peter at qaya.org
Tue Sep 5 18:56:34 EDT 2006
On 05/09/2006 23:41, Yigal Levin wrote:
> First of all, there is no "Satan", as an individual being, in the Tanakh.
> "Ha-satan" means "the adversary", and I'm not even sure if the same being is
> meant in all cases. Note 1 Kings 11:14 and 23, in which God sends a "satan"
> against Solomon - in both cases mere humans!
Perhaps you need to direct this comment at Shoshanna, who seems to
consider Satan to be an individual being in the Tanakh. But I agree that
the word is also used as a common noun. This is a bit like Hebrew 'adam,
which is regularly a common noun, but does not imply that Adam is not an
individual person in the Tanakh.
> Second, in Jewish tradition, the snake of Gen. 3 has nothing at all to do
> with Satan. He's just a jealous, clever, talking snake. At most, he
> represents our own human "yetser ha-ra", our "evil inclination", which is
> ours to overcome.
Now I'm confused. Liz Fried wrote:
> Satan is mentioned in the Talmud as the source of sin and temptation and is
> identified with the serpent in the garden of Eden (Sota 9b, Sanh. 29a).
And Shoshanna agreed when she replied:
> Yes, that is what I said - that Satan is an angel whose job it is to
> tempt man to disobey G-d, hence sin, and that the serpent was Satan.
Perhaps Jewish tradition is divided on this point.
> God, as Creator of all, is also the creator of evil. If there were no evil,
> there would be no free choise and no reward for overcoming evil. The idea of
> there being a powerful, almost god-like, evil being that carries on a cosmic
> struggle against God is a pagan one, which found its way into some parts of
> post-biblical Judaism and from there into Christianity.
Understood, although I might dispute the origin of this idea. But it
seems to be in Shoshanna's version of Judaism, if not yours, as well as
in my Christianity.
E-mail: peter at qaya.org
More information about the b-hebrew