What do you say about a Jew who responds to our trying to convince him to do mitzvos by saying, “But I am a Jew in my heart and that’s enough”?
Many times you experience that; you urge somebody to do this or not to do that, and he says, “But I am a Jew in my heart.”
So imagine that this “heart-Jew” went swimming. And he went out a little bit beyond his depth and now he has cramps and he is shouting for help. And the lifeguard is sitting on the beach and looking on.
So you say to the lifeguard, “A man is drowning!”
He says, “Is that so?”
So you tell him, “Don’t you want to help?!”
And he says, “Sure I want to help him. I want to help him!”
With a heart you are not going to save anybody’s life. Just because you want to help, a person is not going to be saved from drowning.
Life is expressed by deeds. The truth is that if a person really has something in his heart, he would express it by deeds. The fact that he doesn’t do those deeds that itself demonstrates that he is a nothing Jew — that is the very best evidence that it’s not in his heart. A man can’t look on while his fellow man is crying for help and say, “I really intend to help you.”
And so, the criterion of a person is not what he claims is in his heart, but what actually is in his heart. And the only way that a man can know if he is deceiving himself or not deceiving himself, is how he expresses that Jewishness.
Now, if a person is a Jew in his heart, but he supports let’s say the UJA; so he is a UJA in his heart; he is not a Jew in his heart. Supporting UJA doesn’t make you a Jew. If a person likes knishes and that is how he expresses his Judaism, so that doesn’t demonstrate that his heart is in the right place.
And therefore, the heart is only meaningful when it is expressed in actions. And when the actions contradict it, that demonstrates as clearly as can be that in his heart he is a nothing.
TAPE # 385