I was talking to someone today about how I would love to teach Torah in theory.
She said, “Why don’t you teach it then?”
I said, “Because I am not Shomer Torah U’Mitzvot (I am not religious).”
She said, “That’s not true.” My friend knows that there are many mitzvot (Torah commandments) that I do keep.
But keeping many mitzvot out of choice is not the same thing as putting God’s Word first. And I am honest enough to know the difference.
When you put God’s Word first, you accept the law regardless of how you feel.
I cannot say that I am there yet. My conscience competes with my submission to the Word.
If I were to submit to the Word, fully, I would be qualified to teach even if my knowledge were less than optimal.
This is because I would have the true fear of God that is necessary not only to understand His commandments but also to transmit a proper foundation for their observance to students.
There are very few people who have accepted God’s Word as the guiding force on their life.
We should encourage these people to teach and help them to remain steadfast in their faith. They will face many spiritual tests, and the more devoted they are, the more difficult those tests will be.
Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi said in a lecture once that Satan (literally, “the adversary”) whispers in a man’s ear at the end of his life: “All your efforts to serve God were a total waste of time.”
For my part, I continue on my path through life, writing about faith and sharing what I know while stopping short of taking any formal training or role in Jewish life.
As I do this, I am mindful of another one of Satan’s tricks, which is to play on our sense of inadequacy, saying: “You’re just a phony and a hypocrite, not good enough, who do you think you are advocating for anything Jewish?”
I encourage people of every faith to stand strong and courageously in your quest to find HaShem (God) in your life. May He bless you for all your efforts to do so.
By Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.