Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Best Teshuva

Art by Lizzie Riches

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto

The Gra wrote in his holy work Alim L’Trufa the following: Until his last day, a person should afflict himself, but not through fasting and pain, but by harnessing his mouth and desires. This is considered teshuvah, and it is more effective than all the fasting and afflictions in the world.

Likewise, it is written in the sefer Rosh Hagivah that when a person wishes to fast, it is preferable that he should rather accept upon himself to abstain from speaking than to abstain from eating, because in this way he will not cause any harm to his body or his soul, and he will not become weakened by the fast.


Anonymous said...

I thank you and the rabbi for warning, but, since I do not speak at home anymore, since I already have my desires under control (I suppose so). Well, this way, I think it is just missing to fast, to get to reach the true God. I do not know what else can I do to get to accomplish my goal. I have got to fast previously, but just 23 hours and drinking coconut water. Unless God tell me somehow for not doing so, I am going to insist on fasting. At least I feel no panic anymore, such as I felt before, even with the perspective of fasting. I feel very calm, really. Nevertheless, perhaps some rabbi could give some more piece of advice, it would be nice of you, I would appreciate it. For instance, the rabbis could explain how some people get to fast for many days, while some hours are already a victory for people like me. By the way, I must insist also about the videos you publish, ask the rabbis to preach in English, or at least put subtitles translating to English, please! It is almost impossible to understand the preaching, it becomes useful just to work out a little, walking around the sitting room, while listening. So, anyway, thank you …

Devorah said...

In previous times, people were of higher spiritual stature than us, and were able to fast for days at a time. Our generation cannot do that and it is also quite a dangerous thing to attempt unless you are in a medically supervised situation. Jews do not need to fast for days at a time, only on specific dates such as Yom Kippur or the other fast days. Some people cannot fast at all for medical reasons.

In specifying ''silence'' the Vilna Gaon is giving us a better way of controlling our desires. Silence does not deplete our body of vital nutrients.

When some rabbis use Hebrew or Yiddish terms throughout their talks, it is because most listeners will understand those few words or phrases, and they are the most suitable way of describing that thing. They will not put subtitles as their talks are in english already. I guess it's up to the listeners to acquaint themselves with more Torah, and the more you learn and listen, the more you will understand. But I would l think that even if some people don't understand a few phrases, it is still possible to understand the majority of what they are saying.

Some videos will require a higher level of knowledge than others.

Anonymous said...


I as Noahide am looking for answers too.

Yours seem to make some sense to me as Noahide.

And even if this is meant only for the Jewish people, I am going to try my utmost to do the things i have to do. It is not easy for me.. and sometimes i feel so mentally drained seeking out how to do what as Noahide.. I am coming to the conclusion that Hashem is for EVERYONE.. even Noahides and other non-Jewish.. non- noahides.. whoever.

As i see it.. Hashem created all and everything.. so Hashem knows me and my heart, Hashem only knows of my struggles and my pain.. my good and my bad.. (as of-course Hashem knows of every human being)
All will be weighed out in the Heavenly scales.

So tired mentally or physically, I shall call out to Hashem.. He answers.. i know.. in one way or another.
I fall many times.. so far.. Baruch Hashem.. i have picked myself up.. (with Hashem's help... ofcourse) and i try again..

Annonymous at 9.22 AM... please find Hebrew to English words on your computer, Devorah has some words too listed on her site, from where I have learnt much of the Hebrew words.
I wish you the best.

Devorah,, as always, once again.. Thank you.. In Hebrew..: Todah :-)

Hashem bless you and yours and all good people everywhere.. Amen.


Devorah said...

Yes see Glossary
for some words and heir translations.

Mia Sherwood Landau said...

For some of us who are not surrounded with Hebrew speakers in our lives, listening to talks online is the way to become familiar with various Hebrew words. What a privilege to be living in a time when we can immerse ourselves in audios and videos 24/7, or as much time as we can possibly invest. Yes, it's an investment in our soul to learn Hebrew. I'm glad the Hebrew shared in English talks is provided generously for me now, and I see it as a privilege. No way would I want those rabbis to leave out the Hebrew! I want it and desperately need it in order to learn.