Mitzvot and Spirituality

Let's take a second and analyze the first humans, Adam and Eve, when they were in the Garden of Eden. Their bodies were a mirror of their souls. Indeed, there was no need to cover up such a pure innocent expression of spirituality — God's image illuminating a human being.

However, once evil was assimilated into man, the body came to represent something adversarial to the soul. Looking at the body could now distract the observer from focusing on his or her internal being and instead focus exclusively on the physical — the superficial shell.

Along these lines, God found it necessary to artificially de-emphasize the physical in order to emphasize the spiritual, thus forcing a "cover up" of the body to let the soul shine through. One might say this is also the purpose of attaining good character traits and fulfilling God’s Mitzvot – clothing the soul. In fact, the sages of the Talmud use this metaphor to describe the positive effects of one’s good deeds and Mitzvot fulfillment that protect and preserve the soul in this world, as well as giving it tremendous merit in the World to Come.

As counter-missionary counselors, we have found that the vast majority of Jews who become interested in Christianity are ignorant to the teachings or the Torah and how wonderful the observance of Mitzvot can be. That is why we do not believe that missionaries, or even cultic movements are the true problem of Jews “dropping out” of Judaism. The sages of Israel expressed it this way:

The mouse is not the thief, the hole is the thief.”

Talmud Sotah

As in many things in life, often that which sticks out is not always the true culprit. Even if we take out that broomstick to exterminate that pesky mouse that is eating up the freshly baked apple pie sitting in our kitchen, if we don’t plug up the hole, we have not solved the problem. Likewise, when we see so many Jews flocking to other faiths and religious movements, we are only deluding ourselves if we think these “isms” are the real problem. If we impart Torah-true values in an enthusiastic and relevant way to our charges, then we will never have to worry about them dallying in foreign pastures.