Friday, November 30, 2007

Parshas Vayeshev, Shishi - Part II

(Painting by Pieter Bruegel)

Before my meeting with the Sudilkover Rebbe, I asked him about the a teaching supposedly attributed to the Arizal and the Vilna Gaon in which it says that a person can uncover the purpose of why there neshoma was sent down to this world by looking into the parsha and section corresponding for the day they were born. He told me in a phone conversation that the issue of one's tikkun and its connection to the parsha is an extremely complex issue and he said he wanted to speak with me in depth before he could give me his opinion.

I told the Rebbe that I was born on Friday, 25 Kislev 5733 and that this corresponded to the shishi section of Parshas Vayeshev. When I took a look in a Chumash at this section, I found that it dealt with the temptation of Yosef HaTzaddik by Potiphar's wife. For me, it appeared that there is certainly a connection between my suggested tikkun in Parshas Vayeshev, shishi and what I perceived one of my greatest taivas to be.

While I never outright slip in this area, in the area of shmiras einayim sometimes I let my eyes linger one second too long or let a thought linger too long before pushing it out of my mind. I know that for me this taiva continues to be a challenge that is difficult to uproot for me.

When we broached this topic in our three hour conversation, the Sudilkover Rebbe asked me how my relationship was with my wife. I replied that it was fantastic and that I was blessed to have such a wonderful wife. The Rebbe then asked me if my wife knew that I felt this way and asked whether I ever expressed these feelings to my wife. I replied in the affirmative; that I told her every day. The Rebbe told me that he had asked me this question, because if indeed my tikkun was bound up with this taiva, I would have answered that indeed there were problems between my wife and myself.

The Rebbe then told me that the Arizal said this taiva is something that every person struggles with since it is THE nisayon of our generation. The Rebbe related that the Arizal taught that the neshomas of our generation are actually gilgulim of neshomas from the Dor HaMabul (generation of the flood) and Dor Haflaga (generation of dispersion after the tower of Bavel). These generations were characterized by the depravity they exhibited with matters between men and women and it thus no wonder why our generation struggles so greatly with these issues.

He said that while I might interpret Parshas Vayeshev, shishi as applying specifically to my life, that it was not so simple since it applies to everyone; that what I interpreted as a suggested tikkun was not necessarily the case based upon the fact that I had a healthy and loving relationship with my wife.

Our conversation on this topic ended and never got around to identifying the tikkun. Instead we returned to speaking about the necessity of finding only the good points in everything.


At November 30, 2007 at 7:08:00 AM EST, Blogger Alice said...

Wasn't he an astounding painter?

At November 30, 2007 at 2:41:00 PM EST, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Parhaps part of your tikkun is to admit that this is your tayvah?
It is something that most people struggle with at some point, yet are not so forthright to admit.
Just my 2 cents.


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