Posted on | December 6, 2005 | By Mark Frankel | 5 Comments
For me the biggest challenge of being a Baalei Teshuva is that of integration:
– The integration of our non-observant friends and relatives with our observant nuclear family.
– The integration of our past life style with our current one.
– The integration of a life with a major focus on livelihood with a life focused on Torah, Prayer and Acts of Kindness.
– The integration of our appreciation of the contributions and wonders of the non-Jewish world with the oppositional attitudes sometimes present in the always-observant community.
– The integration of Torah, Science and Technology.
– The integration of the western world attitude of independence with the conformity often necessary to function in the observant community.
– The integration of our feelings of how far we’ve come, with our feelings of how far we have to go.
The fact that some of these integration challenges are shared by those in the always-observant community does not diminish the collective weight that they add to the Baalei Teshuva. But I think that these integration challenges are our raison d’etre, as the Chovos HaLevovos teaches us that our biggest challenges are the ones that we were primarily sent into this world to overcome.