Thursday, 24 May 2012

Day 3: Commit to a New Beginning

Part 2/2 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

by Miller, Rabbi Zvi (See all authors)

Steve's Journal...

I've been thinking about what Dave said. He was so certain that Hashem would help me, and at the time, I believed him. But today, I almost lost my nerve and nearly abandoned my goal of winning the battle of the eyes. Not that I haven't been momentarily successful. The elevator in my office building is usually pretty crowded and, especially in the summer, this close proximity is a real challenge to a well-meaning Jew. Today, I stepped into the elevator and concentrated on keeping my eyes in check. It worked, and as I stepped out of the elevator, I felt pretty good about it!

But then another side of me - the cynical side - seemed to take over. "Sure you did it this time," an inner voice chided me, "but what about last week? You may as well give up now. You're fooling yourself."

I fought back. "Dave assured me that Hashem forgives the past. Old failures don't count," I told myself. To convince myself further, I pulled a paper out of my pocket on which I had written Rabbenu Yonah's powerful message about eliminating self-defeating guilt. Rereading it, I felt like Rabbenu Yonah had read my mind.

I needed to hear it again - to know without a doubt that Hashem is so loving and understanding that He will help me overcome fear, guilt, even past failures. Dave told me that Hashem will convert those failures into merits, because in battling them, I connect to a deep reservoir of kedushah.

Imagine that! It takes real love - love beyond human comprehension - for Hashem to forgive and help anyone who wants to improve. But He does. The Prophets and Sages have been telling us so for centuries.

I'm glad I decided to carry around that quote from Rabbenu Yonah. Today's near setback actually led to bolstering my resolve. I'm not giving up!

 

These e-mails are excerpts taken from the book "Windows of the Soul" by Rabbi Zvi Miller of the Salant Foundation.