Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sanctify Yourselves…

Rav Gad Eizner, zt”l, used the following parable to explain Rava’s exhortation to, “…sanctify yourself by abstaining from that which is permitted.”

“Imagine a father who went out walking with his son. Every time they passed a toy store, the child would see a toy and beg, ‘Tatte, won’t you please by this toy for me?’ The father obliged, and for a little while the child was preoccupied with the gift. As soon as another toy in a different window caught the child’s eye, the first toy lost its charm completely until he was ready to toss it in the trash.

“The child pointed to the new object of his fancy and implord, ‘Tatte, I would really like that toy instead. Won’t you please get it for me?’ Once again, the parent capitulated. However, when they passed a third store and the child asked for yet another toy, the father finally put his foot down. The child began to scream violently and held his breath until he was literally blue. Some concerned passerby observed that if the tantrum were to continue, the child would certainly need to be brought to the emergency room! Feeling as though he had no recourse, the father paid for the third toy. A little down the road was a candy store. Of course by this time, the child knew full well that if he pleads for some sweets his father won’t have strength to refuse. And he was absolutely correct.

“We can leave an analysis of how the child’s chinuch got so off track for another time. But anyone would say for certain that such a state of affairs is very bad for the child and his future. Why should this be so, though? The father is not accustoming his son to anything particularly terrible, since everyone knows that children do need to play, and sweets in moderation are fine. The problem here is that the father is training to child to believe that he must have everything he wants! This is one reason why we must place a limit on that which is permitted. Only if we accustom ourselves to refrain from excessively indulging in the permitted will we have the inner controls needed to refrain from sin when temptation strikes!”

My friend, Dixie Yid requested that I share the following:

Click here for more information on the upcoming Elul/September visit to North America by Rav Itamar Shwartz, the author of the Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh seforim. Your yeshiva or mosad can bring him to your community, which is a very exciting opportunity.

You can also get to Rav Shwartz's shiurim from his last trip to the U.S. at the link: http://dixieyid.blogspot.com/2008/05/bilvavi-author-availble-to-speak-in.html


DixieYid said...

Thank you for the link! IY"H, it will help spread Kirvas Hashem among more Jews!

-Dixie Yid

Micha Golshevsky said...

Hashem ya'azor.
Thank you for all your many links to this blog!