by Gabi Steinberg (’13)

2013-05-21 11.20.44Fortunately, more Torah is being learned now than at any time since the second Bais Hamikdash.  However, despite this beautiful phenomenon, only 500,000 of the 6,000,000 Jews in the United States are keeping Shabbos.
Rabbi Mordechai Tropp from Aish HaTorah’s Project Inspire came to MTA last Tuesday to discuss this issue with the seniors. He began by informing us of the tragic situation that faces Jews in the United States and related to us the mitzvah that obligates us to bring other Jews closer to God. By showing us a short video clip, Rabbi Tropp, a former rebbe at MTA, made us aware of the fact that, generally, non-religious Jews are interested in learning about Judaism.

 The remainder of the seminar was dedicated to debunking four major misconceptions regarding Judaism:1. “Some Jews are better than others”

Unfortunately, many Jews look down at others because of their religious standing.  This terrible habit can turn others off Judaism.  We care and love every Jew.  2. “Religion takes the fun out of life”

God doesn’t ask us to pray because He needs an ego stroke. Or to skip the bacon because it makes him nauseous. For over three thousand years the Torah has been teaching us how to build a life of meaning and maximize pleasure.3. That Judaism is an all or nothing religion.
Many people think that if they can’t take on all the mitzvos then there’s no point in getting started.4. “Being religious is an escape”
Many believe that “once you’re religious, you stop thinking,” as religion removes us from reality.

In order to effectively inspire others, we must learn not to judge others. We need to show others how enjoyable it is to be observant and make it clear that each and every mitzvah we do is precious and priceless. Finally, we must prove that the Torah is true, real and the standard for ethical conduct.

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