Rabbi Arush Teaches Us a Shortcut!
Success in life is guaranteed, if only we use the right tools in the right way...
Posted on 23.06.19
If you love shortcuts – this lesson is for you! New technologies have given us a lot of shortcuts and from each of them we can learn something for our own service of Hashem.
Hashem gave us a new device called Waze that already it is hard for us to understand how we ever managed without it. This device teaches us that there is no shorter path than the correct path. If you know the correct path, and if you know exactly where to turn and what to do at the next step – you will arrive quickly and easily. But if you do what you understand, and what seems right to you – almost certainly you will find yourself lost or stuck in traffic jams.
There really are no shortcuts in life. But there definitely are short paths. What is the difference between a shortcut and a short path? A shortcut tries to cut steps, but a short path means to go from step to step in the proper way. The way to succeed in life is to think properly, and then use the tools that Hashem gives us, in order to act properly.
This is the correct path which is also the shortest path there is. Really, it’s the only path. There is no other path.
How do we do this in practice? In order to progress and work properly in our lives, we need to follow these same three steps. In this article, we are going to cover the first two steps which are:
Step One – Think Properly
This first step is to recognize the reality that you have an Evil Inclination (EI) and that he is part of you that cannot be separated from you, no different than one of your limbs. Don’t feel bad that you have an EI, don’t blame yourself, and don’t persecute yourself. Hashem created you with your faults just like He created you with your limbs – for your good! Your EI is not a “fault,” rather it is part of the plan of how Hashem created you, in order to give worth to all of your service of Hashem.
Just like in sports, if the other team is terrible and easy to beat, then what does winning mean? The real game is played when the two sides are almost equal, and both sides bring forth all their effort and play their best in order to win. Hashem wants you to win, but He wants you to be challenged to bring forth your best in the process. So He created the EI specifically in order to make it a bit difficult, to force you to play your best game, and to give you more merit when you win.
Therefore, stop berating yourself about your faults. Every bad thought about yourself is a waste of energy on things that are not in your control and wastes precious energy you need to truly improve yourself.
Step Two – Use the Tools
Get to know your strengths! Know your strengths – know yourself. Knowledge is power. Rebbe Nachman says that most people’s problem is that they don’t know the power that they have in their hands, and what is their true power.
G-d created you with a strong EI – but He also gave you a tool that is even stronger and more powerful. This tool is prayer. Everything is dependent on prayer!
Without prayer you really have no possibility to overcome your EI because you stand against the EI alone, without Hashem. The Gemara says that if Hashem doesn’t help a person, he cannot overcome his EI. It is no fault of yours that you are no exception! You are just a little person against an angel – you can’t win.
However, with prayer, Hashem is with you. And Hashem is all powerful! Now the EI has no power against you, because it’s G-d Himself against His own creation, against an angel. Now, it’s the EI that can’t possibly win!
Therefore, the real and essential war and the real free choice is really – whether to pray, or not. You prayed – you won. You didn’t pray – you lost.
In Part 2 we will learn Step Three, how to put the first two steps into practical action.
Tell us what you think!
Can't wait for the rest of the series!
I never thought about personal prayer in this way before... excellent.
Thank you Rabbi Arush!
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