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Reb Moshe's Holy Jewish Teens

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Becoming Religious in a Secular Home

 

Frum and Feeling Alone

 

Not Enough Support

 

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Becoming Religious in a Secular Home

 

 

 
Many teens today are facing the challenge of becoming religious all by themselves in a secular home. This is a commendable act because not only are their friends non-Jews but the atmosphere at home is sometimes anti-religious.

 

One of the most important teaching of Judaism is showing respect to ones parents. It is one of the ten commandments. Therefore, this challenge facing many of the teens today is a tremendous undertaking.

 

Our Rabbis teach us that if one is faced with a situation of transgressing a commandment, if they honor their parents, then they should not listen to them. This being said, one should not take advantage of this leniency given to us by the Rabbis but rather, one should use tact, discretion and kindness during such a situation trying to make those involved sill comfortable and pleased as much as possible.

 

Through this, showing the true love Judaism teaches, one will eventually find the support they are seeking. This being said, the challenge is still a difficult one and we must ease some of this pain.

 

When people see that a person is not strong in their convictions, they see an opening to disagree and maybe even change someone's mind. If you are weak in your faith and commitment to a religious lifestyle, you will find your family and friends using this as an open door to get involved in your life. Should you have jumped into religious practice very quickly without a firm understanding first, they will also bank on this weakness. Therefore, you must ponder the realness of your faith and commitment. In order to be stronger, you should learn more Torah and make sure you are studying those things in Judaism that are right for you. When you walk around with understanding, you will find that people will not attach you as much.

 

Getting their support is an entirely new challenge. The only way to accomplish this is through setting a good example. Show the beauty of the Torah by living a life of good midos. Talk like a mench and act like one. Be a giving person with a soft heart for others. Eventually, how could they stand against someone who is becoming more responsible and pure.

 

Don't try to makariv your own family unless you see they are open-minded, as you might make this more difficult for yourself. People don't want to be told what to do, especially in their religious beliefs. Rather, be patient, pray and through your good example, they too will start to see the Torah's Beauty.