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How Do You Get Faith?

How Do You Get Faith?

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Question:

I guess this is called a crisis of faith. With all the tragedy and suffering in the world, how am I supposed to have faith? Look what's happening around us. I would like to feel faith, but it doesn't come. It seems so irrational.

Response:

Faith - what a laden word! I am envious when I encounter someone with faith so strong and simple that nothing can shake it. For the rest of us, however, faith is a decision. And sometimes that decision is just way too difficult to make at a given moment. But to abandon it - what reason would be left for life if there is no meaning, nothing in which to believe?

I'm blessed with children, and when each one was born I was overwhelmed with love for the child. A friend of mine hadn't this sweet blessing. And then she sought out a child to make her own - another woman's birth child became her legal child. And she loved him. How? How does a woman sign some papers, take a baby in her arms, and feel love? Yet at some point, the reservoirs of maternal instinct came flooding forth. From the very first instant she acted in all of the behaviors of love. She held him, and caressed him, and bathed him, and fed him.....and one day she came to feel true, deep, maternal love for him.

Faith, I think, is not much different. Sometimes I feel it, sometimes I don't.... but what my heart may be closed to, my brain reminds me is real. There is a G‑d. And He is good. When I'm in pain, that faith may become cloudy.... but I know it's there.

Here's a simple way to make that decision: Light candles for Shabbat. Whatever you may feel, when you put that match to the wick, cover your eye and say the blessing, and then open them to the light of Shabbat - you know this is real. The flame is real. The spiritual connection is real. This act of Jewish women through thousands of years of painful history, and across all social and cultural and geographic borders... this is real. And your faith, too, will become real.

Mrs. Bronya Shaffer is a noted globetrotting lecturer on Jewish women's issues, and serves as a personal counselor and mentor for women, couples and adolescents. Mrs. Shaffer, a responder for Chabad.org’s Ask the Rabbi service, lives with her ten children in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
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Discussion (18)
August 28, 2014
sorry but this article says nothing to me. It doesn't rally address the problem.
barry wicksman
April 19, 2014
faith and childless
There are many people in this world without children. Children should not be the basis for faith, God should be. God is love, and love can be found in friendship, love of pets, and other family members. There are even people who have no human love in this world...but if they have the love of God, which iis bigger than anything.
Anonymous
January 17, 2014
faith
I need help. I wanna believe in god I'm fighting too but something inside me is stopping me I want too but I have a hard time being focused do you have advice
miguel
August 4, 2011
faith and religion
i believe that to accept G-d is a real and fine and normal thing to do. i do it.

but i also (respectfully) have decided to refuse to get involved in my Jewish religion. Why?

I don't want to deal with the fear and the guilt and the ritual and the cage.

I am a yeshiva boy for a year, and still eat kosher and still lay tefillin and turn my phone off on shabbos.

the rest i simply must dispense with -- even if, after i die, i find out it is all true.

that is, i accept i may be wrong. but i won't say i'm wrong til after i go.

any thoughts?
tuvia
brooklyn, ny
April 16, 2010
Beautiful
That is truly a beautiful explanation. I thought, 'Wow, that is exactly what I do!' My faith is largely in my actions that connect me to G-d, which is exactly what this article emphasizes.
Jordon Grubic
Rockville, Maryland
August 1, 2009
To 'Faith' in Manila
Dear 'Faith':
What you are looking for is faith in yourself- to make right your wrong doing. Your comment is not really about your faith in Gd. In order to make something whole- to heal the guilt- you need to do what you are afraid of doing, but know it is the right thing to do. Guilt is about lack of courage. The fact that we have a feeling of guilt is a gift Gd gave us as a compass to guide us back to wholeness. As for Gd, know that He has faith in you to have courage because He made you in His image.
Judith
Fairfield, USA
chabadiowacity.com
May 21, 2009
I'm having the same problem. I wish I could find an answer. You're not alone.
me
May 8, 2009
I try to not get distracted by all the tragedy and suffering in the world, because G-d does not create tragedy or suffering. Man does that. Nature does it at times , as well. Not that tragedy and suffering is irrelevant, but G-d existed before everything and will exist at the end of everything. It's tough, I know, not to get sidetracked or bogged down by it, but if you do, faith will be a lot more diffcult to come by.
Anonymous
Forest Hills, NY
April 24, 2009
pray for it
At least, try some pryaer or meditation formations, asking of the great universe, to give you the awareness that will help you to observe what you feel is your faithfulness.
There's a hymn to the One that goes "How Great is Thy Faithfulness". It is very inspiring. If someone starts with the vague assumption that the enormityof Creation is faithful in every detail toward the intricate life in microcosm, they may, indeed, have a good reason to sing this hymn themselves.
sue
Kanata, ON
April 24, 2009
Faith
Very interesting and deepened my faith. Im now struggling with guilt I have done in the past. My husband never know about it and I never had the courage to tell. Please tell me how faith should come in in this troubled situation
Anonymous
Manila, Philippines
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