13 Tamuz 5781 / Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | Torah Reading: Balak
 
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HomeIsrael and SocietyNoahide WorldAdar - Guidelines for the Noahide Perplexed
 
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Adar - Guidelines for the Noahide Perplexed    

Adar - Guidelines for the Noahide Perplexed



Adar is supposed to be filled with joy, and there is nothing like the joy of repairing the world, which can start with your head, your soul, your body...

 



Bnei Noach are thinkers.  We are curious people who felt that something wasn’t quite right and we weren’t going to stop looking until we figured out where we went astray, what was missing.  Many of the people I have met in the course of writing this column are folks who were very active in their old religious communities and really miss that outlet for their creative energies.  While I wasn’t part of any religion prior to embracing Torah, it describes the lion’s share of Noahides I have met.  If you are feeling disconnected, I want to share what has worked for me and what has worked for other Bnei Noach I have been blessed to meet.  Adar is supposed to be filled with joy, and there is nothing like the joy of repairing the world, which can start with your head, your soul, your body, and then spread outward in lovely concentric circles.
 
Here’s some advice from my own experience, what I call (to paraphrase Maimonides), “Guidelines for the Noahide Perplexed”:  
 
1. Pray in your own words to Hashem, daily, while going for a long walk- city or country, doesn’t matter.  If you need to push a stroller with a couple of kids in it, that’s great.  I just imagined the perfect God for me and started talking, even though that felt totally insane. And it worked so well, I didn’t care that it seemed insane.  You can start by listing all of the things you are grateful for.  Think about how many of those things are just there for you, like a gift.  This is the ultimate connection a human can make, clearly.  If you have Hashem with you, you will not feel disconnected for long. No way!
 
2. Learn as much Torah as you possibly can.  (And never stop, but don’t worry- you won’t want to.)  I started with a Stone Chumash and Rabbi Brody’s book, The Trail to Tranquility, and Rabbi Nachman’s Stories. There are many terrific kosher Torah websites for beginners and not-so-beginners. The point is to learn about the spiritual laws of the universe from a Torah perspective. Once you start living in accordance with these laws you will have many ‘eureka’ moments. Here are some examples: Did you know that when you go after someone else, you are put under the microscope spiritually? Did you know that slandering another person, even if what you are saying is true, is one of the worst things you can possibly do on the planet earth?  Did you know that it’s possible you’ll be back on earth for another go around after you die?  Did you know that learning Torah (and supporting others who are learning) is one of the absolute best things you can do spiritually speaking?  Learning Torah connects you with Hashem and with every Torah believer who has ever lived, who is currently living, and who will ever live.  That’s a huge community.   
 
3. If you like to party, step away from substance usage which is not genuine joy. To enjoy the crystal clear connection you will feel with Hashem, you need a clear head.  Clear heads, and grass or joy juice don’t go together.  You will connect with the Number One Source of Joy in the Universe, Hashem.  You will save lots of money.  And you will slim down from all the walking and calories saved.  I found that partying less made my friends party less, so I actually wasn’t missing out on as much as I thought.  When you are lucid, you are more connected to your buddies, to your spouse, to Hashem, and are more aware about what’s going on in your own head. 
 
4. Judaism is about the home.  The home is your new house of worship.  That means elevating your home life by caring for your spouse and kids in new ways.  I dedicated myself anew to these relationships and then it carried over to parents, siblings, friends and coworkers.  Increase honesty, do more wholesome activities together that don’t involve TV, decrease gossip and negative talk, have nice homemade dinners with your friends where you ask them about their lives and practice being a good listener and a good host.  If- and only if - they are interested, share what you are learning in a non-proselytizing way.
 
5.  Learn about the history of the Jewish people and of Israel.  If I need to take a break from the depth and profundity of straight Torah learning, I pick up a gorgeous book of photography of Israel, a terrific history book (I’m a geek, so that’s fun to me), listen to some Jewish music, look at websites for various historic sites in Israel I fantasize about visiting someday - you get the picture.  How about learning the history of Jewish culture in your area?  You might even start learning Hebrew.  Because I believe in the Torah, and try to live in accordance with it, I feel connected to this history.  The people of the Torah are my people - even if they aren’t my nation.  I love them and as a Bat Noach, I actively support them.             
 
All of this creates a positive cycle that will make you more tranquil, more joyful, friendlier, healthier, more humble and therefore able to learn more, which will open door after door for you.  You might not be surrounded by people who see the world exactly the way you do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel a wonderful, rejuvenating connection with them.  Hashem created them too, He loves them too, and He gave us some guidelines for how we can make the world better for us and for them.  That’s what we are here for.  That’s community.  




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