The Mishnah about Aharon and his "life motto" continues: לתורה ומקרבן הבריות את אוהב (He loved people and brought them closer to Torah). Let us explore for a few moments the connection between this aspect of Ahraon's life and his technique of validating people's feelings and perspectives. Many people have a passion to engage in Jewish outreach, and offer our brethren better lives through the observance of Torah and Mitzvot. The approach to Kiruv that I have adopted and have found effective might be called "the osmosis approach." Judaism is so beautiful that it does not need to be forced on anyone. Those who are non-religious usually have never gotten the right taste or feeling for it. People's values are always affected by their surroundings. By building a relationship of friendship and love, even without forcing the discussion towards religious matters, we can help the non-religious pick up many things from Judasim that they can relate to on their level.
There are, of course, those who use the approach of "Join us," or "Change to our lifestyle." This approach is usually more effective in outlying areas where becoming religious does not mean having to leave one's current circle of friends or social group. In big cities, however, where the non-religious often live on the same block as the religious community, they frequently cannot see themselves leaving their circle and connecting themselves with a circle they always shied away from. Aharon's method of "playing on their court by their rules" can be effective even in a situation like this. In our terms, this involves our perceiving what Judaism could mean to our non-religious neighbors and talking about aspects of Torah they can relate to. It might even involve just inviting them for a good Shabbat meal. Just by showing care and love, and validating the good values of the irreligious neighbor, one can build a bridge to the most distant of hearts.
If we understand what Aharon was all about, we will realize that we do not need to look too hard for ignorant or alienated fellow Jews into whose lives we can bring Judaism. And if we have proper ישראל אהבת , it may even be the neighbor next door.