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The Dogfight we were born for

Written by Rabbi Moshe Kormornick

Udi is a fighter jet pilot. In fact, he’s the best fighter jet pilot there is. That’s why he was chosen to test the world’s newest and best anti-missile system. His instructions were simple: when his system detected a missile, engage the anti-missile system. Udi would be fired at by the world’s deadliest heat-seeking, satellite targeted missile, something which no other system has ever been able to withstand. Udi’s life was on the line, but he had the perfect and only way to escape the incoming missile, the anti-missile system.

Finally, Udi was in the air, flying towards his intended destination when he heard the warning siren. “Incoming Missile. Engage anti-missile system.” This was it, the missile was on its way and Udi had to do one thing, engage the anti-missile system. But he did not do that. In flight school he had learned maneuvers to outsmart missiles, he dodged to the right, performed a low yo-yo, a cobra turn, even his famous Lag Displacement Roll, but nothing was evading the missile which was coming closer and closer. He tried everything he could but could not escape the missile. Then a voice came on his radio, “Use the anti-missile system!” Udi responded, “I can escape the missile without it.” Another voice came on, “Udi, your entire mission was to use the anti-missile system. Also, we made the world’s best missile and we also made the only system that can defend against it. It is the only possible way to escape.”

Udi listened, deployed the anti-missile system and was able to make his way safely to his destination.

This is a parable of the mistake that many of us make. The Gemara says of Hashem: “I created [in man] the evil inclination, and I created the Torah for him as a remedy.”[1] On this, the Mesillas Yesharim makes clear that if Hashem created Torah as the only antidote for the evil inclination then it is absolutely impossible for a person to be victorious against it through any other means.[2]

One’s mission in life is to battle the evil inclination and escape unscathed. The only way to do this is through learning and following the Torah. There is no other way to fulfil one’s mission.

[1] Kiddushin 30b.

[2] Chapter 5.

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