Truly, it is a great, fierce struggle to break one’s [evil] nature, which burns like a fiery flame, for the fear of G-d; indeed, it is like a veritable test.

וְהִנֵּה, בֶּאֱמֶת, שֶׁהִיא מִלְחָמָה גְדוֹלָה וַעֲצוּמָה, לִשְׁבּוֹר הַיֵּצֶר הַבּוֹעֵר כְּאֵשׁ לֶהָבָה מִפְּנֵי פַּחַד ה', וּכְמוֹ נִסָּיוֹן מַמָּשׁ.

Therefore, every man ought to weigh and examine his own position, according to the standards of his place and rank in divine service,

וְהִלְכָךְ, צָרִיךְ כָּל אָדָם, לְפִי מַה שֶּׁהוּא מְקוֹמוֹ וּמַדְרֵגָתוֹ בַּעֲבוֹדַת ה', לִשְׁקוֹל וְלִבְחוֹן בְּעַצְמוֹ

as to whether he serves G-d in a situation requiring a comparable struggle in a manner commensurate with the dimensions of such a fierce battle and test as the kal shebekalim faces.

אִם הוּא עוֹבֵד ה' בְּעֵרֶךְ וּבְחִינַת מִלְחָמָה עֲצוּמָה כָּזוֹ וְנִסָּיוֹן כָּזֶה,

Even the most dispassionate and cloistered of men must often engage in battle with his evil inclination, both in the area of “doing good”7 and in that of “turning away from evil,”7 as the Alter Rebbe goes on to illustrate.

In the realm of “do good”—in the service of prayer with kavanah (devotion), for example, he must battle his evil inclination daily in order to pour out his soul before G-d with his entire strength

בִּבְחִינַת "וַעֲשֵׂה טוֹב". כְּגוֹן, בַּעֲבוֹדַת הַתְּפִלָּה בְּכַוָּונָה, לִשְׁפּוֹךְ נַפְשׁוֹ לִפְנֵי ה' בְּכָל כֹּחוֹ מַמָּשׁ

to the extent of “wringing out” his soul,8 i.e., exhausting all of his intellectual and emotional power in his devotion.

עַד מִיצּוּי הַנֶּפֶשׁ,

This battle must be waged both before (i.e., preparatory to) and also during prayer, as follows: He must wage a great and intense war against his body and the animal soul within it which impede his devotion, crushing and grinding them like dust every single day before the morning and evening prayers.

וּלְהִלָּחֵם עִם גּוּפוֹ וְנֶפֶשׁ הַבַּהֲמִית שֶׁבּוֹ הַמּוֹנְעִים הַכַּוָּונָה – בְּמִלְחָמָה עֲצוּמָה, וּלְבַטְּשָׁם וּלְכַתְּתָם כֶּעָפָר קוֹדֶם הַתְּפִלָּה שַׁחֲרִית וְעַרְבִית מִדֵּי יוֹם בְּיוֹם,

Also, during prayer, he must exert himself with an exertion of the spirit, so that his spirit should not grow weary of lengthy contemplation on the greatness of G-d, and an exertion of the body to remove the hindrances to devotion imposed by the body, as will be explained further at length.9

וְגַם בִּשְׁעַת הַתְּפִלָּה, לְיַיגֵּעַ עַצְמוֹ בִּיגִיעַת נֶפֶשׁ וִיגִיעַת בָּשָׂר, כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר לְקַמָּן בַּאֲרִיכוּת.