) But how can you know what your tikun is? The one thing you need to do that would turn everything that is wrong in your life into good?
) My own parents had an idea like this. A few basic principles that us kids should stick with,e.g. to be a "mench" a decent moral human being. But they were not think so much about the concept of a tikun. More like they were defining how one should live.
) It is along these lines that the Gaon from Vilna discovered the one tikun that if a person would do would in fact take him out from the depth of hell--to learn Torah. The idea is that if one could just stick with learning Torah every day--even a tiny bit-the Torah has enough light in it to pull one out from all his problems.
) The caveat for this to work is that it has to be real Torah, not pseudo Torah.
Real Torah is the Oral and Written Law. The Old Testament, the Two Talmuds, and the Halachic Midrashim and the Aggadic Midrashim. That means 99% of what is presented as Torah today is pseudo Torah.
) דרכ ציון אבלות מבלי באי מועד "The paths of Zion are in grief from lack of visitors." [From the book of Lamentations.]
That means the ציונים = the path markers on the way into holiness are gone. No one knows anymore what particular הנהגה [action preformed every day] which will lead either yourself or anyone else into holiness. Even though people do know they need to stick with a short set of principles in order to make it and have success in this world and the next, still they don't know and can't find this set of principles.
And when they find something that seems to work [חבלים מפלו לי בנעימים] wreckers fall on it.
You get to Israel and out of no where comes some bad neighbor who is intent on making your life a living hell. For some reason he or she does not like Americans or Ashkenazim or thinks you are not religious enough or who know what? Any excuse will do fine.
) My own conclusion about this is that the Gra was right. Torah is the general tikun. It is because it is so important that the Sitra Achra makes it almost impossible to come to. Even when I try to learn Torah something always goes haywire. Always. It is like the Sitra Achra will stop at nothing to get me to stop learning Torah. And of course the מניעות המח obstacles places by the mind are there also. Questions like if Torah would be so great they why does it not make people better?
Why are there jerks learning Torah? But the obstacles are much more than that. My approach to just to try to struggle through it.
When I first went to yeshiva my mother who was perfectly well got sick suddenly and died. My wife got married to me when I was a plain yeshiva student at the Mirrer yeshiva and then one day she decided that she did not want me learning Torah anymore. It was her or the Torah. Not both. And of course everyone agreed with her. I could go on but you get the idea that learning Torah I think only comes through great trials. You walk into a yeshiva you think is there for the specific purpose of learning Torah, and they throw you out from the top of the stairs. I think that to the degree that Torah is important, that the Dark Side will do everything it can to stop one from learning Torah. Because I think that if one learns Torah then everything changes. Everything.
But if one learns Torah for money the same rule does not apply because the Sitra Achra likes that.
When Torah is used for personal needs, it becomes poison. סם חיים למימינים בה ובם מוות למשמאילים בה The sages said it is the elixir of life for those that learn it for its own sake and the elixir of death for those that learn it for money.
) Torah in this context means 10 books. Old Testament, the Two Talmuds, Tosephta, Sifra, Sifri, Mechlita, Torat Cohanim, Midrash Raba, Midrash Tanchuma.
direct commentaries on the above can also be included. But 99% of what is called Torah today is pseudo Torah