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24 Teves: Rav Dessler's Yartziet

Rav Dessler is one of the the most quoted Gedolim on our forum. So many things that he writes pertain to our struggle with the Yetzer Hara.

GYE Corp. Thursday, 02 February 2012

Here are a few posts from the forum:


The Michtav M'Eliahu (R. Dessler zt"l) writes that the mind is like a vast empty field. This field will not remain empty. If you do not fill it with good positive thoughts or busy yourself with something, whether it be learning, working, etc, the yetzer harah will surely fill all of this empty space.


Rav Dessler writes in his Michtav Eliyahu that when people create goals for themselves, it is of utmost importance that they create two opposite goals. One goal is for aiming to reach further top. The other goal is for a RED LINE, not to reach below it. In other words, one needs a "range"; not to fall below a certain rung and to try reaching a certain height. This will ensure, Rav Dessler explains, that just because a person didn't reach the height he set out for, it is a lot less likely that he will give up. Why? Because he DID accomplish another goal of his, namely by not falling beyond the lower goal of a red line!


R Dessler ZT"L explains that whereas we know that one is always influenced by his surroundings, however, if he succeeds in going against the tide, then the environment has the opposite effect on him.

Esav resisted the influence of Yitzchak and Rivka and became the epitome of evil. Ovadia resisted the influence of Achav and Ezevel and thereby elevated himself tremendously.

This made me think that even though being exposed to certain Yetzer Haras is dangerous - and we don't want them, however, if we are confronted by them and resist, we can reach much higher Madreigos!


Yakov Shwartz writes:

Rav Dessler writes (pt 5, page 23): "The greatest revelation of G-d is in the most private places. Through privacy and secrecy comes revelation. When a tzadik is tested, and especially in private areas of his life and eventually succeeds, he is bringing down kavod shamyim to the world."


"Mevakesh" wrote:

Chaza"l say that when one says Krias Shema he should gaze at his Tzitzis. Seeing his Tzitzis (which were blue from Techeiles in the time of Chazal) will make him think of the sky, which is blue, and thinking of the blue sky will lead to thoughts of Hashem who made the sky, which will lead to thoughts of serving Hashem, etc...

Somebody once told Rav Dessler Zt"l that he doesn't understand the above Chaza"l. Which person, he asked, when he sees his Tzitzis will have this whole domino effect in his mind to lead him to think of Hashem?! That is so far fetched!

Rav Dessler responded: Chaza"l say that one should not walk behind a woman, as walking behind her will lead him to think about her, and thus to think about other women and thus to think of sinning, and eventually lead him to sin. Asked Rav Dessler, "Can you identify with that thought process?" When the man responded in the affirmative, Rav Dessler explained: A persons thoughts go in the direction that the person is heading, in the direction that his heart leads him! If you are a person heading in the direction of sin, everything you see, hear or say can easily lead to thoughts of sin! If you are a person heading in the direction of Hashem, then everything you see, hear or say can easily lead to thoughts of Hashem!

"Shomer" once posted on the forum:

Just wanted to share something I saw in the Michtav M'Eliyahu from Rabbi Dessler z"l.

Chazal tell us that "im puga buch menuval ze, mashcheyhu l'bais medresh" (If you encounter this 'mevuval', drag him to the bais medresh). Rabbi Dessler is medayak in the lashon of this statement and asks ... why does it say if you encounter this 'menuval'. It should say if you encounter the yetzer hara, drag him to the bais medresh?

Rabbi Dessler goes on to explain that in order to fight the yetzer hara, you must first realize that he is a 'menuval'. Rabbi Dessler elaborates that the yetzer is "oseh meseh nivlus" (performs actions of nivlus). The yetzer promises a person that he will bring them satisfaction and contentment, but leaves them only with sorrow and despair. There is no bigger Nivlus than that.

"Steve" writes to a newcomer:

I can tell from your story that you have an amazing inner strength, just waiting to be proven to yourself. Hashem has answered your tefillos and brought you to this site, the one place on earth that is filled with friends that are going to help you achieve FREEDOM from the urge to lust. Do you have a teivah to turn on a light switch on Shabbos? No? That's because it is beneath your "bechira point" as Rav Dessler would say. Would you believe me if I told you that you can get to a place where the urge to Lust and Act Out would fall back beneath your bechira point just like those other aveiros that don't even touch you? It's TRUE!! THAT'S the FREEDOM you will hopefully find through GYE and the 12-Steps.

"Eye.nonymous" writes:

Rav Dessler says: We don't give to someone because we love them; we love them because we give to them. (In fact the word "Ahava" comes from the root "Hav" which means to give!)

"Ovadia" writes:

The Navi Zecharia prophesied that when Moshiach comes there will be a great Hesped (according to some, this will be for the death of Mashiach Ben Yosef, while others say that this will be for the demise of the Satan/Yetzer Hora who will be killed by HaShem). The Pasuk tells us that at this Hesped the men and women will be seated separately. Rashi stresses that this is in the atmosphere of a Hesped, where one is certainly not lightheaded, and at a time when the Y"H will have been eradicated, and yet it will still be necessary for a separation between men and women, for fear that people will "fall". Rav Dessler ZT"L says that from here we see that once a person has been exposed to a particular Y"H, he is forever more prone to be triggered by that Y"H even if he has worked on himself and done complete Teshuva, and the ONLY thing that can help is a Mechitza (or a filter).


"Kedusha" writes:

I saw this quote from Rav Dessler in a great article by Dr. Benzion Sorotzkin about the Psychological factors in sexual acting out: "Hashem gave the Yetzer Horah the power to create illusions that resist the lessons of experience."

"Trying" writes:

In the Michtav Me'eliyahu, Rav Dessler says that the true separation of the shechinah from the Jewish people is not demonstrated by the ruin of the Beis Hamikdosh. The destruction was only a symptom and sign of the fact that the Jewish people had already severed the connection to Hakodosh Baruch Hu in their hearts.

He writes that recognition of Hashem in a person's heart is the definition of Hashem dwelling amongst Klal yisroel. It says "V'shachanti besocham - and I shall dwell in their midst". "besocham" means "within them" - within each and every individual Yid.

There can be a severance of connection, a galus of the Shechinah, from each individual Jew, and also a galus of the shechinah from the entire Jewish people... c"v. When this state spreads throughout the nation, then there is a churban.

This is the churban that we should be crying for.

He goes on to say; If someone feels pain due to his lack of attachment to Hashem, and the pain is so profound that it brings him to tears, then he has already achieved a re-attachment between himself and HaKadosh Baruch Hu.