[b-hebrew] Evil & God

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Wed Aug 10 19:49:28 EDT 2005


Dear Pawel,

>  > Just so you know - Judaism does not teach that Satan "fell", that is
>>  a Christian idea.
>
>Well, isn't it rather a judeo-christian idea?
>You can hardly find any official teaching of judaism
>about the origin of evil or about Satan which would
>be obligatory for every Jew. Is there any?

HH: The idea is that God is good and creates what is good (Genesis 
1). So God would not create an evil being, so the angel called the 
devil must have fallen.

>On the other hand, the Catholic Church firmly
>states that the evil spirit exists and tries
>to tempt human beings - that's it. There is no
>official doctrine about "falling". The idea
>of the fall, to the best of my belief, comes
>from literature like The Paradise Lost by John
>Milton.

HH: More than once there is mention of the devil falling in the NT, 
although there is debate as to the nature of the fall (perhaps it is 
eschatological).

>There is another question which has been disquieting
>me for a some time. Adam and Eve in the Paradise
>were perfect and free from the "jecer ha-ra'".
>They had given them by God the "jecer ha-tov".
>Consequently, they did not have to put any effort
>to obeying God's micwot, as they had the natural
>inclination to do so. But they had to take pains
>to commit a sin, which was opposite to their natural
>inclination. How come they commited the sin anyway?

HH: I don't believe there is mention of a "jecer ha-tov" in the 
Bible, so that may be a mistaken assumption, at least in the context 
of Adam and Eve. Another thought is that the tree of knowledge of 
good and evil was a character test. if Adam and Eve had passed the 
test, they might have been confirmed in holiness.

					Yours,
					Harold Holmyard



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