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"
Introduction

Abstinence is probably the most demanding condition for spiritual excellence, since at bottom we all tend to indulge while abstinence demands that we withhold. It also asks us to hone our allegiances and declare which we favor: heavenly or earthly delights (of course the Torah allows for both at the same time, but we're talking about *favoring* one over the other).

The assumption is that since we'd learned all we had in our introspections about what truly matters and what doesn't, about what we already have and what we can do without, that we'd be more inclined by now to abstain from some earthly things than we'd thought we could. And indeed, the wise reader will come to that point, we're told, and will worship more deeply and be better off both spiritually and materially as a consequence.

We'll be explaining the difference between "conventional" abstinence and the kind that the Torah requires of us, and we'll examine the various sorts of abstainers, the criteria for beneficial and appropriate abstinence, how the Torah and the Books of the Prophets depict abstinence, and we'll discover the difference between the way our ancestors abstained from things and how we're to abstain.


Text Copyright 2005 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON SHEMINI AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

From Strength to Strength
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

Genteel Ambiguity
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

You Are What You Eat
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

> White Noise
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5761

Without the Sages, The Torah Is A Closed Book
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5764

Minor Greatness
Shlomo Katz - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Take Charge
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

The Special Spirituality of the Jew
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

What Do You Stand For?
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Passover Never Passes Over
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5762

Read the Instructions
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

What a Terrible Mistake!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5775

ArtScroll

Aaron was "Seeing" Things...
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

A Matter of What You "Eight"
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

How To Win an Argument
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Growth Period
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5755



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