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Shema: Ready For Battle Print E-mail
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ShemaIn the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains
From ‘The Boxer,’ by Simon & Garfunkel


This most frequent complaint I receive is, “Everyday seems to bring a new problem! I feel as if I must constantly be ready for battle.” I am amazed that the people complaining are definitely not complainers. They are all fighters, achievers, growers. They are happy people who, every once in a while, fell like the words above, “And he carries the reminders - Of ev'ry glove that laid him down - Or cut him.” It is fair to say that the people who voice this complaint feel scarred by all their problems and challenges. They are tired, but they go on, “The fighter still remains.”

“And you shall love God, your Lord, with all your hearts.” “Hearts,” you ask, “we only have one.” The Sages explain, “Learn to love with both your Good and Evil Inclinations.”

The minute we deal with both the Good and Evil Inclinations, we are dealing with a battle. An unceasing, intense and consuming battle. Love of God will empower the fighter in us and allow us to win the battle, but that, is not the full meaning of loving with both hearts! That love would be taught as loving God with the Good Inclination to overpower the Evil.

Loving God with both hearts means we have to love the battle. We have to enjoy the fight because it is the fighter who lives for such battle who will achieve the following stage, “And with all your soul!”
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