12 Cheshvan 5782 / Monday, October 18, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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A Head Start in Life    

A Head Start in Life

Parents with pure hearts and minds who desire to bring pure children into the world for the sake of Heaven, give their children the very best chances of success in this world…


Parents who maintain a high level of personal holiness, especially in their conjugal relations, grant their offspring a wonderful head-start in life, for the our sages teach that children born out of holiness are able to acquire emuna readily.


Certain souls are born out of ideal conditions of personal holiness, such as the offspring of righteous families that have been placing a strong emphasis on personal holiness for generations. These souls know what's right; they have clarity and aren't swayed at all by temptation and heretical ideas.


From Rebbe Nachman's teachings, one can deduct that weak emuna is a trying difficulty for the soul. Emuna is one's main power to cope with the never-ending hardships of this world. A person's lack of emuna and lack of affinity for true holiness - the only real sweetness of the otherwise heartless physical world – can be traced back to the parents' lack of holiness at the time of his or her conception.


Parents with a pure heart and mind, and the pure desire to bring a pure and holy child into the world for the sake of Heaven and to enhance Divine honor, give their child the very best opportunity to grow up in holiness and the highest chances to succeed.


What most people fail to realize is that a person who defiles himself by opening his eyes in the street, surfing unwholesome sites on the web and looking at lewd images - then comes home to engage in conjugal union with his wife - is in effect using filth to build the body of his unborn child. The Gemara teaches that the male seed comes from the brain. Therefore, from a spiritual standpoint, "cesspool" is a mild statement compared to the contaminating influence that the impure images in a person's mind at the time of conception have on the unborn child.


A person whom I'm well acquainted with suffered for years from lewd thoughts; bodily lust that tormented him, for his parents gave him a contaminated body. He prayed endlessly and frequented the doors of this generation's most righteous leaders. He begged Hashem for hours from the graves of tzaddikim in Israel and spent years in personal prayer. By virtue of his emuna and perseverance, the day came when Hashem took him out of the darkness. Don't ever give up, for there's always hope.


According to Kabbalah, the sphere of Yesod, or "Foundation", revolves around personal holiness. Joseph therefore symbolizes this sphere, for in the episode of Potiphar's wife (Parshat Vayeshev), he resisted one of history's strongest tests of temptation and was impeccable in the area of personal holiness. A blemish in this sphere is the root cause of sickness, especially emotional disorders. This sphere is rightly termed "Foundation" because it's the foundation of emuna, good health and many other material and spiritual amenities.


The very parents who scoff at the importance of holiness at the time of conception could be the reason for the child's future suffering. An emotionally healthy person who was born out of a pure and holy conjugal union can't even fathom what those unfortunate people who were conceived in less-than-optimal circumstances have to deal with. Those fortunate people who were born into homes of true holiness have no idea of what we're speaking about.


Parents - you are responsible for the future of your children. The way you conduct yourselves when you're together dictates what the next generation will be like.


If you came into the world with less than optimal conditions, you can't exempt yourself from blaming your parents. With teshuva, personal prayer and the "service of desire" – a half hour a day of praying for one thing – a person can eventually accomplish anything. And don't forget – the righteous cannot stand in a place where the baalei teshuva stand. May Hashem grant us all holy and successful offspring, amen!

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