guerilla judaism: win many small battles and the war is yours

Today's tanya is very hard for me to digest. It explains that because we could willingly override our will to live, and die in order to sanctify God's name, then we can also keep all of the 613 mitzwoth to sanctify God's name since this demands less of us than dying.

But, does it really? I would give anything to die in God's name; but serving God day in and day out through all manner of challenges seems to me to be so much harder than the one-time decision to die in God's name.

The Baal HaTanya is surely correct, so how can I make sense out of what he says?

In Judaism the simplest truth is this: The moment is all that exists currently. The present moment is the war at hand. It is informed by the past and the future, but all of it, the past and the future, the very existence of the world rests on each moment. When we lose sight of this, and get lost in worrying about all the future moments that will be, the yetzer harah (evil urge) flexes all it's muscle to make us give up in the face of such an impossible task as fighting and winning every moment of every day from now until the end of our lives. (may it be at 120, if ever at all) The only way to fight the yetzer is to return to the present moment. To fight the battle of now, ignoring the battles of tomorrow, next week, next year, and even five minutes from now. In the battle of now, the yetzer harah has almost no strength. The yetzer only has a little strength in each moment. When we combine the moments together, the yetzer marshalls it's strength and becomes a formidable opponent. But when we address each moment on its own, the yetzer has no hope of beating us.

This is the way of Yahaduth, (Judaism) to dedicate each moment to God, remembering where we have truly come from and where we are truly going. The ends and the present moment are of interest to us, but the path from the present moment to the ends is not our concern. Israel camped and moved according to God's decrees of the moment. They knew where they were going, (Israel, the land promised to their forefathers) and where they were coming from. (Egypt from whence they had just been redeemed) They didn't need to worry about how they would get where they were going, they had faith in HaShem.


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