The God Experience, Part 1

The God Experience, Part 1
PDF Version
By: Pinchas Winston
Length: 81 pages


The world is becoming less and less spiritual, and it is affecting the Torah world as well.
Unaffiliated Jews are not interested in Torah Judaism, and many children born into it are leaving.
Even many who remain Torah observant lack inspiration.
The missing factor? The God Experience.
Restore it and restore spirituality, and commitment to a Torah lifestyle.


 

 

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OUT OF ABOUT 13 million Jews in the world today,
only a couple of million are Torah-observant,
many of whom could also afford to improve their Torah commitment.

How does it happen?

The more accurate question perhaps is,
how has it not COMPLETELY happened?

We do not have to look very far to find children who grew up in Torah
homes who are now running in the other direction.

Some may still believe in God, many do not.

Some may still believe Torah came from God,
most do not. All of them don’t seem to care either way,
evident by the way they have embraced a secular lifestyle,
even to an extreme.

Sometimes it has to do with soul nature.

Certain souls have a more difficult time with strict moral adherence than others in ANY generation,
let alone in one as pleasure-oriented as ours.

Like iron filings that pass a magnet,
these souls are drawn by nature to the magnetic lure of a morally “open” society.

Others aren’t so much attracted by a secular lifestyle as they are repulsed by the Torah one.

They see inconsistencies, hypocrisies,
and “equations” that just do not work out.

They don’t have the luxury of blind faith to skip over their intellectual
and emotional “mountains” to retain a devotion to Torah.

There is just too much pulling them away.

Some might be angry at God.

They may feel that they were dealt a bad hand by God,
evident by the success others around them enjoy.

They have struggled for reasons they do not understand and have assumed that either God is unfair,
or unaware.

They believe they have no reason to be committed to a God Who is not committed to them.

Then there are the millions who are simply the “next generation.”

It was their ancestors who changed their mind about Torah Judaism lifetimes ago,
leaving them to grow up without a spiritual legacy.

They don’t necessarily reject Torah.

They just don’t know enough to want to choose it.

What a spiritual mess!
The trend is only worsening as more Jews leave the fold than return to it.

Not only does it take untold resources to help even a single Jew discover Torah Judaism,
it first and foremost requires a disenfranchised Jew to open their mind to the idea.

And THAT is not an easy sale.

Recently, I was a guest in another community for Shabbos.

During Shabbos I saw many youths who clearly struggled with Torah Judaism.

It saddened me, but I just continued on my way to where I was staying.

It wasn’t until later,
on Motzei Shabbos,
that,
for some reason, it impacted me.

I’m always amazed by how much timing and mood can play a role in gaining insight.

I can see the same thing over and over again and not learn much from it.

Then, all of a sudden on one day, the “same thing” can appear differently to me
because of my mood at that moment,
or the time at which it occurred.

In this case,
the insight came as a result of a young man who happened to pass me on
the sidewalk as I was about to enter the building of our Shabbos host.

Though he still wore something of a kippah,
he looked and acted like someone for whom even that was only a temporary
“miracle.”

I could FEEL his attraction to another,
more secular world.

At that moment,
I became intellectually and emotionally overwhelmed.

I still am when I think about him.

Automatically I considered what I could say or do to open his mind
to a Torah lifestyle but came up short.

VERY short.

It made me feel like David fighting a Goliath,
but WITHOUT a way to win.

The “Goliath” to which I refer, of course,
is the world to which this young man and so many others like him are drawn.

It is the intense pleasure to which he was running.

It is the promise of fulfillment to which he believed he was fleeing.

It was so REAL to him,
and I felt defenseless to counter it.

I mean, how do you fight all that?

“Hey young man!
Why would you want to leave the religion of your ancient ancestors
for a modern one of which you are now a part?”

“Why would you want to belong to a world that promises fame and fortune
when you can belong to one that demands humility and satiation with whatever
you have?”

“Why join a society that accepts you for who you are when
you can belong to one that constantly criticizes you for who
you are not?”

“Why choose a world in which modesty is the opposite of a virtue,
when you can live in one where it is often pursued to an extreme?”

“In a Torah world you get to pray at least THREE TIMES a day.

In a secular world, you don’t have to pray at all!”

What was my response to myself when I realized the extent of the uphill battle we,
the Jewish people face today?

The young man, not even noticing me, just kept on walking away.

The challenge he posed however stayed with me.

“We need Moshiach, now, badly.”

That’s what I told myself,
about three times in a row.

It was my only answer to the situation when I sensed just how
HUGE a miracle we need today to bring back those of us heading
in the wrong spiritual direction.

Not just the disaffected youth by the way, but also those
of us keeping Torah but not exactly the Torah way.

I mean, we tell potential converts that they are attempting
to join a people which struggles each day, and suffers in every
century.

So, why join?

Even more important,
why stay if you already belong?

These were the questions with which I was left that fateful night.

They are also what led to the idea for this book which,
God willing,
will provide at least AN answer.

The young man who passed me that Motzei Shabbos is long gone from my view right now,
but I owe him thanks.

He helped alter my perspective,
and any merit this book has should work on his behalf and all those like him.

OUT OF ABOUT 13 million Jews in the world today,
only a couple of million are Torah-observant,
many of whom could also afford to improve their Torah commitment.

How does it happen?

The more accurate question perhaps is,
how has it not COMPLETELY happened?

We do not have to look very far to find children who grew up in Torah
homes who are now running in the other direction.

Some may still believe in God,
many do not.

Some may still believe Torah came from God,
most do not.

All of them don’t seem to care either way,
evident by the way they have embraced a secular lifestyle,
even to an extreme.

Sometimes it has to do with soul nature.

Certain souls have a more difficult time with strict moral adherence than
others in ANY generation,
let alone in one as pleasure-oriented as ours.

Like iron filings that pass a magnet,
these souls are drawn by nature to the magnetic lure of a morally “open” society.

Others aren’t so much attracted by a secular lifestyle as they are
repulsed by the Torah one.

They see inconsistencies,
hypocrisies,
and “equations” that just do not work out.

They don’t have the luxury of blind faith to skip over their intellectual
and emotional “mountains” to retain a devotion to Torah.

There is just too much pulling them away.

Some might be angry at God.

They may feel that they were dealt a bad hand by God,
evident by the success others around them enjoy.

They have struggled for reasons they do not understand and have
assumed that either God is unfair, or unaware.

They believe they have no reason to be committed to a
God Who is not committed to them.

Then there are the millions who are simply the “next generation.”

It was their ancestors who changed their mind about Torah Judaism lifetimes ago,
leaving them to grow up without a spiritual legacy.

They don’t necessarily reject Torah.

They just don’t know enough to want to choose it.

What a spiritual mess!
The trend is only worsening as more Jews leave the fold than return to it.

Not only does it take untold resources to help even a single Jew discover Torah Judaism,
it first and foremost requires a disenfranchised Jew to open their mind to the idea.

And THAT is not an easy sale.

Recently, I was a guest in another community for Shabbos.

During Shabbos I saw many youths who clearly struggled with Torah Judaism.

It saddened me,
but I just continued on my way to where I was staying.

It wasn’t until later,
on Motzei Shabbos, that, for some reason,
it impacted me.

I’m always amazed by how much timing and mood can play a role in gaining insight.

I can see the same thing over and over again and not learn much from it.

Then, all of a sudden on one day,
the “same thing” can appear differently to me because of my mood at that moment,
or the time at which it occurred.

In this case,
the insight came as a result of a young man who happened to pass me on the sidewalk
as I was about to enter the building of our Shabbos host.

Though he still wore something of a kippah,
he looked and acted like someone for whom even that was only a temporary “miracle.”

I could FEEL his attraction to another,
more secular world.

At that moment, I became intellectually and emotionally overwhelmed.

I still am when I think about him.

Automatically I considered what I could say or do to open his
mind to a Torah lifestyle but came up short.

VERY short. It made me feel like David fighting a Goliath,
but WITHOUT a way to win.

The “Goliath” to which I refer, of course,
is the world to which this young man and so many others like him are drawn.

It is the intense pleasure to which he was running.

It is the promise of fulfillment to which he believed he was fleeing.

It was so REAL to him,
and I felt defenseless to counter it.

I mean, how do you fight all that?

“Hey young man! Why would you want to leave the religion
of your ancient ancestors for a modern one of which you are now a part?”

“Why would you want to belong to a world that promises fame and fortune
when you can belong to one that demands humility and satiation with whatever you have?”

“Why join a society that accepts you for who you are when you can belong
to one that constantly criticizes you for who you are not?”

“Why choose a world in which modesty is the opposite of a virtue,
when you can live in one where it is often pursued to an extreme?”

“In a Torah world you get to pray at least THREE TIMES a day.

In a secular world, you don’t have to pray at all!”

What was my response to myself when I realized the extent of the uphill battle we,
the Jewish people face today?

The young man,
not even noticing me,
just kept on walking away. The challenge he posed however stayed with me.

“We need Moshiach,
now, badly.”

That’s what I told myself,
about three times in a row.

It was my only answer to the situation when I sensed just how HUGE a
miracle we need today to bring back those of us heading in the wrong spiritual direction.

Not just the disaffected youth by the way,
but also those of us keeping Torah but not exactly the Torah way.

I mean,
we tell potential converts that they are attempting to join a people which struggles each day,
and suffers in every century.

So, why join?

Even more important, why stay if you already belong?

These were the questions with which I was left that fateful night.

They are also what led to the idea for this book which,
God willing,
will provide at least AN answer.

The young man who passed me that Motzei Shabbos is long gone from my view right now,
but I owe him thanks.

He helped alter my perspective,
and any merit this book has should work on his behalf and all those like him.

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