The members of Kesher Torah were honored to welcome Rabbi Yehudah Peretz who joined them as Scholar in Residence on Shabbos Parshas Shemini. It was an extremely uplifting and thought provoking experience for all who attended.
Rabbi Peretz inspired with words of chizuk and also song, as he unraveled his tale how, as the son of a pastor and an emerging clergyman himself (the Church of La Divina Providencia) in Veracruz, Mexico, he embarked on a spiritual odyssey that brought him to Eretz Yisrael, with his entire family and congregation in tow.”
On Friday night, Rabbi Peretz joined in the Carlebach Kabbalos Shabbos, Shabbos morning davening and Kiddush, and Shabbos afternoon Light’s Off Shalosh Seudos. Rabbi Peretz also joined them for a beautiful Friday night Oneg hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Seth Merewitz as well as a Kumzitz on Motzei Shabbos hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Russel Kramer. Rabbi Pinchos Gruman, the Rav of Kesher Torah, was also shared his perspectives.
Rabbi Peretz described his journey towards conversion and related a particular story that made a huge impact. The Rabbi overseeing his geiros asked him why he wanted to become a Jew. R’ Peretz said that he wanted to be a good person. His Rabbi explained that was not a reason to become a Jew. Any person can be good. In fact there are certain situations that a Jew may find himself in where an outsider may think that following halacha is not being good. For example, how does it look to a non-Jew when a Rabbi refuses to shake the hand of a woman? He can explain all he likes but the woman may still think he is not being a good person. Rabbi Peretz explained that there is in fact a scale with not just Bad and Good as the extremes, but Bad, Good and Holy along the scale. A Jew’s job is not to be merely good, but to be Holy. That is what is unique about a Jew’s mission and why we are unlike any other nation as ambassadors to Hashem.