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Chana Weisberg > Quotes > Quotable Quote

“To illustrate how an individual can attain the goal of being submerged in physical reality while transforming it into holiness, we can use an analogy of a man who finds himself in a cold room. There are three ways that individual can maintain his body temperature: first, he can put on a warm coat; second, he can leave the room to go to a warmer environment; or third, he can light a fire.

Similarly, if this individual finds himself in a "cold" environment, one which is detrimental to him, he can preserve his integrity through these three methods. First, he can put on a warm coat, which symbolizes strengthening himself inwardly so as not to be influenced by his surroundings. This however, is an incomplete victory, for if he were to relax his self-control he would capitulate.

Second, he can leave the room, which implies separating himself from the negative influences surrounding him. Once again, this victory is only through removing himself from temptation and is, therefore, not permanent. He has not met the challenge by improving his surroundings.

The third approach, lighting a fire, involves influencing the environment and raising it to a higher level. This is a complete triumph over one's surroundings for the dangers have not only been avoided, they have been entirely removed.”


Chana Weisberg, Crown of Creation: The Lives of Great Biblical Women Based on Rabbinic & Mystical Sources
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