Tuesday, 04 August 2015

What is Teshuva Shleima?

This is a forum post from a while back.

Member Machshova Tova did, in fact, find a source for it in the sforim hakdoishim:

"The source is Gemara Yoma 86b:

היכי דמי בעל תשובה אמר רב יהודה כגון שבאת לידו דבר עבירה פעם ראשונה ושניה וניצל הימנה מחוי רב יהודה באותה אשה באותו פרק באותו מקום

It is also in Rambam Hilchos Teshuva 2:1."

 

by Obormottel (See all authors)

I think somewhere in the holy books (maybe Rambam) it says that you know that you actually have done tshuvo is when the same situation arises, you withstand the temptation this time. I'm sure Machshova Tova can find the chapter and verse and the exact loshoin, in fact I would be grateful if you did...

But here is a personal story from today.

I was in a check out line, and when my turn came, this pretty black girl behind the counter said: "Wow, you have beautiful eyes!"
Many, many years ago, I was in a check out line in a different store, in a different city.
When it was my turn to pay, a young and pretty girl behind the cash register said:"Wow, you have beautiful eyes!".
Both times, I said "Thank you" and modestly lowered my gaze. The difference was, however, that in that old story, my mind immediately started racing and spew out mad thoughts like "She's into me, she's making a move on me, I should ask her out, I gotta find out when her shift is over, and take her to a movie, and then have sex with her".
Why, with me being away from wife and kids in a strange town and having the whole evening to myself, it seemed like a really sound idea.
I paid and left the store, but the fantasy stayed with me for a very long time (so much so that I remember it today) and for the longest time I was beating myself up for not asking her out and missing out on an opportunity. I would often fantasize and act out with myself with the above scenario playing in my head.
Today, after acknowledging the compliment, I turned my head away, without further contemplation. When the de'javu became apparent to me, I prayed for that woman to have a peaceful day, free of either emotional or physical injury. And I asked Hashem to help me find in Him whatever I was looking for in her.
And then I remembered the Rambam....

I surrendered my thoughts this time and followed through on my willingness to not fantasize, and I think I redeemed those demons I created when I have been obsessing over an innocent compliment many years ago.