But if the misdeeds of the kal shebekalim are indeed attributable to his environment and to his passionate nature, why does he deserve his derogatory appelation? To this, the Alter Rebbe replies:

In truth, even he who is extremely passionate by nature and whose livelihood obliges him to sit all day at the street corners

וְהִנֵּה, בֶּאֱמֶת, גַּם מִי שֶׁהוּא מְחוּמָּם מְאֹד בְּטִבְעוֹ, וּפַרְנָסָתוֹ הִיא לִהְיוֹת מִיּוֹשְׁבֵי קְרָנוֹת כָּל הַיּוֹם,

has no excuse whatsoever for his sins, and he is termed a rasha gamur (“an utter evildoer”) for not having the dread of G-d before his eyes.

אֵין לוֹ שׁוּם הִתְנַצְּלוּת עַל חֲטָאָיו, וּמִקְרֵי "רָשָׁע גָּמוּר" עַל אֲשֶׁר אֵין פַּחַד אֱלֹהִים לְנֶגֶד עֵינָיו.

For he should have controlled himself and restrained the feeling of desire in his heart because of the fear of G-d, Who sees all his actions.

כִּי הָיָה לוֹ לְהִתְאַפֵּק וְלִמְשׁוֹל עַל רוּחַ תַּאֲוָותוֹ שֶׁבְּלִבּוֹ, מִפְּנֵי פַּחַד ה' הָרוֹאֶה כָּל מַעֲשָׂיו,

This fear of G-d would have enabled him to overcome his desires, despite the difficulties imposed by his surroundings and his nature, for, as explained above,6 the mind has supremacy over the heart by nature of one’s birth, i.e., it is man’s inborn characteristic that his mind is able to master and restrain his heart’s desires.

כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר לְעֵיל, כִּי הַמּוֹחַ שַׁלִּיט עַל הַלֵּב בְּתוֹלַדְתּוֹ.