Rav Avigdor Miller on The Gift of Gehenim

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Q:
What would be a practical מחשבה for one to contemplate when trying to overcome a difficult נסיון that involves a תאוה, a forbidden desire?

A:
When you have some sort of test, think of Gehenim. And Gehenim – don’t think it’s far away. Many people thought Gehenim was a long way off, and then it was the next day in their lives.

The people in the airplane that crashed this week, weren’t thinking about Gehenim. It didn’t even cross their minds. And plenty of them are in Gehenim right now. Plenty of them. Suddenly they came to Gehenim. And it was too late to do anything about it.

And therefore, think about Gehenim when some תאוה, some נסיון, is facing you. Gehenim is a wonderful gift from הקדוש ברוך הוא to us, if used properly. Because Gehenim means fear of Hashem. It’s much better to think about Gehenim when you’re in this world, than to have to experience it in the Next World.

And therefore, if a person wants to protect himself against making serious errors, the first thing is יראת העונש, he should be afraid of Gehenim. There’s a tremendous benefit to bringing Gehenim into your life with your thoughts. Nowadays people don’t want to think about Gehenim, but that’s a fatal error. It’s important to keep the picture of Gehenim in your mind. And many tzadikim became great because they feared Gehenim.
TAPE # E-155