Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It’s Getting Easier

Engraving by Gustave Dore

Sichos HaRan 114

Translation by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom (Breslov Research Institute), pp. 242-243

It is now very easy to resist temptation.

When people withstand a temptation, its evil husks are broken. It then becomes easier for others to withstand it.

People have already withstood many temptations, making it easier for the average man today.

The Talmud teaches us, "What Joseph overcame with strength was a small matter for Boaz. What Boaz overcame with strength was a small matter for Palti ben Laish."[1] It took great strength for Joseph to resist the temptation of Photifar's wife.[2] When Boaz found himself alone with Ruth in the middle of the night, it was much easier for him to overcome this temptation.[3] Joseph had already broken its power.

When Saul gave David's wife Michal to Palti ben Laish, he lived with her for a long time and faced even greater temptation than Boaz.[4] But here again it was easier to overcome this temptation, for Boaz had already paved the way.

As the years pass, it becomes easier to resist temptation. The most average man can therefore now withstand all tests.

[1] Sanhedrin 19b.
[2] Genesis 39:8.
[3] Ruth 3:8.
[4] I Samuel 25:44; II Samuel 3:15.

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