I heard recently a devar Torah where the Rav quoted the Kotzker Rebbe as saying a phrase in Yiddish (which I don't remember/didn't understand), something of the likes of: "it's late, but never too late". The idea being that whenever a person considers learning Torah, there are two yetzer haras that are going to try to dissuade them.

  1. It's too late in life to start, as in there's not enough time
  2. Don't start now, you can always do it tomorrow

The way to combat this is to feel like it's late, as in there won't be time later to learn, so learn now. At the same time, don't feel like it's too late, and give up all hope.

The Rav (maybe also quoting the Kotzker) connected this with the evening prayer השכיבינו where we pray:

והסר שטן מלפנינו ומאחרינו

Remove impediments behind us and in front of us

Does anyone know where such an idea is printed?

  • I remember something similar in maase rav on the name of the gra
    – kouty
    Mar 23 at 10:33
  • I recommend you ask the rav.
    – msh210
    Mar 23 at 10:34
  • @msh210 trust me, I would, but I don't have access to him.
    – robev
    Mar 23 at 10:38
  • I remember hearing something similar on the same words but in the context of kiyum mitzvos. So the yetzer hara is 'מלפנינו' when we are about to do a mitzvah questioning the need etc. but is also 'ומאחרינו' filling us with gaavah etc. after we have done the mitzvah etc.
    – Dov
    Mar 23 at 11:23
  • Also heard it with regards to shemiras enayim, i.e. a person can overpower their yetzer and not look as a certain individual passes but can then fail as they look back afterwards and thus the Satan is both front and back facing.
    – Dov
    Mar 23 at 11:47

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