Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: Doing Ratzon HaShem Vs. Doing the Rright Thing

A bit more on why doing Ratzon HaShem confuses the Satan.  The Satan (literally, "adversary") is not so much interested in making us do evil things as he is interested in making us do selfish things.  In fact, he couldn't care less if we do useful and meaningful and even good things; as long as we do it for ourselves.  Once we are doing it for ourselves, we have just permitted every perversion imaginable (and several you can't even imagine).  How does that work?  The big argument of the secular world is that we are religious because it makes us feel good.  They are all for that.  Then they say, "You are just like us.  You do what makes you feel good, we do what makes us feel good.  Being religious makes you feel good.  Being a   makes us feel good.  Ultimately we are all just selfishly satisfying ourselves."  That is the Satan.  That is how every "civilized" secular society inexorably marches toward corruption and self-destruction.  With no external standard of morality, there is no stopping that march.

We say, "No.  It does feel good to do ratzon HaShem, but that is not why we do it.  And the proof is that we stop blowing shofar before Rosh HaShana, etc"  (as discussed before).  That is, we go out of our way with a myriad of large and small, public and private actions demonstrating to them and (more importantly) ourselves that our aspiration is to make each and every action an expression of Ratzon HaShem and not ratzon atzmi.  Those actions nullify the effect of the Satan.  As long as we stick to Ratzon HaShem, the Satan is left bewildered because all of his arguments fall away and he is left stuttering and stammering.


Popular posts from this blog

Thought for the Day: Battling the Evil Inclination on all Fronts

Yom Kippur.  When I was growing up, there were three annual events that marked the Jewish calendar: eating matzos on Passover, lighting candles on Chanuka, and  fasting on Yom Kippur.  Major news organizations around the world report on the "surreal" and "eerie" quiet of the streets in even the most secular neighborhoods of Israel.  Yom Kippur.

As you know, I am observant of Jewish law.  Some have even called me "ultra orthodox" (not in a kind way).  Given that, I have a question.  How likely do you think that I would be tempted to eat on Yom Kippur, that most holy day of the year?  Let's make the scale zero to ten, where zero is "as likely as driving through McDonald's on Shabbos and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese." and ten is "as likely as breathing regularly".  Take your time.  If you answered "zero"; thank you, but -- sadly and penitently -- no.  The answer is more like nine; I'd like to say lower, but i…

Thought for the Day: Sometimes a Food Loses Its Identity When It Loses Its Bracha; Sometimes It Doesn't

Let's start with a question: Why are We Allowed to Drink Coffee and Whiskey Made by Non-Jews?  Before you ask,"Why would I think that I shouldn't be able to drink whiskey and coffee made by non-Jews?", I'll tell you. Simple, we all know that Chazal made a decree -- known as בישול עכו''ם/bishul akim -- that particular foods cooked by non-Jews are forbidden.  There are basically two criteria that determines if a dish falls into this category:
Is not consumed raw.Fit for a royal banquet. Cooked carrots, therefore, are not a problem since they can be eaten raw (I actually prefer them that way).  Baked beans are find because the are not prestigious enough.  (For great synopsis of the laws, see the article on the Star-K site, FOOD FIT FOR A KING, by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann, shlita.)  There are lots of cool questions and details (baked potatoes are prestigious, does that make even potato chips and issue?) which are for another time.  Clearly, though, both coffee an…

Thought for the Day: Coming Into This World for Torah, Avodah, and Acts of Loving Kindness

This TftD is so self-serving that I should be embarrassed.  But I am not... talking about grandchildren is always off budget.  I have, bli ayin hara, a beautiful new grandson; born at 6:11 PM CDT last Friday night.  The secular (aka -- by me, anyway -- slave) date is October 20, 2017 CE.  The Hebrew (aka Real) date is certainly Rosh Chodesh חשון/Cheshvan and certainly in the year 5778 since Creation.  The date, you ask... good question!

Sundown on Friday night was 6:01 PM CDT, which means he was born either at the end of the last day of תשרי or the beginning of the first day of Cheshvan; a period know as בין השמשות/twilight.  What's the big deal, you ask... I am so glad you asked.  We all deal quite handily with בין השמשות every week and every holiday; we're just stringent.  We start Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov before בין השמשות; that is, before sundown.  Likewise, we end Shabbos and the first day of Yom Tov after בין השמשות; some 42, 50, 60, or 72 minutes after sundo…