Monday, 15 January 2018

Stolen waters

by GYE Member (See all authors)

Rav Dessler (Chelek 1, page 42)brings a Gemara which tells of a man hiding in the walls of the house of a woman with whom he was having an affair. The husband came home and was about to drink water that this man knew was poisoned. At the point, the man jumped out and rescued the husband.

Abayei says: It is certain that the man did not commit adultery with this woman; otherwise, he would have wanted the husband dead.

The Gemora asks: Isn't this obvious?

The Gemora answers: I might have thought that he preferred the husband alive in order to enjoy the woman as mayim genuvim; km"l not so.

Tosafos asks: Maybe that is the case?
Tosafos answers: An adulterer is unaware of the concept of mayim genuvim yumtaku.

Explains Rav Dessler: The vast majority of lust is the desire to have that which is not ours. We tell ourselves, "If only I had it, I would be happy." Once we do have it, it is now under our belt and part of us and therefore not special anymore. If we truly understood this, we would not run after lust. By definition, one who runs after a married woman believes that if she were muteres to him, it would be truly heaven on earth.

As I sit outdoors (with my back and screen to the street) enjoying Day 45 (bli ayin Hara), I am in the process of internalizing that much of my life has been about achieving that which I don't have and then being bored once I acquire it. Whether in relatively innocent form - a better job, a promotion, a better car, a new position in the community - or in its more sinister form - the next image or story, the next lady-in-waiting (thank you Dov for that wake-up observation), or the next mb session - I have tended to always feel a lack for what is not yet a part of me.

I am working on realizing that true Chayim means recognizing and appreciating that I can give to the world that is external to me - give my all to the wife and children I have, to the job I have, to the friends I have; rejoice in their simchas and in the fact that they are building their own batim ne'emanim b'yisrael - and know that I am not missing anything; on the contrary, I am now able to coexist with HKBH and the world around me.