Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Duties of the Heart

Gate Nine: "The Gate of Abstinence"
Ch. 7 (Part 2)

"I came across an inspired work on asceticism that a pious person passed on to his son", Ibn Pakudah reports. "It so delighted me when I found it" he said, "that I decided to make it ... this gate's last word." We're counseled to "understand it and reflect upon it", and we're told that "with Gd's help, we will come to do the good and right thing" if we do. Ibn Pakudah then offered it verbatim, but we'll provide only parts of it here for brevity's sake as the gate's conclusion; nonetheless, we're bound to grow for having been exposed to even this small part of it.

"May Gd have you be one of those who hears and listens," the father said to his son -- someone "who listens and thinks, thinks and knows, knows and does .... But may He *not* have you be one of those who is immersed in desire, drunk with the wine of folly, enslaved by the yetzer harah, controlled by the world, vanquished by his desires, naturally inclined toward overindulgence, seduced by longings, mislead by elegance, struck by darkness and captivated by the speed of his errors. For they hear but do not listen, say and do not do; they look for calm but always collapse groaning; they search for satisfaction and are plagued (with troubles)."

"Reflect (in contrast) upon the person whose heart Gd has expanded, ... (and) whose eyes ... He has shown the right way" -- those who practice abstention. Their "purview is serene" as a consequence, and "their hearts are full of trust. They delight in contemplating Gd in solitude and in thanking Him for all His goodness." Such blessed individuals "summon Gd, seek Him, anticipate Him and serve Him" all the time. "Nothing distracts them from recalling Gd" we're told, "and nothing prevents them from thanking Him." "They are Gd's blameless chosen ones, the elite among the pious". For they invariably "march straight to Gd, ... purify their inner beings and become pure, they chasten their hearts and are chosen, they equip themselves with the fear of Gd against the ways of evil and are saved, and they ride a chariot of good deeds."

"Choose what is good for your soul before you come to vain regret and endless anxiety" the wise man adds, and he offers the following blessing: "May Gd in His mercy and abundant kindness instruct us all in the right way and lead us onto the path of deliverance."


Text Copyright 2005 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON SHEMINI AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

A Clear Upside-Down World
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758

Who Are We to Disagree?!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5773

The Counting of the Omer
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Cleave to Your Friends
Shlomo Katz - 5758

Why would G-d create the world?
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Letter to my Son Akiva
Jon Erlbaum - 5773

> Read the Instructions
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

The Challenge of the Eighth Day
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5771

To Do and Do and Do as Commanded
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Searing Fire or Reaching Higher
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Theory of Relativity
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Un-influenced Service
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5761

ArtScroll

We Are All Survivors
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5767

The "Eighth"
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5762

Your Are What You Eight
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

It's All About Trust
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763



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