Wise Fridays: Why Jews Forget

The Jewish people were rebuked for having “having forgotten God, Who formed you†(D’varim 32:18). This forgetfulness is the principle factor that distances a person from God.

In the prayer that he composed, R. Elimelech of Lizhensk says, “May our mind be pure, clear, clean and strong.†Everyone knows that, if he were to literally see with his own eyes that he is standing before God, he would cease to have an evil inclination. Instead, he would pour forth his entire spirit and soul in holy words to God until he would become nothing and be absorbed into God.

But we do not have to go so far. Everyone feels how his evil inclination ceases to exist even if he no more than focuses his mind and thought strongly upon God. Then all of its poison, which usually bubbles through his senses, is nullified.

– Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, the rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto
from Experiencing the Divine

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