Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Power over the Evil Inclination

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Three people were not ruled by the Evil Inclination at all. They are: Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov. This is evident as the verse states regarding them: With everything, From everything, and everything. Some say this even applies to David, regarding whom the verse states: And my heart is empty inside (referring to his lack of evil inclination). The other opinion (that does not include David) understands that in this verse he was expressing his pain (not lack of Evil Inclination).

Tosfos explains that this does not mean that their Evil Inclination was always powerless over them, for if so, they would not be entitled to receive any reward for their good deeds. Rather, it means similar to that which is stated in the Gemora Yoma (38b): When the majority of a man’s years have passed without sin, he will no more sin. So too here, since the Holy One, Blessed be he, sees that a person has fought fiercely against his Evil inclination and has distanced himself from sinning, He assists him in his older years by protecting him from its tricks.

The Brisker Maggid writes in Machazeh Einayim that there can be people who are immune from the wiles of the Evil Inclination even without Hashem’s assistance. This, says the Eitz Yosef, can only be accomplished after years of dominating over the Yetzer Hara.


Daniel said...

"The Brisker Maggid writes in Machazeh Einayim that there can be people who are immune from the wiles of the Evil Inclination even without Hashem’s assistance."

I find that hard to believe since it goes against an explicit Gemara in Sukka יצרו של אדם מתגבר עליו כל יום ואלמלא הקב"ה עוזרו לא יכול לו

Besides for the centrality of sexual drives to the human condition being clearly demonstrated from Ms' Yoma regarding the Yitzra d'arayot and the Gemaras in the end of Kiddushin of רבי מאיר הוה מתלוצץ בעוברי עבירה and the lessons learned there.

What you're saying needs tweaking.

Avromi said...

The chiddush of our Gemora is that there can come a time in a person's life that his yetzer does not control him any longer; some say that it is with hashem's assistance and some say that it can even be done without, provided that he put his efforts in before.

Daniel said...

....and the chiddush of the gemara in Sukka is that as you advance in maturity your yetzer grows... so what's your point?

are you trying to show that amoraim of the gemara are szhizos or should we consider that we've misunderstood something and try and figure out where we made a mistake? I've pointed out to you a serious contradiction and you respond by blithely reiterating in different words the exact same thing you said in the beginning.

Maybe we can start by trying to figure out how the gemara sees הטעימן מעין עולם הבא and לא שלט בהן יצר הרע from the innocent words of וה' ברך את אברהם בכל

..and PLEASE don't tell me that is says "everything" כל so that must include "everything" even freedom from yetzer hara.... if that's simply the logic the gemara is using we could have picked anything under the sun as an example.

... it should also be tried to understood how the gemara has the right to use the same pasuk for two separate drashot- one of הטעימן מעין עולם הבא and one of לא שלט בהן -- unless of course the כל referred to is the one in the same concept....

Do you see what my point is? There's a problem here, so until you have a solution I see it hard to take what you've wrote down and apply it with any confidence.