Let the good in me connect with the good in others

until all the world is transformed through

the compelling power of love.

Rebbi Nachman of Breslov


Value-based living is a totally different ballgame than value-based believing. It doesn’t take much to resonate with an idea and hold it sacred in your mind. But transitioning from the abstract to the concrete is another thing altogether. Value-based living demands commitment — the commitment to embody your vision through action. It involves feeling that without these values my life is worthless. They are not simply aspirational messages but rather they reflect my core, and hence I am willing to pursue them even if it involves discomfort.

The moment of initial inspiration quickly dissipates long before we can translate values into habituated behaviors. Neither can we resort to sheer will and determination. Fatigue quickly sets in. If we are going to take the leap from merely believing in values into the realm of actually

living them, we need passion. Passion is the engine that gives depth, inspiration, and continuity. Habit may get me to repeat my good values, but only passion can humanize them. Intimacy can only be achieved with passion. If we want to really connect to our Judaism — and to our G-d — we have to find the fire within ourselves.

Continue reading Passion — the Missing Link.

Read the previous essay, The Threshold of Choice.

Purchase a copy of The Human Challenge.

Olami Resources is happy to present a series of free installments featuring Rabbi Avraham Edelstein’s important new book, The Human Challenge. This week’s essay is from Section One – A Purposeful Life.

Rabbi Avraham Edelstein serves as the Education Director of Neve Yerushalayim College for Women and a senior advisor to Olami. Many of Rabbi Edelstein’s foundational publications addressing the world of Kiruv appear on OlamiResources.com.

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