Thursday, 22 December 2016

Same test, different time

by GYE Member (See all authors)

I am going to share with you an absolutely mind-blowing moshol that I once heard years ago from Rav Mattisyohu Salomon, Shlita. If I am not mistaken, he got this moshol from R' Elya Lapian Zt"l.

Imagine an Ehrliche Frum Yid travelling on business to the Far East. While he is there, he is nebach nofel benisoyon, and he is mezaneh with a local zonah.

He returns from his trip absolutely devastated. He decides that he is going to do the fullest teshuva. He flies to Eretz Yisroel and visits with Gedolei Yisroel, tearfully telling them of his terrible chet and asking them for a custom program of 1 year of teshuva. After the intensive consultation, he returns home invigorated.

He increases his learning. He intensifies his davening. He takes upon himself many safeguards in his everyday interactions with women.

Finally, the year is up and, as he had agreed in advance, he readies himself for the trip back to Eretz Yisroel to report back to the gedolim that he has done everything that they had told him.

He is in flight back to Eretz Yisroel when the flight is hijacked by terrorists who redirect the plane to the very city in the Far East where he had sinned. There is a life and death standoff for several days. Finally, Israeli commandos secretly fly in and successfully launch a surprise attack. All the passengers and crew are saved.

Now, arrangements are made to get the flight back on its way but due to administrative issues and security concerns, everyone is held up for two days, and they are told that they are guests of the Government and can use the time as they wish.

Now, this Ehrliche Yid has put in a full year of teshuva and will soon be back in Eretz Yisroel meeting the gedolim, so the last thing on his mind is looking for any problems that will ruin everything he has worked hard to accomplish.

So, he resolves not to leave the airport hotel, and he is convinced that all will be fine. That is, until the first night, as he is going through the hotel lobby to go up to his room, he meets the zonah with whom he had sinned. She greets him warmly, and he is instantly smitten.

If we were, chas vesholom, in that position, what would we say?

No doubt we would say, "Eibishter, how could you do this to me? I didn't want to come to this place. I put in a year of teshuva. I was headed to Eretz Yisroel to complete the mission. And You, Eibishter, brought me here. I even stayed here in the hotel and You, Eibishter, brought her here. If You are really determined that I should sin, if you want to treat me like Pharaoh and tempt me in ways that I cannot withstand to ensure that I continue sinning what hope do I have of beating the yetzer horo???"

But there is another way. If this Yid learns chovos halevovos, he knows that when a person is in a situation in which, under normal everyday conditions, he is unable to do a complete teshuva (for example, he has taken money and does not know who it belongs to), then, if he is really genuine in his teshuva, Hashem will make nissim to make it possible for him to do a teshuva that ordinarily would be beyond his means.

Says Rav Elya: The Rambam says that a complete teshuva is with that woman in that place, anything less is not a 100% perfect teshuva. But here's a real problem. How can a person ever do such a teshuva? It is absolutely forbidden for him to put himself in nisoyon, especially after he has already been nichshal! So how will he ever get this perfect teshuva, where he has the very same temptation and opportunity, when he has to take so many safeguards to make sure that he never ends up in such a situation???

Says Rav Elya: as the chovos halevovos said, if a person is really genuine, really sincere and really capable of being omed benisoyon, then Hashem will turn over velten to put him in that same scenario, no matter how unlikely.

So what would Hashem say to the Yid who finds himself so unexpectedly and so unlikely in the Hotel Lobby in the Far East with the very zonah with whom he had sinned?

Hashem would answer the complaints of the Yid as follows: "My son, you could never have done a teshuva sheleimo all on your own.

"You are not allowed to come out here and look for the very woman with whom you sinned. But I saw that you wanted a complete teshuva with every fiber of your being and I know that you are strong enough to be omed benisoyon and so I gave you this opportunity that you could not have had any other way. I turned over the Worlds, I made the terrorists hijack your plane, I put it into their heads to divert the plane to the very city in which you had sinned. When you resolved to stay in the hotel, I put it in the mind of the woman with whom you had sinned, to come here and meet you. All for you. All so that you could be zocheh to the most complete and perfect teshuva."