28 Dec What is the Reason? Qualities of a Chavrusa
I have been having a great deal of difficulty motivating myself to study more and harder. I was advised to find a new study partner, and now have a choice between two very different people. One of them is a very solid, calm, and serious person, who, although not bubbling over with energy and passion, works assiduously at his learning. The other is filled with fire, passionate about everything, never calm, and applies all his energy and fire to whatever he does, including his learning. I find his fire to be infectious, but, I never had a sense of calm when with him. Is this a matter of personal choice or does our tradition offer guidance on this issue? L. C.
Our tradition offers guidance on absolutely everything, including your choice. “The calm mind streams forth from the aspect of sanctity, for it is only in such a state of mind that a person can clearly see the difference between good and evil. The more a person is able to achieve this sense of a calm mind; it is clear that he leans toward the side of good and keeps himself distant from the Evil Inclination that corrupts a person to do everything in a state of confusion. That is to say that the most basic power of the Evil Inclination is to create a fog in a person’s mind to prevent him from achieving a sense of inner calm (Sefer Zikan Beito, page 35).”
The holy Breslaver teaches: “This, that the world is so distant from God, is only because people lack inner calm. Our fundamental obligation is to strive to find this inner calm that will protect us from passions that will distract us in this world. When we achieve inner calm, we will definitely return to God. (Likkutei Moharan)