One of the most grievous sins is to not believe you are forgiven once you repent. For as long as you believe that you are still a sinner, you will fool yourself in to believing you have no hope and sin again.
See the completed product in your mind before you even start and imagine yourself already enjoying the goal. As long as the imagine is still in your mind you will be able to reach your goal even with many years of work ahead.
The secret of Bitachon, Trust in God, is that the rewards of the world to come are already yours for the good deeds you have done and so also the coming punishments!. Living with the feeling of results now propel one to enjoy an aspect of the world to come even now, secure with out worry or concern and as such happy for it is "in the bank". So to also one will be inspired to repent and clean out the filth before one has to lie in it.
One of the most powerful of all Yetzer Harot, desires, is to lose ones mind, and so responsibility for self, to a group.
The commandment to "Love your Neighbor as yourself" is only possible when you have a "yourself", that is a "you" making decisions. To love your neighbor and to conform to the group is only a Mitzvah when "you" make the decisions with the group having asked a question of your Posek, the Rabbi you have chosen to lead you in matters of Jewish Law, if it is correct to do what the group is doing or not.
When the group is wrong, "Do not be drawn after him, do not listen to him, do not have compassion on him, do not take pity on him, and do not cover for him". (Devarim 13:9)
One of the many first moves of the Yetzer Harah, man's inclination to wrong, is to convince them to "study" the workings of a desire in order to peak it. So it is that Hashem warns do not ask "How did these nations worship their gods" for then "I will do so too" (Devarim 12:30)
In parshat Ekev the Torah tells us of such wonderful things that will happen if we keep the Torah, but doesn't it say that there are no rewards in this world for keeping the Torah?
The Rambam teaches these are not rewards, they are what assist us to serve Hashem. If we take advantage and are careful about trying to keep even the lightest of Mitzvot that we would be want to tread on with our heals (See Rashi - Ekev) than Hashem will insure every detail of assistance to serve him will be there for us.
Don't ever lie to yourself or allow yourself to believe others that lie to you saying:
You are no good
You are good for nothing
You are a loser
These and other statements like this are just your evil inclination working to find ways to help you make excuses for not taking responsibility for what you have done wrong and what you should be doing!
In fact, you are good, you have a Godly soul, God created you and maintains you in this world, so you have a purpose, you came to this world with no good deeds and have accumulated many so you are already a winner and there is still much more you will achieve!
Stop making excuses, you were created able to succeed and will succeed. Repent for your sins and serve God with who you are and with the talents that you DO have.
You don't control your destiny, God does. When Adam and Chavah ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened to the constant worry of what could happen to them at any moment. (Perush HaGra)
When your serve God, you see his hand in everything and realize that everything follows his plan. No worries, just happiness and rewards to come even if you lack right now. When you don't, you get a lousy ride to a place you don't want to go.
Even the most evil person in Israel does not reach the 50th level of defilement. In order to enter into the 50th chamber one must descend for 400 consecutive days.
Every year thirty days before Passover, God, in his abundant kindness, lifts the defilement from the Jewish people 1/30th each day and so each year on the night of Passover the Jewish people are once again given freedom from the bounds of defilement.
God in his wisdom slowly removes the defilement in order that the other side not be aroused and raise a complaint against the Jews.
It is on Passover night when we are free that we can seize the moment with nothing holding us back and change the world though the discussions of Torah and fulfillment of commandments at our tables.
The goal of Purim is to be drunk with the Awe of Heaven, overwhelmed realizing the incredible masterly woven tapestry of the universe is so finely and constantly controlled by the hand of the Almighty that in a single twist multiple acts occur as in the fall of Haman with the rise of Mordechai
When God brings affliction upon us it is a cure for our soul. Just as a doctor will prescribe bitter medicines or even amputations and the patient will gladly accept the medicine to prevent the spread of disease and their ultimate destruction, so too our troubles are a prescriptions for our souls.
How then can a person pray for themselves?
There is no affliction with out sin.
When we sin we cause affliction to the upper worlds. God gives the Jew the special mission to represent his truth in the world and so his every act of falsehood distorts the divine revelation.
Just as a father feels the pain of the administering of painful cures to his child so too is their affliction above. For as a result of the falsehoods once perpetrated now the bearer of the mission is afflicted creating the illusion that perhaps the mission itself is tainted.
How can we not pray for the end of affliction on high!
May God grant a complete recovery to each and every one of us so that we should be strong to bear His mission in the world and fulfill his will.
As children we don't fear death and see it as a continuation of life, we want to live to discover and learn. As we age and become addicted to the momentary pleasures of the world we begin to fear being torn away from our fixes and stop trying to learn and grow. When we repent and walk in the path of God, we embrace and desire life and growth that provides us with the opportunity of the world to come.
Remove the fear of death by severing your ties to the physical pleasures of the world. Embrace life by embracing the opportunity it offers to server the creator and learn his ways, and you will be happy not having the stress of fear, but instead have the passions to learn and grow again.
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