Let My People Know

"Participation in Jewish life doesn't mean being a member of a group that holds brunches on Sunday mornings"


There are a lot of things that are boring. 

Doing things because they have "always" been done "that way" is boring.  

Listening and not participating is boring. 

And this is the danger for religion, especially in America, where people are becoming only listeners and passive participants. 

The way out of boredom is to participate.  

Participation doesn't mean being a member of a group that holds brunches on Sunday mornings. 

Participation means being a part of what I would call the adventure of study, the adventure of prayer, the adventure of fulfilling any mitzvah. 

Thus, the way to participate is to get more involved personally, to try as much as possible to become part of things, and to ask every day, as once young people were asked in the cheder, "What new thing did you find out today?"  

That is what is called Chidush-Torah, the renewal of Torah.

I would say, therefore, that the function of a rabbi should be to call to his community and to ask each of them, what new thing did you find out about being Jewish. 

This is what we have to do in order to avoid being bored.  

We cannot be bored when we are participating, when we are part of the creativity. 

Then we are a part of the Torah.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From a conversation between Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz and Rabbi William Berkowitz