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By: Cover Art By Jennifer Esses

Guarding one’s eyes in our times can be difficult. The Battle of the Generation, a new book available on amazon.com, shows how we can overcome this challenge and reach great heights. Its uplifting, guilt-trip free style will help the reader develop a refreshing perspective on life that will help him battle the yetzer hara with excitement!

An excerpt from The Battle of the Generation:

There is a little secret the yetzer hara doesn’t want you to know. It’s the secret that spells his doom. And it’s the secret that will change your destiny.

Our generation faces challenges never encountered before by mankind. Society teaches that there is nothing wrong with immorality, and it portrays the most despicable acts as glamorous. Promiscuity is made to seem exhilarating. We are taught that chasing desire is cool, and that those who don’t are missing out on life. Sin is readily available, and there is little to hold us back.

Society also trains us to think we are incapable of controlling ourselves. We see everyone around us giving in to crazy temptations, and we think it is impossible to win. We might even hear people openly express how impossible a fight it is, which discourages us from even trying. With all that’s going on, our generation seems to be at a huge disadvantage. It seems that we were born in perhaps the worst situation in the history of our nation, at least from a spiritual perspective.

But that’s only if you ignore the yetzer hara’s secret.

Before he became king, David Hamelech married Shaul Hamelech’s daughter Michal. Shortly after their marriage, Shaul turned against David, forcing him to flee. The Gemara (Sanhedrin 19b) relates that Shaul ruled that the method by which David had married Michal was halachically invalid, and therefore, they were not married. Shaul then had her married to a man named Palti. Realizing that Shaul was wrong and that Michal was married to David, Palti held himself back from sinning - even though he and Michal lived in the same house for five years. The Gemara states that Palti’s demonstration of self-control was far superior to Yosef’s when he faced the challenge of the wife of Potifar. Clearly, this was an extremely challenging situation for Palti. Nevertheless, Palti employed superhuman self-control and held himself back.

After five years, David became king and sent for Michal to be brought back to him. Palti traveled with her as she returned and was crying. The Gemara explains that Palti was crying over the mitzvah that was leaving him.

This Gemara is perplexing. Why was Palti sad that Michal was going back to David? As a person who valued his service of Hashem, he should have been relieved that his challenge was finally over! Why was he upset about losing his ability to sin?

In Shmuz 145: “Stages of Change: Taking Action” (www.TheShmuz.com), Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier answers that we learn a powerful lesson from Palti’s attitude in his battle against desire. Rather than growing frustrated about the desires threatening to disturb his spiritual aspirations, Palti was excited to face this challenge. Palti did not view his situation as an annoying obstacle impeding his spiritual growth. He realized that it was an opportunity for him to serve Hashem in an unprecedented manner. He understood that with this test, Hashem was giving him a phenomenal opportunity to accomplish and reach greatness. This perspective led him to win perhaps the most difficult battle against desire in history.

In Pirke Avot (5:23), Ben Heh teaches us that Heavenly reward is meted out in accordance with how much a person exerts himself. Our Sages teach us that this is a major principle in the calculation of reward and greatness. How hard a person works to accomplish something is one of the primary determining factors in how great the accomplishment is. When a person faces overwhelming challenges and overcomes them, he performs acts that are truly great.

Overcoming difficulty is so basic to true accomplishment in life that it is the reason Hashem places man into a life so full of challenges (Mesillat Yesharim, Chapter 1). Hashem wants to provide man with the opportunity to win his battles and truly accomplish. Challenges are only there to make us great!

Our successes are impressive only because the yetzer hara challenges us from every direction, trying to confuse and derail us. When we hang in there and try to succeed despite how much we want to give in, we are performing monumental acts of greatness. Succeeding despite the difficulty is the point of life! The harder it is, the greater it makes us.

It is incredible that we can reach unprecedented heights for eternity by prevailing in this challenge. If we remember this, we will buzz with excitement, and we will achieve brilliant accomplishments that will shine forever when we defeat the yetzer hara in the battle of the generation.