When God said that he creates good and creates evil, does that mean evil as the ability to rebel against the order established by him but not necessarily that he causes evil? Does this verb to creates for example create the evil inclination as a sexual need that comes from the animal soul or does it encompass various layers of evil that he can deliberately bring about as a natural disaster?

Natural disasters in almost all religions were understood as coming from divinity, is that in Judaism so rigid or does it just happen because of the absence of God's order in the world? I think I mean by this as if there were a thermostat in the world, where when humanity is closer to God's will, disasters decrease and when it is farther away, more chaos reigns, in which case God would not be responsible, but the people who come under his protection. Does this make sense in Judaism or does natural disasters run their course regardless and righteous people experience these tragedies? Wouldn't that be a contradiction? Of course, who will determine that a person is fair or not in our eyes? God only knows, would children be classified as righteous? I've seen Jews appeal to reincarnation to explain why apparently righteous or innocent people suffer, does this solve the problem that if we behave well bad things won't happen regardless of what we've done in other lives if the concept of reincarnation is a factual reality?

  • Where does G-d say that "that he creates good and does evil"?
    – Joel K
    May 18 at 13:41
  • @JoelK In Isaiah 45:7
    – Thales
    May 18 at 13:48
  • 2
    I would probably translate along the lines of "I make peace, and create evil ". The verb used in connection with evil is ב-ר-א, the same used as in the first verse of Genesis.
    – Joel K
    May 18 at 13:50
  • 1
    Your first paragraph seems to be asking about the meaning of "this verb to do". I'm just pointing out that the meaning of "to do" is not really relevant here
    – Joel K
    May 18 at 13:58
  • 1
    God never does evil. He does create evil. There's a huge difference. There's a language barrier here I think
    – Rabbi Kaii
    May 18 at 15:15

4 Answers 4


In our school we are taught that God creates good and evil for his own purpose, to test us? But He indeed knows that evil will and does exist.

Maybe it’s so men will realize we can’t succeed without God.

This is also my understanding of Gods justice. God reincarnates us, we go through gehinnom over and over until we ascend.

  • It is an excellent point of view, God has to allow everything to happen so that humanity, over time, comes to understand that ordering its own nose is not the solution, that however much policies and forms of government are developed, God's it is the supreme one, just like when the Israelites asked for a king over themselves and like other nations it annoyed God but ended up giving in but pointed out the flaws that this choice would entail.
    – Thales
    Jun 19 at 11:23

Wonderful question.

Evil means whatever G-D doesn’t want. It is a hindrance of the purpose of existence.

G-D is perfect. He cannot improve, because there is nothing about Him to improve—mostly due to there being nothing about Him at all, since He’s not a creation. He doesn’t need anything for Himself. However, that is still not a perfect situation. A perfect situation can only be achieved when G-D is chosen. G-D is currently making this perfect situation occur.

He created the world in a way that has the potential to become perfect, better than any spirituality could ever be. However, that ability is not active, and must be activated. For G-D to activate it Himself would be useless to Him, since there would be no purpose of the world. The only purpose of the world is for a choice to be made, independent of G-D Himself, to do what G-D wants. This is why humans are conscious, have free will, and why evil exists. If there were no evil, there would be nothing to choose from, and therefore no choice to begin with. There has to be a second option to choose against. Still, there has to be a real possibility of choosing the wrong choice, or it’s still not a choice.

Something to note: Everything happens because of G-D’s active participation. If G-D doesn’t actively make something happen, it doesn’t happen. Therefore, every time you have a thought, G-D is making it happen. This is the miracle of free will: you can choose what you think, even though G-D makes that choice, and the resulting thought. It’s still your choice. This is what the human mind cannot ever comprehend. He also causes every single physical occurrence to happen. A grain of sand on the beach is created by G-D, every single moment, in that exact spot, and with in the same exact shape, etc., as the last moment. Everything happens from G-D.

It is therefore impossible for evil to somehow be rebelling against G-D. Evil is simply a necessary tool that G-D dislikes, because if people choose it, it hinders the plan, along with the person who made the incorrect choice. However, if they make the right choice, then evil is perfectly functional.

From the post-Messianic era and onward, the right amount of good choices will finally have been made, so that evil is no longer necessary. There will only be good, as was always intended. This era of evil is temporary.

  • Maybe evil is what our animal soul doesn't like but isn't evil in essence? Does evil exist in the eyes of God? Of course, everything that violates its principles, so in that case who created evil? Human beings can do the opposite of God's choice, but wasn't even this alternative created by God? For example killing, it was not the human being who created death, in this sense the human being is responsible for killing deliberately but this is only possible because God did so, that is, God created evil, death. It is a very deep philosophical question.
    – Thales
    Jun 19 at 11:20

Entire books have been written on this topic. I'll try to summarize to the best of my ability, based on my understanding of the works of Ramchal.

G-d created man with the ability to choose between doing good (acting in accordance with G-d's will) and evil (doing the opposite). G-d also created man with the ability to affect the world by his actions. So when man does good, the good in the world is increased. When man does bad, the bad in the world is increased. This is a massive oversimplification, but the general gist of it.

So on the one hand, G-d created a world with a potential for humans to cause evil. So there are verses in the Bible stressing that evil is a result of G-d's creation, and not the result of another, malevolent divine force outside of G-d's control, as most religions believe. On the other hand, there are verses stressing that evil is a result of human action, and not G-d's direct will.

The specifics of how this plays out are far beyond human understanding. Part of our tradition is that each action is rewarded individually, so it is not simply a matter of being "good" or "bad". In addition, we are all both autonomous individuals and members of larger societies. So there is individual and group responsibility. The human mind cannot comprehend all of the calculations necessary to determine how these things play out specifically, even if we know the general rules. (Just as we can explain fluid dynamics, but not where each individual water molecule will end up.)

  • What you just explained is clear to me. I can perfectly understand the logic of the sentence of God creating good and creating evil in the sense that for both one to exist and the other both need to be present and allowed to happen. God created evil in the sense of making possible something that goes against his designs to favor free will, we can say that free will is a good with a high price that God dared to establish and that does not make him responsible for evil but the it was barely something of a necessary by-product, not that in itself he wanted it. This I understand
    – Thales
    May 19 at 9:57
  • Question more in doubt for me is at the end of my topic. Natural disasters are bad aren't they? There is no good in hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, lightning. In other religions these disasters signal both individual and collective penalties, in the Bible we have the flood, famine, plague, drought, Judaism follows the pattern of other religions or there is an evil that permeates the universe and if this is a byproduct of the fall of Man and is not God involved in these storms? Because it affects both the just and the unjust, innocent or otherwise.
    – Thales
    May 19 at 10:01
  • Again, it is not for us to know who is innocent or not. And since man is responsible for his fellow, the righteous bear some responsibility for the actions of those who are not righteous.
    – N.T.
    May 21 at 4:35
  • What are natural disasters a consequence of? God punishing an individual as a result of wrong practices or in the form of the curse of the Earth as said in Genesis? It seems to me that the second option may be true but it may not be, in Malachi God promises to keep the locusts away from the plantations if they return to doing what is fair. Children are not completely innocent or even if they do something bad, heavenly judgment only takes effect after the age of 20, does this apply to all humanity or just the Jews?
    – Thales
    May 21 at 11:01
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    Natural disasters are a consequence of communal sin, particularly sexual immorality. See the Flood, plagues of Egypt, plague in time of David, predicted devastation in Jonah, and on and on.
    – N.T.
    May 21 at 18:50

When someone is close to Him, he sees all comes from His kindness. When person is far from Him, all events don't make sense, evil succeed and honest one suffer.


Hashem completed creation of world and Adam is in final stage. Our world follows the track to final Adam. The more we are far from track - the more we suffer cause not ready for that light. The more we are higher than track the more we enjoy life. Reward and punishment only comes from His kindness, we are just far and not seeing that.

Does being a good person guarantee that everything happens in my life are good to me?



Besides my personal responsibility there is a responsibility of Adam - Jews and goyim together completes Adam. I am responsible for me and for Adam. All of us. Jews are more responsible, cause chosen people by Hashem to follow His higher commandments. And when Adam will understand it, it will act proper in front of Hashem and to each other. So evil will not exist those days cause evil is a tool of Hashem, not a reason, reason is His kindness.

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