Saturday, 26 May 2012

Day 1: The Goal: Self Mastery

Part 2/3 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

by Miller, Rabbi Zvi (See all authors)

I want to control my eyes, but I feel that I haven't got the will-power. Is there a Torah formula that can help me?

You Can Count on Divine Assistance

Many people would consider Alexander the epitome of strength. Undefeated in battle, he was one of the great­est military leaders in the history of the world. He was also a highly educated man, taught by Aristotle. Yet, he lacked both the strength and the wisdom to curb his in­satiable eyes. (As we saw in yesterday's e-mail)

In contrast, the Mishnah (Avot 4:1) teaches, "Who is a man of strength? One who conquers his passions." Strength is defined as the mastery over one's desires. Our Avot, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov - were focused on spiritual pursuits and used their Torah knowledge to at­tain purity and closeness to Hashem. Unlike temporary world conquerors, they were true kings with eternal power because they mastered themselves. We, the People of Israel, have inherited their spiritual genes and dignified stature. The awareness of our intrinsic worthiness - and our royal lineage - inspires us with the confidence that we can rule over the lesser part of ourselves. The Torah gives us the wisdom to master our passions.

If the goal of self-discipline seems beyond you, it's important to know that you are not alone. There is a To­rah formula that shows us how to attain Hashem's help. Specifically, our Sages teach us that if a person wants to cleanse himself spiritually, he will receive Divine assis­tance to succeed. The yearning for taharah, purity, burns in the heart of every Jew. Once we begin to strive for it, Hashem will help us gain control of our eyes. This con­trol, in turn, will give us the key to control our thoughts and actions.

Today: Know that if you sincerely want to achieve self-mastery, Hashem will surely help you.