Day 44/50: This Ain’t Your Fault

Day 44/50: This Ain’t Your Fault

וְנָשָׂ֣א אַֽ֠הֲרֹ֠ן אֶת־מִשְׁפַּ֨ט בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֧ל עַל־לִבּ֛וֹ

And Aaron will carry the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart.


Part of the avodah of shmiras habris is maintaining pure thoughts during the day in order to avoid causing ourselves to see keri (nocturnal emissions) in our sleep.


It is important to point out, however, that preventing keri isn’t always in our control. Often, those who are doing their best to have pure thoughts will still wake up in the morning and see keri from that night’s sleep. They might mistakenly think that they have committed a serious aveirah, which might throw them off balance. In this situation, one should realize that such an occurrence is often a natural and innocent phenomenon caused by external or biological factors. Rav Chaim Volozhiner zt”l once conveyed this principle to a visitor to the yeshiva of Volozhin who was ashamed to set foot in the yeshiva because he had seen keri that day, while traveling. Rav Chaim, with his holy eyes, sensed what had happened and told him not to be concerned since tirdas haderech (the stress of traveling) can cause keri as well.


Rav Yisrael Salanter zt”l adds that even if someone sees keri during his sleep because of impure thoughts during the day, it is still not necessarily considered an aveirah. As he states in a letter:


“Regarding keri that occurs at night, this is just the outcome; the root of the sin is having impure thoughts during the day. However, if the thought came unintentionally, one may be lenient and not consider it an aveirah.”


Despite a bachur’s sincere efforts and strategies, he may not always be able to control his circumstances and fleeting thoughts. Therefore, it would be counterproductive for a bachur to occupy his mind with feelings of guilt, when he often has not done anything wrong whatsoever. Sadness is much worse than the keri itself. If we strengthen ourselves to serve Hashem be’simcha, it will surely atone for any part we may have had in it (even if our day-time thoughts were part of the reason).

🌤️ Today I shall…

…make sure to always remain happy, even if I saw keri at night.