4 Cheshvan 5781 / Thursday, October 22, 2020 | Torah Reading: Noach
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HomeFoundations of JudaismHoliness for Men and WomenDon't Get Shot!
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Don't Get Shot!    

Don't Get Shot!

Did you ever play the game, “Don't get shot?” You are walking through heavily guarded enemy territory with soldiers and snipers out to get you at every corner.


Rav Shalom Arush in several of his past lessons has been talking a lot about the subject of Personal Holiness and specifically about Guarding the Eyes. First, let us give a brief summary of what the Rav has been saying and then we will end with a little game I made up and like to play that helps me alot with guarding my eyes, and G-d willing will be able to help all of us in our quest for personal holiness.
Rav Shalom Arush mentioned in several past shiurim that the only way to achieve personal holiness is by guarding the eyes. The eyes are the seed of all of our desires, as our Rabbis teach us, "The eyes see, the heart desires, and the body carries out the deed." The holy Zohar tells us that the yetzer hara only has entry into a person through his eyes, and Rebbe Natan of Breslov writes that the only true free will a person has in this world is that of deciding what to look at. Rav Arush also mentioned that the whole reason a person comes into this world is to be tested in the area of niuf (immoral lusts and desires) which all starts with what his eyes see. Therefore, one must begin by praying to Hashem every single day to be worthy of guarding his eyes. The Rav also explained that it is not only to avoid sin and improper desires that we guard our eyes; but it is also the only way to see Hashem in this world and gain awareness of how He is constantly communicating with us and trying to draw us closer. For this reason, it is also very important for women to follow the practice of guarding their eyes, for although they do not fall into the trap of niuf as much as men do, in any event, they can still be very easily swayed from their true purpose and mission here in this world by things such as immodest and non - Jewish fashion and clothing, endless material gadgets, etc.
This world is actually created to conceal Hashem, as the Holy Zohar calls it the Alma Deshikra - world of falsehood; it being called so because by looking at the world we actually do not see Hashem which is the greatest falsehood that there is since we know that there is in fact nothing besides Hashem. Therefore, if we look at the world too much, we will come to desire the falsehood in it, and we will certainly get confused and misled from our true mission of finding and clinging to Hashem. Only by closing our eyes to the physical world, do we merit true vision which is the ability to see Hashem. This is the hidden light that has been stored away for the Tzaddikim. And who is called a Tzaddik? One who guards his eyes and brit. May we all be worthy to experience the light of holiness and may our eyes merit to see the coming of Moshiach and the Third Temple speedily and in our days, amen.
Now we are ready to play the game "Don't get Shot."
Here's how it works. Before going out into the street, say a small prayer asking Hashem to help you guard your eyes, so that you should not see any improper images that will filthy up and destroy your mind and heart. Then once you step outside, the game begins. You are walking through heavily guarded enemy territory where there are soldiers and snipers out to get you at every corner. You have to accomplish your mission of... (here you can insert whatever it is you need to do, go to yeshiva, go shopping, drop off the kids, etc.). Now the rules are, if you don't see the enemy, then the enemy cannot see you. But if you do look up and see the enemy, then you get shot. If it's a quick look then it is just a flesh wound, but if it is a long look with desire, you just got shot and it's game over.
Bonus level: Perfume is really poison gas that the enemy puts out to trap you. If you quickly exhale it out and cover your nose you will probably live, but if you inhale it and enjoy the smell... that's right, you just got shot!
The best part of this game is that it is just like any other game; as soon as it ends, you can just start over. Do not despair, just hit the reset button, say your prayer, restate your mission, and you are back in the game. The score is kept by how long you can go without getting shot.
I once read a story that the Baba Meir zt"l said to his attendant, that he has not seen a woman in over 40 years; he was 47 years old when he said this. I challenge anyone to try to beat that score.
* * *
For more articles by Yehoshua Goldstein go to www.HazakWeematz.blogspot.com

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