Saturday, 10 December 2011

Balance is a Big, Big Deal

by Dov (See all authors)

One of the worst problems we folks who run into zera l'vatoloh problems have (in my opinion) is the raising of issues that are fine details of yiddishkeit to the level of ikkarei ha'emunah/de'oraisah's. Many of us focus so much on mikvah and kavonos that we get lost in our own little isolated worlds of "avodah". I know I did. I was so busy with p'ratim of t'shuva and kavonoh that I was able to gloss over the fact that I was regularly using schmutz and engaging in horrible hirhur aveiro and behavior. I was clearly playing into the hands of the Yetzer Hara. I do not believe that much of what's dealt with in s'forim such as "Shomrei Emunim" (the one by R'A. Rottah) and Yesod Yosef are dealing with modern-type "chot'im", but with people who have temptations or were oiver a few times in some z'nus or z"l. My friends are Americans who are submerged in a culture of znus and who's track record is habitual and chronic. That's why I consider those s'forim obstructive to recovery (even for me b"H sober for a while) and do not use them, at all.

Perhaps this will explain why a bit more clearly:

I sincerely believe that replacing a focus on the simple basics of derech eretz with an emotional focus on higher madreigos of tahara and yir'ah is a common and ugly mishega'as that explains why many of us get nowhere for so long. Y'ravam ben nevat was a "shokul" - knew 129? pirushim in Toras Kohanim (not sure of the exact # - check Yalkut on that), but destroyed Klal Yisroel in avodah zara, at the same time. He balanced himself in dinei Shomayim - he thought. (Apparently it worked to some extent as Hashem invited him to walk with Him and Dovid haMelech in gan eiden if he'd just clean up his act. He never invited me!) I think that the "shokul" is a similar phenomenon to the addict who balances his tremendous guilt with intermittent and intense "teshuva" and with a few practices that involve "mesiras nefesh". It didn't work for me - except to perpetuate the problem and to poison my perception of my relationship with Hashem to a wild pendulum. Either crisis and agony (Take me back Tatty!!) or depression and ecstasy (You took me back yay!! We are soooo close!)... Have you witnessed this endless cycle?

Since getting sober, things are returning to some even-keeled perspective, b"H. Balance is a big, big deal. And the basics are everything for me, when I'm doing OK.