Sunday, March 09, 2014

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A Brief Dialog with the Yetzer Hara

…by Reb Avichaj Schaeffer…

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thThose, who never encounter the Yetzer Hara (the evil inclination) trying to challenge their basic faith in G-D may enjoy the privilege to call themselves a member of the elite club of Tzaddikim.  The rest of us share the “delight” of being frequently bothered by our steady companion, our personal Yetzer Hara. This pal loves to
surprise us from time to time with a frontal assault on the foundation of our belief and faith in G-D. Especially at times when we rise to new heights in our service unto G-D, our Yetzer Hara tries to throw a monkey wrench into the works and attempts to spoil all our spiritual efforts.

One of those encounters I made shortly after making Aliyah (moving to live in Israel). I was sitting in a local bus which was stuck in Jerusalem's usual morning traffic jam while I was pondering on the various difficulties, which came along with my integration into the Jewish homeland. Like a bolt out of the blue I heard an internal voice asking me: "What are you doing in this bus, in this traffic jam, in this country? Why are you trying so hard to live Jewish? And first of all, what makes you convinced that there is a G-D anyway? Try to prove, that there is a G-D!" That's really mean at 08:00 a.m. while sitting in a traffic jam!

At first glance, I was flabbergasted. But finally, I was able to reply: "Nice try, but a silly one! Of course I cannot 'prove' that there is a G-D. Provided the assumption that G-D is eternal and unlimited in any thinkable way, how should a finite and in every respect very limited human being like me accomplish that? By definition, a finite being cannot prove the infinite!"

But the Yetzer Hara doesn't give up that easy, thus he continued to attack me: "Fair enough; I have no proof, you have no proof! Consequently you have to admit that there is a fifty percent chance that I am right - that is, that there is no G-D who fashioned this universe, respectively who runs this world."

Thank G-D, another - by heaven sent - internal voice came to rescue me from this plight, it was able to silence this nag of Yetzer Hara by telling him: "Fair enough; I could admit that on an intellectual level we might be locked in a stand-off. But you know what - I don't want to live in a universe which allegedly was not created by G-D, neither in a world which is not monitored by G-D - and therefore, I decided, that in My universe, any theoretical chance that 'there is no G-D' is nonexistent and thus, even such a thought has no place in My world! Thanks for the conversation - end of the line..."

As a matter of fact, thereupon my Yetzer Hara was holding his jaw. Thank G-D, each time since then, my Yetzer Hara is trying to sell me his story again, I just have to remind him - and myself - briefly of our former conversation: "We already discussed this matter, remember? My universe...! Thanks for the conversation."

(Poor guy...)

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1 comment:

  1. I like this debate so much, that, ok, drum roll..I am copying it ....placing it on my, refrigerator!!! Yes. The fridge is where i hang up thoughts that I want to ponder and adopt as a part of my understanding and perspective. So, on the fridge it goes. Yasher koach.
    Kol tov.


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