HOW DO YOU LEAVE YOUR PERSONAL GALUS?
July 14, 2014
Beis Moshiach in #934, Moshiach & Geula, Thought

The question in the title is an existential question which pertains to everyone, at any age, in every situation, at all times. How do we really leave our personal galus and move even one step forward? 

We have to get out of galus, first and foremost, from our personal galus. How do we do that? What does a person need to do in order to start exiting his personal galus? 

Stage 1: In order to experience any change in life, and certainly in order to start leaving our inner galus, we need ratzon, to want to leave our present situation, to understand how much the current situation is galus and how much better it can be. This is not merely a passing desire but a longing, something genuine, with a strong desire that has the power to move a person and motivate him to make a firm commitment: I will no longer remain in galus. If I don’t want this yet, then at least I should want to want …

Ratzon is a lofty power in man’s soul and not for naught did Chazal say, “Nothing stands in the way of ratzon.”  

Obviously, ratzon should not remain a ratzon. It needs to be channeled to practical ends. The ratzon needs to be focused and we need to know what our goal is and construct a plan that will be comprised of many stages. We can start with the easy things so that we can experience success from the very start and then proceed further happily.

For example, take someone who feels an inner galus when it comes to prayer. He learns Chassidus and knows what great levels he can reach, he knows what great levels he is expected to reach, but he also knows his true state. In stage 1, he needs to want to leave this state. He needs to want to daven properly. This desire will lead him to decide that he will invest himself in the area of prayer.

There is no need to be scared and think that the task is too big. Divide it into many parts and start with something small. You can start with the preparations for the avodas ha’t’filla, by saying the Birchos HaShachar from a Siddur slowly, by learning the simple meaning of the words, by meditating for a short time about before whom we are praying; to each his own. After succeeding in small ways for several days or weeks, you can move on.

Stage 2: At this stage you need emuna and bitachon. To believe that you can get out of the inner galus and that you can change; to believe that you can make a change in your life. If you believe in yourself, then you can imagine the final result and see yourself in a Geula state. Not just to believe it but to be absolutely confident that it will happen, that Hashem will help and you will succeed.

Change and progress require us to forgo the previous familiar stage that we were in until now. Change requires us to skip to a place which is unknown to us at the moment, but if we want to truly advance, we need to focus on the place we want to get to and not think about what I might be losing or missing.

MONKEY TRAP

The shluchim in India can tell you about the problems they have with monkeys that run wild and break into their kitchens. The Indians came up with an interesting way to catch them. They take a large coconut and empty the contents, leaving a small opening on top which a monkey’s hand can enter. Inside the coconut they put bait, a fruit that a monkey likes.  

The monkey puts its hand in to grab the fruit. It grasps the fruit but then can’t take its hand back out because the fruit is too big. The monkey is faced with a dilemma. Should it drop the fruit it wants and run away or remain with the fruit in hand and be caught. The monkey usually does not drop what it wants and is caught.

L’havdil numerous havdalos – when it comes to t’filla, you need to believe that it’s possible, that you too can drop bad habits and move on in life. Between you and me, we believe in far greater things than that. We believe that the Geula can come today, that a Beis HaMikdash will descend from heaven, that the yechida will be revealed in every detail of the world and we will see G-dliness openly. If we believe all that, then we can certainly believe in something “small” – that we can succeed in avodas ha’t’filla.

We can sit and imagine ourselves davening as we should, being successful in the preparations, being successful in the meditation and even taking pleasure in davening. After all, we know that Hashem wants us to succeed in this and surely helps. Even if we’ve messed up, nothing is lost; everything can be fixed. With emuna and bitachon we can overcome every difficulty.

PERSONAL GEULA IS IN ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE

Inner galus in avodas Hashem is not only between me and Hashem like t’filla and Torah study. Chassidus does not only relate to those aspects of life. Geula is not only for the time we spend in shul. Actually, the main change required of us is the time we are out of shul.

Inner galus is expressed in the way that we relate to our family members, in chinuch of our children, in relationships at work, and in how we relate to ourselves.

Here too, going out of galus is in the same way – wanting to leave the existing situation in such a powerful way that we become ready to forgo what we have now and focus all our energies on that.

For example, if I want to make a change and start wearing Geula glasses and see everything in a positive light, seeing the good in everyone, seeing the alef in Geula, in Stage 1 I need to really want that. I need to understand how important it is and how good it will be for me when I change my life for the better, and decide that I am going to go for it and not back down. Again, it is not necessary to decide that starting tomorrow everything will be different and I’ll only see the good in everyone. I can start with a small part of the day or with some of the people around me. It is better to begin with something small, to see that it’s possible and to continue further.

In Stage 2, I need emuna and bitachon. To believe that I can reach my goal, that I can see the good in everyone, that I can imagine how my personal Geula will look and how my day will be after I make the desired change. To be confident that this is the ratzon Hashem and surely He will help me succeed. To know that when the Rebbe demands that we live Geula, he also provides the abilities to do so.

Here too, to make it practical, I need to figure out what stops me from seeing the good in everyone and to think about what interferes with my moving forward and try and see how to overcome it.

HAVING A RAV OR MASHPIA

This process should be done with a mashpia. A good mashpia helps a Chassid understand where he truly is, where he wants to go, and how to start getting there. He won’t provide magical solutions and won’t do the work for us, but he knows how to direct us according to the place we are now in.

With systematic and consistent avoda we can transform the world. We can achieve personal Geula. We can bring Moshiach.

 

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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