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footprints in the sand

You can Change! Focusing on Free Will

Week 3, Lesson 15: September 12 / Elul 21

Rabbi Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz, known as the Chazon Ish (1878 – 1953) was born in Kosava and moved to Vilna at about the age of 40 where he became a close student of Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski. In 1933, he came to Israel, then the British Mandate of Palestine, and though he never held any official position, he became a worldwide authority on all matters relating to Jewish law and life. He published a slim volume entitled, “Emunah U’Bitachon” in which he discusses his views on faith and personal development.

At the root [of all specific middot] there is one good middah and one evil middah. The evil middah is to allow one’s life to take its natural course. Without any effort one will excel in all evil middot
The good middah is the absolute decision to overpower one’s natural desires with one’s ethical yearnings. This is how one battles all evil middot. [Emunah U’Bitachon 4:1]

Does this formulation resonate with you? Why or why not? In what way can this formulation be a helpful focus for you in the month of Elul?

Your practice for this week is to form and articulate kavvanot for yourself, and to direct your words and deeds in line with those conscious intentions. Continue with your intention for the week to exercise your free will in a situation that challenges you. See the details of your weekly practice by clicking here.

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