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 12, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #639909
areivim, i did say that i believe in god, didn’t i?February 12, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #639910
so do we all… your point being? That Hashem is gonna help you out? you gotta do your part buddy
The system is there to help you, not knock you. and on this topic of “the system” and it’s “yes’s and no’s”. Why they’re there………. the book covers this so well. Everything becomes so clear. It’s greatFebruary 12, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm #639911
areivim, you don’t think i ever try? you think i’m that cold?
and you’re trying real hard to get me to ask you what the book’s called…February 12, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #639912
apparently i didnt explain myself very well at all…im so confused by what everyone said i dont even remember exactly what i meant to say before. i give up.
sorry bout whatever i added to this. just ignore it if u want.
gbyeFebruary 12, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #639913
absolutely not! funny cuz I just realized that that’s how it must come across (trying to make you ask for the name of the book). I’m not like that- I say it the way it is, you don’t have to come begging
cold? Far from it. (Why are you putting thoughts in my head that were never there?)
However, it’s not called hishtadlus, bitachon or emunah when you say: i believe in g-d… and then don’t do your part
If you’re saying that you DO try, and that you are doing your part- then the irony can kill.
You said: you don’t care about how this might affect your future, you live for the moment, all you want to do is party, you hear what we have to say- but don’t want to change now, guilt is in the right direction?? I’m aiming to be a perfect bumb etc…
And you’re telling me you’re doing your part. Please explain
(I want to hear your side. I’m not accusing you)February 12, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm #639914
i hear. but you have to understand where i’m coming from. i’m doing what i need to do right now. is it right? i admit that it’s not. do i want to be like this forever? no way. i hope i don’t stay like this. that would be depressing.
i know you’re gonna attack me when i say this, but right now my life is beyond my control. (yeah i know this is gonna trigger fifty million mussar shmoozes, but that’s how i feel)
that paragraph of random things that i said is the truth about how i feel. you want me to shut that out? sure. no problem. but it won’t go away. i sincerely care about alot of things, even if i don’t act that way. i’m not sure if you saw that post from the other day, but it’s painful to be doing something wrong and knowing how bad it really is. that’s when i think to myself, “i’d rather be an idiot and an am haaretz than have a tosfos pass through my mind at this exact moment.”February 12, 2009 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm #639915
and by the way, i hope you know that i was kidding about being the perfect bum. i don’t think i do things l’hachis. at least i hope not. (ok, maybe that first cigarette ever…)February 12, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #639916
“i’m doing what i need to do right now. is it right? i admit that it’s not.”
I don’t understand- this is what you are referring to when you say you’re doing your part or is this an excuse for why you’re not doing your part?
“but right now my life is beyond my control”
I notice a lot of things you said indicate that you need to feel you’re in control. Things like: It’s my choice, I decided to do this or be this way…. nobody can force me to do what I don’t want to do…
I wish I can go in depth regarding needing to feel “in control”- especially during the teen years where things are mostly out of control. I want to summarize it for you, but don’t know where to begin. I have to read that part again & get back to you.
“I sincerely care about a lot of things, even if I don’t act that way”
this was kinda dizzying and deep. do you follow my train of thought? read it a few times till you chapp (i had to do that myself!)
Behave yourself and good night!February 12, 2009 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm #639917
hisbonnenus, areivim. hisbonnenus.
and i’m not “acting” like i care. i do care.
when i “act” like i don’t care, it’s because i’m acting.
and never mind a yapper… you make me into such a sucker.February 13, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am #639918
Once we get used to doing things, we basicly lose control over them. Even if we try not to do it, it doesn’t make us feel right. When we reach the level of aino yochol lichvosh es yitzro, we have to cut ourselves some slack, relax, and evaluate the situation. Beating ourselves up will do no good. Thinking that we can just stop is counter productive. Stopping and starting again, stopping and starting, makes us into a wreck. In the end, we lose hope, and think we are worthless.
The aitza is not to change the situation in ways we are not yet capable of, nor to think that we must do so, but to come to terms with the situation in ways that are productive and beneficial in the long term.
The first important idea is to not define yourself as a bum. The yetzer hara is the bum and you are its victim.
Once you disassociate yourself from what the yetzer gets you to do, you can better come to terms with it and gradually improve. The first improvement is that you no longer define yourself as bad. Along with this, you should stop promoting the bad things. The reason people promote the bad things they do is because they end up defining themselves by it. Once you stop defining yourself with the bad, you can stop promoting it.
Secondly, there is much to gain from the situation, such that when it’s over you become a better person than you would have been otherwise. The most important benefit is the easiness to acquire the trait of humility, because of where you have been. Once you come out of the dark tunnel, the humility that you have gained will put you eons ahead of others.
You have to think only about HaShem. He understands you and knows what you’re going through. He wants you to gain from the situation. You don’t need to run away from Him like you have to from others. Complain to Him. Show to yourself and to Him that you deeply care to do the right thing.February 13, 2009 4:22 am at 4:22 am #639919
nosson, you know i’m gonna take advantage of that. the next time someone says “how could you do such a thing?” my answer is going to be “well, my yetzer hora is a bum…”
just kidding. thanks.February 13, 2009 4:52 am at 4:52 am #639920
Moish dont you think that G-d created you and wants you to have the best life possible? thats why He gave you the Torah. Do you believe the Torah was given for your benefit or just as a general outline for life?February 13, 2009 5:09 am at 5:09 am #639921
Moish: now your on the right track. It’s better to say your yetzer hara is a bum than to say that you are a bum. You may be in a regrettable situation, but it’s something you have to deal with, not something that you are.
Pinning the fault on the yetzer is a truth. HaShem Himself did so when He said asher hariyosi. But it does not absolve oneself from responsibility. Most of the time the person is held accountable. But anyone in such a situation is all to aware of the their inner turmoil and suffering. Suffering is part of the tikkun, and many holy things come about through it. So you should know that when you look back at it, you will have gone through an enlightening experience. But you can only get the ball rolling by not defining yourself with what “the bum” has trapped you into. All in all, disassociate yourself from being the bad guy, but be happy to pay the price.February 13, 2009 6:34 am at 6:34 am #639922
nosson, i hear, but i’m not with you 100%. it’s gotta be some of me. i don’t see every other person doing what i’m doing. so i could blame my yetzer hora, but only to an extent. unless you’re gonna say that my yetzer hora is that much stronger than the next guy’s? in that case i’d say i have no control, so what do you expect from me?
kapusta, i guess i believe all that. it’s way after that that i’m screwed up.February 13, 2009 9:45 am at 9:45 am #639923teenMember
kapusta: if someone gives u a gift u have the right to say that u dont want it…i was never givent his choice with judiasm it was “ur born a jew so now u need to b jewish” (as an aside i dont find that very fair[dont say life isnt fair]…as much as it may b better for me and an amazing gift y cant i say no id rather not have it? and its not a very good gift if bec i dont listen to it i am going to burn is it?)
and someone is going to say something about being royalty and needing to act like a prince…please dont say that it is stupid and completly not true…after all arent we all sons of god (nothing to do with jesus) so just bec god may favor us doesnt make us any better)
sorry for rambling and im not even sure if this makes sense but come on its 5 in the morning when i am writing this.February 13, 2009 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm #639924
teen: yes you do (and I’m in kind’ve a rush now so I’ll try to do more on this later) but if you would compare the average joe on the street and the average frum guy and see how their life differs. I was recently thinking that the goy has no aspirations in life and nothing to live for. only the present. the ones who are on a higher “level” marry, have kids, and maybe go for a career. but (from their side) why were they put here? and why would they be created if their not accomplishing anything?
next point: do you hear or do you firmly believe the Torah was given for your benefit? lets just say the recent medical studies that milk and meat together are very unhealthy. I won’t go into extensive detail here, but just think about how many diseases are normal in the secular world that are almost unheard of by frum jews. I once saw an interview with experienced people in the medical field (it was done around 20 years ago, so they’ve definitely made advances since then) and at that point they hadn’t discovered a need for circumsicion, but they knew that the eighth day was the best day to do it. may more examples but I gtg now. Sorry for being so philosophical for so early. 🙁February 13, 2009 2:49 pm at 2:49 pm #639925
Moish: you have to find the unique balance between blaming the yetzer and taking responsibility. You should blame the yetzer to the extent of not associating yourself with the bad stuff. You should also take responsibility to the extent of being happy with the yisurim that you must go through. Moreover, whether or not its your fault doesn’t make much of a difference. The fact is that doing certain things means your messed up, and you have to go through the tikkun of correction.
The difference between if its your fault or not is whether the tikkun is for yourself or for the world. Moreover, even when at fault a severe tikkun is for the world regardless. In this regard, tzadikkim suffer for the sins of the world. Perhaps you’re such a tzadick or may become one through your ordeal. Even if not, your ordeal will make you a better person at the end. So be sameiach byisurin. This will help you get through it.February 13, 2009 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #639926
One last thing.
Dovid Hamelech said in Tehilim, Chatas Neuray uphisha’ai al tizkor…, the sins and rebellions of my youth, may You not remember. Remember me now according to your kindness, for the sake of Your goodness HaShem.
A persons life experiances as an adult make his youthful sins and rebellions practically irrelevant (in of themselves), such that HaShem will forget them. The critical thing is not the sins and rebellions themselves, but how you come out because of them on the other side. If you survive them with the love of HaShem in your heart, you will come out a better person. So whatever you do, always keep HaShem close to your heart.February 13, 2009 3:54 pm at 3:54 pm #639927
moish01: other ppl have other challenges you may or may not see them dealing w/, they may be struggling & u just dont know
also i thought there was equal amt of good & bad in a person? so if ur yetzer hora was stronger, doesnt that mean ur also stronger than the next guy?
oh i was going to stay out of this discussion 🙁
ok, this is a test. if im not making any sense 2 u i’ll just stop. for real. but just know im trying to help not make anything worse, im sorry if anything i say comes out wrong.February 13, 2009 4:05 pm at 4:05 pm #639928
teen: If your mom gave you a pair of gloves when it was bitter cold outside, and just to prove your independence, you said “no, thanks, I don’t want them”. Then- you go out and your hands become numb, red, stiff etc. and you start really wanting those gloves. Your mother didn’t make your hands get numb & stiff. She did not punish you to show you that you really need those gloves… Just by not accepting her offer, you were the one that suffered in the end.
To start proving that we are the chosen people and ARE royalty… to start showing you why and how the Torah is all goodness…. it would take a few books and then some.
You are asking extremely deep, yet in a way very surface, fundamental questions.February 13, 2009 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #639929
teen: this is continueds from before and I just read this part now. if someone gives u a gift u have the right to say that u dont want it…i was never givent his choice with judiasm it was “ur born a jew so now u need to b jewish” (as an aside i dont find that very fair[dont say life isnt fair]…as much as it may b better for me and an amazing gift y cant i say no id rather not have it? and its not a very good gift if bec i dont listen to it i am going to burn is it?)
I kinda lost you at the end but that might be the 5 am thing kicking in (from my end) but I get the idea of what you’re saying. bottom line is, if you were born into a frum family thats the only way of life you were exposed to up until now. Judaism is not meant to be forced down your throat. I don’t want this to be taken out of context and have a bunch of replys about the wrongs of the school system but just one thing I want to mention.
The point of spending 15 years in a yeshiva/BY setting is to gain the tools necessary to realize the chachma of the Torah so later on in life you’ll know where to turn when something comes up. This can be learned from Chumish/Navi or Gemarah or Hashkafa or whatever it is. It can also be learned from any life situation and one day it’ll hit you in the face. No one is making you be frum, the idea is to make you want to be a frum jew. on your own.
Next point: we are chosen and it does make us better. We might start out equal but we have the potential to become so much greater than anyone. We are Yisrael, the highest level of creation but aside from that just think about it this way. If there is a father with 7 children. One he favors more than the other 6. Therefore he gives whatever he can thats extra to his favorite. Maybe a larger inheritance, or a better career. he is handing him the tools in which to become a better person. You are created and the manufacturer gave you a manual to navigate life with. It says what you can do because you have bechira and what the best thing to do is because you have a manual. It contains the ins and outs, and how to get out of tough situations. If you have that and someone else gets the same product without the guidelines. who would be better off? When you know the manufacturers intentions, you are capable of getting the most use out of it. Whats the benefit of having a product thats constantly breaking down on you?
sorry mods, this took ages to write and I can just imagine reading it. Good Shabbos.February 13, 2009 5:51 pm at 5:51 pm #639930
areivim: your post is being repeated under my name :/February 13, 2009 5:55 pm at 5:55 pm #639931
wow that thing is long. mods what happened to my first one?February 13, 2009 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #639932
kapusta: g’shabbos.$February 13, 2009 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #639933
nossond, when i become a magid shiur, you’ll be the first one invited.
an open book, basically you’re saying that the bigger the person, the bigger the test? no thanks, i’ll be small.February 13, 2009 6:29 pm at 6:29 pm #639934
thank you qwerty or qwertz (which do you prefer? I think the latter makes you sound like a clock)
nossond: good job!February 13, 2009 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #639935
Moish: Kol hagadol mechaveiro yitzro gadol heimenu. You cant remain stationary. You have to choose between up or down. Dont you think that the Gedolei yisrael (I mean real ones) also went through their teenage years and had a yetzer hara. True, the world is on a much lower standard than it was all those years ago and things are much more readily available. But they had a different yetzer hara then. This is the bracha “sh’asa li kol tzarki” that you fight your yetzer hara, the way it is, now.February 13, 2009 6:38 pm at 6:38 pm #639936
so if i go down i’m not big anymore, right? then according to that my yetzer should be weaker.February 13, 2009 7:12 pm at 7:12 pm #639937
ames, freaky. dunno what to say.
but what point are you trying to make? that even though i’m only 16 i can’t take the time to figure it all out? i need it. you have no idea what it’s like to be choked.
so basically, if i die now i’ll have nothing to speak up for me? i hear. pray i don’t die just yet.February 13, 2009 7:17 pm at 7:17 pm #639938
Moish you just contradiced yourself. If you go down so low than why would you even care enough about fighting the yetzer hara. But is that the way you want to live your life? Knowing you got rid of the yetzer hara by just giving into it so you wont have to deal with it anymore? What would life be worth then?February 13, 2009 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #639939
ames: i even learnt a lesson from that.$February 13, 2009 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #639940
oh and btw, Moish, one thing I forgot to add before, if you have a yetzer hara to (I’m assuming not, but lets say) to turn off a light on Shabbos. you fight it for the first three or four or five weeks and after that it doesn’t exist anymore. which brings us to the idea of hishtadlus which is definitely not for now.February 13, 2009 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #639941
moish: by now you should see the benefit of keeping these things as private as you can. This will give you all the time you need to work it out. What’s more important than what you do is what you are. Never forget that.February 15, 2009 1:41 am at 1:41 am #639942
kapusta: it’s not so simple. Everyone has their peckel of stuff that they get used to doing and lose control over. Many people won’t even realize these things because they will deny or rationalize it. How many people speak loshon hara. How many people speak in shul what they shouldn’t. How many people see and hear what they shouldn’t. The list goes on and on, and I see these things all the time. But lo and behold a person admits that they’re a little confused, messed up, etc., people quickly get on their high horses of righteousness.
Moishe, I believe, is a special person who doesn’t deny or rationalize what he does. He also see’s that people don’t understand him. It’s so easy for people to be frum on someone else’s cheshbon. We don’t have their yetzer hara.
Once we lose control the point is not to stop if that is not possible. If stopping leaves us with the same confusion and emptyness, people’s inner self tells them,
“who are you kidding,” and stopping becomes impossible.
These situations require not a short but a long term cure. The long term cure involves accepting who you are, disassociating your self from the bad, being mekal yisurin b’ahava, and the other things that I have written. Slowly but surely, we can resolve our issues and come out better people on the other side.February 15, 2009 1:45 am at 1:45 am #639943asdfghjklParticipant
ames: wow i learned something from that too!!!February 15, 2009 3:09 am at 3:09 am #639944syriansephardiMember
Ames: u legit brought tears to my eyes. Wow. I got the chills.
Moish: don’t u want to marry a good girl who is pure and refined and not cheap? Don’t u want her to love and respect u and be loyal to u? Don’t u want beautiful happy kids who are respectfull and good and don’t do what u do?February 15, 2009 6:17 am at 6:17 am #639945
nossond- I was referring to something simple, (well nothing is really so simple) but not something a person would have to work over an entire lifetime to fight, like not speaking loshon hara. but I was simply saying that once a person fights the yetzer, they build up “antibodies” to help fight the next battle and usually it gets easier if you make a definite hishtadlus.February 15, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am #639946xeroxMember
kapusta- GREAT comparison!! never thought of it that way!! :o)February 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm #639947
Kapusta: you are right, but it only applies to things a person is holding by fighting against. People who get disillusioned, on the other hand, need to come to terms with various realities, before they can hope for gradual change.
In the jewish world, you’re considered o.k. as long as you do the sins everyone else does, or as long as you get away with the sins that others seem not to do. Some people get disillusioned by this and go off the derech. In my oppinion, these people have an advantage over others, in terms of their sincerity, but they need help to cope.February 15, 2009 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #639948kiruvwifeMember
moish-wow-You’re only 16??? and you’re delving into all these introspective questions so intensely now–quite impressive. and yes, I think everyone here will daven for your arichas yomim v’shanim.February 15, 2009 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #639949teenMember
ames: u need to b 20 to be killed by heaven…but ur still judged and u can still die it just means if u do something that requires misa al yidei shomayim u dont get killedFebruary 16, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm #639950
here’s an eitza:
Example: you want to watch a bad movie. So- instead of fighting with your yetzer hara, you play a mind game (which is the perfect “antibody” since that is exactly what he is doing with you). You tell yourself “I WILL watch the movie, just not right now. I’ll watch it in an hour.” The hour will be hard, you’ll be watching the clock. But you made a bet and don’t want to be the loser- right? So the hour passes relatively well. Tell youself “I’m really going to watch it. Promise. Just give me another 20 minues and I’ll go. I’m telling you- I’ll really watch it. Just give me another 20 minutes.”
These 20 minutes will probably pass by very easily- you’re on a roll now and you are challenging yourself- and feeling good for coming out on top! Now- the yetzer hara does not give up so fast. So the 20 minutes are up and you still want to watch that movie. If you feel you really can’t push it off any longer- watch it! You are not going to conquer the yetzer hara and win the war in one fell swoop. But the time that you pushed off watching it is worth something BIG in Hashem’s book.
We are not here to be perfect and win the war, but to fight each battle as it comes to the best of our ability. In addition, this is a great starting point to take it further the next time we have this “test”.
Distract yourself! You’re really getting annoyed at Mr. A. The more he talks the angrier you get. Ok- time for small talk with Mr. B- or time to go pick up x,y,z… Whatever it takes- just take your mind off of that which is getting you deeper into doing the aveira. Turn in a completely different direction and see where it takes you.
Good luck to all!!February 16, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm #639951
an open book, basically you’re saying that the bigger the person, the bigger the test? no thanks, i’ll be small.
moish01: yeah but if u were a (not exactly small, but) weak person, the smaller test would be just as hard for u so whats the difference? its like a 1st grader w/ hw thats hard for them, but of course easy for the 5th grader. sure, the 5th grader might have trouble with their own homework & wish they were in 1st grade, but in reality if they were on a 1st grade level, they would find the 1st hw just as difficult. so if u were not as capable as u are now, life would be just as challenging for u, & only easier in comparison to what u hav now.
ames: thanks for sharing that experience. it helps me put things in perspective a little.February 17, 2009 2:09 am at 2:09 am #639952asdfghjklParticipant
areivimzehlazeh: wow that was good!!!!February 17, 2009 2:38 am at 2:38 am #639953
areivim: thanx for the advice.$February 17, 2009 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #639954
I forgot to add: This is not my own advice. The basics are taken from a book written by Rabbi HochbergFebruary 17, 2009 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm #639955
ames & areivimzehlazeh: you have some good suggestions! thanxFebruary 18, 2009 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm #639956
areivim, ok i read through most of it. just one point: mind games don’t work on yourself. i’m smarter than to let myself be outsmarted by my own game. and that theory would work maybe for a movie. but there’s a whole lot worse going on than watching movies. that’s not even a battle, that’s a safe haven.
there’s no way that would work in life. what, that i’m not gonna carry a ball on shabbos? by the time i let myself the game would be over. (and if your point was not to play altogether, then we’re back to square one: i can’t ditch my friends.)February 18, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm #639957
and- do you think I assume a movie is the worst you’ve done? I am not that red bearded guy- so stop thinking I’m so close minded & naive. You don’t need to spell it out for me- and I don’t want you to. These are just small ways to assist you, being that the yetzer hara wages such nasty battles.
and again(!!!)- don’t just drop everything cold turkey. Don’t not play ball on shabbos if you feel that will totally change your life. Start with something that will not affect your day to day in such a huge way. YOU NEED TO START SMALL & SLOW! Nobody needs to know, nobody even has to realize. It’s something small and private between you and Hashem (and maybe areivim if you wanna share ;))February 19, 2009 12:27 am at 12:27 am #639958
moish01: it doesnt always have to be by minutes. maybe you could decide that you’ll only do it twice this week or this month or w/e, just saying ” i dont feel like doing it now, maybe next time. pushing it off once is still holding yourself back even if its not permanent
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