Monday, 18 May 2015

How can I rejoice with receiving the Torah?

by GYE (See all authors)

Question:

It's coming now kabalas hatorah, and I need a paradigm shift in saying "naseh venishma". I am being bothered by something that keeps coming to mind every so often, especially when learning about kedusha/aroyis or saying nase venishma to the whole Torah. Please don't judge me for asking such a question. I know a yid should know better, but I still get it in my head.

We told Hashem that we'll listen and obey the Torah, the Torah commands us to serve him with happiness, we say in krias shema "Bechol levovchu," chazal say "shlo yehu libchu chuluck al hamokom," but in my struggle with this I keep on asking myself 'I don't know what Hashem really wants me to do now', how does He want me to keep going without acting on my desires. Why has He put me here with all these billboards, women dressed inappropriately around me, triggers from all sides, etc. when He wants me not to act on it. I do believe Hashem is doing everything with purpose but I lose my right way of thinking here, I don't know how this situation works with my beliefs... I do want to accept the WHOLE Torah but I am still jealous of the people who don't have rules & laws of tznius, why can't I enjoy all these temptations? Somehow I can't find it in my heart to accept this besimcha. I know that the Torah way is the better way of life, but the uncontrollable impulse is slapping me in my face. My mind feels like in a washing machine going back & forth.

I wish I can get my perspective changed on this before yom tov.

Thanks

Answer:

It's almost erev Yom Tov, so I don't have much time to elaborate, but perhaps Hashem will put the right words into my head...

Indeed, the Yidden in the Midbar also weren't so happy with the Mitzvos of Arayos when they received the Torah. Chazal say "bocheh Lemishpechosam - al iskai mishpechosam - they cried about the issurim of arayos, which are perhaps the hardest of all the Mitzvos to keep...

But the purpose of the entire Torah and Mitzvos is d'veikus, as the Pasuk says: "And you shall cling to Him", to become ONE with Hashem. Hashem has no needs; by essence He is a "giver". If we are different than Him in our essence, if we are "takers" and not "givers", we can't be "davuk" with Him.

The Torah was given to us to help train us to want to be of SERVICE to Hashem and to others rather than living for the SELF. And indeed, as millions of humans around the world can testify, true happiness is only achieved when a person feels he is useful to others, his family, mankind, his people, and to Hashem. It is the calling of our souls. Those who run after their desires never achieve happiness, even if they get what they thought they wanted. All they get is a fleeting pleasure that quickly disappears and demands more - to fill the void left over... That is why Hashem who loves us dearly, gave us the Torah and Mitzvos. To help us learn to be a servant to the Almighty, to love our fellow man, to be selfless in our devotion to our G-d and to our people. This is the only thing that can bring us true happiness and fulfillment.

So while all the desires of the world beckon to us and we think Hashem is "mean" for not letting us have it all, in reality He is giving us the greatest gift of all. He is training us, as a father teaches his 1 year old son to walk, with falls and getting up, holding then letting go, again and again, teaching us slowly how to let go of the SELF and be like HIM, so we can become ONE with Him, the Almighty G-d; the greatest honor and joy of all.

(And those of us with addictions ruining our lives can achieve this awareness even easier than normal people. Because to break free and survive, we have NO CHOICE but to learn this secret - which is the underlying theme of the 12-Step program. For us it is not a madreiga, but a necessity, lest we lose everything precious to us).

So let us be Mekabel the Torah with great joy, and thank Hashem for this priceless gift... While all of humanity run blindly after pleasure never achieving it, and never achieving happiness, those who serve Hashem and live a Torah life are the happiest men on earth. As Chazal say on the Pasuk "Charus al Haluchos": "There is no true freedom besides for He who lives a Torah life". True freedom is freedom from SELF.

For more elaboration on this critical Yesod, see here.

May we all be zoche to accept the tremendous divine gift of the Torah with true love and joy, and ask Hashem to make us into true vessels for His holy Torah. Amen!