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Your Opponent . . . Not Really

Your Opponent . . . Not Really


It’s a convincing act. Your G‑dly soul tries to assert itself over your body, enjoining your thoughts, speech and actions to express holiness. Your animal soul swoops in like a medieval king fighting for territory, desperately trying to win over those It’s an endless battle, and you are the battlefieldvery same thoughts, speech and actions to its mundane, selfish desires. It’s an endless battle, and you are the battlefield.

Your G‑dly soul has a strategy. If it can get you to think thoughts about G‑d, then you will feel feelings of love towards G‑d. If those feelings are passionate enough, they can even influence the animal soul to get swept up in the excitement, and it, too, can develop an appreciation for holiness. The animal soul, however, counteracts with a strategy of its own, distracting you with worldly temptations and lustful desires.

That’s where the act comes in. As much as the animal soul invests in diverting you from living in a G‑dly manner, it really wants to lose. It is like an undercover agent or coach who is pushing you to strengthen your spiritual muscles, silently begging you to say “No!” to every one of its sinful or selfish suggestions. The truth is that the animal soul is happiest each time the G‑dly soul gains the upper hand.

So, it is your opponent, but not really.

Tanya Bit: The animal soul tries to tempt you in numerous ways, but it wants you to see through his act.

(Inspired from Chapter 9 of Tanya)

Sara Blau is a teacher and extracurricular director at Beth Rivkah High School. She is a wife, mother, and author of several children“s books.
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jim dallas May 23, 2017

enjoyed, understood better, benefitted!
thanks greatly! Reply

Raymond Bastarache NB Canada May 24, 2017

Wow! what a nice way of explaining natural man and his spiritual soul, ...may I please add?.......when my spirit (soul) prays to G-d , through spirit wants to magnify Him, so I use my hands (the natural part of my body).... lifted toward heaven, and both soul and body rejoice....Thank you! for putting it in perspective.......beautiful article. Reply

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