Weekly Inspiration

Am I A Slave?
December 16th, 2020

Dear Friends, here is a message for the Sixth Day of Chanukah, continuing in our series: 

Every morning we say “shelo asani eved,” which means that I am thanking Hashem for not making me a SLAVE! 

Ever since we were expelled from Gan Eden, we have been slaves to the Yetzer ha Ra. What do you think caused Chava to eat that forbidden fruit? Her own desire! Was she a slave to the snake? No! She had free will, but she chose to listen to the snake rather listen to Hashem because she WANTED to eat the fruit!

Eating tends to be controlled by the Yetzer ha Ra, as we said before. Why do you think it says in the Shema, “you will eat and be satisfied,” and then, right after that, it says, “beware lest your heart be seduced and you turn astray and serve gods of others”? 

That is because eating – in general, being physically satisfied -- as a goal in life, easily leads to abandonment of Hashem and His Torah, G-d forbid. There is the famous story of the Rebbe who said to his chosid, “What is the difference between you and me? We both make a bracha and we both eat, but you make a bracha to eat, whereas I eat to make a bracha.” 

What are we living for? Am I a slave to the Yetzer ha Ra? Am I a slave to my desire for food? Am I a slave to my desire for …… anything? If so, then I am a slave to the Yetzer ha Ra, the Satan, the Angel of Death! 

Death was introduced into the world when Chava ate what Hashem had forbidden. If we want to live forever, if we want to serve Hashem -- Who is infinite, beyond time and space – if we want Shalom Bayis, then we have to cease being slaves to our heart and our eyes. We have to look at the tzitzis, which means Taryag Mitzvos, the Torah! 

By the way, men wear tzitzis. What do women look at? 

The flames of the Shabbos lights and the Chanukah menorah!

That saves us. Taryag Mitzvos, the Torah, is what we see when we look at the tzitzis or the flames of the menorah.

Chanukah Blessings to you! 

We will continue this series with G-d’s help tomorrow. – Roy Neuberger


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