Saturday, 16 July 2016

Mussar M'sirat Nefesh, a Constant Struggle or a One Time Sacrifice

first posted on August 17, 2013

From Derech Emet -
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Sefer Pele Yoetz, chapter Copheh, paragraph 4:

Behold, our eyes have seen that almost all Jews may be
assumed to be proper Jews who would sacrifice their
lives to glorify the Name of G_d [when necessary].

But no one can control his temptation [yitzro] completely, to be a completely righteous person in the world who [only] does goodness and never sins at all.

The reason [for this apparent contradiction] is that
sacrificing our lives is a temptation we can control,
because every Jew appreciates the severity of the sin. of abandoning the faith [when being threatened with
death by evil Gentiles].

But this is not true for other sins because our spirit
of temptation [Yetzer HaRa] makes them [the other sins]
seem small in the eyes of people, as has been explained
with respect to Bereishit, chapter 6, verse 5.

More reasons [for this apparent contradiction] are:

Death is only felt for a moment; and everyone eventually. dies anyway; and when he sacrifices his life to glorify the. Name of G_d, he is immediately saved from his temptation; and he is prepared for the afterlife of the righteous [Olam HaBa].

This is not true for other sins, where it is more difficult
for him [a Jew] to suppress his temptation, because his
temptation pursues him always, and the Satan stands
on his right side to instigate him [to commit sins].

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Best Regards,
RRW

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