Hashem is One
There are many deep and esoteric levels of comprehension when it comes to the Mitzvos of Emunah – Faith, and the Mitzva of Yichud Hashem – the unification of Hashem. I would like to try and offer some original thoughts that can perhaps help bring these lofty concepts a little more down to earth, and explore how we can apply them in our struggles with the Yetzer Hara. Maybe if we have a better comprehension of these concepts, we can then work towards the right perspective to have when facing the battles of our Yetzer.
How to apply these ideas to Shmiras Einayim and Shmiras Habris:
When we are pulled to look at things we shouldn’t or towards forbidden desires, we must remember this Pasuk. אם תקום אלי מלחמה בזאת אני בוטח,אחת שאלתי מאת ה'. “If a battle comes upon me, I will trust in this: “ONE” I have asked from Hashem.” In other words, when we truly believe that Hashem has only ONE interest in mind at all times - that He is always providing us with all our needs, and that He is the ONE and ONLY provider, then how can we try to take pleasures outside of what He is providing for us? It is actually a form of blasphemy for us to seek to “take” - in whatever small way - pleasures that Hashem doesn’t deem fit to give us right now. Because when we do, what is really happening deep down in our hearts is that we are believing in other gods (or godessess?) who we think can provide our needs OTHER than Hashem.
The Zohar states that when Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai would pass by beautiful women with his students, he would urge them to avert their eyes and would recite the Pasuk “אל תפנו אל האלילים – do not turn to other gods.” When we look where we shouldn’t, in our subconscious minds we are denying that Hashem is the ONLY provider or our needs, and that He is taking care of us completely and has only our very best interest in mind at all times. Because right now we are attempting to take the care of ourselves into our OWN hands by seeking pleasures outside of what He has deemed fit to give us at this very moment. We are attempting to receive “good” from a “provider” that is OTHER than Hashem.
So the more we work on our Emunah that (a) Hashem is only טוב ומיטיב and only has our very best interest in mind at all times and (b) that He is the ONLY source of all good and there is no good outside of what He provides for us, then the easier we will find it to throw away any selfish desires that counter Hashem’s will, and put ourselves completely into His loving care instead.
These yesodos are actually the spiritual basis for the 12-Step program, as well. When we internalize that G-d truly cares for us and has only our very best interest in mind at all times, we can then let go of even the biggest battle of will of all time – that of ‘Addiction’ (which is really just the desperate need to care for ourselves) and throw it all into G-d’s hands instead with complete abandon. And wonder of wonders, when we do this, we find that He really does take care of us!
May Hashem help us always live this way, especially now in Elul which is Roshei Teivos אני לדודי ודודי לי, and also the time when we say every day the Pasukאחת שאלתי מאת ה'. And may we all be zoche to a כתיבה וחתימה טובה!