Ask The Rabbi

Hungry for Torah

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Jewish Education for Adults

David wrote:

I'm 37 with no real Jewish education. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with the idea of studying Torah, yet at this time of life I have a real hunger for it. I haven't started a family yet - I don't want them to inherit the spiritual void that I did. Any ideas?


Dear David,

A friend of mine from Yeshiva, when his wife was expecting their first, broke the news to me by saying: "I've got eight years now to study Bava Metzia!" (Bava Metzia is traditionally the first tractate boys begin when they start studying Talmud at age eight.) We all feel a bit lacking when it comes to our children's Torah education.

I support your desire to start studying. It is basically the only real cure for for assimilation and intermarriage in the Jewish community at large, and in our own future generations in particular. There's no time like now to begin.

The best thing is if you can give a block of time - it doesn't have to be too long - but enough so that you can make a real foundation which you can build upon. A year of study would be great, but even a few weeks would make a big difference.

Where do you live? Exactly how much Jewish education do you have? Where you are with respect to job or career? Any info you give can help me suggest where you should study and for how long. If you can't take out a block of time, I might be able to help you arrange a study partner or Torah classes where you are.

I don't think you have to worry about your children "inheriting a spiritual void." Regardless of your own level of actual knowledge, you can raise your children in a solid Jewish community and send them to a good Jewish school. Then, all they need to inherit from you is your "hunger" for spirituality! (By the way, who did you inherit your spiritual hunger from? Could it be that your parents deserve a little credit?)


 
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