Becoming Observant As a Family: How to Survive the Challenges

Taking the Family on the Teshuva Train

One day we find ourselves standing at the crossroads of life. We may find ourselves with a yearning to reconnect to our roots, to the traditions of our family. In some cases, such as mine, we have a chance encounter, are awesomely inspired and want that inspiration to last forever. A passion catches fire and we are off! This is great for us adults. But what if you are a family? How you move through the process of becoming observant will seriously impact the future of your children’s attachment to their yiddishkeit.

feeding dog kosher food

Are You Serious? Fido Has to Eat Kosher l’Pesach?

Becoming Religious Includes Your Pets

One of the ways you can tell if a family was once secular is if they have a dog. It is extremely rare to find a dog in a frum-from-birth home. When Mom and Dad decide that they want more Torah in their lives and embark on a mitzvah-observant lifestyle, giving away the family dog or cat is not an option. The kids are pretty attached to the family pet, and giving away their precious friend is something that could make the adjustment to a new lifestyle painfully difficult.
There are actually quite a few halachic considerations for your pet too, and in some ways, having animals give you the opportunity to do more mitzvot.

Kosher Food

When it comes time to clean out all the chometz before Pesach, this includes the chometz in your pets’ food. Fortunately, pet stores carry special Pesach food for all your animals. (more…)

men kneeling on golf course

Keeping Shabbat Means the End of Saturday Tee-times

From Tee-time to Tefilah-time

As I mentioned in previous posts, once we made the decision to become religious, we sought out and found an amazing rabbi who patiently guided us along our new spiritual journey. Our rabbi suggested that we begin by keeping the laws of kashrut. Second, was to observe the Shabbat-the holy Sabbath. Turning over the kitchen to make it kosher and giving up our favorite restaurants proved to be much easier than keeping Shabbat. My wife and I enjoyed many “weekend” activities, and for me, Saturday mornings were spent on the golf course.

Golf was more than hitting a ball around the course

men kneeling on golf courseFirst of all, I was an avid golfer and we enjoyed many golfing vacations around the world. Saturday mornings on the links was a chance to unwind from the hectic schedule of the week, and connect with my friends and colleagues. Sometimes I golfed alone, and it was a time to connect with nature and be spiritual in my own way. How would I keep my connections if I couldn’t tee it up with my friends?