Posted on | April 16, 2006 | By Guest Contributor | 25 Comments
A few years ago Rabbi Ben Tzion Kokis, the Mashgiach Ruchani of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach of Monsey, and Rav of Congregation Zichron Mordechai wrote an article in the Jewish Observer titled Helping Baalei Teshuva Be Themselves.
Here is an excerpt. Please read the whole article and let us know what your impressions are.
This is one of the most crucial, yet painful, stages in a baal teshuva’s development: the realization that in the world of Torah he cannot follow his own hunches in deciding what is right and what is wrong. The average baal/baalas teshuva grew up in a culture where there were no, or precious few, moral absolutes. Very often, society places pleasure and gratification as the only criteria for choices in life. Even when a sense of moral correctness is sought, the main standard of judgment is the dictates of his own conscience: are you being true to your own sense of justice and decency? Suddenly, having made a commitment to a life of Torah, things are no longer so simple. He may very likely find that compared to the past, he is having a much harder time making decisions, because he no longer can think only in terms of what he thinks is appropriate, but rather what is really right, through the eyes of the Torah.