Let My People Know

"One needs a close soul-friend"


My late uncle once quoted the great Rabbi of Kotsk, who said—in light of the story of Judah and Tamar—that every man must have a close friend, so close that he can reveal his heart to him and even tell him that he has had dealings with a prostitute!


Today, one can talk about such things in the street with anybody.


Today one needs a close soul-friend, to whom one can tell that one believes in God, to tell him that, despite the fact of being religious and carry­ing out the mitzvot, "I nevertheless believe in God!"


I think that part of the job of religious education is in the personal ability to throw off the philosophical, intellectual, and aca­demic baggage that has become an encumbrance rather than a staff to support us, and to say what many people think in their hearts—that God really does exist (in spite of the declarations that He exists) and that it is actually pos­sible to turn to Him.


Only in this way is it possible to speak of prayer and to educate for prayer.


–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From On Being Free, p. 112, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz