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Shema-Vayigash-Without a Battle

“And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers’ (Genesis 47:9).” There are 2 possible paths in our service of God. There is the path of the warrior, which is when a person’s physical desires remain and must be confronted each day by his spiritual yearnings. Although, deep down, he does not desire these physical things that will damage his soul, nevertheless, his heart constantly fights him, and he is in this constant state of war. It was this type of battle to which Jacob referred, when he said,”The years of my pilgrimage,” meaning, years of struggle.


There is another path in serving God; the straight, perfect, and pure path, when the person no longer has to be in a constant state of war, but his heart is so filled with love of God that there is no room in his heart for him to be distracted. (HaKetav v’HaKaballah)

The latter path described above is the one to which we refer when we say, “You shall love God, your Lord, with all your hearts,” meaning, our hearts are so filled with love to distract us that there is no room for the Evil Inclination from our service of God.

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