by Dr. Zev Ballen
Moshe is a 25 year old, married, Yeshiva student who requested clinical hypnosis for his symptoms of anxiety. An intelligent person - Moshe was aware that the source of his anxiety came from the improper way that he was learning Torah. Instead of learning in order to give pleasure to Hashem, Moshe was learning to give pleasure to himself. Instead of appreciating that Hashem gave him a good mind in order to make a huge contribution to the world; Moshe was learning in order to achieve fame for himself.
Moshe left Hashem no choice. Hashem would not let Moshe just throw away the valuable talents that He had given to him. Hashem had to show Moshe that there was something much better than running after his own honor. Hashem sent Moshe the gift of anxiety, and self-persecutory thoughts in order to help him to see the silliness of serving himself and not Hashem.
I asked Moshe: What good would hypnosis do without basic emuna? How would even profound relaxation help him if he continued to think about his situation in the same self-defeating way? Moshe understood this intellectually but was still frightened that by relinquishing his wish for honor that he would not want to learn at all. He was frightened that he would become the stereotypical Breslever - "who accomplishes nothing in learning because he is too busy dancing with emuna like a simpleton in the street." Moshe was inconsolable. He knew that he desperately needed emuna but actually feared it would destroy him. He wanted to trust me as a representative of the Truth - the teachings of the tzadikkim - yet he could trust nobody except himself. What was he to do? Fortunately for Moshe, there was no one for him to speak to about this. Hashem arranged it so that he would not listen to me or anyone else. Continue reading here...