Every generation must find its own way to God and subsequently to the Jewish tradition. From a religious point of view, were this not the case, there would be little reason for that generation to exist. What, after all, is the meaning of human existence if not to reveal another dimension of God’s multi-colored world and Torah, and thus to gain a greater understanding of self?
There are two schools of thought in Judaism, two types of batei midrash: the Bet Midrash of Moshe Rabbeinu and the Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu. Although both of them are integral parts of Judaism, the difference between them is critical. Judaism began as an existential movement in which all that humankind does, thinks, feels, and says is touched by the spirit of God. The Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu aims to teach in order to inspire a re-awakening and transformation of the soul. It is here that we find the roots of Judaism in their most central form.
In the process of adapting from exile to statehood, halachah may need to be uprooted and transplanted, or even cut back to its deepest roots and regrown in a larger pot, where it can flower more freely. This will probably result in the “secularization” of some of our halachot, offset by a cultural “Judification” of our secular society. Can we use the lessons learned during the galut to survive in an increasingly decentralized and globalized world?
Rather than waiting until a potential convert is ready to take on all of Jewish law, and only then converting them, we should first convert them, and then slowly introduce them to Jewish religious values and Halacha. This should be done by way of gentle persuasion and love, with no coercion whatsoever. We must give them the option of making their own choices, introducing them to a ladder of observance that they can climb at their own pace and within their own abilities.