Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No surrender to the blues

I was reading about an Iranian ship which was captured by Somalian pirates, and the subsequent speculation on the 'tainted' cargo which left 16 of the Somalia pirates dead under 'mysterious' circumstances’, when I stumbled across a blog called Shirat Devorah - roughly translated as the Songs of Deborah.

Curiosity fully aroused, I stayed to read more. Now I readily confess to having an admitted weakness for any references concerning the writings or teachings of Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and the last Lubavitch Rebbe Menachem Schneerson. In fact, I spent my early childhood thinking that my grandfather’s best friend was a man who I thought was called Robbie Knockman. I am fortunate to have inherited a number of Rebbe Schneerson's discourses, and while I cannot accept he was the Mosiach, he certainly was a man gifted with an insight and compassion which literally bleeds out of his writings.

I was reading a post called A Remedy for Depression at Shirat Devorah which quoted the last Lubavitcher Rebbe and it struck me as a particularly apt as I have a friend who is busy fighting her own demons. While my friend is not Jewish, I think there is a wisdom which can resonate and be applied across the human condition.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson taught, "Depression comes from haughtiness. If you would realize who you really are, you wouldn't be so disappointed with yourself." He explains that depression, while not a crime, sinks a person deep into an abyss. It originates within our own self-destructive elements and once depression takes hold, a person can easily sink further. Depression can cause a person to stop doing mitzvos (ed.-good deeds). In an attempt to find relief from the depression, a person might sin, simply because they don't care enough to avoid doing aveiros (ed.-transgressions)

Rabbi Nosson once remarked that the evil inclination cares less about the sin than about the depression that follows it. By means of the depression, it can further trap the person and gain much more than from the first sin. If we make the mistake of committing a transgression, we should be remorseful but not allow ourselves to become depressed. It is vital to fight depression as one would fight their greatest enemy, run from it as they would from death itself.
And how else shall one run but by dancing for the joy of life

1 comment:

Rob said...

Fantastic post, kateland.