Daf Yomi Kesubos 11
Rabbi Matisyahu Solomon tells the story of a young Israeli man who had tried every pleasure imaginable. One day he hears about a major rave taking place down south and he sets off to take part. He gets there and is about to enter when he sees a fellow wearing a kippah walking quickly past the dance hall doing his very best to keep his eyes glued to the ground so that he does not cast his eyes at any improper sight.
The young man is amazed: Here he thinks that he is encountering the highest form of pleasure he can imagine and for some reason this other fellow has chosen to get past the scene as quickly as possible. Where is he rushing to?
He engages the man in conversation, they strike up a friendship, which eventually leads to them learning together on a weekly basis. Today, the young man is an esteemed Rosh Yeshiva in Israel.
Rabbi Huna taught: The beth din (court) may convert a child.
Why does Rabbi Huna need to teach us this law? It is a merit for him to become Jewish and one may bring merit to a person even without their consent!
The Gemara answers: I might have assumed that a gentile prefers his freedom, therefore Rabbi Huna teaches that that is true regarding an adult, who has already tasted the forbidden fruit. But regarding a child, it would be a merit.
Most people, sadly, will go through life preferring their ‘freedom’ to the yoke of Torah. Why bother with mitzvos when you can go through life without all the hassle? They don’t realize that Torah isn’t a burden; it’s uplifting! It provides the ultimate pleasure! A life without purpose is a life chained to the hardship and pressures of this world. When you invite G-d into your life, you experience true freedom!
A life of Torah and mitzvos is not burdensome; it is invigorating! That’s why it’s a merit to convert a child. They are still pure and will have no regrets, only gratitude! If only we could all share that attitude! If only, we could regain our childhood innocence!
Living with purpose and knowing that G-d is guiding your life will take your breath away! May you merit the strength to overcome your temporal freedom to experience the ultimate freedom!