proselytizing

a fascinating article from beliefnet that requires some thought.

Apparently there are some Jews who wish to return to the ancient practice of proselytizing. Active proselytizing, such as going door to door, or placing selections from the Talmud in hotel drawers, I feel, would be wrong. Judaism’s tolerance for other religions is one thing that sets us apart from the other Abrahamic religions.

As there is no belief in Judaism that those who don’t believe are going to burn in punishment for not believing, there is no pressing need to convert. But that doesn’t mean God’s commandments aren’t beautiful. It also doesn’t mean one’s life wouldn’t be blessed if one followed God’s commandments

(note: Following God’s commandments doesn’t mean adhering to all 613 to the letter. One can follow at a distance, but still be considered following. God is forgiving.)

I know it bothers me that the only place that local synagogues advertise is in the local Jewish newspaper. This bothers me though, not because it fails to attract possible converts. This bothers me because it fails to attract the attention of lapsed, secular Jews who aren’t likely to read the local Jewish newspaper. It is them we need to focus our attention on. We need to find out why they have wandered off the spiritual path, and help them find it again.