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  • Yehuda Pevzner

Ceasing Thoughts

"And they took him, and cast him into a pit; and the pit was empty; there was no water in it"—Genesis 37:24.

This verse relates how Joseph's brothers kidnapped him. The sages question if it is necessary to add, "There was no water in it," given that the verse has just said that the pit was "empty."

The sages explain that this phrase suggests that the pit was just devoid of water, but the sages noted that it also had snakes and scorpions.

Taking it a step further, the mind might be thought of as the empty pit. If the mind is lacking life-giving "water", which are positive and constructive thoughts, then it will be unquestionably filled with "snakes and scorpions".

In contrast to voice and action, thought is the only form of human expression that never ends. One need just decide not to talk or act if they want to avoid a particular way of speaking or acting. But one cannot just stop thinking if one wishes to get rid of an unwanted notion. The mind is never fully vacant; he must consciously choose to think about anything else.

The mind is a host to destructive thoughts when there are no constructive thoughts present. Therefore, we must make an effort to maintain constant monitoring over our ideas, consciously picking the ones we want to linger on and swiftly displacing those that have a tendency to ruin us.

One way of doing this is to constantly be learning Torah, so the subject is on your mind. (contact Rabbi Yehuda at 347-770-4412 for ideas). Memorizing lines of Torah and Chassidut is also a good option to have your mind occupied with goodness.

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Shabbat Shalom!


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