[b-hebrew] FW: origin of evil

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at umich.edu
Mon Sep 11 15:19:20 EDT 2006

> Sameer, Lisbeth, Harold, et al.:
> I agree with Sameer that we ought confine ourselves first to the
> question, is "evil" the correct translation of the term R(? After
> that, and only after that, should we ask what is and what is not R(.
> My understanding of the term "evil" is that it always includes a moral
> aspect, is that not true?
> Examples of R( in Tanakh include uses that, though they are
> displeasurable to the suffering of harm, they do not include the moral
> aspect.
Examples, please.
> Therefore, my conclusion is that "evil" is an incorrect translation
> for R(. I have suggested that "harm" or something similar is a better
> translation.
I don't agree, unless you can show me examples of the use of Ra( which do
not include a moral aspect. Please do not include sentences with God as the
subject, as that is the issue.
> Shall we discuss this linguistic aspect, or shall I join with Sameer
> in requesting that the moderators shut down this thread?
I'm very happy to discuss the meaning of this word. Understanding its
meaning is crucial.
You might start with Gen.2 and 3. What type of knowledge is available to
Adam and Eve after they eat of the tree of da'at tov v ra'? I assumed it was
knowledge of moral discernment, not a knowledge of what sort of occurrences
are beneficial and what sort are disastrous. I would think that even the
animals know when a pleasant thing happens to them and when a calamity
Liz Fried
> Karl W. Randolph.
> On 9/10/06, Lisbeth S. Fried <lizfried at umich.edu> wrote:
> > Dear Sameer, Moderator, et. al.
> > I thought we were discussing the meaning of ra' in Isaiah 45:7.
> > Liz
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-
> > >
> > > Moderator?  Isn't the question of theodicy outside the scope of this
> > > discussion list (unless it is discussed in connection with elucidating
> > some
> > > feature of a corpus of Hebrew texts or their ANE context)?
> > >
> > > - sameer yadav
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