Imagine a person who is famished after a day of traveling and not taking even a moment to snack. He cleans up and heads to the nearest restaurant, where he orders a delicious dinner from soup and salad to dessert. When done and “bursting,” he sees another dessert being served to someone else and orders one for himself. Finally, he pays the check and heads for his hotel.
On the way, he passes a street vendor selling kosher hot dogs. They smell really delicious as they sizzle on the sidewalk grill, but he has no desire at all for his favorite “snack” because he is full from all that he had eaten in the restaurant. The Chofetz Chaim said this is the meaning of the phrase in our tefillah, “Make us full and satisfied from Your goodness.”
This world is finite. Space and time create fences around all that the world contains. A container can only hold so much before it is all filled up and spills over. In the ongoing battle with temptation, the yetzer hara offers a constantly changing variety of pleasures, many of which “smell” and “taste” good. How is one to resist and comply with the Torah’s commandments? One should fill up on the goodness that Hashem offers in the way of life prescribed in the Torah.
The Gemara suggests that if one is confronted by the yetzer hara, one should drag him into the beit medrash. While one is involved in Torah study, one’s yetzer hara becomes harmless because one has no room for his wiles. If one is involved in chessed, one has no time for distractions. To avoid transgressing restrictions, one should fill oneself with the positives of being a Torah Jew.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
A person who constantly works on himself and has reached a proper level of love for other people will not feel hurt or angered by what others say to him, for love has the ability to cancel all wrongdoing. Although he will be meticulously careful to show respect to everyone, he realizes that the majority of people have not perfected their character traits and he does not have excessive expectations of others. (Chazon Ish, Emunah and Bitachon 1:11, 15)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.