How can someone be sure she'll stay the same way in Jewishness whilst working?

She won't have so many Torah classes anymore and will be more into the outside world.

  • Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this first question. Can I recommend you take the tour to get a sense of how the site works? Also since MY is different from other sites you might be used to, see here for a guide which might help understand the site. Great to have you learn with us! – mbloch Jun 20 '19 at 14:51
  • 1
    Possible duplicate judaism.stackexchange.com/q/104789/759 – Double AA Jun 20 '19 at 16:39
  • 1
    Your question seems to be phrased in terms of an assertive correlation. I.e., you seem certain that a lack of attending a significant amount of Torah classes will surely cause a person's decline in "Jewishness" (which is vague, in itself.) How do you know that? In my case, I attend far fewer Torah classes than I did when I was in high school, yet, I think I've increased my Jewish knowledge and practice since then. The main reason is that as a parent, I am more careful about proper "modeling" and setting a path for my children and future grandchildren. Your question needs much editing. – DanF Jun 20 '19 at 20:48
  • 1
    I'm puzzled that people are upvoting answers that may be irrelevant to such a vague question. Perhaps, I'm missing something, here. – DanF Jun 21 '19 at 3:02

Welcome aboard user19349.

You ask a good question and one that natural instinct suggests would be exactly like you say about entering the working world. You would be more into the outside world, meaning not sheltered in the spiritual realm.

This, in fact, is the same kind of question that our Torah teaches us about in the Talmud, Shabbat 88a.

The Angels asked that the Torah remain with them in Heaven when Moses ascended to receive the Torah for the Jewish people. The Angels didn't want G-d's Torah to be taken down into the coarse and lowly material world, or as you describe it, the working world.

But G-d told Moses to answer them as it is recorded there in the Talmud. Moses' reply was in essence that this is the very reason why G-d created the entire universe, both the Heavenly realms above and the lowly physical, working world. Because G-d desired that there be a dwelling place for Him specifically here in this lower, working world.

We are to reveal that G-d, the Creator and Owner of everything, is even in those low places and that is what the Torah is intended for ultimately. There is no place that is devoid of Him.

For a broader discussion of this idea, and some additional sources, this link is an excellent choice.

G-d doesn't place impossible tests in front of us. If His intention is for there to be a dwelling place below, which includes, for example, us working for a living, we know and believe that this is only for a blessing and will happen.

Hope to see you again with additional great questions.

  • 1
    How does this answer the OP's question, which was how can someone ensure that they'll stay the same way in Jewishness whilst working in the outside world? – IsraelReader Jun 20 '19 at 20:01
  • @israel he seems to be saying they don't need to do anything since God won't let anything bad happen. It's not a good answer, but it is an answer. – Double AA Jun 20 '19 at 20:05
  • 1
    @DoubleAA עיקר חסר מן הספר. – Alex Jun 20 '19 at 22:03

How can someone be sure she'll stay the same way in Jewishness whilst working?

The first step in finding a solution to a problem is by recognizing what the problem is.

In your case, you’ve identified the problem, which is that by being more exposed to the outside world, and not having the benefit of Torah classes anymore, there is a potential danger to your Jewishness.

I suggest six areas of endeavor, the steps a person can take to maintain their Jewishness, while and despite having to be in the workplace.

1. The first solution is not to abandon Torah classes, despite having to work. There are many Torah classes, both for men and for women, which take place in the evenings, and are geared to working people. These can serve as an ongoing immunization against the negative spiritual effects of the workplace, and can help contribute to further spiritual growth.

If you can’t find a Torah class that is appropriate for you, you can consider learning with a telephone study partner.

2. עשה לך רב. It’s extremely important to be connected with a mentor, teacher, rabbi, who can provide continued guidance as to how to deal with challenges as they arise in the workplace, and to be your spiritual compass. People not connected with such a guide, can be slowly deteriorating in their Jewishness, without even realizing it. By being connected with a Torah person, you are thereby able to also stay connected to the Torah.

3. The next solution is by creating appropriate boundaries at work, particularly regarding members of the opposite gender. To this end, I recommend a modest book, entitled “A Guide to Modest Conduct for Today’s Workplace”, By Rabbi Shmuel Neiman.

4. One of the most important areas that a person needs to be aware of in the workplace is the issue of Yichud. Without a person consciously being careful about it, many workplace settings can develop into Yichud situations; with unfortunate ramifications.

5. In addition, the modern world being what it is, and the promiscuous manner that people dress, it often becomes difficult for people to keep their minds from wandering. Many people are aware of the need to be "shomer negia", which refers to guarding oneself from inappropriate physical contact with a person of the opposite gender, but less people are aware of the need for "shmiras einayim". This includes guarding one's eyes from gazing at inappropriate things and letting one's mind wander.

Rashi (Bamidbar 15:39) brings the words of Chazal: The heart and the eyes are spies for the body. The eye sees, the heart desires, and the body commits the sin (Rashi). Unfortunately, in most workplaces, this is a daily issue, ALL DAY!

6. Beware of the enemy. By being cognizant and continuously remembering the fact that you’re living a potential minefield, you will be more attuned to the issues that present themselves, and remain inspired to continue to maintain your level of Jewishness.

In conclusion:

The Talmud teaches (Yoma 38b) that בא לטהר מסייעין אותו, if someone comes to purify themselves they merit special assistance from Heaven.

By asking this question, you’ve indicated that you’re a person who is seeking to purify themselves. In addition, by constantly implementing the suggestions made here, you will be actively pursuing spiritual purity. May you thereby merit special assistance from Heaven, to be able to remain a pure Torah Jew!

  • I disagree with this answer. You have misidentified the problem. The problem is not how to stay the same outside the child-proof sheltered tent. It's how to be sure to grow in the real world when you're מעורב עם הבריות facing real opportunities [pessimistically called "challenges"]. There's no such thing as staying the same, and even if there was, the highest levels you could reach in tutorial-mode wouldn't be worth being stuck in anyway. – Double AA Jun 20 '19 at 21:16
  • @DoubleAA Your'e welcome to formulate your own answer, but IMHO I did not misidentify the problem. I actually paraphrased it from the OP, and it did NOT include how to "grow in the real world". It was focused specifically on maintaining the person's status quo in Jewishness. – IsraelReader Jun 20 '19 at 21:50
  • Just because the OP also misidentified the relevant halakhic issue for her situation doesn't justify not correcting her. Answers should reject bad assumptions. – Double AA Jun 20 '19 at 21:52
  • So in the end your answer is saying G-d will give you the special assistance that you require to earn a living in the workplace and remain unaffected and you should trust G-d for that help. Didn’t you just call that “ludicrous” a short time ago? – Yaacov Deane Jun 20 '19 at 22:48
  • @YaacovDeane You missed the entire point of the answer, where I laid out 6 areas of endeavor, the steps a person can take to maintain their Jewishness. No, they should NOT trust G-d for His help. They NEED to do it on their own. However if He sees that a person truly is trying to do the right thing, He may decide to help the person. That is a far cry from your proposed answer that if we're "working for a living, we know and believe that this is only for a blessing and will happen." – IsraelReader Jun 20 '19 at 23:00

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .