What is hashkafa? Why does it matter? 

Hey everyone! I know my posts are sporadic, but I’m promising you a post by the end of the next week on tfila. Prayer is a topic I’ve promised to write about for a long time. I hope to write a very detailed post about what tfila is, if it works, how it works, etc. It’s been requested time and time again and I know I’ve got to do it eventually since its so important, an integral part of femininity, and how women connect to Hashem. I also have a lot to say on the topic! But I want to write a detailed and organized post (similar to this one) so it takes time.

Also, I know I should write about Pesach too, but I’m having a hard time connecting to it for personal reasons and I don’t think I can do it this year. So yeah. sorry.

What is hashkafa? Why is it so important?

The definition of hashkafa means outlook or perspective. It can be used as either word for example: “Maybe you change your hashkafa I’m the matter.” but it’s most commonly used to describe the most important perspective of all, how you view life itself! It’s used to explain your perspective on your existence, direction, and path in life.
Now that you understand what it is, it’s pretty obvious why it’s important. As a person, it’s very important to have a path in life, goals, etc. Once you know your hashkafa, what works for you, what you want, and what you like, you can actually get somewhere on your path.

Ok, so tell me, it’s something I make up? Or am I following someone else? I don’t want to be a robot!

Ok, no one is making you into a robot! Calm down! And no you aren’t supposed to follow some random Rav blindly. It’s personal, you need to find out your hashkafa, then find a Rav who fits that.. If you are really confused you might end up going to Rav to ask something and like his hashkafa and decide to follow him, but you aren’t going to be doing anything you don’t believe in.
Also no, you shouldn’t be making up hashkafa yourself. Although its something personal and you get to choose what you like, you need to have a foundation based on rabbanim.

This is the foundation for the two most basic hashkafos:

Chassidish: Our purpose in this world is to make a connection with Hashem. Through our love, appreciaton, and strong connection we will come to want to do halacha properly and to even go beyond the letter of the law.

Litvish: Our purpose here is to become a creator, to change ourselves, become Godlike, and do halacha properly. When we do halacha properly we will connect to Hashem and create a relashionship that will strengthen with ever mitzvah.
Either one of these is the base of your hashkafa. What you do with this information and how you use it is your own personal thing. Plus as you’ll see, you may be mix of the two also. People are complicated,, it’s not so simple.

Getting back to the foundations, really they are both correct! Not only that, but litvish people do really beleive that our purpose here is to also make a connection with Hashem and chassidish people also beleive that we are here to change.

In reality the have the same goals, they just use different measures to get there

Both are correct though. That’s the coolest thing about the torah, as long as you are folowing an accepted Rav and gadol, keep in mind there are 70 ways to Torah! (The real question is, how can you tell if a Rav is someone to rely on and if a gadol is truly a gadol….well, we need to save some of my wisdon for another time, don’t we?)

I see people from both circles clearly not doing the hashkafa thing right… They aren’t accomplishing one or both of those goals. Why?

If you feel that yiddishkeit isn’t your thing, perhaps the hashkafa you are getting is what isn’t your “thing”. We are all unique,  and so is the path we take. Hashkafa is something personal. I can even prove it.

Why is it that we can see several children in a family, all attending the same schools and all of them will end up taking a different path? Now this isn’t the most common thing, but it’s definitely not rare.

Why is it that you can meet nowadays a chassidish man or woman who talks about Hashem all the time but clearly is doing many things that are definitely prohibited. You can also meet the opposite, a litvish woman or man who keeps halacha to a T but doesn’t have a connection with Hashem. (Which is personal, but the claim that very frum litvish schools create robots must come from somewhere, right? I’m not saying it’s correct or accurate for the majority, but there are people actually like that out there from lack of proper education.) Clearly both of these are wrong. It’s a shame many schools don’t teach girls the basis of hashkafa, the hashkafa of life itself, in actual hashkafa class- quite ironic I must say.

In any case, you can  see from here that it’s something personal. Or that some of these people just didn’t read this post so they don’t really get that the whole point of yiddishkeit is TWO things and not one. It’s sorta like Ahava and Yirah of Hashem, Mitzvos Bein Adam Limakom (Between man and God) and Mitzvos Bein Adam Lichavero (Between man and his fellow) you need BOTH!!!

It doesnt matter how you go about it! So now I want to explain my hashkafa

When I reached the age of thinking about your existence (10/11) I began researching the entire Hashem thing. By my early teens I knew logically that Hashem existed but I didn’t really have a connection to yiddishkeit. I heard from somewhere or something that you can and should have a connection with Hashem like a best friend. So when for a long period of time I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I began to talk to Hashem.

When I hit high school I made some really good friends who had already researched and learned about yiddishkeit. They explained to me everything from how free will works to studying together for history tests. They didn’t always know answers, but since I had so many questions they knew the majority of the answers or were able to ask someone who would know. These friends were extremely passionate and took to the chassidish hashkafa although many of them weren’t actually chassidish.

I was cool with that and I began to become passionate about it too. I was growing and learning. I started FGM to share my passion for not only yiddishkeit but for also writing (and to share my emotional struggles). My high school had a lot of classes and speakers and my friends always found the chassidish hashkafa in them and so did I. But I felt at some point I wasn’t growing anymore.

When I came to seminary I found my push. I actually listened to the classes (maybe because they were in english) and I began to absorb the litvish hashkafa. My new friends in sem are much more into litvish hashkafa and so I absorbed it and finally when I heard the creator class things began to make sense…

I’ve been able to grow now in ways I wasn’t able to do before. I realized that its really about…

What hashkafa motivates you more to get the job done- to attain both a connection with Hashem and to keep halachos properly. 

Some people can be so passionate and love Hashem so much that they want to keep halacha. Others just need to know logically that this is what we need to do, its in our best interests for the long run, and will use every halacha they do to connect more with Hashem.

I am the latter. I have a goal in my mind, I know logically why this is the right goal, and a picture of who I want to be. To get there, I need to work on myself and use every halacha and time I do any mitzvah to connect to Hashem. Without connecting it to Hashem it feels kind of pointless, it’s like if I’m working hard to do something I might as well do it with meaning. What motivates me is my goal, but without originally having a connection to Hashem it wouldn’t work for me. I needed to first have a good connection to God (as someone to trust and talk to) and refer to it on a daily basis before I connected that connection to halacha.

So that’s my hashkafa post. Comment down below and feel free to email me. Did you like the way I detailed and organized it? Please let me know!

Keep in touch!!!


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