Once, when manning one of the outreach trailers known as “mitzvah tanks,” I asked a passerby if he would like to put on tefillin.
“No, I don’t want to be hypocritical,” he replied. He explained that he did not believe in G-d and therefore did not want to observe His commandments. When his mother had been sick he had prayed, perhaps the first sincere prayer he had offered in years, and yet his prayer was not answered. His mother had passed away.
“From that time onward,” he concluded, “I do not believe in G-d.”
Ultimately, he put on tefillin. There is no need to elaborate on the arguments I used to persuade him to do so, because what he really needed was some warm concern, not theological debate. But his statements are worthy of analysis, for they reflect many common misconceptions about faith.
The content on this page is copyrighted by the author, publisher and/or Chabad.org, and is produced by Chabad.org.
If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with the copyright policy.
October 20, 2011
I know we Muslims sometimes become too harsh against Jewish People, I agree, it's not right at all, we all are from Abrahamic faith, we should stay togather in Peace. But, the world politics and the politicians don't want that, they try to divide us...they are playing the Game. But, at least we should respect each other's religion. That's all...
Mohammad Najmus Sakir Dhaka, Bangladesh
February 4, 2009
question of belief
What is the main belief? How does it differ from Christianity?
February 9, 2007
For the last year, Rebbe Schusterman of Bnai Ruven in Chicago, comes to my place of employment Monday thru Friday to put tefillin on me and say the Baruchas. I cannot begin to tell you how much I admire and respect Rebbe Schusterman for his dedication to Jews. He goes from business to business on a daily basis and performs this ritual with many other Jewish men. I was raised in an Orthodox home, but drifted to Conservative and Traditional Judaism over the years. The fact that Rebbe Schusterman comes to my place of employment every day is an amazing spiritual lift to my soul. I truly admire and respect the Chabad organization for their attempt to seek fellow Jews and try to bring them back to the fold. I feel the Chabad is happy for whatever inroads they can make in the life of a fellow Jew. Keep up the great work. I love Chabad!
Martin Scharaga Lincolnwood, Illinois
July 20, 2006
"What (WE) believe......
Recently, I started studying Judaism. I wish there were words to express my feelings! Maybe later, I will be able to. I grew up in a Christian home and now at the age of 57, I started to search for myself. Surprising what one can discover about herself!.........It scares me when I realize how much is hidden down inside my soul.
We all believe in G-d. Some of us know that we do. Some of us refuse to admit it. Others who profess to believe are vague as to what they believe in. These essays probe to the core of some of the essential issues of Jewish faith and provide explanations based on the mystic understanding of Chabad Chassidic teachings.