I got into Jewish things and spirituality around a year ago, and I was feeling really motivated and inspired. But now I just don’t have the passion for it anymore. What happened?
76 Comments Posted
|I am not Jewish but I hope to start conversion in 2 years. I have been praying for about 10-30 minutes before going to sleep (no specific psalms or prayers just me speaking "I pray that.." i guess you could say it is 'Informal' prayer) and I had one day a few weeks back that I was full of happiness, like it is hard to believe how happy I was. I felt like I was a chalice filled with iridescent gold.|
As the days went by I was not as happy as I was, I kept praying hoping for that golden happiness that I had, but it never came again, to this day (about 2 weeks later) I have never been filled with that spiritual joy again. I have had happy moments but I felt like G-d had filled me with heavenly happiness.
How do I get it back?
|this is a great article explaining why i feel uninspired, but can you please give me ways to actually do my souls work on my own?|
i need help doing all the things without a major inspiration from above.
when i dont have an excitement i just dont do all the right things. i want to, but cant seem to find the spiritual energy to.
|Maybe that service isn't right for them, maybe they've moved up to different levels of Judaism and the service they are attending doesn't quench their thirst.
|Once you learn to ride the desire is to continually be on the bicycle through successes and falls i.e. the excitement is perpetuated.|
I hypothesize that the individual asking the question has failed to motivate him/herself or to be inspired by a mentor and the thrill has diminished.
I am closer to a heathen than to a rabbi but I would search for spiritual guidance to convey to the seeker to enhance his/her Judaic development rather than providing a mundane analogy to bicycle.
Climbing back on a bicycle is not analagous to spiritual development; but that's just my opinion.
|I've thought about this subject often and look at it this way; when we pray and worship, the good feeling is simply a consequence or result. More important than how prayer makes us feel is what our intentions are when we come before Hashem. It seems selfish to pray simply because it makes us feel good. Instead, you know and I know, that we pray because we love G-d and can confide in him. Take this for example; a husband loves his wife and vice versa, even when there isn't the butterflies and giggles, the love is still there, shown through action and continued time as well as communication.
|It's being willing to hang in there and stay open to finding what will work to keep you connected. Inherent in the strivings is growth and salvation. And I believe it is so very easy to get stuck, to feel lost, which seems to be part of the process. Hang in there. You never know from whence your salvation cometh.
|I see so many of these spiritual tourists in my congregation. Perhaps Chabad needs to learn more how to keep the flame alize. They are great at lighting it, but it tends to dminish and go out from lack of care and "feeding."
|It's well known how Chabad does extraordinary work in attracting Jews who have dropped out of religious observance but I've noticed that many don't stay. Other Jewish organzations and shuls follow up with a phone call when someone hasn't been around, inquiring if G-d forbid the person is ill or asking if everything is okay. Perhaps Chabad rabbis leave this all in G-d's hands but maybe they could give a little extra to keep Jews involved, especially those going through difficult times There are so many in that category today who would appreciate such thoughtfulness.
|As little a person as I am, the concept that all of life is a prayer keeps me going in all things, as a light within all life.|
I think that the answer to that question was written with a lot of wisdom. The challenge to create, to let creation be within you, it is a right and a freedom to evolve, or to shine up the "crown of God".
Just relating in this forum is so rewarding, sometimes. If you listen, you'll hear that the Rabbi is "on", believe me.
And you do not have to be in a state of perfection, nor physically in the Chabad for the gifts of learnedness and of sharing to flow from some of these teachers.
God is also uninspired. Quite alright.
|This is a great answer but there is more to it. I believe that when you dont understand what is going on and nobody helps you out you lose trust, faith and emotion towards your religion and spirituality. If you have a look at half the people around you in a synagogue they dont know how to read Hebrew, have memorised the shabbat service etc have no passion but go because they feel its the right thing to do because they are jewish.|
I have been going to the synagogue my whole life and guess what it is boring, you want fun, you want the answer, you want to be inspired, accepted and know whats going on around you there is only one answer "KABBALAH", think its a cult, think its a con, well come for shabbat and see the difference.
I agree with you, however, many people leave their homes day and night so that making contact can be difficult.
It would be delightful for people of Jewish faith to be in peace, but in our area there are such distant centres that it is hard to get to them for some people. Secondly, the Rabbis have had to deal with strenuous political issues concerning all Jews, I believe. We are in a large area surrounding the Capitol of Canada.
During times of terrorism, one can get inhibited about phone, or even email use, because of malicious hacking.
At least we enjoy this marvellous online centre.
So, how are you feeling? Need anything?
|This is so true. I've recently started attending services again and went to high holiday services for the first time in I don't remember how many years. It definitely inspired me to explore my faith further and see what else is out there.
|for speaking out about the gifts of learning the Kabballah!!|
Yes, i can vouch for your experience of the ostricism from others for heralding the wisdom of kabbalah.
But the payoff, yes, is the fact that you are given in kaballistic thought the intimate gnosis of the fusion of thought and action: its truly about the power of aleph, bet, gimel and all the 22 hebrew letters that will have you sampling the mysteries ...
A thank you, again to the community that contributes at chabad!!
|When I started taking my spiritual life seriously after a near divorce, financial failure ans so on, something happened to me at some stage which was quite astonishing. G-D laid the Jewish people on my heart, Israel and for a period of three months I would cry bitterly just at the thought of a Jewish person or of Israel. To me it represented G_D's sovereignty, His perfectness and His Holiness. It led into a very deep study of the Jewish people the culture etc. After some time I also became a little uninspired but then I realized this was going to be a conscientious decision to maintain the walk once the "training wheels" were off. It is my desire to be close to G_D and remain in His Holiness as a lifestyle that would keep me enthused. This is what happens when G_D touches our lives, it is forever and we cant help it. By the way I am a non Jew.
|I found that if I am concentrating on myself and my needs my spiritual life suffers. If I focus on the joy of loving G-d and giving to others, I feel the Holiday moment. If my balance of self and others is out of balance the other way where I am giving more of myself than I have to give I can lose joy. I think the answer is find balance in your life in loving your neighbor as yourself. But don't forget self. find your joy, joy, happy, happy, joy, joy.
Thanks for your post. You are definetly not alone in this area. I do have a question for you: do you feel genuinely connected to people in your Jewish community? I mean a real, loving, close, non-judgmental connection? If not, that could probably explain the lack of inspiration. In my own experience, we need community and bonding with others to feel inspired, regardless of our chosen faith/religion. A lot of Judiasm/Orthodoxy is legalistic, as well as very historical with a rich cultural history. I think it's easy for most of the focus to be placed on the legalistic aspect, and less on the bonding and spiritual, loving aspect of Judiasm. I know this has certainly been my own experience. I was raised Bais Yaakov "black hat" observant, and while I'm no longer observant, I have a very deep appreciation for my culture, and for the significance of healthy, loving bonds with people in my community. That does make all of the difference, because it is so easy to slip into isolation.
|How did HaShem spend the holidays during the Holocaust is an unanswerable question. |
How many prayers to be inscribed in the book of life went unanswered during that terrible time?
I pray Israel will be spared from the current evil in Iran but will not count on HaShem hearing or acting upon those prayers.
|i think it is very difficult to distinguish between the "passion" from within and the "animal soul" not knowing the difference between the two. Both are similar in nature but one is good for us and the other bad. |
deciphering a "feeling" is to battle the ego. once the ego has dissipated, the passion seems almost forbidden. after all, he is with us whether we want him or not....correct?
|This is excellent and so helpful. Thank you so much for posting this!
|Beautiful, and applies to most every aspect of life that involves inspiration.
|something is nailing it right on the head. It like what a loofa removed by all the dry dead skin only to help reveal young vibrant skin. All we need to do is dress this new skin and moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
The polite thing to say is: Incoming. Heads up, heads up, heads up!
Hashem is HUGE to lift up his children and train us to be brave and keep courage to be diligent to the Torah, Tanakh, and Tanya!
A blow kiss for everyone in the pre party prep, the party of parties, and of course all the after parties in the infinities for the good of all mankind!
|Attend services anyway to be part of K'lall Yisroel - the Jewish community. Affiliate yourself publicly and get active in your shul. Don't worry about feeling spiritually alive - that is a gift from God and it will come as you continue to practice the mitzvoth. Remember many of the great Rabanim agonized over their "spirituality" and their practice of mitzvoth helped them attain great sanctity.
|I've been asking myself the same question, feeling blah, even slacking off. Your answer really motivates me. Thanks. Shanah tovah!
|Living in Brooklyn, New York, I find I'm not only losing passion for Judaism, but I'm also lost in the hustle and bustle of an overcrowded and unfriendly city. I was much happier living in a smaller community where people know each other, life is less of a daily struggle to survive, but my family is here and no one except me wants to move. It's much easier to be part of a community where you have a name, not a number.
|As a Rabbi in a smaller town I understand you well. I come across many people who find more depth and joy in their Yiddishkeit living here than when they lived in a major city.|
Two important points to consider:
1) Our Mitzvos are treasured by Hashem no matter where we live. We may find it easier to sense their impact in a smaller community where we are known and appreciated by all, but Hashem gets the tremendous Nachas from our Avoda wherever we may live. And ultimately this is why we do Mitzvos!
2) I highly encourage you to find a "sub-community" within the area you live. In many cities today, many smaller shuls are popping up all over. These are places where everyone feels their place, importance, impact, etc.
|Sadness and other negative emotions is from the Yetzer Hara. It's our constant obligation to serve G-d with Joy and Humility by distancing ourselves further to falsehood.
|I have found inspiration comes with purpose. If we know why we do something such as get involved in Rosh Hashanah and now up-coming Passover our motivation and enthusiasm can grow. For this reason reading about it in Torah especially as well as linking it to significant events in history so far as Israel is concerned can build our knowledge and make our observation of it all that much more meaningful. Like riding the Rabbinical bicycle, just learning to do it is one thing, but once our understanding increases we can focus more on the meaning of the celebration.
The movie "Challenge" on Chabad.org inspired me and I hope it inspires you too!
Also, helping others helps ourselves. You may want to find someone who knows less than you in a certain area of Jewish observance and teach them. As the Rebbe says, helping them will help you. And as Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks said about two years ago at the Shluchim Convention, we can compare ourselves to Chanukah candles: when a candle lights another candles, it loses nothing of its own and in the end there is even more light than at the beginning!
|I live in a large city, where Jews are a small minority. I believe we are the only Jews in our neighborhood. Most of the Jews here are Reform or Conservative. I grew very Reform & am trying to be more Torah Observant (my husband doesn't share my views totally either, so no kosher kitchen. We live 7.5 miles from Chabad. So, we like most who attend Chabad services have to drive. |
Growing up Reform, I have no concept what a kosher kitchen is even like or how to set it up & work in one. I have no friends who I can watch & learn from. Even cleaning for Pesach this year, was difficult (my husband is 72 & me 64 with various disabilities) & we both were eating pain meds every night during cleaning, & cooking. It was just us two at our home Seder. Can't eat late for medical reasons, so 7:30pm seder at Chabad wasn't an option. Not used to 2 days Yom Tov & 8 days. Didn't know what allowed or not on 2nd day. So, kept most electric off, but cooked on gas stove. No one to guide me or show by example
|Anonymous From Albuquerque hit a responsive chord with me. I converted to Judaism 48 years ago in a Reform synagogue and then married a girl who came from a non-observant family, hoping nevertheless she would be a mentor. Not to be. She won't go to Christianity, which would, of course be the path of least resistance, but she is apathetic about any Jewish observance at all, often ridiculing it. Unlike her parents, she has very few Jewish friends, and those she consorts with infrequently. I suppose I should have paid attention way back when she acted surprised that I didn't go out on Friday nights. It's been 48 years now and 46 years of marriage to that girl with me still an outsider to the Jewish people and Jewish culture. Our son has turned out pretty much like his mother: apathetic about being Jewish. He's married to an older woman, who is also totally non-observant. I have frequently gotten that "What's the use?" feeling about trying to live a Jewish life.
|I feel for you. I wonder if you converted at Emanu-El in Tucson? I lived in Tucson off and on from 1983-2003. I met my current husband at the University of Arizona in a graduate psychology class in 2001. His problems stem from his mother who was Orthodox Jew & Methodist father. They divorced when he was young, but he didn't have all the learning, and got hit from both sides. His mom kept kosher, and dad had pork. |
I'm sure there is Chabad there now. You can't make someone else change, but by changing yourself and doing what you can by taking classes and talking with the rabbi, you can grow spiritually.
Last Sunday, I immersed in our Chabad mikvah as a post menopause woman for the first time.. I had a lot of support & my experience in the mikvah was overseen by the Chabad rabbi's wife. I was pleasantly surprised when my husband agreed to not only follow the pre-mikvah stringencies, but he went & waited for me.
Go to Chabad. Study, & set an example for your son. Nurture your soul!
|What good is a Jew without his G-d... Moshiach is in exile... We as Jews need to find him...
|Albuquerque is nice. At least you don't live in Vermont! People should start their own mini-observant synagogues with their own Torah libraries with books in English. I think it is very depressing without a Jewish community or without being able to be a part of one to make it expand and grow.. maybe that is why people can feel stuck
|We are only in Albuquerque part of the year, as quasi snow birds. We also have a house near Bangor, Maine to which we will be driving end of this month. We spend the High Holy Days there. |
Bangor has 3 synagogues, one of which has been Modern Orthodox. The rabbi left in 2008, & the only kosher bagel deli lost its kashrut. Last September, the Orthodox shul hired a Chabad rabbi. He happens to be the son of the Chabad rabbi in Portland, ME. So, there has been some conflict between the older members & idea of Chabad rabbi. He & his wife jumped in a started Torah classes, and she tea & Torah for women since we left. But,we are looking forward to seeing them. But, have to go to get kosher now from Boston. Portland I believe has a Trader Joes which I just found out in Albuquerque has kosher beef, chicken, etc. I was surprised.
What part of Vermont are you? I heard there is Chabad at U Vermont in Burlington.
|Get a good OLD Prayer book and spend much time with your nose and your heart in it. I have been at it for 15 years and still do it. Oh talk to G-D. Tzipporah
|Love this!! Great lesson!
|If we are surrounded by people who do not share our love of HaShem then often we will find ourselves struggling. |
I have found ChaBaD to be a really truly inspiring lifeline.
Even those who live in a close knit ChaBaD community will experience set backs. The challenge is to keep studying Torah and even when our foot slips, know that HaShem understands our struggles and is there with us every step of the way.
Maybe, ChaBaD will be able to set up an online community support group to help people who do not live close to a ChaBaD centre. However, this would need financial support and people would have to consider either paying for such a service or making regular substantial donations, should such a service be made available.
|Thanks for this, even though that sounds cheesy.
|I am answering not as a truly observant person. I think age at times has a lot to do with inspiration. When you get to a, "was there, did it all," stage, you sometimes lose inspiration. I don't look to God for inspiration. I look at myself and ask myself what needs to get done, and I do it, and this inspires me. This is inspiration and keeps me at 76 feeling like 50 again. I don't ask God for favors, and don't look to religious inspiration. We rely on religion too much instead of ourselves and our own initiatives.
|I find reciting Tehillim to work well to kindle my fire
|Thank you for the explanation. Often simple parallels open our eyes and give us the understanding we seek.
|I've just oodles of inspiration. Music inspires me. Singing, playing an instruments, even whistling, listening to inspiring works of music by the masters, also all kinds of music ordinary people can be inspiring. I love all kinds of music and musical instruments of every type from various countries. I like ancient music and I like contemporary music too. But of course my ultimate and highest religious inspiration is derived from old traditional English and Celtic Hymns and praises to God.|
When that your inspiration tank is on "E", try listening to inspiring music to lift up your flagging spirits. Even children's music can be uplifting.
|Wow mamash inspired! Thank you so much! I can't wait for Rosh Hashana
|I recommend Tanya, specifically Chabad Rabbi Krasnianski's Tanya class, at tanyaclass.com, Book of the Intermediates,Tanya: Chapter 04 – Part 3 – audio Torah. While elucidating text from Tanya, he explains what is really happening here in this world when we engage with Torah and Mitzvoth and what HaShem is transmitting to us ...it will surprise you.
|I appreciate your compassionate response. I guess I'm a little too sensitive to ridicule. Maybe it's from feeling a little insecure in my knowledge. Hebrew has long been a struggle for me, and my biblical knowledge still isn't the greatest. About the latter I am reading the narrative portions (Joshua through II Kings) of the bible nightly. I'm using the Artscroll Tanach with commentaries. Saying "No, I'm doing this instead" has never come easily to me, but I should learn to do it. Practice might make perfect.
|Look around you. Judaism is great! Read a book by a Jewish author, celebrate our wonderful gift. We know so much! Take your gift of Jewishness, and embrace it!
|David , did the best thing he encouraged himself in the Lord. Sometimes when I read the scriptures its seems like water just running through the pipes. Then I remember a verse in Isaiah where it says , " my word will not return to me void , but it will prosper in the thing whereto I have sent it ", that is a great promise which motivates me to seek Him with all of my heart and He tells us we will be found by Him when are heart is heading in the right direction and down the right path . Unto thee will I lift up my soul are cry should be and He will surely lift it up.
|Nice article. Now I'm gonna go ride 10 miles!
|I find too much inspiration. In my home and outside my home, inspiration is everywhere. Humanity has inspiration to spare. Tap into the stream of inspiration, it's like an oasis. It's like a stream of cool water in the desert. Just tap into it, drink from it and become an inspiration for others and you will surely be inspired from the source of inspiration which for me is the Joy of the Holy Spirit. |
Inspiration is eager to be yours.
|Hi I am Lubavitch Baal Teshuva. Lubavitch standards are pretty high. For your physical limitations on Pesach I would recommend learning what the appropriate minimum is so you can feel better. It is strange to look down instead of up but it isn't down. In my case I have young children and little funds to hire out etc...You can find Aish Ha Torah Article for example on what the minimum halacha is so you are halachically correct. They show you non burn out cleaning. Pesach gets easier for me each year. Also, Magnesium and Calcium and Vitamin D supplement will increase joing mobility, reduce or eliminate muscle spasms. Must be equal level of Magnesium and Calcium like Maxi Health One to One is Great! Also Omega's, will help to prevent stroke greatly!!!!!!!!!
|It amazing that the Rabbi has given us an example of bicycle but it seems everyone else had another experience and want to tell their opinions I think to take from each one experiences can help and provide something to continue life and believing in all mighty G-d
|That's a really neat example. Sometimes there is so much inspiration that you would like to turn down the volume a bit. But how do you keep from dampening inspiration too much?
|How will you tap into the stream of inspiration while riding? Music? Audio book?
|But you are inspired. You are just not manifesting it yet.|
You probably need a breakthrough.
|Hallo, I was looking for inspiration today, about prayers for rain during Sukkoth and Shemini, when excessive water is not what our nations need at all. We are not desertification, neither is it warm here, so I asked a Rabbi if there are sanctions that guide people against unaware excess of demand.|
Your lovely mindset is the answer, surely. To pray for that wellspring of mindfulness that is the Joy of the Holy Spirit is a more universal approach to those "days of our joy".
|Every new experience is exciting. That's why many marriages fail when the newness wears off. The couple may think something is intrinsically wrong with the marriage, but it's just reached the place where they are going to have to work at the relationship. Feelings of love and devotion are no longer automatic. Feelings follow action, so we just have to figure out what action to take to deepen our relationship with Hashem, and the feelings will follow.
|Add a comment...Wouldn't the answer be to keep things as they are, rather than risk the pain and suffering of a continually diminishing romance? Without romance there is little else to enjoy. I have to have romance or I just feel lost and empty.
|my marriage fell apart This is the second time we separated I tried to commit suicide I learned that the woman has the power of taking back her husband or not. this time she didn't. She does not want to stay married and wants to get even from the jewish marriage. I am surprised that the rabbi didn't try to save our marriage maybe because she's a woman
|Just come. Don't worry about being inspired or passionate about prayer. That will come if you come. Spirituality is like love. It begins with lust and then deepens into something far better, far deeper and lasting much much longer. Come join your congregation - socialize and study with them, get to know your Rabbi on a personal level. My congregation is my community - the people I see week in and week out, who ask nothing of me except my friendship. When we lost our daughter I learned the true meaning of community when my house was crowded with shul friends for the entire shivah period and we were surrounded by comforting people during the sheloshim as well. We go every Shabbat. It is the center of our lives.
|Sounds enormously painful. Well, have a growing awareness that relationships are becoming the vehicles for rampand prodigious unseen evil influences and evil inclination among the public that are just plain running riot unchecked, and unchallenged.|
marriage and family relationships are just one category of institutions that are decaying uncontrollably.
You cannot control the decay and decline of a relationship, you'll get buried beneath the avalanche if you persist in heroic efforts to salvage the rubble of a messy, relationship which is beyond redemption. Move on. Live on. Let God be your only source of love and rejuvenation.
|I have a theological question. Isn't it a terrible sin in Judaism to bump yourself off? It is in the Catholic faith.
|I love that last comment--"the training wheels are off"! It is vivid and accurate. Chabad LIVES. I never read your pages without waking up a little better person than before I took the time.. Thank you for your constant Zen of Bicycle Maintenance instruction.
|All the advice is excellent. But when your biological child becomes alienated we must persist and never give up. This is a true lesson of unconditional love , patience , empathy , and determination. Had a professional not found out the cause of our alinanation - Severe Parental Alienation I would not know what is really going on. I would have given up. The worst thing to do... Thank God I am persisting . My biological child needs me more than ever. Sometimes things are not as they seem.
|Parental love of a child, like God's love for us is always the one absolute that is unfaltering!
|G-d wants what's the supreme best for us which is why there is nothing greater than pleasure. Every morning prayer we affirm our faith and vow to teach our children so that it may be upon their hearts.|
HoWever, G-d it torah also asks us to Fast and "Bind Them for a sign upon your hand that they shall be ornaments between your eyes" as we are instructed to do the Tefillin mitzvah every morning.
|This was so inspiring to read and a prime time to stumble upon this question.
|Inspirational sources can be positive or negative. I assume that the question is oriented towards positive inspiration. Don't we choose to be inspired or not by something, as thinking human beings? Sure we can turn on the inspiration in our lives, or turn it off. |
When want to, we can make the choice to be inspired. Or, we can make the opposite choice to hold back than same inspiration, and hold it in reserve.
I think that we are always in control of our service to humanity.
|I'm sure it is. You were intended by G-d, and that makes your aliveness holy. Your life is His gift to you, and you are supposed to treat it as a precious gift, not abuse it or throw it away. It is regarded as G-d's privilege to end your life at His choosing, not yours.
|Yes. This is very true. And Severe Parental Alienation involves manipulation , control , degredation , defermation of character , bullying , intimidation , fear , trauma as severe as that of a soldier. We must help.our children leave this Domestic Violent situation alive and well on earth right away. They are unable to do so on their own. These people.even forbid our very own children from having any contact alive and well on earth with their very own loving non abusive parents. We desperately need help right now.
|Inspiration as a choice for me is an uncommon notion. In Yoga I see there's the assumption of an inner light emanating up the spine through the chakras to the mind. This last writer responding to the discussion got me thinking of choice as the switch that moves us--not an alien zap (my childhood upbringing attuned me to such a thought) but a decision to "wake up and be awesome."|
If that light goes out, we are in terrible trouble.
|I have no emotional attachment to the jaywalking laws. Traffic regulations mean bupkis to me other than I don't want a ticket. When I look at my life as a worshiper of the almighty G*d. I every day look at the mitzvot he put in place and I have an emotional attachment! With every thing I become truly aware of or awoke to its another way to love G*d and thus I maintain my inspiration. G*d and expressing my love to him through obedience is never without inspiration.
|It is only when I perform mitvoth and do at least a little Torah study every day that I feel centered. When I get distracted by the world or my moods - and forget my spiritual work, it's like falling into an abyss. Some days I have to push myself to do spiritual work but I realize it's as necessary to me as food and water.
|'Precisely the moment when the inspiration fizzles out is when the real soul work begins'. Rabbi Akiva Tatz discusses this idea on a video on Youtube called 'Kabbalah: The Spiritual Core of the World - Rabbi Akiva Tatz'.|
Rabbi Tatz says: Life always has two phases. Phase 1 is the first light and phase 2 is the second light. Phase 1 is unbelievable, amazing and filled with possibilities. It uplifts you and inspires you, but it only lasts long enough to convince you that it will last forever. Then phase two kicks in. You feel a cruel let down. Abandoned and hopeless. This is where you have to pick yourself up and make it real. This is when you have to shine the second light yourself. Hashem is saying to us: "Now you do it and we'll meet as equal. I've done my part to inspire you, now you do your part and construct yourself".
This is the pattern of life. For example, at the beginning of marriage it is like a fairy tail (phase 1), and then the hard work kicks in (phase 2).