Exploring Judaism

This site is dedicated in memory of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg who were murdered at their Chabad House in Mumbai. This is the place to learn more and ask those questions you were always too shy to ask.

3:05 AM

Moving on when I feel tied down

Posted by Scholar

Dear Scholar

I have been a "good Jew" for most of my life. I have always try to do good but I never really given my Judaism any thought or bothered to look deeper into it and see what it means to me. After the events that took place in Mumbai, India and even more so at the Chabad House there, I started to search a bit more in my life to find meaning and I have decided to explore Judaism more and also be a better person. One thing I am really struggling with is moving forward without the baggage. I am now 32 years old at at times feel a bit "too old" to learn and have many regrets over the course of time but I can't change the past, what can be done to help me overcome this fear and stagnation and be able to move forward and learn more because I know thats what I want and I know thats right?


Dear Michelle

Your email was very moving and I can understand where you are coming from. There was once a great scholar by the name of Rabbi Akiva, he became the leader of the generation and believe it or not only started to study Torah when he was 40 years old. Like you said we can't change the past but we can help shape the future, I am sure even though you might have missed a few chances to do something nevertheless you have grown in many ways. In the blessing before the morning Shema we say the words "who in His goodness renews each day continuously, we are taught that the whole world comes into creation every second of the day afresh. We have to remember that even though we might have "messed up" in the past that doesn't mean we don't get a second chance. During the time of Pesach when the Temple stood and the people used to offer the Pesach offering(paschal lamb) those that were spiritually impure were not able to sacrifice their lamb or even eat from any sacrifice, what usedto happen is that 30 days later that had a second chance to bring this offering, this day was called Pesach Sheini, the second Pesach. Even to this day we have a custom to eat Matza on that day. Don't dwell on the past, take only the lessons you have gained from it to use as tools for the future. The Lubavitcher Rebbe once said that age doesn't go according to whats written in your passport but rather its based on your knowledge. The evil inclination will try everything it can to try and get you to stop this spiritual quest, don't give in and nothing is standing in your way and remember don't focus on what you don't know but rather on what you do know. Our sages taught us"If someone says they have succeeded and not toiled we don't believe them, if someone says they have not succeeded and have toiled again we don't believe them but if someone says they have toiled and succeededwe believe them. Through hardwork everything will pay off and I assure you a lot of success with it. Keep strong



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