Is it a mountain or a hair?

While I was walking out to fetch a couple more groceries today, I noticed a smudge on my glasses that looked quite large while I was wearing them but really tiny when I took them off. That made me think of the account of the future slaughter of the yetzer hara described  in Sukkah 52b. To the righteous, the yetzer hara  appears like a high mountain and to the wicked as thin as a hair. Both cry. The righteous cry, "How could we have surmounted something as great as this?" The wicked cry, "How could we not have overcome something this hair thin thing?" Even the Almighty expresses astonishment.

What occurred to me is the matter of perspective. For example, the sun and the moon both appear to be about the same size, though the sun is so many thousands of times larger, due to their distance from the earth. At a great distance, even a tall mountain can appear to be contained within your fingers, that is, no larger than a coin. But even a speck can look quite substantial when it is right in front of your eye, like on your glasses.

My take is that the tzadikim keep their  yetzer hara far away, and so it has to grow larger and larger to register in their line of vision at all.  In contrast, the reshaim keep their yetzer hara so close that it can get down to minimal size and still receive their full attention. That also fits with what Chazal say about "Kol hagadol michavero, yitzro gadol mimeno" 


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