The Annoying Neighbor

Hold On! The Annoying Neighbor
Meshivat Nefesh #34
It’s inevitable that my lower self—my yetzer hara—is going to try to get me on board. That’s its job. And it will keep on coming back to make its offers again and again—never getting tired, never getting bored.

So Rebbe Nachman taught me to look at those repeated efforts like I would on an annoying neighbor who comes to disturb me time after time. He’ll come and knock once, twice, three times, four times… As long as I don’t answer the door, eventually he’ll give up.

It doesn’t mean I get a permanent dispensation. But I can buy myself a good temporary reprieve. As soon as I show some interest, he’ll keep coming back doggedly. But if I can just hold my own and not respond at all, the temptation is going to pass.

This is also true of thoughts that come to distract me during prayer. If I engage with them, I’m a goner. But if I just cultivate the art of ignoring them and going about my business, I will find myself freer and freer of their annoying interruptions.
Beloved Creator,
Please help me to develop the necessary talent
of ignoring the knock when my yetzer comes calling.
(Based on Likutey Moharan II:51)

Author: Yehudis Golshevsky

Yehudis in her own words: When I first began learning Rebbe Nachman’s teachings with my husband and other teachers, I felt as though I had come home to the personal and vital relationship with G-d that I’d always sought. Today, a large part of my inspiration comes from helping other Jewish women discover their own spiritual potential through the meaningful teachings of Breslov Chassidut. Yehudis Golshevsky has been teaching Torah classes to women and working in Torah publishing for nearly twenty years. She’s a graduate of Yavne Teacher’s Seminary in Cleveland and holds a degree in Judaic Studies from SUNY at Buffalo. Currently, Yehudis is a contributor to Breslov.org and “Pathways”, the Breslov Research Institute’s weekly publication. Since 2006, she’s been taking women’s groups to Uman and other sites in Ukraine for prayer and study. Yehudis lives with her family in Jerusalem.

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