(To read the introduction to this serie, please click here.)
"Let all my enemies be ashamed and much troubled; let them return and be ashamed in a moment." (Psalm 6:11)
Our enemies are those who wish to prevent us from serving G-d according to His will and with joy. When we manage to foil their plans and we achieve a mitzvah, we fill them with shame. The greatest of our enemies is the one which resides in us: the evil inclination which continually tries to convince us to do everything ... except Heaven's will.
A fight for life
Some of the battles that we undertake in life are temporary. An irascible boss, a bad neighbor, a chance encounter ... Although each of those person may object to us - and make our lives difficult - the place they hold in our environment is temporary. In fact, a job is quickly lost ... before another one is found, changing neighborhoods or city over a lifetime is a common thing and a bad encounter usually doesn't last longer.
However, there is an enemy that follows us every day of our lives: the Yetser Hara' (the evil inclination). This enemy has only one objective: to push us away from the Creator, G-d forbids. When it fails, it tries at least to slow down our merger with the Divine. The Yetser Hara' is not alone: it has at its disposal an army of soldiers who have a multitude of outfits: those of other human beings, animals, plants, objects ...
Two basic rules must be known in this fight of our lives: 1) We need to constantly undermine our eternal enemy to put all chances on our side, and 2) We must pray without ceasing for Hachem to intervene in our favor in this struggle. Without this intervention, we have no chance of winning.
Weakening an enemy is important, especially when it is extremely strong. The Yetser Hara' has a powerful and a formidable intellect and its tricks to deceive us are innumerable. Thus, its weakening is a must if we really want to tip the scales in our favor.
How do we weaken the evil inclination? By praying, studying Torah and doing mitswoth! Each of these actions represent a surplus of vitality that we remove from the Yetser Hara' and we give to our Yetser Hatov (good inclination). Moreover, if a mitzvah is done in the joy of serving Hashem, this vitality is increased significantly.
However, all our efforts will be wasted if we do not ask G-d to help us win the battle. It's a great vanity to believe that we can win alone. It is precisely in order to observe our attitude in the difficult times of our life - and they are numerous - that the Master of the world gave us birth. If we turn our sincere appeals to Heaven and we do our best to address and follow G-d's will, we fulfill our role to perfection, beyond the mistakes that we make.
On the other hand, if we think we can win alone, we are making a serious mistake whose consequences will soon affect us, G-d forbid. Heaven's help is vital, every moment of our lives, from the day of our birth until our death of this world.