Skip to main content

Thought for the Day: The Benefit of Yisurim After T'shuva

 Nothing stands in the way of t'shuva; nothing.  (Well except my own obstinacy...)  T'shuva can turn intentional sins into accidental sins or even into merits.  What does that mean?  Is this some kind of game?  Also, most sins need y'surim (suffering) to finish the job that t'shuva started.  Isn't that backwards?  Shouldn't the y'surim come if I don't do t'shuva in order to provide "encouragement"?

Sinning is fun.  It has to be, otherwise there would have been no reason for it's creation.  "Calculate the benefit of a sin versus it's loss" (Avos 2:1).  Sin has to bring some benefit (fun) in order for us to get the reward of choosing to not sin.  Even when I have done t'shuva on the sin, there is still the problem of the fun I had.  Depending on the type of sin, there could be a significant impact left on my neshama.  The process of cleansing my neshama is experienced as y'surim.

The Mabit says that we experience pleasure in this world through our health, our money, and nachas from our children.  When our love for HaShem is complete, then we are complete in those three areas.  The Mabit learns that from the first paragraph of sh'ma: "b'chol l'vavcha, b'chol nafshecha, u'v'chol m'odecha"; with all of your heart (the love for your children is engraved deeply into your heart), with all of your life (a completely healthy body), and with all of your resources (money).

Sinning is an action that demonstrates a lack in love for HaShem.  In order to remove the impact left on our neshamos, continues the Mabit, we must experience an amount of suffering that is equal to the fun we had.  That is why our suffering comes in those three areas: children, health, financial.  That is also why y'surim (the healling kind) come only after t'shuva and why it depends on the kind of sin that was done.  T'shuva from failure to fulfill positive commandments does not bring on y'surim; the t'shuva is enough to remove the impression on our n'shamos.  Transgressing a negative commandment, on the other hand (lots more fun!), leaves a deeper mark and takes more work to achieve an effective cleansing.

It comes out, then, that the best s'gula for health, parnassa, and nachas from the children is to not sin.  Simple, no?  Like all good s'gulos.


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: Using a Mitzvah Object for Non-Mitzvah Purposes

As I am -- Baruch HaShem -- getting older, I am more cognizant of the fact that I'd like to stay as healthy as possible right up the moment I leave this world.  Stuff hurting is not the problem (I am told there is an old Russian saying that once you are 40, if you wake up and nothing hurts -- you're dead), stuff not working, however, is a problem.  To that end, for several years now I commute to work by bicycle (weather permitting, 30 minutes on an elliptical machine when weather does not permit).  I recently took up some upper body weight training.  Not because I want to be governor of California, just simply to slow down loss of bone mass and extend my body's healthy span.  Simple hishtadlus.  I have an 18 month old grandson who is just the right weight for arm curls (yes... I am that weak), so I do about 10 reps when I greet him at night.  He laughs, I get my exercise; all good.  (Main problem is explaining to the older ones why zeidy can't give them the same "…

Thought for the Day: Thanking HaShem Each and Every Day for Solid Land Near Water

Each and every morning, a Jew is supposed to view himself as a new/renewed creation, ready for a new day of building his eternal self through Torah and mitzvos.  We begin the day with 16 brachos to praise/thank/acknowledge HaShem for giving us all the tools we need to succeed.  We have a body, soul, and intellect.  We have vision, mobility, and protection from the elements.  Among those brachos, we have one that perhaps seems a bit out of place: רוקע הארץ על המים/Who spreads out the land on/over the water.  After all, it's nice to have a dry place to walk, but does that compare to the gratitude I have for a working body and vision?  As it turns out, I should; as explained by the R' Rajchenbach, rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu (aka, Peterson Park Kollel).  Your best bet is to listen to the shiur; very distant second is to continue, which I hope will whet your appetite for the real thing.

First... since we have dry land, I don't have to slog to work through even a foot…