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Daily dose of clarity
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A Board for Yidden who are not as addicted, and for whom Torah/Chizuk/Chassidus can still help them stop.
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TOPIC: Daily dose of clarity 329 Views

Daily dose of clarity 13 Oct 2020 17:42 #356087

  • wilnevergiveup
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I am starting a new thread in order to post Torah thoughts and ideas based on Rav Dessler's "Michtav Me'Eliyahu". 

My Hope is to be able to gain more clarity on the various topics he discusses by taking out small parts and summarizing them in my own words.
Check out My thread  and The Truth

Daily Dose of Clarity

(עשה רצונו כרצונך (אבות,ב:ד

Feel free to email me  wilnevergiveupgye@gmail.com

Re: Daily dose of clarity 13 Oct 2020 18:00 #356089

  • wilnevergiveup
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I am starting in the middle but the first question I want to address is, how do we understand the concept of מקום שבעלי עומדין צדיקים גמורים אינם עומדין, what does this really mean? Does it really mean that someone who does teshuva is greater then someone who never sinned in the first place?
Not only that but the lashon is tzadikim gemurim, it's not just someone who didn't do this specific aveirah it's referring even to the greatest of the great!

Does this mean we should all try our best to be nichshal in order to then do teshuvah? Then we can reach a much greater level, or at least so it seems...
Check out My thread  and The Truth

Daily Dose of Clarity

(עשה רצונו כרצונך (אבות,ב:ד

Feel free to email me  wilnevergiveupgye@gmail.com
Last Edit: 13 Oct 2020 18:02 by wilnevergiveup.

Re: Daily dose of clarity 14 Oct 2020 09:34 #356165

  • wilnevergiveup
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Rav Dessler explains this concept with a moshul. Imagine two people are standing by a ladder one is healthy and strong and the other is a cripple. The goal is to reach the top of the ladder and the healthy one starts climbing until he reaches the top, it's not an easy climb but he does it. 

The cripple on the other hand has no legs to carry him up, so instead he cries out for help. The master then comes and carries him up to the top.

Now lets try to figure out what's going on here. The goal obviously is to reach the top and the goal was reached by both of them equally, but say the goal was to climb the ladder in order to reach the top, then only one of then succeeded.

In the real world, the tzaddik gamur spends his entire life doing the ratzon Hashem by doing mitzvos and fighting the yetzer harah, he climbs the ladder one rung at a time until he reaches the top. He spends his entire life doing G-d's will and he reaches a very high level because of his own hard work.

The ba'al aveirah on the other hand spend his time rebelling against Hashem and chasing after selfish desires, even when he tries to change he can't climb the ladder because nebach he destroyed his legs.
So what does he do, he cries out to Hashem to accept his teshuvah, to bring him back and to bring him close. 
If he is sincere, his teshuvah will be accepted, but he still doesn't have working legs rather he is lifted on the shoulders of someone who can climb on their own and that's how he gets to the top, with a special heavenly help.

They may be standing in the same place but who actually did the ratzon Hashem on a greater level? Surely it's the tzaddik, after all he got to this place through a lifetime of work and sacrifice for the will of Hashem whereas the ba'al teshuvah was propelled there with a special heavenly help.

If this is true, we are left with our original question, how do we understand the ma'amar chazal "The place where ba'alei teshuvah stand tzadikim gemurim don't stand"?

The answer to this question requires a little more background on how Hashem runs the world and our role in it. 

The purpose of this world is to reveal the glory of Hashem. The primary way of accomplishing this is by sacrificing our will in order to do the will of Hashem. This is the way of a tzaddik he reveals Hashem's glory through his actions.

But there is another way, and that is by our seeing the way Hashem conducts his world. Even though we are not directly revealing Hashem's glory this way, it can in part be credited to us because it happens as a result of man.
This is the concept, now let us try to understand it with regards to the sinner. The sinner spent his life essentially obscuring Hashem's glory (by doing the opposite of what reveals it). Even when he decides to do teshuvah his good intentions still fall short of anything to repair all the damage that he has done and his efforts are ineffective and insignificant.

However as chazal teach us, open up a hole like a pinhead etc. when someone cries out to Hashem with real teshuvah, even though his efforts hardly amount to a pinhead, he is granted siyatah dishmaya of an unimaginable degree. 
Now this is incredible, Hashem gave us the ability to do teshuva and reach levels, that essentially take a lifetime free of sin, and sacrifice for the will of Hashem to accomplish. We destroyed our legs and Hashem carries us up on his back.

When We do teshuva, we reveal a part of Hashem's glory that the tzaddik gamur does not reveal and that is the unbelievable chessed of teshuvah. The small part that the ba'al teshuva plays in this revelation of Hashem's tremendous chessed is something that the tzaddik gamur cannot achieve.

This is also why the mishnah uses the term tzadik gamur, someone who never sinned.

Sometimes you hear people say, let me just do the deed and I will do teshuvah later. Sometimes you even hear people saying, “let me first see what it’s like, if I know what it is and then I realize that it’s empty, it will be much easier for me not to want it”. After all, we find that ba’alei teshuvah are usually stronger in their commitment, this can be because they know that they are not missing out.


After what we have learned, we can see how this line of thinking is flawed. First of all, when we actively pursue pleasure, we are training ourselves to have more desire. More importantly though is the fact that we really can never make up for lost ground. We can never fully recover, we will never be like the tzaddik gamur who is untainted and pure in his service to Hashem. 

Another point is that we must realize the importance of crying out to Hashem in teshuvah. Sometimes we want to feel like the tzaddik gamur when what we really need to be doing is seeking help. We need to be aware that we are crippled and that our role is through the path of teshuvah. This path requires seeking the Help of Hashem, as well as the help of those who can guide us and help us climb that ladder.

Check out My thread  and The Truth

Daily Dose of Clarity

(עשה רצונו כרצונך (אבות,ב:ד

Feel free to email me  wilnevergiveupgye@gmail.com
Last Edit: 30 Nov 2020 19:32 by wilnevergiveup.

Re: Daily dose of clarity 14 Oct 2020 14:24 #356180

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Wow! This is very interesting! Thanks for sharing and I'm looking forward to hearing more.

By the way, I just wanted to point out that the Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva and the sefer Tomer Devorah both learn this teaching literally, that the baal teshuva is actually higher than the tzaddik gamur, and they give reasons why. (That's why I have it in my signature, lol.) Obviously Rabbi Dessler is going like the rishonim who don't agree with them.
In the place where ba’alei teshuva stand, even pure tzaddikim who never sinned cannot stand. (Rabbi Avohu, Brachos 34b)

Great free resources:
My favorite book for breaking free: The Battle of the Generation 
https://guardyoureyes.com/ebooks/item/the-battle-of-the-generation. Change your attitude and change your life!

Rabbi Shafier's incredible lectures on breaking free: The Fight. Download here: 
https://theshmuz.com/series/the-fight/
Last Edit: 14 Oct 2020 14:25 by Captain.

Re: Daily dose of clarity 14 Oct 2020 15:21 #356182

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Very interesting.  It is obvious that you send a lot of time and thought into writing this.  Please keep them coming. 

Re: Daily dose of clarity 16 Oct 2020 13:46 #356315

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I would like to address the question of suffering, pain and evil in this world. If we assume that suffering is a punishment for our evil actions then why do we find that even good people suffer?  Even if we say that they are suffering for something that they did in the past, how do we explain so many evil people who seem to be prospering, surely they deserve punishment and should therefore see the most suffering? 
Why do bad things happen to me, is it a sign that I am a bad person? If so, why does it happen when I am on the way to do something good, or right after I commit to change my ways for the better. 
If everything that Hashem does is just, how does any of this make sense?

These are some of the questions that bother many people and I will try to explain Rav Dessler's approach as best I can in the coming post. Because this is a basic question that many seforim discuss, I may take the liberty of also quoting Chovos Halevavos as well as Ramchal (we'll see how it goes).
Check out My thread  and The Truth

Daily Dose of Clarity

(עשה רצונו כרצונך (אבות,ב:ד

Feel free to email me  wilnevergiveupgye@gmail.com

Re: Daily dose of clarity 16 Oct 2020 14:52 #356316

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There once was a farmer who owned a horse. And one day the horse ran away. All the people in the town came to console him because of the loss. "Oh, I don't know," said the farmer, "maybe it's a bad thing and maybe it's not."

A few days later, the horse returned to the farm accompanied by 20 other horses. (Apparently he had found some wild horses and made friends!) All the townspeople came to congratulate him: "Now you have a stable full of horses!" "Oh, I don't know," said the farmer, "maybe it's a good thing and maybe it's not."

A few days later, the farmer's son was out riding one of the new horses. The horse got wild and threw him off, breaking the son's leg. So all the people in town came to console the farmer because of the accident. "Oh, I don't know," said the farmer, "maybe it's a bad thing and maybe it's not."

A few days later, the government declared war and instituted a draft of all able-bodied young men. They came to the town and carted off hundreds of young men, except for the farmer's son who had a broken leg. "Now I know," said the farmer, "that it was a good thing my horse ran away."

The point of this story is that life is a series of events, and until we've reached the end of the series, it's hard to know exactly why things are happening. That's one reason the Torah commands us to give respect to every elderly person – because through the course of life experience, they have seen the jigsaw puzzle pieces fall into place.

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?"
feel free to reach out @  ahavayirah@gmail.com

Re: Daily dose of clarity 18 Oct 2020 14:32 #356375

  • wilnevergiveup
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To answer this question, we must first have a strong emunah in the fact that Hashem is kol yachol and kulo tov. What that means is that Hashem can do anything He wishes and had He wished for the world to be free of suffering, it would be. 

Now, Hashem is perfect and completely tov so why would He make a world that is seemingly unperfect and full of suffering?

The answer is that the question is hardly a question in the first place. If we know that Hashem is perfect, then it follows that His creations are perfect. Even if it seems to us as imperfect, the master plan of creation is still perfect, it’s perfect according to Hashem’s plan. A perfect creation is a world that follows Hashem’s plan and the plan is for the world to be imperfect for us to perfect it. The existence of evil is not because of some flaw, rather it is part of Hashem’s precise plan of running the world.

Now let us discuss the role of suffering in this world. Many people have the questions based on a false premise. They ask, how can it be that the righteous suffer, if they live righteously, why is Hashem punishing them. This question bothers some people so much that they even question their service to Hashem asking, what's the point?

This line of thinking arises only because we have incorrect notions about the function of this world. As Chazal teach us, olam hazeh is like a proizdor (corridor) before olam habah, prepare yourself in the corridor so that you may enter the palace (Avos 4:21). The entire purpose of this world is to prepare ourselves for the next world and therefore this world must be viewed as only temporary.

Now let us think for a moment, If this world is only temporary and a preparation for the world to come, then it follows that the primary reward and punishment for our deeds will take place in the world to come and not here in this temporary world. This means that prosperity and suffering in this world are not rewards and punishments for our deeds, and therefore must serve a different purpose altogether.

To further illustrate this point, chazal teach us schar mitzvah bhai almah lekah, there is no reward for mitzvos in this world (Kidushin 39b). This is problematic because we all know that in the second parshah of krias shema, Hashem promises us that if we listen to the mitzvos we will receive tremendous berachah in this world. Isn’t that a reward in this world?

The answer is that Hashem is not giving berachah as a reward, rather as a way of enabling us to do more mitzvos, because the only reward possible for a mitzvah in this world is in fact the ability to do another one as it says schar mitzvah, mitzvah (Avos 4:2).

What does this mean exactly?

Rav Dessler explains that the goal of serving Hashem in this world is to receive the reward in the next one. We also know that one moment of pleasure in the world to come is greater than all of the pleasures of life in this world (Avos 4:22). Now let us think for a moment, if the reward for serving Hashem is in the next world, and there is absolutely nothing in this world (even if you combine all pleasure from the beginning until the end of time) that can even compare to one moment of bliss in the world to come, wouldn’t it be evil of G-d to repay someone in this world? After all, nothing in this world really compares to what’s waiting in the world to come.

There can only be one reward in this world, and that is the ability to earn more reward in the world to come and that is by being granted the ability to do another mitzvah.

Now let us briefly discuss what the reward for doing a mitzvah really is. The ultimate pleasure is to become close to Hashem and bask in His divine presence. The way we earn this is by working on becoming closer to Him in this world. This is done by overcoming our baser desires and performing the mitzvos, valuing the spiritual things that bring us closer to Him and despising physical desires that distance ourselves from him. 

Let us imagine someone, who spends his life working on becoming closer to Hashem each and every day. What do you think he would say if you told him that as a reward for all his work on overcoming his desires he is going to receive unlimited physical pleasure?

He would tear his clothes, and sit on the floor and cry! “Oh no! What am I to do now, I spent my life working on ridding myself of the pleasures of this world. I don’t care for any of this. This is no reward, this is a punishment!” 

For him the only reward is becoming close to Hashem, that is what he spent his entire life working towards. For such a person, it would be “indecent” of Hashem to give him any of his reward down here. 

Now let us get back to our question. The answer is that there are two aspects to the question. One is why do good people suffer and evil people prosper. That we explained is because the primary place for reward and punishment is in the next world and therefore what happens down here must serve a different purpose. The second aspect is, how do we actually understand the true purpose of suffering? If the primary purpose of suffering is not punishment, then what is it for? 

This we will iy”H discuss in the coming post.

Check out My thread  and The Truth

Daily Dose of Clarity

(עשה רצונו כרצונך (אבות,ב:ד

Feel free to email me  wilnevergiveupgye@gmail.com
Last Edit: 18 Oct 2020 19:49 by wilnevergiveup.

Re: Daily dose of clarity 23 Oct 2020 12:09 #356612

  • wilnevergiveup
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Chovos Halevavos (shar habitachon, perek 3) writes that first and foremost we must bear in mind the pasuk Hanistaros laShem Elokeinu… the hidden things are understood only by Hashem (Devarim 29:28). This means that we must be prepared for the reality that there are some things that we are just unable to properly understand.

There are many pesukim in Tanach that ask this question about why the righteous suffer and none of them offer an answer. This means that they were happy without an answer, because there was no satisfactory one. The ways of Hashem are hidden, we are creations are finite and limited in our grasp. Hashem is infinite and perfect, the finite cannot understand the infinite, it’s beyond our comprehension.

This being said, he goes on to name a number of reasons why the righteous may suffer and the evil may prosper.

This means that it’s important for us to know that there is a master plan while at the same time understanding that we never know exactly what that plan is. Even after we learn some of the reasons, we will still have no inkling as to how they apply to the specifics of each and every situation. As the passuk says hatzur tamim pa’alo ki kal derachav mishpat, Hashem’s deeds are perfect for his ways are just (Devarim, 32:4). Even if we don’t understand Hashem’s ways, the reality is, that we don’t need to in order for them to be just. (see Chovos Halavavos shar habitachon, perek 3 for the full discussion)

Let us now get into the question at hand. As we saw earlier, the primary purpose of suffering in this world is not as a punishment for our sins, if so, what then is its purpose?

Rav Dessler explains that as we saw earlier, this world is preparatory for Olam habbah and has no purpose in its own right (this doesn’t mean the world has no purpose, rather that the world has no purpose as an end, in and of itself).

It is Hashem’s greatest will for us to earn the maximum possible, in the world to come. What happens when we deviate from the path that leads to reward in the world to come? Hashem watches us with pity, he wants to help us return to the correct ways. How does anyone help a child who is veering from the correct path?

A good teacher knows to discipline his student, not to punish but to guide the student and help him grow. Chazal teach us, an irritable person cannot be a teacher (Avos 2:6), this is because a good teacher needs to be in complete control of himself in order to judge the precise amount of discipline to show each student. The only way to do this accurately is when the teacher has full control over his emotions. 

We see that discipline when precise, is the only method for turning a student towards the proper way.

Discipline must be given in a way that leave room for a student to learn how to make the right choice on his own. It cannot be too harsh; in which case he is not given another option. The student must be given a choice in order to learn how to make decisions. Hashem's discipline is exact and precise,  in order to push us to turn to Hashem, while still giving us the option to ignore the message. This ensures that we still have bechira.

Now, what happens when a teacher finds that after all the discipline the student still does not change? Does the teacher continue to punish the child? What would be the use of that, that would just inflict pain and suffering without any potential outcome. When it is determined that the student is incapable of responding to discipline in a positive way, any further punishment can only cause harm. This can only cause resentment, which will distance the student from any possibility of correcting his ways.

This is why we find sometimes completely evil people who seem to have no suffering, this is because they are beyond help. Any further deprivation of the good things in this world will immediately arouse his resentment and turn him even further from the path of truth.

What we are saying here is that when faced with a challenge, the purpose is to remind us to turn to Hashem. Every challenge should bring us closer to Hashem and every challenge is a special message from Hashem that he wants to see us grow. As long as we are alive, we can expect to be faced with difficulties. This is the nature of our purpose in this world, there is no stage where we can say, okay we fulfilled our purpose, now let me enjoy life because this world is not the main one. This means that we shouldn’t expect at any point a time designed for pleasure and enjoyment, not until we get to Olam habbah

The only time Hashem allows a person to live in this world purely for the pleasures down here, is when there is no hope for him to achieve anything for the world to come. Only when Hashem has completely given up on us can we expect to live a life of perfect bliss and this is not a state that anyone should want to be in. (see also Da'as Tevunos 7:2)

There is another concept related to this topic. Imagine if all the good people in the world would prosper and all the evil ones would suffer.

Any thinking man already knows that the ideas in his head from the Y”H are foolish. So why is he tempted to listen to its evil counsel? This is because of man's desires for worldly pleasures. Now imagine if all evil people were suffering and living terrible lives, how would the Y”H stand a chance? He already knows his arguments are false, and there are hardly any incentive even as far as worldly pleasures are concerned. What would possess someone to do evil, forfeit his place in Olam habbah, when there is nothing to be gained even in this world. 

In order to alleviate this problem, Hashem gave the Y”H special permission to take the wickedest people and give them all the blessings of this world. This would create the false image that the Y”H needs in order to sell his wares. Let us think for a moment, who would Hashem allow the Y”H to use for this ploy of his? As we explained earlier, suffering in this world is Hashem's tool to bring his children closer to him. Surely Hashem would only allow the Y”H to use those individuals that we spoke about before, who are beyond any help, the worst of the worst.

Check out My thread  and The Truth

Daily Dose of Clarity

(עשה רצונו כרצונך (אבות,ב:ד

Feel free to email me  wilnevergiveupgye@gmail.com
Last Edit: 30 Nov 2020 20:58 by wilnevergiveup.

Re: Daily dose of clarity 02 Nov 2020 10:32 #356990

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It's been a little while, I should probably change the title to weekly or monthly dose... 
This piece is really part of a larger one that I will hopefully get to sometime. Rav Dessler is dealing with the concept of how we deceive ourselves, how we are the last people capable of being honest about ourselves. It's a fascinating and clear argument about how we cannot trust ourselves about ourselves.

This is one way in which we can attempt to seek the truth within ourselves.


The mishnah in Pirkei Avos (4:6) says, halomed al m’nas l’lameid, maspikin b’yado lilmod ulelameid. V’halomeid al m’nas la’asos, maspikin b’yado lilmod, lilameid, lishmor, v’lasos.

The simple meaning of this is, if you learn the areas of Torah that don't teach you how to live your day to day life, you will not have the knowledge of how to live day in day out. Therefore, you will only have the ability to learn and teach. If however you educate yourself on the topics that teach you how to live day in day out then you will be able to live a complete life following the Torah, including lishmor, v’lasos, keeping and doing.

While it may be true that on a simple level, learning halachos and practical application will help a person in their day to day actions, there must be a deeper meaning in this ma’amar Chazal. After all, it is written in a perek that is focusing on talmud Torah in and of itself.

Rav Dessler writes that although learning the practical will help you in your avodas Hashem, the learning that will be a real game changer is the learning that will give us the tools to make accurate life decisions.

In our avodas Hashem, we constantly need to decide whether any given thing we are doing, is bringing us closer to, or further from Hashem. In order to do this, we act like a judge, who weighs the various sides and makes a decision based on his best judgement. In life we are doing the same thing, on the one hand we have our physical desires and needs, and on the other hand we have our spiritual needs. These two needs are always opposing each other and whenever something comes up, it’s to benefit one of these two needs. There are times when providing for our physical needs we are providing for our spiritual needs as well. This is where it gets tricky because our desires can trick into thinking we need more of it solely for the purpose of our spiritual growth. What is even more alarming is the fact that our desires have successfully disguised itself within us posing as us, “I need x” where our spiritual pursuits are stuck as an outsider, “no, you probably shouldn’t do that”. This should make a person quite nervous, how on earth can I ever figure out what I really need when the “I” in me is the force I am trying to get rid of?

This is an extremely delicate process that requires precise thinking. It requires us to negate our negios (bias) which will blind us in this judgement. Our primary desire is always our physical pleasure and therefore we will inevitably lean towards fulfilling them when making those judgements in our lives (think about it for a second, someone asks a question in halachah only after they have a desire to do the thing in question.

In order to carry out this delicate procedure, we need to train ourselves to aggressively seek the truth. The only way to do this is through the study of Torah. Torah is the ultimate truth and when we study it and follow what it says we can be sure that we are following the truth.

But studying Torah is more than just learning the facts of how to follow the truth. When we learn Torah, especially gemara, in order to figure out what the gemara is saying and to understand it properly, it takes us on a journey through all the various aspects of the subject before arriving at a conclusion. Usually even the final answer is difficult to understand. You only truly understand a gemara after toiling for many hours on aggressively seeking the underlying truth and picking away at the various options and possibilities. Real Torah learning is the ultimate training grounds for seeking the truth.

Now we can understand what it means halomed al m’nas la’asos. When we learn, we have to do so in a way that it will change the way we act and do things. This is done by learning in a way that aggressively pursues the truth and will be able to translate into our day to day lives. We need to use our learning as a training ground for how to seek only the truth when we make choices in life. If we do this, we will have the berachah of maspikin b’yado lilmod, lilameid, lishmor, v’lasos.

If we follow this logic, the area of Torah that is the greatest manifestation of al m’nas la’asos is the learning of mussar. Mussar when learned in a way that will change the way we make our day to day decisions will have the greatest impact on our ability to be mekayem lishmor v’lasos. This can be done by learning about Hashem’s presence in this world, working on emunah and bitachon, working on gratitude and really anything that gets us to think a little before we act.

I heard from a wise man that the goal of mussar is to change us from being robots on auto pilot to someone who does things because he actively chooses to. That's it, just to get us to start thinking, that is the first step.

Check out My thread  and The Truth

Daily Dose of Clarity

(עשה רצונו כרצונך (אבות,ב:ד

Feel free to email me  wilnevergiveupgye@gmail.com
Last Edit: 02 Nov 2020 13:34 by wilnevergiveup.

Re: Daily dose of clarity 26 Mar 2021 06:44 #366115

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Has the time come to bring this back?

Re: Daily dose of clarity 30 Mar 2021 18:27 #366174

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YeshivaGuy wrote on 26 Mar 2021 06:44:
Has the time come to bring this back?

Good question.

I started this thread to inspire myself and continued it to help others. Since it didn't seem like anyone was reading it anyway, I stopped posting. 

I still write, but it's not worth posting if no one is going to read it.

Thank you for showing interest.
Check out My thread  and The Truth

Daily Dose of Clarity

(עשה רצונו כרצונך (אבות,ב:ד

Feel free to email me  wilnevergiveupgye@gmail.com

Re: Daily dose of clarity 07 Jun 2021 20:08 #369586

  • wilnevergiveup
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I just saw something really nice from Rav Dessler (vol. 2 pg.46) that relates to our struggle and also connects with last week's parsha (Shelach).

Chazal tell us that after the chet of the meraglim Klal Yisrael began to cry. Hashem responded,  “you cried meaningless tears (bechiyah shel chinam), I will set this day as a day for tears for generations” (Sanhedrin 104b).

What was the bechiyah shel chinam? The passuk tells us that when the meraglim returned with the news they began relating to Klal Yisrael all that they saw, the giants, the fortified cities and how there was no way they would be able to take over they said “Surely Hashem hates us and placed us in the hands of the Amorites for us to be killed” (Devarim 1:27).

How could Klal Yisrael say such a thing such a short while after they witnessed the many miracles of yetziyas Mitzrayim and matan Torah? Was it not clear to them that Hashem has infinite power, chose them as a nation and was going to protect them? The Seforno explains that they felt that Hashem hated them because they worshiped idols in Mitzrayim. Therefore, Hashem wants to punish them by giving them over into the hands of the Amorites.

This brings us to a major question, if the reason Klal Yisrael cried was because they felt unworthy of miracles because they served Idols, why was their crying meaningless, isn’t that the crying of teshuvah? It would seem that their crying was for a good purpose, out of remorse for their rebelling against Hashem, what was wrong with it?

Rav Dessler explains that the whole story was a ploy of the Yetzer Harah. The feeling was a feeling of despair, rooted in a lack of trust in Hashem. The Yetzer Harah fooled them into thinking that they were feeling remorse, since the feeling of remorse and the feeling of despair are very similar. They cried, but it was not teshuva, it was despair, the feeling that Hashem gave up on them. Despair is a lack of trust in Hashem. There is no place for crying out of despair and therefore it was called bechiyah shel chinam.

What then is a meaningful cry? Rav Dessler explains that crying has a place when it is one of mourning a loss. When we reflect on our past and we see a loss of connection with Hashem, we should cry over the separation that we caused. This kind of crying brings us closer, causes us to reconnect and to build our relationship with Hashem. When Hashem responded by setting Tishah B’Av as a day of crying for generations, it was not a punishment, rather it was the tikkun for the meaningless tears. The bechiyah l’doros is not the same crying at all. Hashem set a day in history that we can utilize as a day to mourn the separation we caused between us and Hashem. When utilized properly, we mourn over the loss and we thereby bring ourselves closer. These are healthy and meaningful tears.

Rav Dessler explains further that when crying meaningful tears, we should right away be compelled to connect and grow closer to Hashem. This is why immediately following Tishah B’Av are the seven weeks of nechamah. As we grow closer to Hashem following our deep remorse, we are truly worthy of nechamah. The nechamah comes from the connection that we create when we mourn the separation. Mourning the separation that we caused, shows that we are pained by it and helps rebuild our relationship.

This is what the gemara means when it says “Whoever mourns Yerushalayim will merit to see it in it’s joy” (Ta’anis 30b). It can be asked, don’t we mourn Yerushalayim every year yet we still do not see it in it’s joy? The answer is that when we mourn the galus, the separation between us and Hashem, we bring ourselves closer and that itself is the joy of Yerushalayim, the joy of becoming closer to Hashem. The weeks following Tishah B’Av, when worked through properly, are weeks of joy because they are the weeks where we become closer to Hashem following the mourning of the gap that we created. The climax of this is Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when we become even closer to Hashem.

This is the proper place for tears. When there is despair and hopelessness, tears are meaningless but when there is a deep remorse and pain for what we lost and a great yearning to fix what we broke, those tears are the tears that will bring us back to Hashem. In our struggles, we must realize that when we feel hopeless and are ready to give up, this is not the charatah of Teshuva, rather it’s the ploy of the Yetzer Harah for us to give up hope. The correct feeling is that of mourning the separation that we create in our lives, in our relationships, and ultimately with Hashem. When we cry tears of mourning, we should feel the joy of rebuilding immediately. (See also Tanya ch. 21)

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Last Edit: 07 Jun 2021 20:54 by wilnevergiveup.
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