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Dr. Issac Block זצ”ל

The following an excerpt from a book I wrote “The Letters I Never Wrote My Sisters.” In it I created a series of fictional letters between myself and my sisters in Canada.

Danielle Shalom,

Thank you for your lovely letter. I understand that words come easier to some of us than to others and I do sincerely appreciate when you take the time and make the effort to put your thoughts in ink on paper in order to share with me.

You ask about my friendship with the university professor in London Ontario and if he somehow influenced me to convert. …

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Judaism isn’t a question of belief like other monotheistic religions (“believe and you will be saved”) but it is a religion of actions. A 13th-century explanation of the 613 commandments Judaism claims are woven through the Biblical narrative opens with the statement: The hearts follow the actions. i.e. by acting in a certain fashion, ultimately if you are acting that way because you (have been taught to) believe that it is the moral or ethical way to behave — ultimately it will influence your beliefs and opinions.

It is therefore very difficult to learn actions from a book! As a convert to Judaism almost 50 years ago I can testify that many of the problems that both converts and Jews who returned to their tradition in their adulthood face, often stem from their lack of informal day-to-day exposure to the minute of life as an observant Jew within a Jewish family — something you cannot learn from a book. …


Yoel Ben-Avraham

Yoel Ben-Avraham Semi-Retired IT Professional turned Social Enterprise Evangelist and Lean Startup Mentor

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