Questions about the nature and effects of evil, and evildoers.

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What did Adam and Chava learn after eating of the Tree?

After reading this question and its answers and related discussion, I am still left with a question (so I don't think this is an exact dulicate): Is the binary of good/evil (tov/ra) the same as ...
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1answer
194 views

Looking at a picture of the face of a Rasha

The Zohar (and Megillah 28a thanks DoubleAA) says that it is Assur to gaze at the face of a Rasha. Would this also apply to looking at an image or painting of a Rasha?
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625 views

Many Jews died in Plague of Darkness, why not Dathan and Abiram?

Some say only 1/5, others say 1/50 and others say 1/500 of the Israelites left Egypt. This means between 80-99.8% of Jews (the reshaim who did not merit or want the Redemption from Egypt) died, ...
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1answer
101 views

Is it a mainstream view that Satan is an angel testing us for Hashem so that He can reward us in Olam Haba?

An American Rabbi claims that Satan is an angel and he is not evil. That Satan is testing us and that is good, so that Hashem can give us a good reward in Olam Haba. Is this a majority view in ...
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2answers
177 views

Were Esav, Yishmael, and Nimrod Evildoers?

This question asserts that Ishmael was an evildoer (rasha). However, based on a simple (p'shat) reading of the relevant texts (in Genesis), neither he nor Esau nor Nimrod appear to do anything ...
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5answers
454 views

Naming after bad people

Why have there been famous(ly righteous) Jewish people named after Yishma'el, who, Chaza"l tell us, was evil and an enemy of Jews? Has anything similar happened with Esav? Korach? Others?
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115 views

The wicked rewarded here seemingly aren't rewarded in full. Fair?

I'm reading volume 1 of Strive for Truth, Rabbi Aryeh Carmell's English-language adaptation of Michtav Meeliyahu, and one of the first essays cites Chazal as explaining that one reason good things ...
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1answer
35 views

Could a great sage tell if someone had a strong yetzer hara? That are in grave risk of becoming a rasha?

A very strange question and is mostly theoretical (well I am a writer, but I don't want to spread Lashon Hara about the Jewish people in my short story)*. But if someone was a great sage and lived at ...
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50 views

HaSatan how should it be described?

The Babylonian Talmud (Bava Bathra 16a) states that the Evil Inclincation (Yetzer ha-Ra), the Angel of Death and HaSatan are identical. The Talmud seems to distinguish between HaSatan outside man ...
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3answers
106 views

Do the actions of animals have moral value?

I vaguely remember reading in the Torah some laws regarding the proper restitution when one person's livestock injures or kills someone else's livestock, but as far as I can recall, it was more ...
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1answer
256 views

Drawing the line between not judging and not being a fool

I am what you refer to as a gentile but I have an interest and cursory understanding of Kabbalah and the red string precept of pertinence to not judging others. i.e. Evil eye. I've gone to great ...
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194 views

Are Synagogues “holy ground,” offering protection from evil creatures?

I'm not a Jew, but I'm writing a fantasy novel set in medieval Europe, and one of my characters is a Jew. I've got a group of people with diverse backgrounds who've come together to fight a great ...
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44 views

The Chidah on Guarding One's Tongue

The Chidah says, “Whoever wants to get Olam Haba cheaply, guard your tongue from evil...” Does anyone know where the Chidah states this?
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2answers
219 views

How does Judaism answer the problem of evil? [duplicate]

I would think that after the great amount of suffering the Jews had to suffer in the 20th century a whole lot of them had to review how the deity they believed in could let what was happening to them ...
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3answers
62 views

Why was it forbidden to take knowledge of rah?

Why was it forbidden to take knowledge of rah if HaShem created rah, or created the tree of knowledge tov v'rah? Why wouldn't HaShem allow the first human beings to take knowledge of rah, because ...
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2answers
156 views

Can one cite divrei torah in the name of a rabbi who has gone astray?

In the most recent issue of Jewish Action, there is a brief interview with R. Herschel Schachter about HALACHAH AND THE FALLEN RABBI. The final question is JA: Can we/should we continue to cite ...
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205 views

Calling Someone a Rasha

Sometimes people will speak lashon harah about someone saying that it is allowed because he is a "rasha." Then you may hear others saying that today we never really know who is a rasha and we can't ...
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5answers
387 views

Why does evil exist?

I realize this is a very common question, but the problem of evil is an important one, and as far as I can tell, has not been asked here. In short, why does G-d allow evil to exist?
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157 views

Yeshayahu 45:7 Does Rah exist because of the absense of Tov?

Question: In my own words based on some commentary of Rabbi Hirsch Yeshayahu 45:7 reads: I form ohr (light), and create choshech (darkness); I make shalom (that what is whole), and create rah (that ...
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1answer
38 views

what is rah good for? [duplicate]

Question 1: Yeshayahu 45:7 describes the fact that Adonai created rah. Bereshit 1:31 tells us that Adonai did watch all that he had made and saw that it was tov me'od. If something like rah is created ...
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4answers
213 views

The 4 sons - the evil son

Why on the seder are we excluding the evil son. In the Hagada it says "break his teeth,etc", "tell him if you were in Egypt you would not have been redeemed". Yet on Yom Kipur we say on kol nidrei we ...
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5answers
290 views

Bad things happening to good people

Why do bad things happen to good people? And, even if they do, bad things, not good things, should happen to bad people!
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1answer
122 views

Why are we so concerned about 1/2 of 1% (Golden Calf episode)

We just read (in Parshat Ki Tisa) that the Levites punished the 3,000 men who took part in the golden calf episode. But 3,000 is only 1/2 of 1% of the 600,000 Israelite men who left Egypt. Why is the ...
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1answer
146 views

Was Vashti Evil?

Is there any basis within the text of the Megillah itself to lend credence to the common Midrashic theme that Vasti was evil?
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227 views

Davening for someone to get punished

Are you allowed to daven for someone else to get punished? In other words, if a real Jewish rasha in every sense of the word does bad to you for no good reason and you feel incredibly hurt, can you ...
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1answer
85 views

Good vs. Evil (wrong)

My question might be similar to other questions posted on this website; After the creation HaShem says: Bereshit 1:31: 'And Elohim saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was tov me’od ...
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1answer
96 views

When do we append “ימח שמו וזכרו” to the name of an evil person

When is the phrase 'ימח שמו וזכרו' ('may his name and memory be erased') appended to the name of an evil person? Is it a stylistic and subjective matter of choice or are there specific criteria to ...
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Do sociopaths/psychopaths lack “דעת” of Good and Evil?

As YeZ points out in this answer, "daat" is the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Do sociopaths and/or psychopaths lack the דעת of the distinction between good and evil?
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1answer
605 views

Is there a Jewish symbol for evil?

Is there a Jewish equivalent to Christian's upside-down cross, a symbol that some Christians believe to mean "evil" or the "devil." Does the "average" Jew have a visual symbol which might be taken to ...
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4answers
166 views

Is Cain a prophet?

According to some views, prophecy is not a gift that is arbitrarily conferred upon people; rather, it is the culmination of a person's spiritual and ethical development. When a person reaches a ...
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4answers
147 views

What עִיקָר is the wicked son denying?

In the haggadah (Mechon Mamre's edition of the Hagadah at the end of Hilkhot Chametz u-Matzah and in some editions of the Mekhilta on Shemot 13:14), regarding the wicked son it states וּלְפִי ...
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1answer
383 views

If prophets can only be “good guys” how come Balaam become a prophet?

I've heard that in Judaism, God don't just randomly appoint people to be a prophet. The prophet must be some "good" guy or pious or whatever. If that's the case, why is balaam a prophet? He's not ...
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1answer
160 views

Why aren't non-Jews buried near Jews or wicked people near good?

A colleague at work asked me why Jews are not buried alongside Non-Jews. He understood why we don't eat with them, but thought those differences should not extend in death and pointed at the ...
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1answer
177 views

Learning Torah from a confirmed sinner?

A learned friend of mine is of the opinion that it is forbidden to learn from a Rabbi (or anyone else) who is known to have sinned. He used the example of a particular Rabbi caught in a scandal so ...
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2answers
250 views

Why give gentiles an evil prophet?

Rashi in Bamidbar 22:5 addresses Bilam's being a prophet: "Why did the Holy One rest his Divine Presence upon a wicked gentile? So that the nations of the world should not have an excuse [as to why ...
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125 views

What is the Jewish belief regarding evil spirits?

What do Jews believe about ghosts and evil spirits? It seem to me that the Bible gives clear definition about the fact that they are real. What do Jews believe about this?
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41 views

Does כל האומר דבר בשם אומרו מביא גאלה לעולם apply to all people?

Does the statement in pirkei avos (6:6) that כל האומר דבר בשם אומרו מביא גאלה לעולם apply if the original author of the statement is a non-Jew? What if the originator is a rasha?
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76 views

The righteous man who suffers

In Ra'aya Mehemna (Parshat mishpatim) , it's explained that "the righteous man who suffers" is one whose evil nature is subservient to his good nature. I honestly did not understand what that line ...
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1answer
72 views

Are we destined to be evil?

It seems like from the very first chapters of the Torah, mankind is destined to be evil and transgress the law of God: The very first couple make the only sin they can. The second child the world ...
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Why was the Shechinah bestowed upon Bil'am? [duplicate]

In the beginning of Parashat Balak, Rashi writes: If you ask, “Why did God bestow His Shechinah on a wicked gentile?” [The answer is] so the nations should not have an excuse to say, “Had we had ...
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What's the connection between Avraham and Bilaam?

In chapter 5 of Pirkei Avos, it states (from Chabad.org): יט. כל מי שיש בידו שלושה דברים הללו הוא מתלמידיו של אברהם אבינו. ושלושה דברים אחרים הוא מתלמידיו של בלעם הרשע. 19. Whoever possesses ...
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1answer
209 views

why did avraham pray for sodom

Sodom was one of the most morally corrupted societies that ever existed. wouldn't their disappearance be good for everyone (including themselves). keeping those who are thoroughly wicked alive is ...
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3answers
218 views

Why is the Evil Inclination Called a “Fool”?

Koheles (4:13), (as explained by the Midrash Rabba) describes the Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination) as "A king, old, and a fool". It explains: "...ולמה קורא אותו כסיל? שהוא מלמד לאדם דרך רעה...". ...
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130 views

How old was Eisav when he fell into bad ways?

Rashi on Bereishis 25:30 states that Hashem shortened Avraham's life by 5 years (180->175) in order that he shouldn't see Eisav, his grandson acting wickedly ('Tarbut Ra-ah'). And on that day, ...
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93 views

Dan LeChaf Zechuth - Exceptions?

What are the exceptions to the requirement to judge one another favorably? Does it apply unless the person has a (proven) reputation of a Rasha'? Is it limited to Bein Adam LaMakom? (If someone ...
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388 views

Obliterating the names and memories of evil people

Theoretically the names and the very memories of evil people (rasha'im) should be obliterated. Is this aim seriously pursued? For example, saying ימח שמו after a name doesn't really help obliterate ...