This is demonstrated by non-Jews who decide to convert. Why should anyone convert to Judaism? After all, everyone has a place in the World to Come (Gemara Sanhedrin 105a). We know that every human is commanded to keep the seven Noahide laws. A Jew, however, has 613 mitzvos, in addition to many other warnings, violations and prohibitions. It’s obviously easier to adhere to seven commandments perfectly than to 613. Why risk converting and messing up? The reason is clear: the convert recognizes that a Jew is a different entity. To be part of this new category, to have a soul of a Jew, is worth the risk.
Pesach… zman cheirusainu… the time of our freedom, the foundation of our faith was a time of this new creation, of our birth. The foundation of our relationship with Hashem, our Creator, now takes us to an entirely new dimension. We are a nation whose whole existence is founded on the ability to experience a revelation of Hashem.
This is what it means to be a Jew.
Yet today – in 2014 – how does that translate into something practical in our lives?
I would postulate that the very first step to success is coming to terms with our unique qualities and sense of destiny. If we feel in our bones that we can experience Hashem, we will have a solid ground to move on. Still, all privileges come with responsibilities. As we experience Hashem, we are the perfect Divine ambassadors. We, Klal Yisroel, represent Hashem in this world. Hopefully, we will remember to carefully scrutinize all our actions and dealings and be worthy of the awesome role we have been given.
About the Author: Rabbi Baruch Bodenheim is Associate Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Passaic Torah Institute, Passaic, NJ.
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