HOME | CONTACT US | DONATE LoginLOGIN Ask the RabbiASK THE RABBI
PrintSend this page to a friendShare this
Comment64 Comments

Question of the Week


Why Don’t I Feel Inspired Anymore?


Question:

I am experiencing a major lull in my spiritual motivation. I started getting into Jewish things around a year ago, but now I just don’t have the passion for it anymore. Rosh Hashanah is coming—last year I was all inspired, this year I don’t feel any drive whatsoever to attend services. Is there something I can do to revive my enthusiasm?

Answer:

Do you remember how you learnt to ride a bike? Your first bicycle was fitted with training wheels on both sides, to keep you from tipping over. The training wheels allowed you to get the feel of riding the bike and build confidence. You felt so good, speeding along and never falling.

Then, just as you started to get comfortable, your parents removed the training wheels and told you to get on the bike and ride. So you got on, rode for half a second and then lost balance and fell flat. “How can I ride without training wheels?” you thought. But your parents insisted that you try again. So you did, and again you fell.

Your frustration built up, to the point that you were ready to give in. You may have wondered why your parents took the training wheels off in the first place. But had they not, you would never learn to ride your bike all on your own. It’s harder to ride without training wheels, but only then is it really you riding the bike, using your own skill rather than depending on outside help. You may fall a few times, but as long as you get back up and keep pedaling, eventually you get your balance and the bike rides smoothly along the road.

When someone gets in touch with their Jewishness for the first time, there is a thrill and an excitement unlike anything else in the world. This initial inspiration is a little helping hand from G‑d, spiritual training wheels that help us start our journey. But once we get the hang of it, once we have advanced along the spiritual path and are ready to go deeper, the training wheels are removed and we have to ride on our own. The inspiration disappears, the motivation fades, and we are left dangling.

Here’s the real test. When the excitement wears off, there are those who drop out of the spiritual life. They think that the fun is over, this spiritual stuff isn’t for me, and they move on. If we do that, then we miss out the chance to go to the next level: to connect to our souls through our own efforts. Precisely the moment when the inspiration fizzles out is when the real soul work begins. Rather than being propped up by divinely created inspiration, we have to look within and start riding on inspiration that we create ourselves. The spiritual path has to become ours, something we work for and earn.

We will fall again, but every fall brings a chance to take things to a new level. Keep on pedaling, inspired or not, and you will advance further and further in your soul’s journey.

Feeling uninspired? Your training wheels are off. You don’t need them anymore. Get up and ride.

PrintSend this page to a friendShare this
Comment64 Comments

By Aron Moss   More articles...  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author
Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
Artwork by Sarah Kranz.

The content on this page is copyrighted by the author, publisher and/or Chabad.org, and is produced by our content partner, Chabad.org. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with the copyright policy.
 

64 Comments Posted  |  Post A Comment
Reader Comments
Latest Comments:
Posted: Dec 8, 2017
Sanhedrin Feedback
I have a theological question. Isn't it a terrible sin in Judaism to bump yourself off? It is in the Catholic faith.
Posted By Anonymous, Los Angeles

Posted: Dec 7, 2017
Relationship Too Messey to save? Sanhedrin Feedback
Sounds enormously painful. Well, have a growing awareness that relationships are becoming the vehicles for rampand prodigious unseen evil influences and evil inclination among the public that are just plain running riot unchecked, and unchallenged.
marriage and family relationships are just one category of institutions that are decaying uncontrollably.
You cannot control the decay and decline of a relationship, you'll get buried beneath the avalanche if you persist in heroic efforts to salvage the rubble of a messy, relationship which is beyond redemption. Move on. Live on. Let God be your only source of love and rejuvenation.
Posted By Anonymous, Los Angeles

Posted: Dec 7, 2017
Just come. Don't worry about being inspired or passionate about prayer. That will come if you come. Spirituality is like love. It begins with lust and then deepens into something far better, far deeper and lasting much much longer. Come join your congregation - socialize and study with them, get to know your Rabbi on a personal level. My congregation is my community - the people I see week in and week out, who ask nothing of me except my friendship. When we lost our daughter I learned the true meaning of community when my house was crowded with shul friends for the entire shivah period and we were surrounded by comforting people during the sheloshim as well. We go every Shabbat. It is the center of our lives.
Posted By Vivian Warshaw, Los Angeles
via chabadchatsworth.com

Posted: Dec 6, 2017
my marriage fell apart This is the second time we separated I tried to commit suicide I learned that the woman has the power of taking back her husband or not. this time she didn't. She does not want to stay married and wants to get even from the jewish marriage. I am surprised that the rabbi didn't try to save our marriage maybe because she's a woman
Posted By Jacob Glick, Brooklyn

Posted: Dec 2, 2017
Romance is a necessity?
Add a comment...Wouldn't the answer be to keep things as they are, rather than risk the pain and suffering of a continually diminishing romance? Without romance there is little else to enjoy. I have to have romance or I just feel lost and empty.
Posted By Anonymous, Downtown Los Angeles, California

Posted: Dec 1, 2017
Great explanation!!!!!!!
Posted By Daniele Silva

Posted: Oct 29, 2017
Every new experience is exciting. That's why many marriages fail when the newness wears off. The couple may think something is intrinsically wrong with the marriage, but it's just reached the place where they are going to have to work at the relationship. Feelings of love and devotion are no longer automatic. Feelings follow action, so we just have to figure out what action to take to deepen our relationship with Hashem, and the feelings will follow.
Posted By Patricia Deneen, Montgomery

Posted: Oct 11, 2017
Wellspring of Compassion
Hallo, I was looking for inspiration today, about prayers for rain during Sukkoth and Shemini, when excessive water is not what our nations need at all. We are not desertification, neither is it warm here, so I asked a Rabbi if there are sanctions that guide people against unaware excess of demand.
Your lovely mindset is the answer, surely. To pray for that wellspring of mindfulness that is the Joy of the Holy Spirit is a more universal approach to those "days of our joy".
Posted By Sue

Posted: Aug 17, 2017
It You Are Uninspired You Probably Need A Breakthrough
But you are inspired. You are just not manifesting it yet.
You probably need a breakthrough.
Posted By Anonymous, Los Angeled

Posted: Aug 3, 2017
Sweet Inspiration
How will you tap into the stream of inspiration while riding? Music? Audio book?
Posted By Anonymous, Los Angeles



 

   
Subscribe
 

Ask the Rabbi
Got questions?
Searching for meaning?
Ask the Rabbi

Ask the Rabbi
Browse Archives

Woman to Woman
Read More

Knowledge Base