Shmiras Habris

From Rabbi Rosenfeld Tape based on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslav

- The word Bris means treaty. The Bris is a sign of the covenant between Hashem and the Jews, regarding the fulfilling of the Torah. This is especially referring to controlling the desire for women.
- This does not lower the states of a women. Women when they act modestly can be very holy. This is very similar to money, that has roots in very high places . It is only in the lower levels that it becomes entangled in the klipos and is mostly misused. In fact the Shichenah (Divine Presents) is always referred to as feminine.
- This desire is the worst of all evil desires.
- This is the main test a person is subjected to in life. Included in this test, is not to fail in action, speech and even thought.
- Because this test is so important the Satan (evil inclination) tries with all his might to tempt a person in this area.
- Every person has an obligation to totally nullify these desires. Just as Dovid eventually did as it is written “My heart is hallow inside of me.”
- Since this is a mans main task, he must therefore prepare himself in many ways to be saved from this.
- Also, since almost everyone stumbles in this sin, even if only in thought, the methods for repentants must be described.
- The main evil inclination of a person is not for food or money but for this sin.
- Shmiras Habris is also a test for women, for they also fall victim to these sins. The Sefer Chasidim brings down that many righteous women would pray that they wouldn’t be the cause of any temptation.
- Since this is so important the first mitzvah a baby boy is subjected to is Milah. The Urlah (foreskin) the source of evil is removed. This baby is then given a chance to live the rest of his life in purity.
- This battle lasts until the day of death. If the Satan was unable to make a person sin when he is young then he will get him in middle of his life. If he can’t get him then, he will try even in his old age. The Talmud shows that even great sages like Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Meir were exposed to such tests.
- A person has to know the tools of the Satan. The Satan will expose him to sight, the eyes see the heart desired, then the body does action.
- The first thing to be careful about is watching the eyes. A person is not allowed to “Just look.” For that is the first step, he has already brought impurity into his mind. This in itself is a sin.
- Rebbe Nachman brought down a story abut a musician who pretended to be blind his whole life, so he wouldn’t be exposed to impure sights.
- The Satan is very smart and will use many traps and tricks to trap a person. One of his methods is to make the person think he is doing a mitzvah (meaning doing a mitzvah even though he might be exposed to impurity). Another thing he might say to a person is “today it is so common, it is therefore only a little thing, there are much more important things to focus on.”
- The only way to fully rectify this is to break this desire totally. The way to break it through tears and Hisdodedute (spontaneous prayer)
- A person who wants to serve Hashem has to work hard to break this desire. Once he is successful and reaches the level of Tzadik all his other evil desires will fall apart as well.
- There are seventy arch nations other then Yisroel. Rebbe Nachman taught that each nation has one specific bad attribute that they excel in. One nation has murder, another has stealing, another has slander and so on. However if one was to combine all seventy nations and their evil attributes he would end up with Niuf ( the illegal desire for women).
- The Zohar writes that the fires of Gehunam (purgatory) are fed by the heat of impure desires.
- Yosef was the only one called Tzadik. Avrohom Yitzchok, Moshe, and Dovid were not called Tzadik. The title Tzadik is reserved only for one who is subjected to great tests in these matters and passes such as Yosef did.
- The method used by Yosef was to always remember the day of Judgment. He would then realize that he would eventually be made to account for all his actions. He would then judge himself on the spot. As he said, “ How shall I do this evil deed and sin to Elokim”.
- There is another method besides Judgement, and that is to always be happy. For this desire only rises from sadness and depression. A person then gives up on himself, and falls to these sins.
- In fact a person can make himself happy just by thinking that he is from the side of holiness fighting against the Satan.
- However most people fall to this, even if it is only in thought. Even a small thought is poison for the soul. There are some people that fell even in action. There are those that even accustomed themselves to sin, and it became permissible in their eyes. A person should know that no matter how low he has fallen, as long as he is alive the gates of repentants are open before him
- To do Teshuvah ( repent ) a person must show that he is sincere.
- The first thing he must do is learn to control his thoughts. Rebbe Nachman already taught, that it is impossible to have two thoughts at the same time. Therefore when impure thoughts begin to enter a persons mind he should immediately start concentrating on a piece of torah or even business or math. This is very hard at first, but the more a person does this the more he weakens his evil inclination.
- A person will be placed in the same situations that he was placed in the past. He will be given a chance to sin, he must then be strong and win the battle. This is how he rectifies his actions.
- Rebbe Nachman writes that one of he main rectifications for this is Loshon Hkodesh (Holy Language) this is not referring to Hebrew, but rather to holy words such as Hisboddute and Torah.
- In Hisbodidute a person cries out to Hashem, as of he was talking to a friend. A person can to do Hisbodidute in any language including English. This destroys the impurity.
- Learning Torah also demolishes the impurity.
- However a person that was Pogem Hbris is often in a very weak state, he is unable to do Hisbodidute and really learn Torah, he needs help. A person receives this help by having faith in the true Tzadikim (Holy Rabbis). When a person binds himself to the Tzadik then the Tzadik supports him and fight for him. As Rebbe Nachman said, this is similar to someone who has fallen into a bottomless pit. No matter how far down he has fallen, if he is tied to a rope that is held by a mighty man, he can be pulled back up.
- A person should know that “Despair does not exist at all.” Never give up. Even if a person has defiled himself for many years, he can purify himself in seconds. Cry out to Hashem and say “You Hashem give a hand even to people who have purposely rebelled against you, Hashem help me out.”
- Rebbe Nachman already said “The whole world is a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is not to be afraid at all.”
- Tikun Klali also helps greatly, it is a formula made specifically to rectify these sins. Rebbe Nachman already promised that who ever says Tikun Klali will have his sins erased, however he must resolve not to sin in the future.

Rabbi Zvi Aryeh Rosenfeld (1922-1978) tape
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