[b-hebrew] Rabbinic Exegesis of Psalm 51:7 (Hebrew Text)

Herman Meester crazymulgogi at gmail.com
Sat Jan 21 18:21:48 EST 2006

Dear Clayton,

We could add to what Yigal said that, to traditional Judaism, both the
"evil inclination" and the "good inclination" are indispensable.
Without the evil inclination, humans would not procreate, or try to be
better than one another in study or art, etc. So the antithesis
between good and evil is usually dismantled by "the rabbis". And of
course, in the divine reality, where everything is one, our conception
of good vs. bad does not exist.

As for your question regarding the summary of rabbinic exegesis of
Psalm 51,7, I think that the very nature of rabbinic thought makes
that rather difficult, first because rabbis sometimes disagree or give
slightly different accents, and these differences are not always
harmonised; then, statements that involve Ps. 51,7 would be spread all
over Jewish religious literature.

One very important statement I know of is: 'Do not consider yourself
to be a sinner.' (a.o. Avot if I'm correct). This means, "don't get
depressed with yourself, because that won't do you any good; just do
your best from now on."


2006/1/20, Clayton Javurek <javurek at asu.edu>:
> Clayton Javurek
> E-Mail:javurek at asu.edu
> Can anyone provide a summary of the Rabbinic Exegesis of
> Psalm 51:7 (Hebrew Massoretic Text) and how the Rabbis dealt with
> the concept of Original or Innate or Hereditary Sin?
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