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Embracing Imperfection: A Journey of Jewish Identity

Updated: Sep 27, 2023

Recently, I have been contemplating ways to find more meaning in my Jewish Identity. A friend suggested that sharing personal experiences can make these articles more impactful. Additionally, sharing would help me gain more insight into my thoughts and feelings on various topics (thank you for being my unpaid therapists). Sharing so openly is not always easy for me, however, I hope that by sharing my thoughts, I can help others that are struggling.

In this week's Parsha, we learn about the laws of ritual impurity as it pertains to pots. If milk and meat accidentally mix in a pot, the pot becomes non-kosher. In order to remove impurities, the pot must be purified using either a blowtorch or boiling water. This teaches us that even when something appears to be irreversibly impure, it can still be purified.

The analogy of the pot made me think of a scenario that included two Jewish individuals. One person flawlessly performed mitzvahs ("the immaculate pot"), while another struggled with impurity ("the unclean pot") but still did one mitzvah daily to remove one layer of impurity at a time.

Recently, I've felt like my life is tainted with impurity and I relate to the person with an "unclean pot". Sometimes, I feel discouraged when I see people who appear to have "an immaculate pot", and I worry that maybe I'll never be able to achieve that level. Often, the evil inclination that lives inside of us will remind us of our shortcomings, but we cannot let it get us down.

Through lots of contemplation (and Kadimah groups), I realized that being a great Jew is not about perfection, but the effort that one puts into the relationship with Hashem. I believe that a person can spend their life imbued with impurity and still not be beyond redemption.

No matter where we are in life, whether on the highest or the lowest level, Hashem is waiting for us to connect with Him. Through our good deeds, we can defeat the Yetzer Hara and make this world a better place!

Have a fantastic week!

Good Shabbos

All The Best

Avroham Ross

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