Last Chance

by the.guard (See all authors)

Hoshana Raba is the last chance of the year to make a difference in what is decreed for us in the coming year. Some people stay up all night learning, and some of the Teffilos are said with the Nussach of the Yomim Noraim.

What does this mean to us in terms of Teshuvah? We've done Teshuvah already so many times before, Elul, Slichos, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, yet we are still struggling and slipping. Why?

The answer lies concealed in the recesses of our subconscious minds. We say that we want to let go of the lust, but in our heart of hearts we are not really WILLING to let go of it. We have conditioned ourselves through years of self-medicating that lust is our friend, our escape. As much as we know that this is a lie, our subconscious mind doesn't fully accept that it is.

So what can we do? Is there any hope?

Well, the good news is that there is another side to our "heart of hearts". This side wants to be close to Hashem and knows that the lust is sheker and will bring us only pain.

But the Yetzer Hara / addiction seems so much stronger at times... How do we make the good side of our heart overcome the "messed up" side?

It all boils down to our eyes; the windows of our souls. As long as those windows are clouded by lustful images, whether from the computer or what we see in the street, our soul's true desires cannot shine forth. They are overpowered by the strong pull of the physical desires. However, if we can somehow manage to give our souls respite from the onslaught of lustful imagery which we allow in through the windows, the soul begins to shine and our true desires come forth in full strength.

The reason we find it so hard to "let go" is because we aren't willing to really stop gazing at things we shouldn't. If we could only find a way to control our eyes, we would find it much easier to control our Yetzer Hara/addiction.

In honor of Hoshana Rabba; the last chance for this year to really make a difference, we have to be willing to say "ENOUGH". On the day of "Last Chance", let's all make a FINAL DECISION.

I ask everyone on the GYE community to make a Kabala for just one week. (If it works well for you, consider extending the Kabala for longer).

If you want, you can say it in a lashon of Shvuah to make it stronger:

Shvuah that if I intentionally and consciously take a look at a female that I assume I will find attractive - with the intention of enjoying it - and she is indeed attractive to me, or if I take a second look at a female that I found attractive with the intention of enjoying it, I will donate $1 to Tzedaka (GYE).

Some disclaimers to say Toch Kidei Dibur:

  • If I forget that I made the shvuah, I will not have to pay. And even if I just forgot temporarily or did it out of habit or without thinking, I will not have to pay unless I am sure that I will have to pay before I do it and I still consciously do it - with the awareness that I will have to pay as a result.
  • If I forget I owe the money, I will not owe it
  • This shvuah should not apply if I need to speak to a female or a female is speaking with me, or to a crowd I am in.
  • If I have any doubt if I have to pay, for example, if I am not sure that I gazed intentionally while remembering I will have to pay, I will not have to pay.

If you make this Kabala, you will find it so much easier to just turn away. Guaranteed.

Note: After Yom Tov, it is suggested to keep a small note-pad and pen in your pocket to keep track of the slips.