Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rabbi Daniel Frish on the “Yetzer HaRah”


Read a previous introduction on Rabbi Daniel Frish here: 

The second chapter of the book “Kedusha veZniut – Holiness and Modesty” written by Rabbi Daniel Frish talks about how a man should free himself from his lust. Getting rid of the animal lust inside of him. A man was created with this lust but he has to learn how to use it in a positive, hence, modest way. Lust and passion must be used in a pure sense. Example: Lust can be turned into the highest kind of unity when a husband is having relations with his wife. 

On the other hand, a man has to be extremely careful because lust can arouse the greatest “Yetzer HaRah – Negative side in each of us”. A man’s task is to overcome his “Yetzer HaRah”he needs great strength. Furthermore, he should build fences around himself in order to prevent certain dangers beforehand. 

How does a man study Torah in a pure sense ? When he is keeping the union with G – d; keeping himself away from all negative influences. Thus, he will not be vulnerable to thoughts of negative lust but able to have pure relations with his wife. The result of this will be that the couple is going to have righteous children. 

How can someone overcome his “Yetzer HaRah” ? By using his Chochmah (wisdom). 

A great danger of arousing one’s “Yetzer HaRah” is being in contact with other Jews who don’t stick to Torah Mitzvot. However, the worst “Yetzer HaRah” of a man is always aroused by women, as a man can easily have second thoughts. 

We always have to remember that each of us has a Nefesh. In Judaism, souls rise to different levels and a “Nefesh” is the lowest state of a soul. Nefesh means that a human being is satisfying his needs such as eating, drinking, desires, passions, lust, materialism, etc. The Nefesh is mostly referred to a kind of animal soul, as on this level, we behave like an animal. We drink, eat and satisfy our worldly pleasures but don’t think that there is something higher. Example: Spirituality. Instead, we just follow our instinct in order to survive. 

Those who stick to the way of Torah and are thus able to overcome any negative powers trying to lead him astray is called a “Ba’al Torah” and a “Ba’al Mitzvot”. In order to withstand outside influences, a man has to build fences around himself. One of the names of G – d is “Shad – dai”. The Hebrew word “Dai” means “Enough”. When G – d was creating, He finally said “Dai – Enough”. A man has to do the same and say “Dai” when it comes to a certain situation where he could go astray. 

Photos: Miriam Woelke

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