[b-hebrew] Evil & God

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Aug 11 11:33:57 EDT 2005

Dear pawel,

>I understand the idea. The problem was if the idea is
>christian, or jewish, or both christian and jewish, or
>neither christian nor jewish. In my opinion it is, on
>one hand, both christian and jewish, as it is observable
>both in christianity and in judaism, and, on the other
>hand, neither christian nor jewish, as it is not an
>official dogma of either of the religions.

HH: I think it is an assumed truth in all the 
Christian fellowships of which I have been a 
part. Yet, I have no doubt that its origin is 
Jewish, and I believe there are suggestions of it 
in the Tanakh.

>The fall of Lucipher is a story, a picture, an illustration.
>It would be a really weird idea to take it literally.
>A fall is a move, so it presupposes the state 'before'
>and the state 'after'. Lucipher, being good before,
>stopped being good and became evil. How would it be possible
>when time does not exist? The 'mysterium pravitatis' lies
>in the mystery of love. God loves his creation and wants
>the creation to love him. It is impossible without free
>will on both sides. Free will means choice and the possibility
>of choosing the evil. This is the price for love.

HH: This is an excellent paragraph.

>There is neither a mention of a 'jecer ha-tov', nor of
>'jecer ha-ra', the idea being of talmudic origin. As
>it is believed, jecer ha -ra is innate and jecer ha-tov
>appears at the age of bar-micwa (13). Actually, both
>'jecers' seem to be a necessary condition of free will.
>We may suppose that in paradise man was free from jecer
>ha-ra. Rabbi Elijahu Dessler presents a very interesting
>approach to the problem, assuming that in paradise
>onely jecer ha-tov was possible. Hence my question.

HH: Well, there is mention of the jecer ha-ra:

Gen. 6:5 ¶ The LORD saw how great man's 
wickedness on the earth had become, and that 
every inclination of the thoughts of his heart 
was only evil all the time.

The word "inclination" is jecer and the word "evil" is ra.

HH: Is there a need to assume that prior to 
Adam's sin that there was a jecer ha ra. There 
had been no sin. Nor need one assume a jecer 
he-tov in the sense you seem to be defining it, 
as a strong tendency to do good that would 
prevent one from sinning. Why can we not imagine 
a perfect environment and a  neutral mind-set? 
Adam and Eve delighted in all the good things, 
including God's presence, but Eve could be 
deceived, and Adam could follow his wife's 
example, though he knew it was forbidden.

				Harold Holmyard

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