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

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Using the flatware of the wicked

This link goes to a page which sells silverware used by the leaders of the Third Reich. Hashkafically and Halachically, would it be inappropriate to kasher such utensils and use them at a kosher meal? ...
12
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5answers
347 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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2answers
110 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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4answers
109 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
122 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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3answers
132 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 ...
5
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1answer
333 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
85 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
142 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 ...
10
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2answers
161 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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2answers
267 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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3answers
130 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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0answers
76 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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0answers
33 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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1answer
49 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
52 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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0answers
51 views

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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2answers
112 views

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
177 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 ...
3
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5answers
218 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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3answers
184 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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3answers
102 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, ...
4
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2answers
82 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 ...
6
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1answer
151 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?
6
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2answers
242 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 ...