Keeping Jewish traditions is important, even when you live in a non-Jewish environment. Keeping your faith can help you feel more connected to your heritage, and it can also help you fit in with other people who share your values. Keeping Jewish traditions doesn’t have to be difficult. There are so many ways of keeping the Sabbath and religious holidays that don’t involve so much cost or effort. Here, religious educator Shmuel Waldman shares five great reasons why it’s important to keep Jewish traditions in your everyday life:
A Sense of Connection with Your Heritage
Jewish traditions are not just about holidays. They’re a way of reminding yourself that you have a rich cultural heritage, no matter where you are in the world. It’s important to have roots, and Jewish traditions are a great way to find those roots and make them a part of you. You might be in an environment where you feel like you don’t fit in, but learning about Jewish history and values can help you find a sense of belonging and comfort in your own culture.
It Helps You Celebrate Life’s Important Occasions
Let’s face it: Some of the celebrations that non-Jews participate in are not the same as the ones you’re familiar with. They might be similar, but they aren’t exactly the same. For example, some people celebrate Valentine’s Day by sending their lovers chocolates and flowers. But for many Jewish people, Valentine’s Day is a day to express your love and affection for a partner by bringing them a special meal. This kind of difference can cause confusion and conflict in relationships, so it’s important to be able to explain why you celebrate certain ways. Keeping Jewish traditions can help you celebrate important occasions, like weddings, birthdays, and other life milestones in a way that reflects your heritage, explains Shmuel Waldman.
It Provides a Daily Reminder of the Importance of Tzedakah
One of the most important Jewish values is tzedakah, which is a Hebrew word meaning “righteousness,” “justice,” or “generosity.” Tzedakah has a few different definitions, but one of them is giving away something that you own to help someone in need. For example, if you have a lot of peanut butter lying around, you can give some of it away to community members that are hungry. You don’t want to just hand them a few spoonfuls of the peanut butter without telling them why you’re doing it. You want to take the time to tell them why you’re being so generous, so that you aren’t just taking the peanut butter and leaving a big lump in your stomach at the same time. Keeping Jewish traditions can help you remind yourself of the importance of tzedakah. It can be easy to forget about giving away some of your belongings every once in a while, so keeping some Jewish traditions can help you remember.
It Inspires You to Do Good
You don’t have to be the most religious person in the world to keep Jewish traditions. All you have to do is follow one of the many examples of keeping Jewish traditions that you already know. For example, book author Shmuel Waldman ads, if you know that you should drink a cup of tea every evening, you don’t have to start brewing green tea. You can just drink your usual tea and keep doing it as usual. It doesn’t matter what kind of tea you normally drink, as long as you keep drinking it every night. Keeping Jewish traditions can encourage you to do good. You might not meet religious requirements when it comes to charity or random acts of kindness, but following Jewish traditions can help you find the urge to help others.
It Encourages Self-improvement and Find Meaning In Daily Living
If you’re like most people, you don’t always feel like you’re making progress in your life. Sometimes it seems like you’re going in circles and you don’t know what to do next. Keeping Jewish traditions can help you find meaning in daily living. For example, when you wake up in the morning, you don’t have to think about what you’re going to do for the rest of the day. You can just think about what you’re going to do that day. This might seem like a minor detail, but it can give you a sense of direction and purpose in your life. Following Jewish traditions can also help you find self-improvement opportunities. You don’t have to think of self-improvement as you would something like exercise or dieting. It can be anything that you do to better yourself. As Shmuel Waldman explains, keeping Jewish traditions can give you a way to find self-improvement in daily living.
Keeping Jewish traditions doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. You can keep some Jewish traditions by keeping the Sabbath on Saturday, and you can keep others by keeping any day of the week. There are also many ways to keep Jewish traditions without having to spend any money at all. All you need is a little bit of time to make a few changes in your lifestyle that will make you feel closer to your heritage. Keep in mind that, in many cases, you don’t have to be Jewish or Christian to keep Jewish traditions. Doing so can help you find a greater sense of connection with your heritage, and it can also help you celebrate life’s important occasions in a way that reflects your values.