One of my favorite Chabad rabbis once shocked the shabbis dinner table by stating that he did not keep Kosher. A slightly scandalized ripple passed through the students, alumni, and visitors. How could this Orthodox Chabad rabbi not keep kosher?! Once the ripple had settled, he explained that he was raised in a kosher home and was never around non-kosher food or people who did not keep kosher until he was married and serving as a rabbi in Denver. For him, it was not difficult, it wasn't a stricture he had to keep; it was his way of life. But, he said to all of us in attendance, those of us who have made the choice to observe the laws of kashrut, we are the ones who keep kosher and fulfill the commandment. This struck me with the force of a revelation. All the decisions in my life had led to this moment. I was free to choose for myself, and I chose with all my heart. I chose to follow the commandments and honor the Torah. I chose to be a part of this community of faith.
Talia Davis serves as the Community Manager at Patheos, overseeing social networking, online discussions and blogs, and public relations. She has extensive training in theater and social media, and is currently pursuing a Master's of Applied Communications at the University of Denver.