Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Divorce in Preparation for War

After the Holocaust, many of the survivors in the DP camps were terribly broken and some fell away from Jewish observance altogether. Others held fast, however, and one group of survivors decided to make a minyan for the first yomim noraim after liberation. Among them was one survivor who, since the war had ended, never wasted a second from his learning. Understandably, the minyan requested that this man share some inspiring words of chizuk but the masmid refused. Rosh Hashanah and the intervening days of repentance passed, and Yom Kippur arrived. After the davening on Yom Kippur night, the minyan again begged the masmid to say a few words. This time, he acquiesced.

Chazal say that the evil inclination is called our enemy since he is always trying different strategies to cause us to fall into gehinnom. The yetzer hara has many methods to overcome us. Sometimes he uses money; by chasing money or some other worldly need, one can lose a lot of valuable zechuyos. A person might forgo davening with a minyan, he might be tempted to take interest, or steal, or cheat, or even violate the holy Shabbos!

The masmid continued, “But at times we all want to improve. During the times that we feel inspired, the yetzer hara uses his strongest tactic of all. He tells us to start tomorrow! The Gemara in Kesuvos 9b states that the custom was for Jewish soldiers to give their wives a writ of divorce before going into battle. The Kotzker Rebbe, zt”l, taught a powerful lesson based on this idea to help us win the war against the evil inclination. The soldiers didn’t only give their wives a get in anticipation of dying in battle and possibly rendering them agunos. It was also because we fear that a mental connection with the sweetness of marriage might distract the soldier from his task at hand. Likewise, we too must sever all emotional connection to distracting and damaging behaviors before we will be able to defeat the yetzer. How do we do this? By resolving to change, not tomorrow, but today!”


Anonymous said...

awsome posts-
im a big fan
but no post which had to do with merkaz harav???
Your blog gives me chizuk, i was just wondering why nothing on this???
thanks for teaching me

Micha Golshevsky said...

Thank you so much for the chizuk; and even more for the rebuke!
You are so right! I hope with Hashem's help to post on this issue in the very near future.
Thanks for teaching me!