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What is the Jewish view on evil?


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Rabbi Eliezer G: Welcome to the Rabbi's one on one chat room, how can I help you today?

try2Bgood: What is the Jewish view of evil

Rabbi Eliezer G: When G-d created the world he emitted spiritual energies; we call them forces

Rabbi Eliezer G: some of these forces were assigned by G-d to the domain of goodness, and other forces were assigned to evil

Rabbi Eliezer G: this is to say that there is a spiritual force that originates with G-d that entices man to evil

Rabbi Eliezer G: the force itself is performing its duty, but the evil that it advocates is forbidden to us

Rabbi Eliezer G: now you may ask, if its forbidden, why does G-d send these forces to entice us?

Rabbi Eliezer G: because he wants us to have the opportunity to say no

Rabbi Eliezer G: without such opportunites - without the option to do evil - free choice is meaningless

Rabbi Eliezer G: when we have the opportunity to do evil, but instead opt to do good, then we have achieved something and deserve a reward

try2Bgood: so essentially evil only exists in a potential form, and man creates ACTUAL evil?

Rabbi Eliezer G: that is one of saying it, but I am not sure if you mean it the way I do

try2Bgood: in other words G-d only creates an inclination for evil. Actual evil is created by man

try2Bgood: for example, the concept of murder is implanted in Hitler by G-d, but Hitler makes himself a murderer

Rabbi Eliezer G: I like the way you put it about Hitler

Rabbi Eliezer G: it is important to note that G-d did not only create the inclination and temptation for evil

Rabbi Eliezer G: he also created evil

try2Bgood: how so?

Rabbi Eliezer G: if it had not been created by G-d man could not have made it

Rabbi Eliezer G: that it is possible to kill another human, that it is possible to rape another, that it is possible to blaspheme

Rabbi Eliezer G: the possibility was also created by G-d

Rabbi Eliezer G: I know it is not somethign we thnk about much

Rabbi Eliezer G: we take these possibilities - our choices - for granted, but they were created

Rabbi Eliezer G: for example it is not possible for us fly - even if we wanted to

Rabbi Eliezer G: but it is possible for planes to fly

Rabbi Eliezer G: when G-d created the laws of nature he also created the laws of flight

Rabbi Eliezer G: when Orville and Wilbur Wright discovered these laws of nature they had discovered somethign G-d had created many years earlier

try2Bgood: very interesting

try2Bgood: and what about things like hunger, earthquakes, children dying as a result of drunk drivers?

Rabbi Eliezer G: what about natural disasters?

try2Bgood: are those evil? does G-d create those?

Rabbi Eliezer G: lets separate drunk drivers which is a choice of man (no different from Hitler's choice to kill), and earthquakes which is a natural phenomenon

try2Bgood: fair enough

Rabbi Eliezer G: the earthquake is orchestrated by G-d

Rabbi Eliezer G: and here is the clincher: we believe two contrary things

Rabbi Eliezer G: A - everything comes from G-d - nothing happens on its own

Rabbi Eliezer G: B - nothing that comes from G-d is evil

Rabbi Eliezer G: if A and B are true, it leads to the next conclusion:

All names, places, and identifying information have been changed or deleted in order to protect the privacy of the questioners. In order to preserve authenticity, the chat sessions have been posted with a minimum of editing. Please excuse typographical errors, missing punctuation, and/or grammatical mistakes which naturally occur in the course of informal chat sessions.


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