During his long years in a Soviet prison, Reb Mendel Futerfas observed that after the spider has spun its web, it watches and waits for the exact moment that an insect is trapped in it. Once it is caught and it surrenders its own survival, the spider then seizes the opportunity to attack its prey.

Reb Mendel concluded that so it is with our negative impulse known as the yetzer hara. As long as we exert the effort to escape the web and try to overcome the obstacles caused by the negative impulse, we remain spiritually safe and vibrant. Although we have not reached our spiritual goals, we are still on the right track. Once, however, we have resigned and given up, we become totally enveloped and consumed by the negative forces.

Reb Mendel’s discovery while in Soviet prison