The Hebrew word Emunah means faithfulness, trust, or conviction. In other words, it means to trust in something—ourselves and God. It’s a foundational aspect of our faith and one of the most important parts of our Jewish identity. But what does it mean to have faith? How can we develop more faith?
Here, Rabbi Shmuel Waldman, whose religious teachings and books on Judaism influenced hundreds of students for over twenty years, shares some tips to help you strengthening your Emunah.
Finding Our Purpose
Rabbi Shmuel Waldman indicates that humans are social beings, and we need to connect with other humans.
“We all have a purpose in connecting with others. Some people are better at it than others, but we all have the capacity to do so. Why? Who knows? But we can improve our social skills, and one way to do that is to seek out our purpose,” says Rabbi Shmuel Waldman. “You may not know it right now, but there’s something you were put on this earth to do. It might be something that you know little about right now, but you’ll probably discover it sooner or later. The key is to keep an open mind, and be patient”.
Have A Daily Ritual
According to Rabbi Shmuel Waldman, one of the best things you can do to strengthen your Emunah is to create a daily ritual that helps you connect to God.
Some people wake up early, or even stay up all night, so that they can pray or read from their book of sacred texts.
Others choose to meditate, exercise, or perform a spiritual or artistic act.
Rabbi Shmuel Waldman indicates that the ritual you choose doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, but it does have to be something that you do regularly.
“Most people need to learn how to think more positively. That’s because we live in a more negative, critical world than we used to. We read news headlines, see social media posts, and watch TV programs that are filled with negativity.
In fact, one study found that after just six days of being exposed to the negativity of the world, the brain experienced a change in how it functions. This change led to less hope, optimism, and positivity. So how do we combat this? How do we get back to believing in the power of positivity? It’s actually a really simple process. The first step is to realize how we’re thinking. Once you’ve identified the negativity in your thinking, you can start to replace it with something more positive,” says Rabbi Shmuel Waldman basing on his wide experience in religious education.
If we want to be more observant Jews, we can work on our faith by strengthening our Emunah, finding purpose, and having a daily ritual. We need to remember to put the good in our minds and hearts, and we need to remember to focus on the positive. If we do these things, we can build our faith and be more excited about Judaism. We can live a more joyful, meaningful, and purposeful life. And in the end, that’s all we want.