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Questions tagged [evil-inclination]

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Source for the Evil inclination being commanded by G-d to be evil

Several questions deal with the Snake aka the Satan aka the Evil Inclination etc trying to entice Adam and his wife. What are the original sources that show that the Evil inclination was originally ...
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Moses' perception of the women's Evil Inclination (מראות צובאות)

Rashi on Exodus 38.8 brings Midrash Tanchumah: "במראת הצבאת. בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל הָיוּ בְיָדָן מַרְאוֹת שֶׁרוֹאוֹת בָּהֶן כְּשֶׁהֵן מִתְקַשְּׁטוֹת, וְאַף אוֹתָן לֹא עִכְּבוּ מִלְּהָבִיא לְנִדְבַת ...
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Evil inclination compared to a strange god within man

I've found this article which quoted some interesting thoughts: Our sages said about the verse (Shabbat 105b), “There shall not be a strange god within you, nor will you bow before a strange god.” ...
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“Impossible” to resist a sin

In Tzidkat Hatzaddik 43, we see: Sometimes a person is subjected to such a difficult test that it is impossible that he not sin. As our Sages said [in explaining the sin of the Golden Calf: “...
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Does Orthodox Judaism endorse or prescribe exercises and acts to help counteract negative influences or inner spiritual issues and conflicts?

I know this question sounds kind of "New Age" in terms of theme but I was genuinely curious if Orthodox Judaism has any figures who endorsed such topics or books which discussed the topic (either in ...
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50 views

Won’t let go unless you bless me

In the moment Yaakov is wrestling a adversary he says: ‘לא אשלחך כי אם ברכתני’, I wondered if there are any commentaries which reads this differently. I noticed that Rabbi Hirsch connects the root ...
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Is there a concept for individuals who are “too” destructive, in that they destabilize all of those around them?

Obviously, no one is inherently evil. All humans are constantly in battle with their evil inclination and we have to actively work to groom positive traits within us. That being said, do the sages ...
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Should people be encouraged to yield to the evil inclination?

Chazal say very clearly that the evil inclination is the foundation of great and good achievements: -Abaye said: The greater the man, the greater his evil inclination. [Sukkah 52a] -Nachman said, in ...
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King Saul was able to fight the Yetzer Hara head on

I heard a wonderful drasha on the verse II Samuel 1:18 but I can't find the source: ויאמר ללמד בני־יהודה קשת הנה כתובה על־ספר הישר He instructed to teach the Children of Yehudah the bow. ...
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In Judaism, is there a view which similar to the Original Sin of Christianity?

First I would like to describe a little bit of my background. I'm not Jewish and I'm not a Christian. Currently I'm in a debate with some Christian members in a Christian Forum with our mother ...
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74 views

If one is aware the yetzer harah drove him to do something, must he stop?

Say you are fully aware that your yetzer harah drove you to do something specific- to visit a certain person on a certain day, or to have a certain kosher meal for dinner. Is that activitity ...
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78 views

“Evil Inclination” History

I'm a Christian who wants to know more about history of the Jewish concept of "The Evil Inclination". (I find myself often arguing against saint Augustine's Original Sin theology and the more early ...
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135 views

Paradox of the Evil Inclination: Hashem commands to disobey Himself?

I understand that to make this world spinning (to get to its purpose of bestowing the world to come), the Evil Inclination (Yetzer Harah) is commanded by Hashem to constantly drag us to do ...
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Source that people are judged based on their inclinations

Where does the Orchos Tzaddikim say that everyone is judged according to their inclinations, meaning that you could have one person who acts better than a second person but the second person is better ...
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131 views

Does a Tzadik have a Yetzer Harah?

Was Yitzchok a Tzadik? Rashi in Bereshit 28:13 says Yitzchok was blind and that his​ Yetzer Harah left him. Does that imply that he had an evil inclination when he wasn't blind? What about King David?...
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Purpose of Torah in Gan Eden

We know from several midrashim (see first chapter of Midrash Tanchuma to Bereshit) that Torah had already existed before the world was created. It should have contained all the positive and negative ...
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107 views

Is it possible to overcome Yetzer Hara without the Torah? [closed]

What do our great teachers say about overcoming evil inclinations without Torah? Is it even possible? Look forward to your answers!
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Is the yetzer hara a separate entity?

This is something that's always bothered me about the classic "yeshivish" presentation of Judaism. Most "yeshivish" people will claim that the yetzer hara is an entity that is almost completely ...
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Why did chiya bar ashi seperate from his wife?

In the gmara kidushin 81b according to the translation http://www.dafyomi.co.il/kidushin/points/kd-ps-081.htm the following story happened (h)Whenever R. Chiya bar Ashi would fall on his face in ...
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Why does the good inclination come in 13 years late?

To paraphrase Avos D'Rebbi Nassan 16:2: The evil inclination grows when a person is born, while the good inclination enters at Bar/Bas Mitzvah. As a minor, if he desecrates Shabbos, his inclination ...
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Whoever is greater than his friend has a greater inclination

Sukkah 52a has an interesting story with Abaye (translation from Sefaria.org) כי הא דאביי שמעיה לההוא גברא דקאמר לההיא אתתא נקדים וניזיל באורחא אמר איזיל אפרשינהו מאיסורא אזל בתרייהו תלתא פרסי ...
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how does the yetzer hara rule over a person?

In the "Path of the Just" chapter 5, Rabbi Luzzato writes: For in truth, the evil inclination (yetzer hara) is very powerful in a man. Without a man's knowledge, it advances and strengthens over ...
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What makes the choice to do good or evil?

I understand some of bechira but this has always puzzled me: If we are equally inclined to do good or evil, what is it that makes the final choice?
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Give and take a battle?

http://www.aish.com/jl/p/wayofg-d/17-Created-for-Pleasure.html?mobile=yes According to my own understanding the Ramchal thought that because HaShem is completely, perfectly, totally, absolutly, ...
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Why was the snake punished?

In Michtav M'Eliyahu vol2. page 137 Rabbi Dessler explains that the primordial snake was an external manifestation of the evil inclination which entered man after the sin. If so, why was the snake ...
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Satan meaning Tempter?

I found a great story online from which I would like to quote a part: The word satan in the Bible seems to mean merely “opponent”. For instance, the angel who obstructs Bilaam’s progress is ...
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1answer
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Akrasia and the Yetzer Harah

I asked many questions about the Yetzarim before trying to figure out the concept, the meaning and the way it works looking at myself and different cognitive studies. Recently I found a concept ...
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Intellect above heart; the way to beat the Yetzer hara?

Before I ask my question I would like to present a couple of teachings from the chabad website which have to do with my question: Looking at the sefirot there is this general accepted twofold ...
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Yetzer machshevot libo

There is a phrase in Bereshit/Genesis 6:5 which reads in hebrew: '.... v'kol yetzer machshevot libo...' I found different translations starting of with: The entire, every, the whole.. And ending ...
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How did the word Yetzer begot it's meaning of inclination?

Looking for the connection of Yetzer and the translation as inclanation, I was surprised that almost every Hebrew word derived from the same root had to do with creating. So how did a word (from a ...
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154 views

Are non-Jews held accountable for their deeds?

According to the "Path of the Just" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato ch.3 For one who is still held captive in the prison of his evil inclination - his eyes do not see this truth, and he is incapable ...
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Why does Torah study rein in the Evil Inclination?

The Talmud in Kidushin 30b states that Torah study is essential activity for gaining control of the evil inclination. "... so too the Holy One blessed be He said: 'I have created the evil ...
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Why did God created physical impulse towards the “wrong” women

When I was young and had struggles with my "yetzer hara" - sexual impulse, I was fascinated by the Jewish attitude towards that impulse. God created this impulse for a purpose. It is meant to push ...
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Shemiras Einayim problem [duplicate]

Someone who's family sometimes has a certain modest young couple over their house on Shabbos for a meal.His Yetzer Harah can get him excited because the wife is a pretty girl. Would anyone have any ...
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2answers
270 views

Shmiras Einayim Problem [closed]

Someone who's family sometimes has a certain modest young couple over their house on Shabbos for a meal.His Yetzer Harah can get him excited if the wife is a pretty girl. Would anyone have any good ...
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1answer
370 views

Remedy for Desire for a Married Woman

Background: We are all human and sometimes tend towards the evil inclination. At times we successfully fight against the inappropriate feelings, thoughts, actions, etc. At other times we don't do so ...
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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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How to define yetzer

The word yetzer is often translated as impulse, inclination Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch's reading of yetzer in Bereshit 6:5 is not that of instinct or impulse, but rather that which the person, qua ...
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How did adam an eve sin before the existence of the evil inclination? [duplicate]

If people only sin because the evil inclination compells them to sin, how then did adam and eve sin before the evil inclination was in existence?
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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
296 views

man is greater than an angel [duplicate]

I heard from someone, that man is greater than an angel. For an angel can never reach higher levels in spirituality, while man can. In addition, man struggles with his evil inclination and an angel ...
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1answer
127 views

'Removal of the evil inclination is like removal of the soul'

I saw recently (here) in the name of the Chazon Ish that 'removal of the evil inclination removes the soul'. Is there a written source for this (either in the writings of the Chazon Ish or elsewhere)?
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The definite article (ה) with the evil and good inclinations

The evil inclination gets a definite article - יצר הרע, in common usage (in my experience), and in various sources, e.g. בראתי יצר הרע of 'קידושין ל ב. The good inclination does not get a definite ...
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How Did David Slay His Evil Inclination?

The Jerusalem Talmud, Brachot 9:5, says that David could not deal with his evil inclination, so he killed it in his heart. How does one understand this passage? How did David kill his evil ...
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Good inclination or evil inclination in the womb?

The Posuk says: ויתרוצצו הבנים בקרבה (בראשית כה, כב)‏ To which Rashi comments: כשהיתה עוברת על פתחי תורה של שם ועבר יעקב רץ ומפרכס לצאת, וכשהיתה עוברת על פתחי עבודה זרה עשיו מפרכס לצאת ...
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What is the Yetzer Harah?

What is the meaning of the "Yetzer Harah" - יצר הרע? How does it compare to the סטן?