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Hopeless?

"The heart is half a prophet." This is a well-known saying and is unfortunately true. This might be understood positively or negatively. In a positive way we recognize the heart "knows" more than we often register in our brain. On the other hand, our heart is not perfect and we only know half the truth even though we usually think we know it all!

How does that affect us in our lives? Typically we're faced with problems, maybe seemingly problems that we don't think we can overcome. What tools do we possess to overcome the problems? - Our own learning and knowledge? Maybe some people we trust? The Rebbe? A Healer? Maybe even a self-help tape from some popular teacher? The trouble is that after we try all these things, we find we still don't have the ability to overcome, we don't feel any closer to HaKadosh Baruch Hu, and perhaps we feel even more condemned and more hopeless than we did originally.

Moments of hope disappear with time and change into despair, anger and desperation.

There is good news. The neviim felt the same way and they overcame and knew the real presence of HaKadosh Baruch Hu. They knew His power, love and support in a very personal way, and through their relationship with Ribbono Shel Olam they were able to understand the real truth in a situation and what to do. You see our heart is half a prophet - half a truth teller, and you know it is said a "half truth is a whole lie". If we had the insight of HaKadosh Baruch Hu and His help, we would "know the truth and the truth will set us free." (A very famous rabbi called Yeshua said this in the first century CE).

How does this work itself out in practice? Let's say it seems to us the yetzer hara seems to be much more powerful than we are in a specific area. Have you ever found yourself thinking like this? "I do not understand what I do; for I don't do what I would like to do, but instead I do what I hate."* The person who wrote this, a talmid of Rabban Gamliel the Elder, ended up saying, "What an unhappy man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is taking me to death?" He goes on to describe an answer.

He was set free because he knew HaKadosh Baruch Hu had made atonement for him once and for all time. This is best described in Dvarim perek ל, posek ו where HaKadosh Baruch Hu talks about us having a heart that is "circumcised".

ומָל ה' אֱלֹקֶיךָ אֶת לְבָבְךָ וְאֶת לְבַב זַרְעֶךָ לְאַהֲבָה אֶת ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְכָל לְבָבְךָ ובְכָל נַפְשְךָ לְמַעַן חַיֶיךָ:

In Yechezkel perek לו, psukim כז-כה "I will sprinkle clean water on you and make you clean from all your idols and everything else that has defiled you. I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away your stubborn heart of stone and give you an obedient heart. I will put my spirit in you and will see to it that you follow my laws and keep all the mitzvohs I have given you."

וְזָרַקְתִי עֲלֵיכֶם מַיִם טְהוֹרִים וטְהַרְתֶם מִכֹל טֻמְאוֹתֵיכֶם ומִכָל גִלולֵיכֶם אֲטַהֵר אֶתְכֶם: וְנָתַתִי לָכֶם לֵב חָדָש וְרוחַ חֲדָשָה אֶתֵן בְקִרְבְכֶם וַהֲסִרֹתִי אֶת לֵב הָאֶבֶן מִבְשַרְכֶם וְנָתַתִי לָכֶם לֵב בָשָר: וְאֶת רוחִי אֶתֵן בְקִרְבְכֶם וְעָשִיתִי אֵת אֲשֶר בְחֻקַי תֵלֵכו ומִשְפָטַי תִשְמְרו וַעֲשִיתֶם:

Do you notice the hope that gives us? HaKadosh Baruch Hu says He will make a way to change our heart and by His spirit give us the strength to follow His mitzvohs and enjoy life. You see our hearts are only half a prophet because they are not perfect.

In fact Yermiyohu says, "Who can understand the human heart? There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed." (Yermiyohu perek יז, posek ט).

עָקֹב הַלֵב מִכֹל וְאָנֻש הוא מִי יֵדָעֶנו:

Can you sense the hope when HaKadosh Baruch Hu says, we don't have to struggle by ourselves, but He can come into our hearts and change us from the inside out?

* Letter to those in Rome 7:15, 24

If you want to know how a member of the Sanhedrin found this out click here.