An Eitza Against The Yetzer Harah.
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- This topic has 281 replies, 27 voices, and was last updated 14 years ago by moish01.
February 9, 2009 5:02 am at 5:02 am #589350
We all know that we are supposed to fight our yetzer harah. Unfortunately, however, many of us fall short in this regard. Therefore, here is an eitza.
Actually, a higher level than fighting against your yetzer harah and winning is to not have to fight at all.
As such, for the many of us that either don’t fight or don’t win the fight, we can nonetheless develop ourselves to no longer need to fight.
For example: Lets say someone watches t.v. etc, and can not find it within himself to be deprived. Such a person can still tell himself over and over and little by little realize what a shtus it is, and eventualy ween himself off of it, or at least limit his use, and be happy about it.
Sometimes, you have to take the elevator straight to the top. In other words, if the middle stages don’t work, maybe the higher stages can work. On the higher stages, there is no deprivation, so it easier to swallow, in this regard.
Secondly, once we realize that the higher level has no deprivation, the fight (for the strong) is a little easier, because it doesn’t last forever.
On the other hand, we have to realize that the higher level requires an attitude overhaul of recognizing the truth about our upside down and empty world. And that is the beauty of it all!February 10, 2009 3:51 am at 3:51 am #639809asdfghjklParticipant
nossond: wow thanx!!! great thoughts!!!February 10, 2009 4:33 am at 4:33 am #639810JosephParticipant
Yasher KoachFebruary 10, 2009 5:29 am at 5:29 am #639811
nossond, have you looked out your window recently? what generation are you living in?February 10, 2009 1:09 pm at 1:09 pm #639812
It is exactly because I know whats out there that I wrote what I did. I know that people don’t fight the yetzer and can’t find it within themselves to be deprived. But why should this stop you from the truth that all our earthly desires are hevel havalim (emptiness of emptiness).
Even if a person does not change his behavior at all, but merely recognizes that what he does is the total stupidity of the yetzer hara, such a person has reached a much higher level and has done himself great good.
There is great beauty and relaxation and no deprivation when we realize the truth of the stupidity of worldly desires.February 10, 2009 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #639813yashrus20Member
Nossand- Sadly it easier said than done. BH we have a yetzer hara to test us in every situation, thereby giving us reward for passing and punishment if not. If it were so easy that theres a simple solution what right would we have to the schar for passing the test. To give us alot of schar the yetzer hara makes it hard (lifum tzara agra). Its not a simple solution by your right its a realization, but once youve come to the realization you have to be on gaurd. B/c just b/c youve realized what is fuetile does not mean at all it still wont be hard. Ex:I love learning and i know its emes and yet the yetzer hara still makes me tired or sick to stop my ritzifus. So i have to be constantly on gaurd. Rem. this is a test to see wether or not we go to olam haba or …so dont make light of the yetzer hara that a simple plan will solve everything. We should constantly be on gaurd, shivisi hashem l’negdi tamid ZE HAKLAL GADOL!February 10, 2009 2:49 pm at 2:49 pm #639814Proud JewMember
There is ONE & only ONE Segula:
Barasy Yetzer Hora Ubrasy TORAH tavlin Kenegdo (Kidushin 22:.
& of course eliminate some internet time should be a help.February 10, 2009 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #639815
” But why should this stop you from the truth that all our earthly desires are hevel havalim (emptiness of emptiness”
I have to disagree with you somewhat. Not all of our earthly desires are bad, nor are they hevel. Hashem gave us earthly desires for a reason. We are put ont his earth to enjoy the life we are given, and not to disdain the beauty and earthly pleasures that Hashem bestows. We even make brachas on so many of those things. The danger is in forgetting the source of this earthly pleasure and letting the desire for it prevent us from being Torah-observant Jews. To view everything as hevel, is to be a kofeh batov. So, I would amend what you posted to state that SOME of our earthly desires are hevel (the need to own more and more possessions,for example, when we already have plenty – i.e., three Lexuses in the garage when there is only one driver, a country estate in the mountains, E”Y, AND Florida, besides the fancy mansion in the Five Towns). Some pursuits are shtuss, it’s true,but to tar ALL earthly pursuits and pleasures with the same brush is not only unfair, it is a potch in panim kivyachol to the One who gives us everything we have and wants us to enjoy our lives within Torah guidelines. Yes, there is a lot of shtuss, but one man’s shtuss is another man’s appreciation of beautiful music, an exquisite painting, good literature.
When Shlomo Hamelech wrote hakol hevel, it was not meant to teach us that we have no right to enjoy life. We are on a spiritual journey and need to recognize that ultimately nothing is lasting but Torah. Beauty fades, we age, friends come and go, children grow up and go their own way, fortunes are made and lost. Nothing is constant except for the Torah. Appreciating the life that we are given, is a strong component of being able to live a Torah life. JMOFebruary 10, 2009 3:47 pm at 3:47 pm #639816
1) The realization alone is a good thing.
2) The realization alone does not make it that much esier to fight the yetzer until it becomes much more than a realization. The fight is only over when the yetzer becomes batul, and it may take a long time to get there, if we get there at all. But it doesn’t hurt or deprive us to enjoy some of its benefits.
oomis: If a positive thing is being done, then we have simcha shel mitzvah within the earthly thing. If not, then its pure hevel.
The earthly things in of themselves are hevel. What good is this earth if not for our path to olam habba. But because we use earthly things to become close to hakadosh baruch hu, they become positive things. We should never lose sight, though, that without a greater good purpose, they are empty pursuits of emptiness.
When shlomo said hakol hevel he meant the earthly thing in of itself, without the greater good purpose of spiritual things.February 10, 2009 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #639817
Lets say you eat a gishmakah apple. If all you want is the pleasure of the apple, it is hevel. But if you love hakadosh baruch hu and enjoy the life he gave you and are happy to be alive to enjoy his beneficence, then you have done a mitzvah. If you look deeply, the good aspects of anything earthly involve spiritual things.February 10, 2009 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #639818
nossond, great so i’m not an idiot – i do know that everything i do is stupid but there’s no way i could stop. i guess i’m just a gashmiyusdika guy. what does that make me?February 10, 2009 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #639819SJSinNYCMember
i guess i’m just a gashmiyusdika guy. what does that make me?
Fun 🙂 (ok for the zealots, I’m kidding)February 10, 2009 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #639820Pashuteh YidMember
I agree with Oomis. There are many great things we can enjoy, such as seeing the beautiful ocean, and a mother happy with her kids, and listening to a great violinist, etc.
The best eitzah I have found for fighting the yetzer hara is that we must remember that many people are suffering. If we waste time, we may have blown a chance to do a chessed, or cure cancer, or visit someone in the hospital.
We should get into the mindset that things that are asur are not asur to torture us, but because they will not make us truly happy. True happiness comes with accomplishment.
Also, many issurim can be viewed as helping us to realize the plight of the less fortunate. We fast on Yom Kippur to remember the hungry. We keep taharas hamishpacha to remember the singles. We keep Shabbos to be able to spend time with our family without having to worry about business.
Of course, no matter what eitzah you use, the yetzer hara is always a tough guy. But it’s easier when we realize that the Torah wants us to have a good life, not to make our lives miserable in this world.February 10, 2009 7:08 pm at 7:08 pm #639821
sjs, you know i didn’t mean milkshakes 😉February 10, 2009 7:18 pm at 7:18 pm #639822
Pashuta: All I was saying was that for the enjoyment not to be hevel it must touch on a spiritual component. Sometimes, though, the spiritual component is subtle. Other times, like when a mother or father enjoy their kids, the spiritual component is not subtle at all.February 10, 2009 7:31 pm at 7:31 pm #639823
moish: The more truth you know the better.
If a person is addicted to doing certain things, I have already posted to you on this issue, on the thread “why yidden are the best,” remember?
To sum it up, be on HaShem’s team and don’t let it stop you from doing as much good as you can. Secondly, don’t promote the addiction, but keep it as private as you can. Thirdly, remind yourself how worthless it is. Don’t let it define you. Let it be something your crazy yetzer forces you to do. Fourth, get comfy with HaShem, such that you can complain about it to Him.
All in all, the main thing I will re stress is: don’t let it define you.February 10, 2009 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #639824
got it. nut none of those things actually stop you from doing it. all you have is piles and piles of guilt.February 10, 2009 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #639825
moish- it doesn’t stop you, but get’s you to the next level. Once you get to that level you can go further… Make the first effort and Hashem will help the rest of the wayFebruary 10, 2009 8:07 pm at 8:07 pm #639826
i think the only thing i don’t have is Secondly, don’t promote the addiction, but keep it as private as you can.
and of course the last thing he stressed.
and where has it gotten me?February 10, 2009 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #639827SJSinNYCMember
all you have is piles and piles of guilt.
Then your mother has done her job! Don’t you know its every Jewish mother’s goal to make her kids feel guilty 🙂February 10, 2009 8:22 pm at 8:22 pm #639828
sjs – that’s what her point is?? jk – she never says anything. i think that’s her guilt tactic.February 10, 2009 8:25 pm at 8:25 pm #639829
If earthly things were hevel, Nosson, Hashem would never have said “ki tov” when He created those things.He looked in the Torah and created the world. The world is gashmio, but it is based in ruchniyus. And to be honest (and I try to be, even when I am ridiculed by some), I think it’s a little wrong to say those things are hevel.
I more or less think I know what you are trying to say, that we have to not put stock in things that are not important or of little intrinsic value, and always recognize what really IS important, namely, the brachos from Hashem. But don’t for one second try to convince yourself that the gashmiyus of this world is worthless. There is a reason for all things, and the original world that Hashem created was both gashmi and ruchani. Without one, you cannot have the other. If you are all gashmi, you are unable to connect with Hashem. If you are all ruchani, you are a malach. Neither of those things is what Hashem wants of Mankind in general, and Jews in particular. Because if He did, we would either not care about the Torah, C”V, or, as I said, we would be malachim.February 10, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm #639830syriansephardiMember
Nossond: ur 2nd comment got me thinking of: “hevel havalim amar kohelet hevel havalim hakol hevel!” Hehe I actually no some pessukim 🙂February 11, 2009 12:40 am at 12:40 am #639831
moish: if you didn’t promote it and didn’t let it define you, you wouldn’t have guilt.
oomis: I said they are hevel in of themselves without the ruchnius component invovlved with them. Secondly, they are hevel only when looked at with the strict eye of din. But when we take a more generous chessed approach, they are not hevel.
We find this by korbanos. The Torah says how the Cohen is holy because he offers the food of God. Tehilim, however, says that HaShem does not need our food. The gemarah in menachos based on the pasukim in tehilim and another pasuk states that HaShem thereby says that we bring korbanos for ourselves and not for HaShem.
We now have a contradiction. The answer is that with a generous chessed approach the Cohen is holy because he offers the food of God. But in the strict eye of din, HaShem does not need our physical food.February 11, 2009 2:59 am at 2:59 am #639832
nossond, true. but that means i wouldn’t care at all.February 11, 2009 3:43 am at 3:43 am #639833syriansephardiMember
Btw I wrote that only after I saw the first 2 posts, if I saw the rest I wouldn’t have wrote that lol!! Guess it shows I better read b4 posting!!February 11, 2009 4:06 am at 4:06 am #639834mw13Participant
oomis, of course the world that Hashem created is wonderful, and of course you should enjoy it. But remember, one second of Gan Eden is more pleasure than all the pleasures of this world, and CH”V one second is of Gehonim is more painful than all the pains of this world. So of course you should appreciate this world (which will help you appreciate it’s creator), but keep in mind that this world is just the path leading to the world to come.February 11, 2009 4:09 am at 4:09 am #639835
gee thanks, mw13. real comforting.February 11, 2009 4:14 am at 4:14 am #639836asdfghjklParticipant
moish: ha yeah!!!February 11, 2009 4:17 am at 4:17 am #639837JosephParticipant
Who said it is meant to be comforting?February 11, 2009 4:24 am at 4:24 am #639838Bais Yaakov maydelParticipant
i actually just heard s/t interesting today…perek chaf tes in bereishis…yaakov was able to lift the huge stone off the well after 14 yrs of learning and no physical activities where three strong shepherds were unable to and had to wait for help. i think its the ramban that quotes the passuk in tehillim that says “kavei l’Hashem v’yachalifu lo koach.” or s/t similar to that. basically that even if someone is physically at his weakest point, if he just trusts in Hashem then he will be given a meta-physical strength to go on—so at someones weakest point, if they hold on for one more minute or day even though they think they cant handle it…then Hashem will bring a yeshua to them and they will receive the koach to continue to fight the yetzer horaFebruary 11, 2009 4:25 am at 4:25 am #639839
Of course, MW13 we know that. But right now we live in THIS Olam, presumably we will not see Gan Eden until after 120 years. the idea is that we have to make the best of the world we live in, and live in such a way as to merit Olam Haba. we also have to recognize that we are in this olam to enjoy its beauty, not to deprive ourselves of that enjoyment. As long as we do so while following the Torah, it is what Hashem wants.
Re: korbonos – Of course hashem has no need for our korbonos. They are strictly for our own sake, to remind us of our Borei, and the Makor of all that we have. I had ateracher once who was a terribly messed up person from having lost his entire family to Hitler, in front of his eyes. He came from rabbonim, and his name would eb well-known to some of you. He once made a comment in class that G-d needed the “rayach nicho-ach” of Jews burning in the ovens, just as He needed the burning flesh of the korbonos.
Of course, he was being incredibly disrespectful of Hashem, and I called him on it. I told him that G-d does not need our korbonos, or anyone else’s. He needs for us to bring those korbonos, in order for us to recognize that but for His grace, WE could be the korbon, and that sometimes many of us deserve to be by virtue of our actions, and sometimes some of us end up being korbonos because of the actions of others that result in “collateral damage.” (I did not use that actual term, as it was not in use when I went to college, but I got the idea across). My teacher called me a “pompous ignoramus,” but for some reason gave me an A+ for the course. Go figure.February 11, 2009 4:53 am at 4:53 am #639840
joseph, it obviously wasn’t. you’re a real sweet-talker, aren’t you? (that was sarcastic, if you couldn’t tell)February 11, 2009 6:47 am at 6:47 am #639841
What you said about not depriving oneself of the enjoyments of this world is not exactly true. On the highest level of kedusha it is true that we should benefit from this world for the good reasons (spiritual components) already stated. In Jewish thought this is called “lhisanag al HaShem.”
This is why on Shabbos which is kodesh we are misaneg. Even though we may not be kodesh, Shabbos is. When kedusha applies, we are misaneg. The same is with kedushas korbanos, ain simcha ella bibasar shlamim. Since kedusha applies, we are misaneg without worry. When kedusha applies we assume that we will enjoy the thing for the right reasons.
But when kedusha does not apply, as in the other six days, and when we ourselves have not reached kedusha, then it says that prishus mayvi liday kedusha. We can’t automaticly assume that we will benefit for the right reasons. Rather, to get us to benefit for only the right reasons, prishus is the way.
However, prishus itself is a madrega and it can only be used by those who are ready for it. And the amount and type of prishus depends on where the individual is holding and what type of person he is. Nonetheless, people should engage in a little prishus during the week (except for shabbos).February 11, 2009 7:00 am at 7:00 am #639842
moish: not having guilt should not mean that you don’t care. You should care enough to not like the situation. And on yom kippur (at least), you can show remorse for it. The main thing is to not let it define you nor inhibit you. This way, you can have a more positive attitude towards yourself and do great things regardless of the things you may also do. As the moshol goes, losing one apple from the cart shouldn’t make you lose all of them.
We say in davening, ritzonanynu laasos ritzonecha ela shehayetzer hara meakev. We want to do HaShem’s will, but the yetzer hara stops us. This is the key to not defining oneself by the things they may be doing.February 11, 2009 6:37 pm at 6:37 pm #639843
if i would have no guilt then i’d have NO connection to anything whatsoever. that’s how i look at it. at least when i’m doing an aveira, i know it and feel guilty about it. that’s the least i could do.
so yes, no guilt when you’re doing the wrong thing is much worse.February 11, 2009 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #639844[email protected]Participant
moish, the first step in teshuva is feeling guiltly for the wrong u have done so i guess ur on the right path 🙂February 11, 2009 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #639845
no, i guess i’m jewish – that’s all. no paths here.February 11, 2009 8:18 pm at 8:18 pm #639846
moish- yeah yeah, keep talkin it into yourself…. don’t C”V admit that [email protected] is right cuz that’ll be the second step of tshuvah and then what’ll become of moish??? 😉February 11, 2009 8:30 pm at 8:30 pm #639847myshadowMember
Welcome [email protected]!! What happened to old [email protected]?February 11, 2009 8:37 pm at 8:37 pm #639848
funny. he’s not.February 11, 2009 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #639849
moish- you need to address your posts to a specific poster (where applicable). Who were you just talkin to?February 11, 2009 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #639850
and by the way, i would think that even if it is the first step, it’s not worth anything unless the tshuva is completed till the end. which includes azivas hacheit and kabala laasid. so even if you’re right (which you’re not) it’s no big.
anyway that’s how i’ve always been. i don’t think it’s tshuva, i think it’s just remembering hell. ok, and that my mom would be devastated if she ever found out…February 11, 2009 9:03 pm at 9:03 pm #639851
those were both to you, areivim. who else?!February 11, 2009 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #639852
well then tiz high time you changed your thinkinFebruary 11, 2009 9:08 pm at 9:08 pm #639853
why is that? those are two pretty good reasons to doubt myself, don’t you think?February 11, 2009 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm #639854myshadowMember
moish, of course it’s worth something!! hello having a slight charata is better than having none!!! For example are you going to tell someone that is working on keeping shabbos that they’re not getting any schar unless they keep shabbos in it’s entirety! You gotta take each step at a timeFebruary 11, 2009 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #639855
doubt yourself bout what? I’m not followingFebruary 11, 2009 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #639856
myshadow, but lemaase he was still mechalel shabbos, right?
areivim, well what do you think guilt is?February 11, 2009 9:23 pm at 9:23 pm #639857
yes, he was mechalel shabbos, but was only oiver on 25 lavim as opposed to his usual, say, 65 lavim (making up #’s)
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