Question:

I have many doubts in brachot that consume my time. I feel stuck in cases when I have a saphek about a law from the Torah (such as fulfilment of my obligation in shemona esrei or grace after meals) and this happens on a regular daily basis and according to Halacha it’s not just something you can ignore. To be honest I don’t believe there is much you can help me with here but it’s worth a try. I hope for a solution as this it something that is really making life a challenge at the moment. My doubts are beyond the norm.

Answer:

The torah and mitzvos are not meant to be this way. The way it sounds to me is that it is a yetzer hora that is bothering you with all sorts of questions and sfeikos. There are two types of yetzer hora, one that tries to stand in the way of a person and not let him do the mitzvos, and another one that pushes the person from behind and tells him “do more, you are never doing enough”, “whatever you are doing is inadequate”. This he does in order to make us lose our self confidence, and start us in a cycle of worry. Of course we want to do the best we can, and we should always try to make ourselves better, but when it reaches a point that that it is hindering our growth, it means it is a yetzer hora. We say in maariv, “v’hoser Satan m’lifaneinu u’m’achareinu”, we ask H-shem to take the Satan away from infront and in back of us. This is strange, I understand why we don’t want the Satan in front of us, but what is the problem if we get ahead of him and he is in back of us? the answer is exactly this point, sometimes the Satan pushes us from the back, maybe you didn’t daven good enough, and he makes us crazy all day with it, and ruins, our whole day of mitzvos or learning. That is why we daven that H-shem should spare us from the Satan that is in back of us.

This is true in hashkafa, on a practical level you need to speak to someone who can guide you to be able to determine what is a real question, and what is a yetzer hora question; a real safek, and an imaginary one. You sound like a person that wants to do what H-shem wants, right now what H-shem wants you do to is to talk to someone to get rid of your fears, so that you will be able to be an oved H-shem b’simcha.

 

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One Response to “Doubts in brachot”

  1. The Steipler has a letter about the OCD people. Also, Reb Asher Weiss.

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