The father and son who went to Reb Aryeh Levin, fighting over the winter coat. who gets it. we thank Rav Benji Levin Reb Aryeh's grandson for telling us the story this week that he heard from his grandfather. He told us that he asked his grandfather why does everyone come to you for help and advice all differnet typs of jews. and reb aryeh answered that he tryes to listen and feel the person's pain, and then told him this story: it's also published in Tzadik Yesod Olam
Rav Kook deals here with 3 common spiritual problems: over-indulging in physical pleasure; "under-indulging"- going to the opposite extreme & how fasting and ascetic life is counter-productive for the modern man; & superstition. Rav Kook's unique approach to superstition & the passages in the Talmud which seem as such stress that we must rise above the nature to fear and "quake" regarding topics beyond human control. Rather than imagining superstitious acts, which help us feel in control of the uncontrollable, we should connect with He Who is in total control and His Torah wisdom. HaRav doesn't contradict those rabbinic passages, but says they're secondary & better off not worrying about. Only he who worries about them has what to worry about.
Rav Kook explains that there is no way to pretend and hide one's shortcomings and be an "imposter", for they eventually will be exposed and revealed, at least through Freudian slips. The solution is to focus, not on the façade, and not on the hidden self, but rather on improving my real inner self. This approach to truth explains how real tshuva actually turns even one's purposeful sins into benefits.
We all know that cussing, swearing & pornographic speech are prohibited just like gossip & Lashon HaRa, but Rav Kook explains why the Talmud doesn't allow us even to hear negative speech without rebuking. In addition to thought, speech, and action, Rav Kook adds that hearing is super-significant, e.g. one who deafens someone must pay damages not just for his ears, but for his entire body because learning, tradition, and kabbala are transmitted thru hearing. He adds that "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem". Rebuke is not just for the sinner but for the "rebuker" himself (prevents being influenced), and for society and really all mankind.
Although it is a very big mitzvah to lend money, some people are reluctant to do so because they know of loans that proved difficult to collect. Must you lend someone money if you are not sure it will ever be repaid? What do you do if you lent money to someone who seemed very honest and sincere, but now that it comes time to repay, he informs you that he is penniless? What may you do and what may you not do to collect your money? How can you guarantee that you get your money back?