The Desire to serve H”Y:
This is a wondrous story and very awesome, for someone who gives heart truthfully. And therefore I said it is befitting and very important to tell over and write, all that transpired on me, from the day that I became intelligent (sensible), because this is a continuation from when I became intelligent until I merited to draw near to Our Holy Master this is a matter of continuation, this story from then, this continues and this is a continuation.
H”Y was gracious with me and bestowed me with such a soul, that from the day I became intelligent, that I was still a small child, my heart was burning very much to serve H”Y and to merit to fear of Heaven and faith and everything important. My desire was to cleanse myself from the vanity of desires, from all the desires of this world, just to serve Hashem. But certainly when I was a small child I didn't know anything, but the soul yearned very much, even though I didn't know anything, but my willpower and my heart, by heart was afire just to serve Hashem, and not to work at any craft or labor. My father was very poor his whole life, and then he became blind, and I was still a small child, oy vay, Master of the World! And I had yearning to aggrieve my soul, to conduct fasts, at a time that I was still very young, how old? Seven, eight years old... (you fasted at the age of seven, eight?) no, just the day preceding the first of the new month, or (the month of) Elul, in the time of the days of repentance, Elul. For example, the first of the month I wanted to fast, and my mother was very devoted and she had very great pain, “What is this with you? You are still a small child, what will you do fast?” So I didn't want to listen to her, and I did a fast every day proceeding the first day of the month, for half a day, but in the month of Elul, the day proceeding the first of the month, the whole day. And I caused great pain to my mother from this. In any event, more passed over me... this is known, that for every matter of holiness, the 'opponent' (satan, evil inclination) intensifies. On one side I had very strong desires for worldliness, and from the second side I had fear of Heaven, I despised my (worldly) life, I felt great pleasantness.