The true good that a person can achieve in This World occurs when a person is joined to Hashem.
Rav Miller continues to explain on page 3:
...to remain joined always in his thoughts to Hakodosh Boruch Hu.
It means that whatever you’re accomplishing in life, your true success will be measured by how much you train yourself to think about Hakodosh Boruch Hu.
The reason is: This is a war.
"This is the most difficult of all battles," Rav Miller declares.
Bagel & Lox, Plus Donations to UJA, Will Lose the Battle Every Time. It's Like Arming a Soldier with Cheetos Instead of Bullets.
It's a STRONG battle, states Rav Miller in the name of Mesilat Yesharim.
Fortunately, Hashem equipped us with the best weapons: mitzvot.
This is why it can never be enough to merely feel like a good Jew "at heart" or, as the Mendelsohn-influenced Jews of pre-WWII Germany believed "a German on the street & a Jew at home."
As Rav Miller explains:
...it's a pity on them because without mitzvos they are completely lost.
They are like soldiers who go out to battle without any weapons.
The ‘I am a Jew in my heart' Jew who expresses his Judaism by eating knishes or giving money to the UJA is a rachmanus – he has no chance on the battlefield.
Nobody is capable of fighting off the enemy with bagels and lox!
And that's how the Movement for Conservative (which is actually radically liberal) "Judaism" caused so much idealistic & smiley destruction.
The Reform did the same.
The difference is that many Jews in the Movement for Conservative (which is actually radically liberal) "Judaism" actually felt devoted to Judaism (whatever they understand it to be).
Reform was too compromised (and often too foreign) for them.
So many of them, particularly the older generation of men, display genuine enthusiasm for Judaism, especially for their favorite customs & observances.
Yet at the same time, so many of them intermarried!
And their children (of those who are actually Jewish, anyway) do even less & intermarry even more.
As the wife of one cantor in this movement told me, "None of the boys in our congregation married a Jewish girl. It's like the boys don't even WANT to marry a Jewish girl!" She said they davka seek to marry a non-Jewish wife.
And the "rabbis" of this movement created this mess by granting fake conversions.
Sure, they sincerely believed their conversions to be kosher.
But even the most superficial glance at the actual laws discussing conversion to Judaism prove these conversions could never be valid.
Quite a few (even the vast majority, perhaps) Jews in the previous generation would never have married their non-Jewish partner had not their "rabbis" created the opening to do so.
In fact, had not this treif opening existed, many would not have even bothered dating (or dating seriously) a non-Jew in the first place.
This why the past couple of generations created the phenomenon of a Jew dating a non-Jewish girl in the hope that she'll "convert" for him to marry.
They do this solely because the option of insincere "conversion" exists. (And that's only the ones who actually care. Many do not.)
It also needs to be said that some Orthodox rabbis leading modern & somewhat assimilated communities commit this same travesty. And just as described above with the Movement for Conservative (which is actually radically liberal) "Judaism," their young male congregants know they can bring home a non-Jewish girl for conversion for marriage (which is not valid according to halacha).
This has led to the widespread destruction of American Jewry outside the devotedly Orthodox communities.
This enabled a tsunami of intermarriage & assimilation on the heels of the Holocaust.
It also led to the odd phenomenon of someone with a Jewish-looking face & a name like "David Sorotzkin"—who enjoys the yearly Seder at Bubby's house—revealed as not Jewish at all. (And Bubby may not be Jewish either, although she may think she is because she "converted" to marry Zeidy.)
One person experienced with kiruv on campus said that in some areas nowadays, the Jewish-looking girl named Sarah Goldberg is actually an indication that she is NOT Jewish!
For the past couple of decades, Jewish Biblical names like Sarah, Leah, Abigail, Naomi, David, Jonathan, Joshua, Jacob, etc., appear within the 100 most popular names in America—among the general non-Jewish population. Combined with the Jewish surname of an intermarried father, the child appears Jewish, but is actually 100% gentile.
This all occurs when we drop our weapons in the midst of battle. (Or when we equip ourselves with only bagels & lox.)
One needs to keep Hashem in mind and commit oneself to the mitzvot.
Both the above-mentioned "rabbis" and their hapless congregants would never have committed the travesty of unacceptable conversions & intermarriage had they been truly devoted to mitzvot and kept Hashem in mind.
What Does It Mean to be Faithful to Hashem's Testimonies?
David Hamelech constantly mentions this category throughout Tehillim, emphasizing the importance of being faithful to Hashem's eidut (or eiduyot in the plural form).
On pages 7-8, Rav Miller offers wonderful suggestions for making your mezuzah your prized weapon against the yetzer hara.
On pages 8-9, Rav Miller tells you how you can effectively "weaponize" the following:
- the hidden Torah
On pages 9-10, Rav Miller explains how a destructive idea crept in—the idea of embracing the meaning of the mitzvah while discarding the actual mitzvah (being Jewish "in your heart" without properly keeping the actual mitzvah; focusing only on the spirit of the law—however you understand it—while disregarding the letter of the law).
On pages 12-14, Rav Miller delves into the meaning of tzitzit, how we can utilize them for personal greatness—including how women can too.
On pages 10-11, Rav Miller makes this interesting observation to help us understand what we're missing out of habit:
I was walking on King's Highway once and they were doing construction work.
As I passed by, the Italian foreman pointed to my tzitzis and asked, “What's that for?”
So I said, “It’s to remind us,” and I pointed to the sky.
“Oooh,” he said. He understood that.
An Italian foreman understands that we're wearing tzitzis to remind us of the One in the sky.
It’s a pity that what the gentile understands is ignored by us.
You know, if I were talking to a group of college boys and girls, way out let's say in Tulsa, Oklahoma and they would be hearing about tzitzis for the first time, I'd take out tzitzis and show it to them and they'd be amazed.
It would be an interesting thing to them – they never saw it before – and it would have an effect on them.
But when you talk to people who are all wearing tzitzis it's very difficult for them to learn what it really means because they think they know all about it – they know in the wrong way; they know it mitzvas anashim melumadah, as habit, but they think they know it all already.
And that's the reality we need to fight.
Hashem imbued the Jew with the ability to rise above nature—including his or her own nature.
It's not easy at all.
But just the act of TRYING (even if you don't succeed!) is considered tremendous in Shamayim.
A Weaponized Jew Takes a Lickin' & Keeps on Tickin'
Especially in such a long, strong battle, a soldier must expect to get hit every once in a while.
But he mustn't say, "Oh, I got hit! Well, that's it. I guess I'll just lay down and die now."
We need to get up and keep fighting the good fight!
And we need to really know that it really is a GOOD fight.
It's what we're here to accomplish.