I find myself feeling hopelessness over my spiritual state. As much as I try, I can't rid myself of inappropriate thoughts, unhealthy cravings and reprehensible urges. Are they all here to stay? Am I doomed as far as my piety and religiousness are concerned?


I'm sorry for turning the tables on you. But, in truth you are one of the luckiest people around. Selfish desires or sinful thoughts? That's fantastic!

Controlling negative temptations is a mitzvah just like eating matzah on PassoverHave you ever met someone who feels guilty about helping an old lady with her heavy packages, delivering meals to the sick and infirm or managing to pray with devotion and concentration?

Controlling negative temptations is a mitzvah just like eating matzah on Passover, taking time to visit lonely patients at a nursing home or dispensing hard-earned money to a worthwhile cause. Performing a good deed is a cause for celebration, not the reverse.

Think about it this way:

Different people have different taste preferences. Some people are born with a highly demanding sweet tooth; they shy away from all things spicy. Their preferred diet is candy, cookies, cake, ice cream and anything else full of sugar and sugariness. Others belong to the clan that can't tolerate sugary substances and only consume hot, spicy victuals. The hotter, the better.

While there is something to be said about that hot taste on the tongue, there are strong arguments in favor of the sugary taste bud. We have to resign ourselves to the fact that there are multiple interpretations and spins on the concept of "tasty food."

G‑d, in His infinite capacity, ascribes to all types of taste preferences. He enjoys the taste of the struggle-free, sweet and darling behavior of the sweethearts and honeys in life. But He also appreciates the nose-running and head-splitting reaction from the tangy and bitter toil of dealing with challenges.

G‑d ascribes to all types of taste preferencesSpicy foods relieve congestions, clear the system and "restore the soul." When we engage in the "bitter herbs" of facing our temptations and confronting them, we cause such an intense pleasure and euphoria Above; it provides Him, so to speak, with an eye-watering experience, an experience that clears up the Divine System.

So, if you are riding the smooth and easy waves of life, possessing no inner struggles and challenges, you are falling short of providing your Creator with a mainstay of His diet. Sure, you can satisfy His sweet tooth with all the ice cream and sweets of life, but where is the meat?