Monday, November 17, 2008

"The struggle with the evil inclination"

"It makes no difference whether the struggle with the evil inclination, the yetzer hara, is over something great or something small -- whether one struggles to withstand sinning or one struggles to use one's time wisely.

In either case, the battle is of equal intensity and importance.

For instance, a person who has learned Torah for nine or ten hours may feel unable to continue.

At that moment, the effort to go on is a battle no less demanding than the war against the evil inclination's most fiery desires.

In the final analysis, there is no qualitative difference between a person who sins because he gave in to the distractions of the street and a scholar who does not increase his study schedule or pray with kavvanah.

Neither is prepared to struggle, and neither steps beyond his limitations."

--Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

From Understanding the Tanya, p. 84, by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz