Thursday, January 15, 2009

Do What you Can

The Chidushei HaRim, zt”l, teaches a powerful lesson: one who acts as a ben aliyah would despite his shortcomings, will eventually become one. One is only divorced from spirituality when he gives up on spiritual ascent because of his flaws.
A young bochur once came to Rav Wolbe, zt”l, feeling very confused and frustrated. He said, “I don’t know what to do with myself! Sometimes I feel very drawn to spiritual matters like learning with a fire and davening. At other times I act in ways not befitting a ben Torah. What is my avodah worth if I keep falling into the same spiritual morasses?”
The Mashgiach replied, “Your feelings are the result of a simple fact: as long as one is young, one finds in himself various contradictions. On the one hand, you may be very drawn to spiritual matters. You have a taste in davening and can literally pour out your heart to Hashem. You may feel an incredibly intrinsic identification with the Torah that you learn. On the other hand, you also might enjoy joking around and making fun of things with friends.
The Mashgiach continued, “So what should you do? Just because you enjoy joking around and sometimes even wander into the realm of leitzanus, is that an excuse not to daven with kavanah? Surely this path only leads to complete estrangement from spiritual growth! Quite the contrary—since you notice this flaw in yourself and this bothers you, this should be a reason to exert yourself all the more to daven with a geshmack and seek spiritual growth in any way you can! In time you will be drawn more and more after spiritual elevation until you outgrow your spiritual immaturity altogether.”
The Mashgiach concluded, “Until then you must learn to bear the unflattering assessment of your peers and even consent to be the brunt of their jokes. If you persevere, however, you will overcome your weaknesses and flourish!”


yaakov said...

wow, this is great. thank you. the chidushei ha rim was sfas emes' father or grampa,right?

this is very helpful. it helps give a vision of how one can progress. it is a very human and understanding perspective. what i really appreciate and value here is that it is not simplistic, just expecting people to change or jump and stay on a particular path of devekut.

it understands how a human being really is and shows effective ways to gradually, meaning more effectively, change one's life and thoughts towards fuller devekut.

yasher koach.

Micha Golshevsky said...

I am glad you are enjoying the posts!

Shorty said...

thanks for this!