Greetings, Dear Friends,
Here is the message for the Fifth Day of Chanukah, continuing in our series ….
Shalom Bayis breaks down when we follow our heart and eyes and not the Holy Torah. When our feelings govern our behavior, we are on the slippery road to Gehenom. “Feelings” are the province of the Yetzer ha Ra.
“Today I don’t feel like davening.”
“That cheeseburger looks so good and I am so hungry.”
“I feel alienated from my wife,” or “I feel alienated from my husband.”
The Torah is not feelings. The Torah is a Perfect Path which has been laid out for us by the Master of the Universe. He tells us how to live.
I will give you an example. I have a terrible time with Krias Shema al Ha Mita … the prayer before going to sleep. I get exhausted by the end of the day and I do not FEEL (there’s that word again!) that I have the strength to say it. Rabbi Shimshon Pincus zt”l says it is so important to say Krias Shema al ha Mita. Why? Maybe one reason is precisely because we are so tired and are thus in a tremendous battle with the Yetzer ha Ra. This is the moment before which our neshoma is going back to Shomayim while we are sleeping. We must win this battle. I have tried to formulate certain strategies to overcome this daily test (Krias Shema al ha Mita), but the point is that we have to fight our feelings. We have to learn to recognize the Yetzer ha Ra and know when to do battle.
Perhaps the byword is this: anything which we do NOT want to do, about which we feel an inner resistance, is probably good to do, because that inner voice which says “I do not feel like doing this” or “I cannot do this now!” is almost certainly the Yetzer ha Ra. When I should study Torah or make a bracha with kavana, I hear this voice inside me saying “NO! You don’t have time!” That is the voice of the Yetzer ha Ra!
Once we understand this, then we can elevate our lives by engaging in battle with the Yetzer ha Ra as our Father Yaakov did.
I wish you a Blessed Chanukah! With G-d’s help we will continue tomorrow.