Photo Credit:
Jewish Press Blogger, Selena Chait Myers

Being religious isn’t easy but it certainly is a wonderful thing.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed it becoming more and more difficult to keep so covered up with the sun beaming so strong. The urge to go out in a short sleeved t-shirt has grown more and more but I know deep down that’s not who I am. Even just seeing the enticing ice-creams that aren’t kosher make me over-heated and frustrated.

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But then I stop and think about what I do have compared to what I think I want.

When I think about the life of a religious Jew, my mind automatically pictures a kippa, skirts, sheitals, challa, a siddur, my candlesticks and then various other things.

Each of these items gives me pride. For me, there is nothing more special than a Friday afternoon. When I step towards my candlesticks, the house filled with the smell of freshly made challa and dressed in my finest clothes, I feel my sense of belonging and purpose. This moment of serenity is, well close to at least, pure bliss.

There are days when I can get irritated, I’m sure everybody does. Sometimes I want to just stop in my shopping mall and sit down for a bite to eat. Or maybe there’s a show I really want to attend that is only playing on Shabbat or Yomtov. Even tiny things like that gorgeous dress is just a tiny bit too short. Yeah, things can be hard. Choices are always difficult, particularly when it’s regarding something you think you truly want.

What is refreshing to remember is that Hashem gave us free-will for a reason. Some say that we have the ability to choose so that we can shape our lives and undergo tests impartially. The way I see it, free-will is a gift of trust.

I can walk into a supermarket, pick up a ham sandwich and walk out of there feeling full. There isn’t going to be anyone stopping me to say, ‘Excuse me miss, you’re Jewish. Please put that back on the shelf and see aisle 5 for your food options.’ Hashem isn’t creating winds to push in the direction we need to be heading in. He leaves it to us, He trusts us to make those decisions.

A big part of this is making mistakes. It’s part of our DNA to mess up – we all do it. However learning from those instances is important. Being religious isn’t about getting up and doing the same thing out of fear or rote. It’s about evolving into someone better; trying to look for the good in everything.

Life shouldn’t be about shutting down and hiding in the corner. The fact is, it can be enriched with the positivity brought through many different forms including notoriously hated things like the internet and TV. Even reading this blog online can spark a flame inside you.

Being frum doesn’t need to go hand-in-hand with being ignorant. I personally make an effort to enjoy life, keep updated on world affairs or even just go out and have fun! There’s always going to be a way in which to do things correctly and so looking for the good path to take is key. We all know in our hearts what is right and what is wrong – just listen to your instincts.

So sure, there could instances which make me irritated, but I know Hashem is putting His trust into me and that’s certainly one thing I don’t want to break.

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