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The Nature of the Evil Nature

The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Topic: Adam's Yetzer Harah (Evil Inclination) Before the Tree of Knowlegde

Arie Benzaken from France wrote:
Dear Rabbi,

First of all, thanks a lot for all the previous answers you made, which really helped and guided me! Second of all, thanks for your time and for the forthcoming answers! I'd like to know how come that Moshe in Shmot argued so many times (revealing his doubt concerning what Hashem was telling him) with Hashem, when Hashem asked him to go and tell the Jewish People that they will soon be delivered from slavery! He already was a great tzaddik and should have an entire faith and trust in what Hashem was saying! I'm not judging, I just didn't get all the thing that is written in my book: "Le Midrash Raconte" (The Midrash Says).

Also, I've heard from two different Rabbis two different versions of the notion of the yetzer hara (evil inclination) and yetzer hatov (good inclination). One told me that at the time of creation, G-d in His infinite kindness created Adam without the yetzer hara, and by eating the forbidden fruit Adam absorbed the notion of Good and Bad! The other Rabbi told me that in the Mishna it is said that at the time of Creation of Adam, G-d created him with Good and Bad in him!? Toda Raba.


Dear Arie Benzaken,

Whenever Moshe seems to question Hashem's behavior, he is not questioning the justice or the reality of what Hashem is saying. Rather, Moshe is questioning whether the Jewish People and the other nations of the world are on the spiritual level that they can understand why Hashem wishes to act in the way that He wants to.

Regarding good and evil: Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler teaches that Adam was created with a yetzer hara. However, it was not the same kind of yetzer hara that we would recognize today. Adam's yetzer hara was purely spiritual in nature and its drive was to convince Adam that he needed to become a partner with Hashem rather than be a "passenger," allowing Hashem to do everything for him. It was only after Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge and internalized the sin that the yetzer hara "evolved" into something that was physical in nature.


 
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