Monday, January 09, 2006
I have written before about "the intermediate man;" the beinoni. The person described in Tanya as never sinning, although the evil inclination rages within.
The Alter Rebbe says this is a state that each Jew CAN be in, something to aspire to. Chassidim have sighed, "Halevi, a beinoni," - "If only to be a beinoni." Obviously, not an easy level to achieve.
I have started incorporating what I call "beinoni behavior" into my life. I may never become a beinoni (sorry, Alter Rebbe), but I can behave in a way that the beinoni might.
One thing I have stopped doing is reading "The Scoop," MSNBC'S little celebrity gossip column (sorry Paris Hilton). This includes not picking up the magazines I see at the checkout counter (sorry Angelina and Brad). I have also stopped listening to secular music in the car when I'm alone (sorry, Jerry Garcia). I have stopped reading news stories that will be bad for my emotional health (sorry, Andrea Yates). I even stopped reading a blog I frequent, as that was getting too racy (sorry, Stephanie K).
So I am controlling some negative behavior in the "garment of action." Now I have to work on thought and speech (the former being most daunting).
Nobody said it was gonna be easy.