Friday, January 21, 2011

Shabbat Shalom: Orthodox Judaism Is a Full-Time Job

I have a shiur (lecture) by Rabbi Yom Tov Glasner that I really enjoy. It's from Aish Audio and is called Practical Spirituality: How to Make the Right Choices. The title actually has very little to do with the shiur (at least to your average listener). It's very much about the nature of reality, kabalistic ideas, etc.

He speaks of orthodox Judaism as a "full-time job." He analogizes his kippah to a time clock, punching in and out at work:
"I remember when I was in my first year of yeshiva. I realized that I felt uncomfortable putting my kippah on my table next to my bed before I went to bed at night. Because if G-d's here, not just "outside," but here, it's full-time. It's a 24 hour experience. So even when I'm asleep, He's here. I don't like the feeling, even though I know my kippah is gonna fall off after 10 minutes once I'm asleep and roll over. I know my kippah's going to fall off, but I don't like the feeling of cutting out from a Being that would never cut out. If the Being cut out, what would happen to the creation?"
That kind of thought is part of what draws me to orthodox Judaism. No matter how I feel each day, this is a full-time commitment. That pushes me to be a better, more consistent, more complete person. I would feel less genuine if I could compartmentalize my religion into particular days and times. It should be the water I drink and the air I breathe. How could I schedule G-d like I schedule (or not) study time? I never got that approach. All in or all out!

Shabbat shalom!


  1. I love Judaism because of the emphasis on God being in the everything, everyday, every moment. Everything i do, think, say, see, eat and even smell... it's all revolving around God. It's all a chance to commune with him and commune on a spiritual level with my fellow Jews. Outsiders often assume it's a religion trying to purchase God's love. I struggle with trying to explain to them it's a gift, a blessing... how wonderful it is to be allowed to have a seek peek into the divine!

    (don't mind me...i guess I'm a bit passionate about this! :) )

  2. I too love how Judaism brings sanctity to the mundane aspects of life... nothing a Jew does is to be done passively, but imbued with holiness.