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A Yom Kippur Thought from C.S. Lewis

For a little bit of a different kind of post…

It is well known that when asked to suggest a sefer of mussar, Rav Lichtenstein suggests The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, a brilliant book in which one demon instructs his nephew how to successfully tempt human beings.  Each chapter is a letter in which Screwtape highlights human failings, which his Wormwood is supposed to take advantage of, but, the readers, are supposed to be wary of.  For a bit of pre-Yom Kippur reading, I reread one of my favorite passages in that book – the first chapter.  There he notes that in the modern world, the easiest way for people to be lost (or acquired by Screwtape’s “Father Below”) is not to distort or corrupt them, but rather to distract them.  We are actually pretty good and seeing what we are doing wrong, as long as we don’t forget to think.  As I noted a few days ago, the Meiri claims that the purpose of the Yamim Noraim is to force us to set aside some time to do introspection.  Life is busy, and every day we have a million things going on, not to mention emails, calls, texts, facebook comments, tweets, you name it to respond to.   Continue reading A Yom Kippur Thought from C.S. Lewis