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Does the satan know what crosses our minds and thus whisper to us what is in accordance with our thoughts to instigate us in harboring negative thoughts and committing sins?

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Can it be possible that satan has information on zillions of humans since creation in his memory, and he knows how to manipulate humanity based on that information(experience)?

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Why do you suspect the satan is an intelligent entity? –  Tatpurusha Jun 10 at 8:13
    
he is certainly a living being , hence intelligent enough as he even tried to lead Adam astray? –  Ali Jun 10 at 9:58
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@Ali so the snake was the Satan? –  Daniel Jun 10 at 10:11
    
Maybe an agent of Satan? Wanted to know the Jewish perspective on this matter. –  Ali Jun 10 at 10:52
    
@Ali, the satan (lit. adversary) need not be a malach, or djinn, or other higher entity in Judaism. For example, a snake or another person could merit the term "satan", as in the story of the "apple", or a malach (angel, lit. messenger) as in the story of Iyov (Ayub) in the book of the same name (Job in English). –  Noach mi Frankfurt Jun 10 at 15:49

2 Answers 2

You are using the term "satan" as if it is a being with independent thoughts, desires, and will. This is a mistake. It is actually "the accuser" or the "yeitzer harah". Thus, it can be considered that a person is confronted by all the various situations and problems in the world is confronted by the "Satan". It is the commonly accepted view that "satan" is no more than any other mal'ach assigned to a role in the world. It can be a natural event, a person, a set of desires in a human being, or a supernatural entity created to perform a task. The idea of "rebellion" is impossible as only humans have free will and can choose to go against Hashem. The idea of an "evil" independent entity is Zoroastrian (dual "gods" good and evil) or Christian (an "angel" that rebelled and acts on its own) not Jewish or Muslim (the Jinn are created bings [like angels?] who rebelled]. The same concept may exist in other religions, but I do not know about them. "Satanism" appears to be Christianity with the worshipers choosing to follow the "bad guy".

Consider Avraham and Yitzchak on the way to the Akeidah in which he is confronted by "satan" to give all the arguments that might lead him to turn back. This can be a metaphor for all the thoughts that a human being confronted with this trial could use to rationalize not doing it. At the end he appears as a river. This is a metaphor for a human being saying "I tried, but it was impossible to reach the mountain".

Since Human beings have free will, Hashem can confront us with a situation at times that requires us to make a choice. Rabbi Dessler points out that everyone has a "nekudas bechirah" (a point of choice). That is certain events will never challenge us since we will not think of doing them. Some mitzvos do not reward us since we will never think of not doing them. Only those cases where we actually have to think about it and make a conscious decision are actually elements of our "Bechiras Chofshis" (free choice).

A person who has kept kosher all of his life, would not be tempted to go eat in a McDonalds. A mugger may pass the "test" of not killing his victim. At each test, the pivot point changes as a result of the actions of the person. Eventually those points which are tests for a person will either be done or avoided automatically and a new set of tests confronted.

One rationalization that people often use is "It's not my fault, I was prevented from doing the right thing by an outside force".

I do not have sources here to quote, so I am just putting in what I have learned over the years.

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The Satan is not a seperate entity outside of G-d. From Wikipedia:

In Judaism, Satan is a term used since its earliest biblical contexts, to refer to a human opponent.[22] Occasionally, the term has been used to suggest evil influence opposing human beings as in the Jewish exegesis of the Yetzer hara ("evil inclination" Genesis 6:5). Micaiah's "lying spirit" in 1 Kings 22:22 is sometimes related. Thus, Satan is personified as a character in three different places of the Tenakh, serving as an accuser (Zechariah 3:1-2), a seducer (1 Chronicles 21:1), or as a heavenly persecutor who is "among the sons of God" (Job 2:1). In any case, Satan is always subordinate to the power of God, having a role in the divine plan. Satan is rarely mentioned in Tannaitic literature, but is found in Babylonian aggadah.[16] In Medieval Judaism, the Rabbis rejected these Enochic literary works into the Biblical canon, making every attempt to root them out.[15] Traditionalists and philosophers in medieval Judaism, adhered to rational theology, rejecting any belief in rebel or fallen angels, and viewing evil as abstract.[23] The Yetzer hara ("evil inclination" Genesis 6:5) is a more common motif for evil in rabbinical texts. Rabbinical scholarship on the Book of Job generally follows the Talmud and Maimonides as identifying the "Adversary" in the prologue of Job as a metaphor.[24]

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Do you have evidence of that? Is that a universally accepted statement? –  Daniel Jun 10 at 11:14
    
im looking into right now... –  user5538 Jun 10 at 11:18
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@Daniel It is the commonly accepted view that "satan" is no more than any other mal'ach assigned to a role in the world. It can be a natural event, a person, a set of desires in a human being, or a supernatural entity created to perform a task. The idea of "rebellion" is impossible as only humans have free will and can choose to go against Hashem. The idea of an "evil" independent entity is Zoroastrian (dual "gods" good and evil) or Christian (an "angel" that rebelled and acts on its own) not Jewish. –  sabbahillel Jun 10 at 11:53
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@Ali Judaism does not have anything like this concept. According to Judaism, only humans have free will, and so no non-human could ever rebel against God. –  Daniel Jun 10 at 14:28
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@Ali Not in Judaism. –  Daniel Jun 10 at 17:50

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