Sunday, September 17, 2006

AishDas Shabbaton Elul 2006 III

Friday night's panel discussion, on converting intentional sins (zedonot) to merits (zechuyot) through Repentance from Love is available here, hosted by AishDas.

In case I don't get to write up more substantial summaries, here are my initial notes from the first two sessions at the Shabbaton:

Lessons of 12/23 - how do I change my life? (R' Micha Berger):

How have we changed? teshuvah? what about "one day before we die"

How do we change? Micha narrated his experiences on 9/11, walking into and back out of the cloud of debris, since he came from Battery Park, walking up the island to his brother on 97th, tremendous sense of everyone helping everyone else, getting home at 11-12 at night. Everyone said "the world changed, we have changed", but after a year, let alone five, is it really that changed?

One thing I've sadly noticed is that every year I do teshuvah for pretty much the same things.

There is a verse in Devarim (Deut) which reads "The 'Eyes' of G-d are on [the Land of Israel] from reishis hashanah ad acharis shanah -- the beginning of the year until the end of a year." The Satmar Rav points out the asymmetery; first the use of "hashanah", "THE year", but it closes with just "shanah", "A year".

The Satmar Rav notes that unfortunately that is the way with most of us. Every year, when it begins, we are all excited and determined. "This is going to be THE year!" The year I finally have the patience my children deserve, the year I get to synagogue regularly, the year... But the year goes by, and by the end, it's just "a year", another year on the calendar.

To avoid this, we need to look at teshuvah as a process, not as a goal. How do I keep getting better, rather than how far am I from my ideal state? Paraphrasing Kierkegaard: becoming not being. Teshuvah as a process, not as a one-shot deal on Yom Kippur or even during Elul, but on-going:

Don't focus on "who do I want to be", but "how do I keep becoming better" - teshuvah is stepping on the accelerator, not arriving at a destination.

* * *

Lo Tisna: hate blocks repentance between people (R' Micha Berger, discussion facilitators R' Gil Student, Dr. Shani Bechhofer):

The verse links "do not hate your brother in your heart, rebuke your compadre, do not bear sin on behalf of your brother"

Hate in the heart rather than openly. Rather, one should air the hate, resolve it, restore shalom if possible, and thus not bear the sin of hate because of one's ongoing unresolved issues.

Hate is not anger, hate is a state, while anger is immediate, reaction.

Anger is taken care of with "lo tikom velo titor". hate is separate issur.

Hate - Rambam? - better to clear the air with your fellow, if you hate him - this is tochacha - "i don't like to bring this up, but you know, what you said/did the other day really hurt me"

Pragmatic suggestions: if you're tired of hating the other, just lie in his favor, say you were wrong - sheker is OK in the cause of shalom, saith the Gemara.

Try to clear the air with the other, don't keep it bottled up, because it will come out in even worse ways, when you interact with that person or in similar situations.

Tape timings for the mp3 file, about 90 min. all told

0-3:30 Stu Feldhamer's intro with gemara
3:30-26:20 R' Sokol
26:20-52:30 Gil
52:30-82:40 Micha
82:40-88:45 questions
88:45-end Stu wraps up


micha said...

One suggestion made that I took away from the "lo sisna" discussion is the idea of practicing viewing the conversation or interaction as though you were on the ceiling watching it as an outsider. That doesn't address hatred as much as the anger that causes it, but a constructive idea either way.


micha said...

I just put my notes from my Friday night talk up on Aspaqlaria.


Coin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.