Find A Good Teacher

†† A psychologist performed an informal experiment in Israel.He found that people were reluctant to use the phrase ďI donít know.ĒSo, he stopped people on the sidewalk in Tel Aviv and asked directions to a certain street.The street was not in Tel Aviv but was actually in Jerusalem. Dozens of people confidently gave him directions to the street that did not exist in Tel Aviv.He stopped when one man finally remarked that the street was in Jerusalem.


†† Pirket Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) tells us to find a teacher1.A teacher provides an example to grow toward.It is a person that can be trusted to give good answers and advice.A person one can respect and look up to.Teachers are needed if there is to be growth.It is very hard to do it on your own.


†† There is no end of people willing to tell otherís what they are doing wrong or should be doing different.It is also easy for the Baal Teshuvah to compare himself to others and feel that he is not doing as much.Both of these can lead to feelings of guilt and discouragement.


†† It is good to have a teacher guiding his growth, giving answers to questions and encouragement.It is possible to try to grow too much too fast.A person can grow fast and be weak.A good teacher will help the Baal Teshuvah grow slower and strong.


†† Qualities to look for in a teacher include:

  1. The ability to say, ďI donít knowĒ if they donít know the answer.
  2. Your teacher should be someone who is knowledgeable and who continues to study.
  3. He should be able to understand where you are coming from.Can he put himself in your shoes?Someone who can apply his knowledge to your situation.†† You teacher should not just try to make you be just like him.
  4. A good teacher is not too controlling.It is your growth, not his.You have to be able to grow at your pace.
  5. The teacher could be a rabbi, a shul member or even another Baal Teshuvah.It is a person who is growing and who inspires you.


†† Donít assume that an observant person is a good teacher for you.Someone raised frum from birth may not understand what a Baal Teshuvah goes through.


†† It is possible to have more than one teacher; one for law, one to inspire growth.However, donít let the teacher lead you, you have to lead yourself.Your teacherís job is to help you stay on the right road but it is your job to keep moving forward.

1. Perket Avot 1:16





Find a Good Teacher

Judaism, A Religion of New Beginnings

Knowledge and Wisdom

Never Give Up

Our Greatest Teacher


Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Truth; Our Most Powerful Tool

Value of Routine

Relationship: To G-d

Dishonoring Torah

Feeling Close to G-d

G-d Wants the Heart

Incomplete Offering

Time Spent

Whole and Willing




Answers to Prayer

G-d Will Answer Your Prayers

Most Effective Prayer Offered

Purpose of Prayer

Why Prayer Services Arenít More Entertaining

Role of The Jewish People

(Purpose of Creation)

Eternal Life

Everything is Connected

G-dís Hidden Presence

Key to Success

My Part

Our Actions Change the World

Revealing the Concealed

Why the Animal Soul Controls the Body



Relationship: To Another Jew

Harbor No Enmity

Practicing Forgiveness


Who Are your Victims?

The Soulís Mission

Just Right

Leaving a Mark on the World

Perfect Family


Repair Your Part



Relationship: To Community

Charity Given With Joy

Love Every Jew

Mitzvah of Giving Up

Single Entity

Special Role of the Baal Teshuvah

Unity From Acceptance

Whole Story

Trust and Faith


Choosing for a Purpose

Donít Put G-d in a Box


Stick With G-d




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