16 Av 5780 / Thursday, August 06, 2020 | Torah Reading: Eikev
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The Good Life    

The Good Life

The wife of a man who fails to guard his personal holiness suffers; on a cognizant level, she doesn't even realize why she can't stand her husband...


Guarding oneself against promiscuity, adultery and other breaches of personal holiness is known in Kabbalah as "guarding the foundation", for guarding personal holiness is the foundation to a good life in this world and in the world to come. So, as soon as these principles become accessible to you, it's a sign that Hashem is giving you the gift of a new and better life.
Our mention of "the good life" doesn't refer to material amenities, but you should know that guarding one's personal holiness also invokes material blessings such as good health and adequate income, among its many other benefits. We're speaking about a "good life" that's far better than anything you can imagine, an entity that no money can buy. Those who earn the status of "foundation guardians" receive a VIP pass into a world of sublime pleasure and illumination in the spiritual realm, which far surpasses any physical pleasure a human being could imagine.
Learning about tikkun habrit - personal holiness - is therefore a milestone for you. You'll learn many things that you did wrong and that caused you difficulties in life, but don't blame yourself. Most people grew up without learning what tikkun habrit means. But, with a little effort and by doing your best to improve, your whole life will take a dramatic turn for the better. Wait and see!
We all appreciate the virtue of loyalty. Loyalty begins with the love between husband and wife, then extends to the love of one's children, one's family and one's nation. The same principle of loyalty applies in our relation to The Creator; He alone sustains us and grants us every blessing in life. The holy covenant - the brit that is carved in the flesh of every Jewish male - is our pact of loyalty with The Creator. We therefore refer to the brit as "guarding personal holiness", for like a loyal honor guard, we guard our covenant with The King of kings.
Only when a person rises above the lust for women can he begin to love his wife and enjoy true marital bliss. This is the exact opposite of what modern society thinks; for that reason, divorce is so widespread today.  Personal holiness is a prerequisite for true and lasting love, and not sexual attraction as most people so erroneously think. A relationship that revolves around bodily lust is promiscuity, not marital bliss. Such a relationship does not yield holy and upright offspring or marital peace.
Lust is the main catalyst of divorce. The wife of a man who fails to guard his personal holiness suffers and is always disgruntled. On a cognizant level, the wife doesn't even realize why she can't stand her husband. But, because of his breach in personal holiness, she is programmed from Above with a will that opposes his will. The more he looks at other women and thinks about them, the less she'll cooperate with him. Even if on a conscious level, she's trying to be the best wife in the world, she won't be able to be as long as he is immersed in lust. In turn, his lust prevents him from loving his wife. She senses this lack of love, so the martial-bliss-spiral plummets downward even more. The key to love is not lust in their relationship, but invoking the Divine Presence in their relationship.
Marital success, a good income and gratification from one's children all are built on the foundation of a couple's love and loyalty for one another. Guarding personal holiness is the only guarantee of love and loyalty in marriage. Love and loyalty form the suitable dwelling for the Holy Presence; once the Holy Presence graces a couple, they become blessed with every single form of abundance. Their home becomes a habitat of joy. True love cannot begin is long as a person is sexually indulgent, for indulgence and promiscuity are extreme forms of egotism. Love is giving, not taking.
The Torah testifies (Genesis 24:67) that Isaac took Rebecca for a wife, "And he loved her." Isaac, the holy Akeda who offered himself on the altar as a sacrifice for Hashem, certainly maintained perfect personal holiness. His love for Rebecca had nothing to do with lust. That is how every man must love his wife.
Our holy books are full of praise for those who maintain personal holiness. In future articles, G-d willing, we'll cite and elaborate on the many wonderful benefits of personal holiness. May Hashem bless you with success!

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