Monday, July 29, 2013

Why You Should Never Be Satisfied

I've noticed that people often defend their frumkeit by claiming that observance has rendered them immune to many of the problems that face secular society. They point to the worldwide epidemic of emptiness and dissatisfaction and sigh, "If only they knew the Truth, they would feel whole and content and not go on these reckless searches for fulfillment. Judaism fills the void."

They couldn't be any more wrong.

Because if you are a truly pious person, you are never satisfied.

The more you learn about G-d, the more you realize you can never know Him. The more you appreciate G-d's infinity, the more sharply you are confronted by your finitude. The more knowledge you acquire, the more nuanced and complex your questions become.

The hole just grows bigger.

So don't think becoming religious is going to solve all your problems and allow you to sleep soundly at night. 

You're going to be more dissatisfied than ever before.

What's different is that this time, you won't be tormented by that feeling.
You'll fall in love with it.

Your doubts will energize you, your fears will drive you forward. The crazy notion of infinity that used to jolt your nervous system like nails on a chalkboard will now be your greatest comfort. When you study that discourse about the most hidden parts of G-d that He shows no one, you'll be smiling.

Your deepest pleasure will come not from the answers you find, but the mystery that remains.

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