There's a notion that the yetzer tov enters the body at the age of bar mitzvah. If this is so how do we see children that behave properly and act kindly towards others?

  • @Justaguy, yes but it's not like children are evil until bar/bat mitzvah. You can say the same about adults--the only reason to do mitzvot is for the reward of olam habah. – Ani Yodea Sep 22 '13 at 19:25
  • That's not the only reason to do mitzvos in my mind, but, you are right, i commented quickly without thinking. Notice the difference between yetzer tov and yetzer harah. The yetzer to is just 'good'. The Yetzer harah is 'the bad'. Basically the yetzer tov, ones intellect is in essence good, meaning that it can arrive at objective truths and distinguish between right an wrong. The yetzer harah, our instinct, has the title of bad, though it is not always bad. We use it for eating, which lets us make brachos, we use it for intimacy within marriage, which is a profoundly holy thing. – user3114 Sep 22 '13 at 19:42
  • I know myself to be instictively a very giving person, and that has gotten me in to some pretty serious emotional trouble more than once, and has harmed my self and those who I wanted to help. Sometimes our instincs do manifest themselves in a good way, but they are still instincts, which need to be tempered by intellect and knowledge of Torah to be utilized for good. My source for the yt and yh being intellect and instinct is 'Marital Intimacy', by Avraham Peretz Friedman – user3114 Sep 22 '13 at 19:53
  • Even a broken clock is correct twice a day? – Seth J Dec 20 '13 at 4:54

Rabbi Simcha Wasserman zt'l said (not exact quote. see "Reb Simcha Speaks"): "children are like new immigrants which arrive at a new country. The immigrants quickly adopt the customs of the local population. So too children quickly adopt the behavior of their parents..."

this answer does not explain all cases but i think it explains many.


how do non Jews act properly? the Tanya writes that the neshomo is purely positive, but the 'nature' of yiden has positive traits by virtue of who we are, irrespective of age. re non Jews, in another post be"h.

  • 1
    If you aren't going to discuss non-Jews in this post, why bring it up? I will remove it later if you don't clarify your reasoning. – Double AA Dec 14 '13 at 22:34
  • i used goyim just to prove that you can behave properly even if you don't have a yetzer tov. i just meant that the inner working and differences between the good things goyim do and the good things yidishe children do are not similar, bat are not the object of this topic – rabbi Dec 14 '13 at 22:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .