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When People Criticize You for Being Religious

by Chaya Rivka Zwolinski

Are you trying to grow in Jewish spirituality and religious observance, and family and friends oppose your growth? Do people mock or criticize you for following the Torah? Are they even insulting you? Don’t worry, you are in good company. Avraham, the first Jew, was ridiculed, challenged and threatened because he believed in God and wanted to serve Him.

But it’s important to treat the people who oppose your growth with kindness and a measure of respect. Avoid being self-righteous and don’t respond to their criticism with harsh words. Don’t get defensive—be firm (about your commitment) and gentle (to those who chastise you.) Eventually, when they see you are only becoming a better and happier person, they may respect you and might even come closer to Torah because of you.

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