Sunday, November 4, 2012

Having a meaningful Jewish Life from different Aspects


We wish to be inscribed in the Book of Life, but it should be a life we wish to be in rather than one that we seek to escape from. 

We pray not only for life, but for quality of life that is meaningful and purposeful, one that will be lived for the greater glory of G – d. 


"Growing Each Day" by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski

The religious definition for "having a meaningful life" probably is "leading a life according to the Torah Mitzvot". Many religious Jews may say: "Purposeful = Keeping Torah Mitzvot and thus doing the will of G – d". 

Nevertheless, I do have my doubts whether keeping Mitzvot is leading all kinds of Jews to a meaningful life. "Meaningful" in the sense of each individual. Moreover, I do claim that not every Jew is meant to run after all Mitzvot. 

In the Galilee

Photo: Miriam Woelke

It has nothing to do with selfishness but there are Jews who consider their life as meaningful when they put all their energy into being creative. Others have a career in high-tech, business, science or administration. There are Jews who regard their lives more meaningful when setting up their own business rather than going for Shacharit, Mincha, Tehillim and Ma'ariv. 

It is possible to connect being creative and having a career with keeping Mitzvot and I am not saying that Jewish professionals don't keep Mitzvot. However, running after Mitzvot may not be the main focus in those people's lives but rather focusing on their profession and putting the Torah inside of their (professional) output. 

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