Who would be interested in getting non-observant 39 year old jewish man to become observant? I am not-so-young man in need for direction in my life and by becoming Chasidic Jew and observant, might bring a purpose for my life. My name is Gary Kolas and my e-mail address is: [email protected] My phone# 310-882-1727. Please, get in touch with me.


2 Answers 2


Congratulations on deciding to explore Judaism and become observant. May you be successful!

As the other answer suggested, the simplest way for you to start becoming a chassidic Jew is to contact the nearest Chabad rabbi. This handy website will help you find him.

There are many different chassidic sects, but Chabad is the most engaged in outreach. Breslov is also engaged in outreach (see breslev.co.il and http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/ for one very active group), but are mainly found in Israel. The rest of the chassidic groups tend to be located mainly in NYC or Israel and are more insular and less involved in outreach, but that doesn't mean one can't join them.

However, keep in mind that from the perspective of traditional (that is to say Orthodox) Judaism, it's more important to be observant of halacha than to be chassidic or not chassidic. The Chofetz Chaim was once asked if he was chassid or a misnaged (opponent of chassidism). He replied that he was neither, since nowhere in the Shulchan Aruch (the code of Jewish law) does it say whether you're supposed to be one or the other.

Regardless of what kind of Orthodox Jew you end up becoming (Modern/Centrist Orthodox, Yeshivish, Chassidic, Sephardic, Dati Leumi, etc.), you'll need to learn the basics of observance, and start observing what you can at your own pace (taking things on too fast leads to burnout). Acquire a concise guide to the laws of everyday life, such as Shaarei Halacha by R' Greenwald, and begin studying it. Many websites, such as chabad.org and aish.com, also have helpful guides to basic observances, as well as other areas of Torah study and Jewish thought. Begin studying or corresponding with Orthodox rabbis, so that you can ask any questions that may arise. Eventually, you should find a congregation you feel comfortable in, and move within walking distance.


The best thing to do would be to get in touch with someone from an orthodox community in your area, if that's possible. If you live in an area without an orthodox community, there might still be a 'Chabad House', which is Jewish centres geared to helping people become more observant. If that's not possible either, then you could get in touch with someone online/over the phone. You mentioned Chassidic, so Chabad is probably the Chassidim most into 'outreach'. Breslov also, but you have some very interesting people there.

The trick is to take one step at a time. Overburdening yourself at once will just backfire. The main thing is that you're climbing the ladder, at your own pace. Websites to look at: www.aish.com, www.torahanytime.com, chabad.org

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