of the social pressure and perceived judgements from people if they keep Shabbos, kosher etc…

 

[2] A great ‘User Experience’ (now and in the future)

(This you might call Toras Chaim)

This means that right now

They experience enjoyment and meaning from keeping mitzvahs and living a Torah lifestyle. I.e. Shabbos is enjoyable, chaggim, learning Torah, personal growth, chessed…

Obviously different types of people will naturally connect to different areas of a Torah lifestyle e.g. some more to learning, some more to chessed, some more to personal growth, some more to connecting spiritually to the Transcendental etc… It is good to help a person according to their teva.

It also includes that they believe that living a Jewish lifestyle will in the future continue to bring them enjoyment and meaning and fulfilment and goodness, for them and their families (and perhaps ultimately the whole world e.g. Tikan Olam). This often comes from being inspired by the Shalom Bayis and midos tovos and values of the mekarev and their family.

 

The above 2 factors are the 2 critical factors to mekarev, but to get them across one also needs these 2 factors…

 

 

[3] Unconditional love

A classic example: Rabbi Grossman of Migdal haEmek 

Each person has to be ‘open to considering the above two factors’ and to ‘believe’ that they can grow and this usually only comes from someone else communicating genuine love and believing in them.

 

[4] Support

Without support it is impossible for a secular Jew to find the strength to continue growing and facing their challenges and to hear the right aitzahs and wisdom.

Ideally support means:

a) having a mentor (Rabbi / Rebbetzen), and

b) having a friend or friends to grow with and to support one’s growth, and also ideally

c) a great community that they can be a part of and grow with.

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments: cvegoda@aish.edu

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