Imagine two dignified-looking men sitting across from you. They’re wearing tailored power suits and polished shoes. Instinctively, you feel a sense of respect for them.
Suddenly, someone places a name tag in front of each man.
One is Adolf Eichmann. The other is Rafi Eitan, the man responsible for capturing Eichman.
All at once, you feel a surge of hatred towards one, and a surge of admiration towards the other.
Where did those feelings come from?
In spite of how it may seem, feelings don’t just happen in the spur of the moment.
Consider this: our parents influence us deeply from a very young age, both in conscious and subconscious ways. And yet, we don’t truly appreciate our parents until we mature – that is until we choose to recognize their influence.
Clearly, the absence of feelings does not imply the absence of connection. But the onus is on us to acknowledge the existing connection and allow it to give birth to feelings.
In the same vein, we aren’t always aware of our feelings towards Judaism and the Torah. Perhaps we have residual feelings from one-off experiences that don’t allow us to further our Jewish experience, or we may have neglected to focus on those feelings at all.
As we experience the high holidays, it is a great time to nurture our Jewish roots. We may just discover that they are there, stronger than ever, despite possible ambivalence that may have crept in on our part. How beautiful it is to allow the inherent connection that we have to surface and translate into a genuine passion!