27 Kislev 5775 / Friday, December 19, 2014 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
 
  Add to favorites     Set as homepage  
 
   
    Create an account    |    Sign in
  
    My Account     Orders History     Help
 
 
  My Country:  
  United States   
 
   Language:  
  English   
 
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
 
   
Home Page Breslev Holidays and Fast Days Judaism Society Family Spirituality and Faith Torah Portion
   Baal Shem Tov and Students     Uman     Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom     Customs and Thought             
 
  More  
 
 
      
 
Rebbe Nachman's Wisdom  
 
HomeBreslevRebbe Nachman's WisdomSelective Amnesia
 
  Advanced Search
   Articles
 
   Search
 
              
 

Selective Amnesia     Selective Amnesia

It's a pleasure to forget those worrisome thoughts and unpleasant memories, which like flies, buzz around our ears always at the wrong times…



       


Did you ever wonder why at the worst times, the yetzer hara - evil inclination (EI) - is right there on the scene to remind us of our problems, the mortgage payment that's due in two days, or the bad experience that we had eight years ago? The answer is pretty much a no-brainer: as soon as we're doing something that carries both lofty spiritual value and brings us close to Hashem, the EI interferes. He doesn't want us praying with intent or connecting with Hashem.
 
Why does Hashem give the EI free reign in bothering us?
Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai provides the answer in a most provocative parable:
 
The king summoned his son, heir to the thrown. He told his son that he would surely be king as long as he preserved his personal holiness. The king then summoned a prostitute, paying her a handsome sum to tempt his son, and promising her a big bonus if she succeeds...
 
Let's ask ourselves, does the king want the prostitute to succeed? Certainly not! But to show the world that his son is worthy of being king, he must test him. And, the more difficult the test, the more we see the worthiness of the king's son when he passes the test.
 
In like manner, Hashem tests each of us. Prayer and Torah are so valuable that they never come easy. The EI has free reign to tempt us with troubling thoughts that destroy our focus.
 
But Hashem gave us a gift to protect ourselves from the EI: it's called selective amnesia. Here's how it works:
 
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says that the world disdains forgetfulness. We surely must protect our memory to retain our Torah learning and to properly serve Hashem. But if we remember the wrong things - past setbacks and bitter experiences - they bog us down from moving forward. That's why it's good to forget them, for they'll surely confuse a person and interfere with his or her progress and joy in life. Once the unpleasant experience is over, put it aside, advises Rebbe Nachman (see Sichot HaRan, 26).
 
Rebbe Natan elaborates (see Likutei Etzot, Zikaron, 9): Particularly at prayer times, unpleasant thoughts from the past surface to confuse a person and misdirect his focus. Don't think about them! Forget about your worries, your past sins, and your blemishes...
 
Easier said than done? How can we possibly enjoy such selective amnesia, and simply press the "delete" button on our brain anytime that it's unpleasant or inconvenient to remember something?
 
Rebbe Natan provides the solution: take one hour a day, and talk to Hashem about all of your worries. Conjure up all the things you did wrong in the past that you haven't asked forgiveness for. Be completely honest, even though it might well be painful and embarrassing. But you're talking to Hashem, and He's a most-loving Father! The trick is, when we enable ourselves to conjure up the unpleasant memories for an hour a day, we can selectively for get about them for the remaining 23 hours, enabling us to function and perform at our peak progress with no dead-weight anchors to hold and drag us down.
 
It's a pleasure to forget those worrisome thoughts and unpleasant memories, which like flies, buzz around our ears always at the wrong times. Once we activate our powers of selective amnesia - which are a gift and a blessing - we're free to serve Hashem the way we want to, and to be model parents and spouses, with smiles on our faces no matter what. And when you smile, you shine. And when you shine, everyone wants to befriend you. So, for the price of one hour a day, at no extra expense, we can really move forward with our lives and escape the muck and mire of unpleasant recollections of the past. Try it - you'll love it!



   
       


New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Tal Rotem
   Read more about Rebbe Nachman's Wisdom




Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version


 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
 
 
  
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:

   

 Related Articles Related Articles
 
 

 
Something Missing?               Humble Chutzpa               The Mountain of Gold
 
 Something Missing?  Humble Chutzpa  The Mountain of Gold


  0 Talkbacks for this article     

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

 
 
  
In Honor of:    In Memory of:
  
 
Like What You Read?
 
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in makinga better world.
 
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
  
 
 
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
 
 
 
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 
 
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 Most talked about Most talked about
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Most read Most read
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Facebook Facebook
 
 
 
 Mailing List Mailing List
 
 
 
Subscribe Here:   
 
   
 

 
 



  
 
 
open toolbar