Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Path of the Just

Chapter 15 (Part 3)

There are certain things, though, that are sure to block abstinence, and they mainly come down to your surroundings and circle of friends.

It’s simply a fact that “you’ll never succeed at being pious and abstinent” Ramchal says “if you’re close to people in power … (and to those) pursuing fame” and fortune, who “contribute to the emptiness” all around us. Since “it’s impossible to be around riches and elegance, and not … long for it” yourself. You’re very likely to succumb to the myriad of subtle pressures you’d face.

“Even if your yetzer harah doesn’t get the better of you” under those sorts of circumstances, “you’d still find yourself in the midst of a great battle” within, Ramchal warns, with one part pulling you one way and the other pulling the other way, “and you’d wind up in danger” as you flounder about in a sea of indecision.

“The best thing to do” Ramchal counsels, “is to practice seclusion” to avoid the possible threats. It could be a little too extreme to be sure (which Ramchal will address below in part), but the fact remains that “by removing worldly things from your eyes (that way) you’ll remove the lust for them from your heart”.

In fact some great and holy individuals in the past set out to do just that. Though he was a king and very much needed to be of-the-world, David nevertheless said wistfully, "If only I could be given the wings of a dove! I would just fly away and dwell somewhere else. I would go far away; I would lodge in the desert" (Psalms 55:7-8). And we’re told in fact that the prophets Elijah and Elisha “set aside places in the mountains to be alone in”, as did others of their ilk, since “they all found solitude to be the most propitious means to acquire wholeness and abstinence”.

Addressing the issue of possibly going too far and too quickly in this, Ramchal warns that “you’d have to be careful … not to leap to the opposite extreme” and becoming less worldly “in one fell swoop”. Do this slowly he warns, “settling into one aspect of it today, and another tomorrow until you accustom yourself to it”. In fact, that’s true whether it comes to doing without extra food or comforts, or all the other things we’d touched upon in this work!


Text Copyright © 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

I Did Not Know
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Out of Love
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

Chanukah Oil: A Real No-Know
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

> Bread Is for Eating
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

Rachel's Sacrifice
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Can You Pass The Test?
Shlomo Katz - 5763

ArtScroll

As Long as the Candle is Burning
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764

Smelling The Fragrance Of Hope
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

The House of Yaakov
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

A Time to Be Silent
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5762

To Achieve Your Goals and not Cause Jealousy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5770

Just Five More Minutes of Sleep!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

My Brother, My Enemy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

The Best Credentials
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5774

The Master Plan
Rabbi Shlomo Jarcaig - 5763

Yaakov’s Journey
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5769



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information