13 Av 5780 / Monday, August 03, 2020 | Torah Reading: Eikev
 
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HomeSpirituality and FaithSpiritual GrowthYou CAN Change!
 
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You CAN Change!    

You CAN Change!



Everyone wants to change, but change is hard. Most of us give up before we succeed to really change even one thing. But there is a foolproof method, guaranteed to really work!

 



We continue from Part 1 with summaries of Rabbi Arush's newest book in English A New Light. 

 

 

 

Rabbi Arush writes about two students who desired  to  conquer  the  bad trait of anger that was destroying their lives. They  both  studied  and  understood  Rabbi  Arush's teachings on the dangers of anger. However, one succeeded in overcoming it while one failed. 
 
Our Sages tell us that a person is led in the way he wants to go. However, there are many people who want to achieve something, but are nevertheless not led. Why is that? 
 
In the case of his two students, Rabbi Arush says the difference  was  that  one  person realized he couldn't change on his own. He continuously prayed to Hashem for help. Over time, even though he fell, he never gave up and he began to experience small successes that led to a cumulative elevation. He believed that only Hashem had the power to help and that He would be more than willing to help him overcome his difficult challenge. 
 
In a recording that the successful student heard, Rabbi Arush said that if a person is being overwhelmed by a negative and destructive tendency, in Heaven they will ask you, Why didn't you pray about this? Why didn't you ask for help? You saw that you yourself did not have the strength. Why didn't you turn to the Master of all strength to empower you? 
 
The conclusion of this statement: If you pray and then make a sincere effort, but still ended up stumbling and failing - there is no claim against you in Heaven! However, if you do not pray, no excuse will be accepted. 
 
When the successful student was tested and he did get angry, he was not broken because he reminded himself of these teachings. The student was highly motivated to pray each day and did not allow himself to be discouraged. Eventually, the results did indeed come because when a person prays at length his prayers are never returned empty (Gemara Berachos 32b). 

 

The student was happy with his small successes and he thanked Hashem for every slight bit of progress. He prayed to Hashem to give him the faith and the awareness that no one is independently capable of doing anything to him and that everything is the will of Hashem. The time that he dedicated every day to express his will in his personal prayers to G-d who created him is what changed him. 
 
If a person wants his will to go from the potential to the actual, he must dedicate time to pray about the subject. Without that, everything that he learns will go in one ear and out the other. Everything will be ungrounded theory. 
 
Rabbi Arush implores us to devote a half hour a day to thinking about life and the kind of person you want to be. Consider how you want to change and pray for progress in the areas that are truly important to you. Choose one item that is especially urgent and resolve firmly that you will devote half an hour of desires, good intentions and prayer about the subject every day. Unless you devote time every day and truly want to change you will not be successful! 
 
Rabb Arush recounts that for 40 years, the generation of the desert learned Torah in perfect circumstances. They were taught by the best teacher in history, Moses, who was the mentor of all the prophets. There were no newspapers, no radios, and no smartphones. Six hundred thousand scholars were entirely freed from the yoke of sustaining themselves and their families. And if that were not enough, they witnessed miracles and wonders. 
 
Above all, the children of Israel saw and heard the Holy One Blessed Be He. Every Jewish man and woman saw the sounds and heard Hashem Himself state I am Hashem your God and you shall not have any other gods. 
 
What happened? Not only did they fail to  attain  their  rectification, but they engaged  in  deplorable  behavior  and fell to the lowest depths. This leads to one conclusion, the simple truth that must penetrate every person's awareness: Without working on ourselves in prayer, we do not change. Moreover, without work, not only do people fail to change, but they are in immense danger of falling ever lower. 
 
Rabbi Arush cites his own personal history and the experience of his students. When they began to focus on one issue at a time and to pray for it every day, they began  to  see  changes from week to week and from month to month in a way that astonished them. We too can transform and elevate ourselves if we follow this approach. 
 
To get started, Rabbi Arush recommends choosing one small area where you want to see a change in yourself and spend 10 minutes a day for a month with desire and yearning to achieve that change. Undoubtedly you will see it happen. 
 
Ten minutes a day is needed to achieve small things but when you want to nullify a lust or rectify an evil trait, you must dedicate at least a half an hour a day. Therefore, begin by testing this with something small. After you see the results you will be eager to dedicate at least a half hour a day to tackle large and difficult issues that constitute the essence of what you must rectify. 

 

The key is to address one major issue at a time so your efforts will be focused and impactful. Our sages say that if you try to grasp too much you will end up grasping nothing at all. 
 
Rabbi Arush says that with regard to all work in the service of Hashem, it is forbidden to leave these matters  as  simply  beautiful  ideas. Rather we must apply these principles and devote our best efforts to actualize these teachings. Great is learning that leads to action! 
 
 

 

 

 




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