Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nonexistent Free Time

I have been working diligently on my new project over the past two weeks since the time of my last posting. Even though I am waking up an hour and half before going to work each morning, I have found that I still don’t have as much time as I would like to. I devote the first hour to my daily learning seder and the last half hour to working on this project. While occasionally I am able to find small amounts of “free time” here and there throughout the course of the day, for the most part I am limited to just 30 minutes a day.

Yesterday, I was zoche to speak with Rabbi Tal Zwecker on the phone for the first time. In the course of our conversation, Rabbi Zwecker related to me how he had completed his translation of Noam Elimelech in his "nonexistent free time". Hearing this was a tremendous chizuk to me and also a reminder of the words of the Piaceszna Rebbe:

If you are willing to exert yourself, you will find storehouses of hidden time.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The New Tactics Of My "Holy" Yetzer Hara

My yetzer hara let me enjoy a few days of unbridled enthusiasm and energy as I started my new project before he unleashed his latest campaign against me. Understanding that I usually see him coming a mile away, this time he decided to approach me with an ingenious new guise; instead of attempting to stop me, he tries to shove me forward.

When I am davening, he will lean over and whisper a new citation from a sefer that I should immediately go look up. When I am learning, he will encourage me to put aside all the seforim that make up my daily learning seder and devote myself solely to my new project since working on it can also be considered as "learning". When I am at work, he tells me that I should ignore all the "profane" tasks assigned to me and use the time to work only on my "holy" project.

It has taken me a few days to finally understand that the "whispers" I was hearing did not originate from my yetzer tov. I resolved to push these whispers out of my head with both hands and to focus fully on whatever I was engaged in at the moment.

With Hashem's help, by doing this I will be successful and proceed with my project with the proper perspective.

Sitting In The Plate

Excerpt from Opening the Tanya:

It is told of the Saba Kadisha of Radoshitz that in his youth before he became rebbe, he was terribly poor and often had nothing to eat. One year, after he had eaten nothing from Yom Kippur to the day before Sukkos, his wife sold a jewel she had and bought candles, challah, and potatoes for the festival. When he saw the candles and challah on his return from the synagogue, he was very happy, recited the Kiddush, washed his hands, and sat down to eat. Being very hungry, he ate ravenously, until he stopped and said to himself: “Berl, you are not sitting in the sukkah but in the plate!”

Someone can be tending to the most basic needs of his body and with conscious intent be observing the mitzvah of eating in the sukkah, yet still be sitting in the dish and not in the mitzvah.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Eizer L'Shabbos - Sukkos Campaign

Secure online donations may be sent via the Eizer L'Shabbos website here.

New Book Releases From Breslov Research Institute