Shalom u bracha!
I am a woman, baal-tshuva, I live in Diaspora (Canada), I cannot afford to live in Jewish Orthodox area with observant Jews, as a result of it, my family is pretty disconnected from Jewish life. We’re live in building with non-Jews and we’re the only Jews here. We study Torah from books we have (Chumash and commentaries of Rashi, Chumash Baal Ha-Turim, Talmud Bavli, Tikkunei Zoar, Chassidut Taniya Alter Rebbe, Midrashim Meam Loez by Yaakov Kuli, Pirkei Avot, Kav Yashar), we don’t have any Rabbanim-mashpiim who direct us or teach us Torah; Hashem is our mashpia!
I need a favor from you to direct us in our self-study of Torah, which subjects we’re have to learn to achive a deep knowledge in Torah, Halacha, Mussar,etc.
How to raise Jewish children in Diaspora and prevent from them to learn goishe practices? Please educate me. Tnx.

Answer:

This is a question that is obviously difficult to answer “on one leg” (as the expression used in the Talmud).

In brief, the main area of study must be halachah. The reason for this is that first thing we are responsible for is knowing what to do, meaning how to keep the mitzvos of the Torah, and if one doesn’t study, one cannot know what to do.

I advise getting hold of halachah books in English, such as Artscroll’s “Laws of Kashrus” and similar books for Shabbos and other areas of Shabbos. Although study of the Talmud and other primary sources is important, it is fairly hard to extract the halachah from primary sources, and specific halachah books are important.

Beyond this, books of mussar are certainly advisable, in seeking to refine our nature and raise awareness of the importance of Torah observance and its consequences.

Concerning goyishe practices, the question is which practices. You won’t be able to bring up the children in a greenhouse, and it’s important do decide what is acceptable, and what isn’t.

If there are specific question, please don’t hesitate to be in touch.

Best wishes and good luck for now.

Tags: non-Jews

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