Should a person ever give in to his desires?
Absolutely! Absolutely you should give in to your desires. You have a desire to eat, give in. When you feel hungry, when you feel a desire to eat, that’s a message min hashamayim, and it’s a mitzvah to eat. It’s time to go to sleep? Give in to that desire. Don’t hang around and talk. Give in to your desire and go to sleep early; certainly. Go to the bathroom. Don’t hold yourself in! It’s very unhealthy, and it causes constipation. Give in to your desire and go to the bathroom; certainly. All of the good desires that Hashem made, give in to them.
But let’s say your desire is only to waste time, then don’t give in to that desire. Why give in to desires that lead you nowhere? A desire to eat nosherai? For what purpose?! Develop a desire to learn. What a pleasure it is! A person can develop a חשק to learn, and he loves learning; he desires learning. Get a desire to learn, a desire to look in a sefer. There’s so much happiness in that desire. You have to acquire the hobby of learning. I use the word hobby – chas v’shalom, it’s a not a hobby, L’havdil! It’s a desire that you should develop. Get into the חשק of learning, of always looking into seforim. That’s a desire to give in to. And it’s a tremendous achievement.
TAPE # E-218 (January 2000)