A website for Jews struggling to maintain their moral purity in today's world
|GUE Home||New Website||Forum||Email List||Stories||Tips||Hotline||12 Steps||Filters||Links||FAQ||Help Us||Kosher Isle||Contact|
"Letting Go & Letting G-d"
Q. I would like to understand why i see you mention frequently in your chizuk and on your site that we must realize that we are powerless and must give ourselves over to g-d. i don't fully get the concept and especially its necessity. what's wrong if we still believe that we can fix this? what does "giving your self over to god mean"?
A. They say in the 12 Step programs; "Let go and let G-d" and "Quit playing G-d. Seek help from a power greater than one's own will and determination".
The first step in breaking free is to realize that the Yetzer Hara has been fooling us for too long. We always thought that with will-power alone we would be able to break free, and that is why the urgency of freeing ourselves from the addiction wasn't so strong. We tried again and again, and had no success. Finally, we "hit bottom". "Hitting Bottom" basically means that we realized it just doesn't work with our determination alone.
At this stage we are ready for the first step in achieving sobriety, which is, admitting to ourselves finally that will-power alone is not enough to break free of the complex issue of addiction. We need to surrender to G-d so that the Yetzer Hara can't continue to fool us any more.
Indeed, the first three steps of the renowned 12 step program revolve around this theme (Rabbi Avraham Twerski, world renowned expert in addictions, holds highly of the 12 step program).
Even the great David Hamelech recognized that only through Hashem's divine intervention can one succeed in subduing the evil inclination. He mentions this theme many times in Tehhillim - see below for three examples. Also Moshe Rabbeinu was only able to take the Yidden out of Egypt and split the Yam Suf by virtue of his absolute nullification before G-d, as he said "Va'anachnu Ma" - "What are we?"
So, if you want to split your own personal sea and leave the bondage of Egypt behind, the first step is to recognize that ONLY Hashem can do it. And only Hashem is strong enough to take us out of Egypt. We are not strong enough on our own.
But in order for G-d to do these miracles for us, we need to "Let go and Let G-d" and give ourselves over to him. This means giving the disease and addiction over to Hashem and trusting him to take it away from us and support us while we heal.
Along these lines, Chaza"l say that Moshiach can't come until the time when the Yidden realize "Ain Lanu Al Mi Lesha'ain Ela Al Avinu Shebashamayim" - "We have no one to rely on but our father in heaven".
From all of the above (and examples below) we see that this is a recurrent theme in all of the Torah. As it is on a national level, so it is on an individual level. True redemption of any kind, can not be achieved before one totally surrenders to G-d.
Examples from Tehillim:
Hebrew: "Tzofeh Rasha Latzadik umevakesh le'hamiso - Hashem Lo Ya'azvenu Beyado"
English: "The Rasha (the Yetzer Hara) gazes upon the tzadik and desires to kill him, but Hashem will not let him fall into his hands" .
And Chaza"l say on this -
Hebrew: "Yitzro Shel Adam Misgaber Alav Bechol Yom Veilmalai Hakadosh Baruch Hu Ozer Lo, Aino Yuchal Lo"
English: "The evil inclination of a man strengthens himself upon a man each day and desires to destroy him, and if G-d wouldn't help him he would not be able to defeat him"
Hebrew: "Lulai Ezrasa Li, Kima'at Shuchneh duma Nafshi"
English: "had you not helped me, my soul should have been laid rest by Dumah (the angel of Gehenom)"
Hebrew: "Ani Amarti Bishalvi bal emot le'olam, hashem birtzoncha he'emadeta learri Oz.. histartah panecha hayisi nival"
English: "I had thought in my peaceful times that I shall never falter, but Hashem, it was your will that did uphold me to show strength. Had you hidden your face, I should have been confounded"