Question:

I feel I struggle excessively with an aveira and therefore cannot commit sincerely to not doing it again, are there any alternatives to Teshuva that one may do (commit to learning Torah, doing a Mitzvah etc.)? Should one confess to Hashem anyway and attempt to explain his situation?

Thank you

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

You are very correct! A person that is struggling excessively with an aveiro, can not and should not commit to not doing it again! Who are we fooling! On the other hand does that mean that we should just let our violating the mitzva go totally unchecked? No. What you need is an easy way to make even a small improvement. If you would like someone to help you out, leave me a comment to this post, and I will send you the information in a discreet way. Regarding you questions, the general rule is that Hashem does not cancel out our aveiros with the mitzvos that we do. The reason is because then we will lose out way too much. Let me explain this with an example, of a young soldier who was very smart and talented, and therefore he was raised to the status of general when he merely 28 years old. one day he was talking to the king and he  said something very unbefitting to the king. The king got very angry with him, and told him he has a choice, either 20 lashes, or to be demoted to the rank of private and to never be promoted again.The young general was smart, and took the lashes, which will last for only a few minutes, but this way he didn’t ruin his whole career, and after the lashes he will be able to continue being successful.

Hashem does the same thing with us. When we do a mitzvah, Hashem rewards us with eternal blessing in the world to come, that will never end. The punishment that He gives us for our aveiros are only temporary, like a solid washing in the washing machine. Then after we are clean from our aveiros, we are ready to enjoy the eternal reward. Therefore Hashem does not cancel out aveiros with mitzvos. Therefore, doing a mitzva will not cancel out your aveiros. Having said that, it is brought down that torah learning in a certain way does atone for aveiros, especially if we learn the halachos regarding that specific aveiro. Confessing to Hashem will help somewhat, but the main thing is to properly, and correctly help yourself make progress to at least help yourself control your yetzer hora.

Best Wishes

 

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Tags: Teshuva

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3 Responses to “Alternative to Teshuva”

  1. If a person feels that they’re struggling excessively with a particular sin; that’s actually a good sign, because it means that they haven’t totally succumbed to the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination), and the Yetzer Tov (good inclination) is still active in the fighting mode.

    It’s also a sign, that deep down, the person truly desires to be good, just that they find it extremely difficult to live up with to what they know intellectually is the correct path, and despite this difficulty are seeking to improve themselves in this area.

    They are also to be commended for taking a stand, and trying to pull themselves out of the spiritual rut that they’re in!

    The feeling that they can’t sincerely commit to not doing it again, is understandable, but just because the war can’t currently be totally won, doesn’t mean that the person should surrender up front, and not try their best to do battle with the enemy.

    You might lose some battles, but the main thing is to ultimately win the war.

    This war CAN BE WON, and the feeling of accomplishment will be so great that all the struggles to win the war, will surely be better than the fleeting moments of pleasure from sinning.

    However winning a war requires strategy.

    Here is one strategy which some have found helpful in their spiritual battles.

    A person struggling with a particular sin; can try to slowly wean themselves from the sin.

    If they were in the habit of committing the sin several times daily, they should try to “only” commit the sin once a day. If they were in the habit of committing the sin daily, they should try to “only” commit the sin every other day.

    As they progress, they can try to extend this to every third day etc.

    Lose battles, but WIN THE WAR…

  2. Can I please get this guidance as well? How to do teshuva if you can’t promise it won’t happen again, since i keep doing it despite wanting to stop. Thank you

    • Sure.

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