A young schoolboy stood before the Rebbe one day in 1954, to receive a blessing before his bar mitzvah. He was surprised when the Rebbe asked him, in English. “Which sport do you like best?”

“Baseball,” the boy replied.

“Do you ever play baseball with your friends?” the Rebbe asked.


“And do you ever see professional games?”

“Sure I do!”

“What’s the difference between your games and the professionals’?”

“Rabbi, when we play, it’s just kids’ stuff, but the professional games are for real.”

The Rebbe addressed the boy with a broad smile. “In your heart you have a big field. The two sides are the yetzer tov, the good inclination and the yetzer hara, the negative drives. Until now they played kids’ stuff, but from now on the game’s for real. Remember, just as in baseball, the side which plays best will win. If you only want to you can always overcome your yetzer hara.”

As told to Kfar Chabad Magazine