OVERCOMING THE YETZER – FAST
Sometimes, in middle of the week the Yetzer Hara strengthens himself (to fell the person from his fast) and makes the person assume that he is in a dire state and tells him that there is no way he can endure – a person must understand that the Yetzer is jealous – and hence wishes not for him to ascend and is working hard to destroy him – when a person will be wise and strengthen himself over his Yetzer – he will cause in that hour a great thing in heaven – as it states in Kabbalah, the joy of God is when the Yetzer Hara and the Sitra Achara are subdued for Divine service – therefore as the Yetzer so desires to rid him of the greatness of his fast, and you overcome the Yetzer, the dark side is very humbled.
Sometimes the Satan is given permission to cause (the fasting person) great pain – but once having completed the fast, even if the person does the same fast, he will not feel this pain (as it was but a test.)
Also one should ask God that the fast should not affect his eyes.
If A Person Decides To Fast, Though It Has A Deleterious Side, Namely He Will Take Joy In His Service To God (Due To The Pain Of Fasting) Nonetheless, The Assumption That He Needs to Fast Is Probably based on the fact that there are parts of his soul that he believes he needs to rectify.
We have already mentioned a great principle from the Baal Shem Tov to never by upset / sad – and in general the Baal Shem annulled (got rid of) the extra fasting and self-mortification (as part of Divine service.)
There was once a holy and pious person engaged in many fasts, self-mortifications etc. yet the Baal Shem Tov said that in the world of difference (I assume Kelipos) they are laughing – for as he had a “spiritual” agenda to achieve Ruach Hakodesh (akin to prophecy) hence as he had a personal agenda (not just to fulfil the will of God etc.) therefore all the good he was doing was feeding darkness.
174. Even if a person fasts from Shabbos to Shabbos (namely the six days of the week) one should not think how amazing am I … rather compared to the Holy Angels who serve God incessantly I am nothing – but a worm and dust.
175. The Gemarah says, “Many tried to achieve like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, but for them it worked not” in other words, they did fasts to achieve his level (of holiness) – this is not the way, rather one should dedicate what one is doing to cause to God pleasure.
176. Every person must go according to their level – this is the meaning of the Talmudic statement, “Many tried to achieve like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, but for them it worked not.”
178. When instead of working on improving oneself, one is imitating – as the Talmudic statement “Many tried to achieve like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, but for them it worked not” – one loses both their own level and achieves not the others.
Note 153“Many tried to achieve like Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, but for them it worked not” the problem was instead of serving God with their heart, they were imitating.