There is a sentence on Wikipedia about Kabbalah, but unfortunately, there are no sources for it, and I would like to know the sources (if they exist).

The sentence says: "Among the problems considered in the Hebrew Kabbalah is the theological issue of the nature and origin of evil." In the views of some Kabbalists, this conceives "evil" as a "quality of God," asserting that negativity enters into the essence of the Absolute.

Does someone know who those Kabbalists are?


  • Evil as we know it also comes from G_d. It just so happens that we perceive it as bad, whereas in reality it is for a greater good. It is not a quality of G_d. It COULD be argued that evil is a sub sub sub sub category of the sefirah of Gevurah. All good and 'evil' come from him. My sources: Tanya of the Alter Rebbe. May 8 at 12:40
  • @MarsSojourner there are two types of evil, one that is just the absence of light, and one that is created darkness. I think chassidus says that this second evil is created by Hashem, but doesn't say it is "part of His Essence". So I am interested in this question as it seems to be saying something other than Tanya
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 8 at 13:22
  • @RabbiKaii Where does it state that an absence of light, means it is evil? May 8 at 14:09
  • @MarsSojourner sorry don't have any sources to hand right now, however it's not controversial. For e.g. the first chapter talks about the 4 "evil" elements of the animal soul, but defines them as not sinful. Ra in this case just means obscurity of Hashem
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 8 at 14:16
  • Which sefer are you referring to ? May 8 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


Many meukablim talk about what it means for things to be "bad" (for example, is evil an objective concept? do things merely appear evil but really they are good? or is "evil" just a good thing that is being misused?) and how things became/become "bad." From what I have seen these deal more with evil as an abstract concept and less with "why do bad things happen to good people" type questions. Three examples that come to mind are: Shaarei Kedusah of Rav Chaim Vital (especially the first part); The Sod HaNachas of Rabbi Joseph ben Avraham Gikatilla; and the introduction to Tolaat Yaakov of Rabbi Meir ibn Gabbai. You can also find some discussion of these topics in hassidic literature, for example it's probably discussed in the main volume of Siftei Chein.

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