Not the Spiritual Type?
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I was in your shule on Friday night and couldn't believe my eyes. I saw a guy I knew from years back who is the last person I would ever expect to find praying. Let's just say that he certainly wasn't the spiritual type when I knew him. If anything he was anti-religion. But now he has become a regular at your services. How did you get him there? (By the way I love your emails and always enjoy reading them.)
Thanks for the feedback. I am glad you enjoy the emails, and I appreciate you telling me. That is the only way I can know how my writing is being received.
I receive three types of feedback. Some write something like, "Great email". That's nice. Even better is, "I forwarded that to my whole list". But the best compliment is disagreement. Negative feedback is the most positive feedback I can get.
Indifference is a writer's nightmare. If I deliver a dramatic email and get no response, no questions or objections, then it probably wasn't read at all. My words didn't penetrate. But when I receive vehement protests and strong counter-arguments, then I know that I have touched someone. They protest because they have taken me seriously, their outlook has been challenged and so they feel the need to defend their position. That's the type of reader I am looking for - one who doesn't agree, and says so. Then we can have a conversation.
So too in our discourse with G-d. Every one of us has a soul, whether we consider ourselves spiritual or not, and every soul is involved in a constant dialogue with G-d. We each react differently to what G-d has to say, we may or may not respond, but we all are involved in the conversation.
Some are indifferent to G-d. His call to their soul doesn't touch them, either because they are not ready to hear it or because they don't want to. That is a tough audience. Others agree with whatever G-d says. They are the rare souls who seem to naturally follow the divine will. Then there are the those who struggle with G-d and resist what He says. They are the ones to watch.
A person who is resistant to religion is very likely the one who is most touched by it. It resonates so deeply, if they don't resist, they will have to pursue it. If they are honest with themselves, they will recognise that they are disagreeing because they know it's so true. They hear the irresistible call of G-d to come closer, and in time they will realise that there is nothing to fear. That's when they drop their resistance and let their soul go free.
If you are arguing against G-d, you are not far away. As long as you are thinking and responding, you are a part of the divine conversation. Disagree?