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CHIZUK-----combat the yetzer hara, how

Moderator, you really are GREAT! It must take a lotta time, but the site REALLY helps a lot of people. Thanx. 2 quest:

1. Advice on teens overcoming yetzer hara

2. Do you know any good baal teshuvah type books in Russian (something like awake my glory, rejoice o youth, Rav Amnon Yitzchak, etc.) or anything that would influence ppl to become frum or at least open their minds to it. Thanx big-time!

Thank for your kind words. Advice on teens overcoming their Yetzer Horah: All the same things that apply to adults apply to teens, plus the following items, which I find are teen-oriented temptations:

(1) Always remember that the ability to choose good and bad is a G-d-given ability. You do not need to ask "Why did I choose this" or "What makes me do that"? -- Those questions are usually distractions. The answer to them, is because you have two Yetzers fighting within you, each wants you to choose their side, and you are being pressured from both sides. Sometimes you give into the pressure of the Yetzer Horah and sometimes you don't. You don't need to kill yourself over the reasons why you gave in. They don’t matter. Free will is a prime reason in and of itself, and you control it. It's designed to be balanced such that you need to put in great effort to win the battle. If you don't win, it's normal. Get up and fight again.

(2) Know that you will lose the battle sometimes. This is normal. Live with it.

(3) Know the difference between being a hypocrite and imperfect. Hypocrite is when you preach something you do not believe in. Imperfect is when you believe in it but do not do it. Often you may think that if you are doing aveiros and claim to be frum you are a hypocrite. That's a stupid Yetzer horah trick. Life's a struggle. Believing in Torah includes believing in the Yetzer Horah.

No matter how hard you have to struggle, and no matter how many times you fall, and no matter, even if you have temporarily given up the struggle c"v, you are still frum, and still believe in the Torah's values. You are only a hypocrite if you say you believe but you do not believe. If you say you believe but do not DO, that means you are weak, but not a hypocrite.

(4) Know that a teenager's Yetzer is very strong, and you are in the growing stages of your life. What you do bad now, does not does NOT mean you will be doing it all your life. On the other hand, what you do good now will help you do good all your life. What you do bad now will make it harder. But it is not ingrained in steel.

(5) Strengthen your Hashkofos. The following are my most recommended list:

a) Best all around for Why Be Frum and What It Means To Be Frum, required reading for everyone: Rabbi Avigdor Miller's Rejoice O Youth, Awake My Glory, and Sing You Righteous.

b) Best for proofs to the Torah: Rabbi Lawrence Kelleman's Permission to Believe and Permission to Receive, and AIsh HaTorah's Discovery seminar manual.

c) Best for answers to contemporary Hashkofo questions, such as Tinok SHenishbah, Zionism, our relationship to evil doers, etc. Rav Elchonon Wasserman's Kovetz Maamarim. They just put out a new enhanced version. Get it.

d) Best Classic for analyzing Judaism, the purpose of each component of our religion (Laws, Avos, Bechirah, etc.) - the Ramchal's Derech Hashem. They have it in English, The Way of G-d.

e) The Best classic for understanding Hashgocho, how Hashem works in the world, why the world has to be so messed up, etc. - The Ramchal's Daas Tevunos. The Knowing Heart in English. This is a bit more advanced.

f) The Best classic on understanding yourself - your soul, your needs, etc. Also a tremendous amount about understanding Shabbos - Shem Mishmuel on Chumash.

g) The Best advice on self-improvement and how to go up in levels for teenagers: Chovas HaTalmidim by Rav Kloynumus Kalman SHapira of Warsaw and Piasetzne. In english, The Student's Obligation, by Aronson Press.

For the Russian Seforim, I suggest you contact Shoroshim on Coney Island AVenue in Brooklyn, NY. They keep track of that kind of material and they can help you find what you are looking for.

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