The Battle of the Generation

Image result for the battle of the generation, Hillel S.The Battle of the Generation
By: Hillel S
305 pp/ SC

The Battle of the Generation is a book in the “Shemiras Einayim” genre. As the title implies, guarding our eyes and avoiding sexual sins very difficult in our generation where promiscuity is respected if not outright encouraged. The book is written anonymously by a student of Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier who gave his haskama and is mentioned several times in the book.

Truth be told, I am not a fan of these types of works. I put away my Likutei Moharan because I felt that sexual issues were over emphasized. Indeed, most of the shemiras einayim books and websites these days are Breslov influenced. I find that most men in these Breslov gotta-work-on-myself-all-day-its-the-most-important-avoda circles spend more time thinking about how not to think about sex than most men actually think about sex! Sometimes reading these books brings on more sin than if they weren’t read (as the author of this book says himself)! As such, I generally don't push these works, and instead, I summarize these books to my students in something like this: Do your best with these issues but spend more time worrying about the rest of Shulchan Aruch.

That being said, these types of books do have their place, and The Battle of the Generation is truly the best book in this genre. It is very inviting. It is gentle. It is upbeat and encouraging (there is nothing that will make you feel guilty). It is clean (there is no explicit mention of sexual activities). It is written from the heart. And for this, the author deserves a very warm “Yasher Ko’ach v’yasher cheilo. Teshuos chen chen”

The book reads somewhat like an “Orchot Tzadikim” or “Mesillat Yesharim” beginning with chapters on Emuna in Hashem and authenticity of the Torah. Only after the reader realizes that Hashem wants effort more than anything, does the book turn into a “how to” manual om working on our eyes and thoughts. But as mentioned, it is done in a more inviting way then any other book of this genre that I have seen. There are also summaries at the end of every chapter as well as a chapter by chapter summary at the end of the book. The 47 short chapters makes the book ideal for bite size lessons.

For some people, for various reasons, these types of works are an important part of their avodah, and that’s great. For others, these types of books (though maybe not THIS one) can be counterproductive. If these types of works interest you, this is the best and most well-rounded you are going to find.

The book can be ordered on Amazon or via thebattleofthegeneration@gmail.com

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