Q: Can anyone become a tzaddik (righteous individual)?
A: On the one hand, “tzaddik” is a title given to very unique individuals. A tzaddik is someone who has completely overcome his evil inclination, so much so that he has totally released himself from its clutches, and all that interests him is what is good and pleasant. Becoming completely righteous is a Divine gift. Indeed, the sages state that the righteous are few, “God saw that the righteous were in the minority and He planted them in each generation.”
On the other hand, there is a famous verse that states, “Your people are all righteous, they will inherit the Land eternally.” Even if this is referring to a vision of the future, nonetheless, we are gradually approaching it, and we can realize that inside every Jewish individual is a potential tzaddik. Being righteous does not mean not taking pleasure in the joys of life. Quite the contrary, a tzaddik knows best of all how to enjoy life to the fullest and get full satisfaction from his efforts.