A Soul, A Yetzer Ra and Their Lifelong Conflict

“Against your will you are formed; against your will you are born; against your will you live; against your will you die; and against your will you are destined to give an accounting and a reckoning before the King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed is He” (Pirkei Avot 4:22). This Mishnah outlines the five junctures in our lives. We are formed and placed in utero; then we are born into the world; then we live our life; then we die; and finally we are resurrected to give an accounting for our actions. All these happen against our and only because the Almighty mandates it. During four of these five junctures we cannot make choices that affect our life and legacy. Only during our lifetime, when we have free choice to determine our destiny, can we do anything to improve or regress. By examining the transformations that occur during each of these five points in time we gain a greater understanding of our essential makeup and the purpose of the middle juncture – life.