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Righteous Indignation

Righteous Indignation

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You want to feel warm, passionate and motivated.

Instead, you remain indifferent and unenthusiastic, plugging along with a lukewarm Judaism.

You might give off the impression of being smug and perfectly content with the way things are, but deep down, you know that it’s really just your animal soul. And the good news is, there is a way to put it in its place.

You see, the animal soul is a total coward. It projects confidence and ego, butYou want to feel motivated retreats to the corner as soon as someone calls its bluff. A well-targeted dose of righteous indignation aimed at your animal soul is the way to call that out.

This additional strategy that the Alter Rebbe proposes to melt through layers of apathy is to rage in your mind against the animal soul and demand in a stormy inner voice: “Why do you keep getting in my way, making it so difficult for me to serve G‑d? Why do you deliberately twist the truth and cause me to stumble?”

The evil inclination of the animal soul has no real substance. Just as darkness disappears as soon as a beam of light appears, the apathy of the animal soul melts away as soon as the light of truth shines.

G‑d used the rage method, too.

When the Jews in the desert doubted G‑d’s ability to bring them to the holy land upon hearing the disparaging report of the spies, G‑d grew angry with them, and the Jews did an immediate about-face. Their G‑dly soul believed in G‑d’s ability all along and really didn’t need any convincing. G‑d’s rage pierced through the arrogance of the animal soul, and as soon the animal soul was put in its place, all that remained was the natural faith that every Jew possesses.

So if your animal soul is ever stubbornly apathetic, directing some good old-fashioned healthy rage right at it will cause its power to vanish.

Tanya Bit: Show some righteous indignation towards your animal soul, and it will stop being a force to reckon with.

(Inspired from Chapter 29 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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