Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Holding My Ground

(Picture by Mitchell Jamieson)

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught [Likutey Eitzos, Machshavos v'Hirhurim:2):

"Before, when he sinned, it was because the temptation entered his mind and he succumbed to it. Now the thought is in his mind again, but this time he rejects it. So don't feel discouraged if you find all kinds of temptations and fantasies continually pressing in on your mind. They are actually providing you with the opportunity to repent and make amends for the damage done in the past. Today you have the power to master your thoughts and temptations. When you do so, the sparks of holiness which fell because of your earlier transgressions are released, and you are able to purify yourself."

Rebbe Nachman is teaching us that each time we are successful to dispel a sinful thought from our mind it is a rectification for an prior sinful thought that we allowed to linger in our mind. As I reflected upon this teaching, I wondered if I have spent over 30 years without dispelling such thoughts, would I need to spend the next 30+ years dispelling these thoughts to make a complete rectification for them and to have a clean slate.

I asked Rabbi Lazer Brody this question and he responded, "Not necessarily - a person that invests effort can do it in a very short time; depends on the effort you devote." His words gave me tremendous chizuk for my 40 day offensive. However, at this point I still anticipating a robust enemy counter-attack, and I feel that I am only holding the ground under my feet.

Perhaps the enemy is still preparing its ambush and is content with random sniping in the meantime as it prepares....


At July 3, 2007 at 8:27:00 AM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

As they say, "Your best offence is a good defense."

Strenthening onself with things like davening, learning, and awareness of what you do, say, and think will hopefull assest you. Hatlzacha and have a meaninful fast.

At July 3, 2007 at 3:16:00 PM EDT, Anonymous yehoshua halevi said...

the words of reb nachman here are superb. maybe put them on some index cards and have them in various places to refer to when needed. the idea of the old, inappropriate thoughts being opportunities for teshuva, for tikkun! wow...this in itself is a refuah.


At July 4, 2007 at 12:59:00 AM EDT, Blogger Batya said...

good luck
important quest


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