In this week’s parsha we talk about the importance of living the life we intend to.
A well-known Rabbi once spoke at a summer camp about the importance of Ahavat Yisrael, loving one’s fellow Jew.
Later, a parent asked his child, “So, what did the Rabbi talk about in camp?”
“He spoke about loving your fellow Jew,” replied the son.
“Well, so do I,” responded the father.
“But Dad, he really meant it,” responded the son…
Remember the time you had to attend an important business meeting, and ended missing your child’s school play as a result? Your child recognized that you don’t merely “practice” making a living, but that you’re genuinely serious about work and earning a livelihood.
In the same vein, it’s essential that we refine our observance of the mitzvot to the point that we don’t just practice them, but rather, we truly live them.
Every mitzvah has its own unique energy that resonates within us – be it Shabbat, creating a feeling of warmth and unity among family members, or tefillin, which involves a uniquely intimate moment with G-d – whatever the mitzvah, it’s important to tap in to the life of the deed and find that place inside ourselves where we make it our own.
We find a discussion in the Talmud where one sage asks another, “Which mitzvah was your father’s specialty?” Indeed, every individual has a mitzvah that he is intrinsically connected to, and it is up to us to find the one that truly identifies us.
So let’s stop “practicing Judaism”, and instead, let’s start living our Judaism. Not only will this approach invigorate our own observance, but we will also pass on to our children a Judaism that is truly alive, leaving an impact for generations to come.
Let’s walk the talk!