Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Contact Us
How to argue intelligently with the voice of temptation – the kabbalistic approach in dealing with the "yetzer hara."

The Evil Inclination

The Evil Inclination

 Email

Evil Inclination

How to argue intelligently with the voice of temptation – the kabbalistic approach in dealing with the "yetzer hara."
Tanya, Temptation, Animal Soul
Rabbi Manis Friedman, a noted Chassidic philosopher, author and lecturer, is dean of Bais Chana Women's Institute of Jewish Studies.
Michael Chighel (Kigel) received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto for his dissertation on the Book of Job, after a specialization in 20th-century French and German thought. In Canada he taught in the departments of philosophy and of Jewish studies at the universities of York, Queen’s and Waterloo. He produced Passages and Messages for eleven seasons on Canadian television (CTS). Until this year he held the Rohr Chair of Jewish Studies at the Lauder Business School in Vienna, where he taught Torah, European ethics and political economy. He has translated a number of books and published various articles in Jewish thought. Michael and his family have recently made aliyah, and now live in Jerusalem.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
23 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Cindy Montana October 14, 2013

Evil inclination Just saw this.. thank you Rabbi.. awesome stuff Shalom Reply

Anonymous Huntington Beach, CA March 21, 2013

My Life and witnessing the truth of the matter! I am the youngest son of a Jewish family. My dad stopped taking our family to synagogue after his mother, my grandmother had died since her role was the enforcer. I have witnessed one brother struggle to keep kosher, walk miles to the Chabad House and back and we thought he was strange and needed an identity. He fought his own family to keep his soul. I witnessed another brother have no struggle at all. Now he is facing criminal charges and refuses to admit he is responsible since "he coudn't help himself". Well now I see that my religious brother is a man with an extreme discipline who doesn't need to belong and fit in but only aims to please Hashem. He is not a success by any means but I see he is righteous man. I understand who I am and must keep my devotion and discipline to understand Torah. I asked and elderly man at my first Torah study why he takes time out of his life for study and he said " If we don't, we become passive! Reply

Anonymous February 11, 2013

The Evil Inclination What about not doing evil because we love Hashem, blessed be He? Since we love him we do not want to sin because we could lose him? Does this behavior appears like one "thinks" that we are holier than others? Or is a true, real feeling of love for Hashem. Evil separates us from our G-d. Reply

Anonymous 0000, ireland July 31, 2012

answering evil Thank you for the question of applying this teaching to those who are non-jewish. Identity is so important. We all of us need wisdom. we who wish to relate to God need to answer evil correctly. This teaching helps all of us. Reply

Dovid Mintz akron, 44333 May 31, 2012

Evil Inclination Evil Inclination is something G-d solves in us, we cannot solve this on our own accord no matter how we look at it. The more we abstain, the worse it gets, the more prideful and self righteous we become. What I have found in my life is that sin falls off like a scab, when G-d changes us, we are changed for ever. When he sets free only then are we free. We cannot say we were set free from bondage because of own effort, we can say however that he sets us free with his mighty hand. We must deal with these things issue by issue and allow G-d to work on us and we will go free of all temptation eventually. If not here then in the afterlife. One way I keep from getting stressed by the subject is to know that G-d is in control of my delivereance, that I am exactly where I should be not one step ahead and not one step behind as his work is a perfect work and I do not try and tell him what to make of me. If he wishes I remain captive I can do nothing to resist this prison, Reply

Milton Colaco Lisboa, Portugal March 10, 2011

evil inclination bless thee Rabbino, for the talk, G-d has show me the light through this talk! Reply

Anonymous Metairie, La March 10, 2011

The Evil Inclination Thanks. I happen to be studying Chapter 8 of Tanya this correlates. I will listen to more of your talks. Reply

chuna Brooklyn, NY August 30, 2009

To Bertrand, the Christian perspective What does it mean that you love G-d?
That you identify with H-s needs? That you feel the same way He does about evil?
That is exactly what Rabbi Friedman is saying about identifying your true self with the G-dly soul. Reply

zahava pasternak Boro Park, NY via ohrhatorahnc.org December 7, 2008

to Bertrand Challier I once thought like you - that I never can be good - that nobody is good. But that is false teaching. I have since found the truth and converted to Judaism like Ruth the convert.

We are commanded to be be good. To choose life over death. The Torah has many verses that state how a man can be righteous. Reply

Bertrand Challier Salt Lake City, Utah October 17, 2008

What about What about: I shall not sin because G-d loves me and I love Him?
Becasue I love Him I do not want to cause Him pain by being disobedeint.
I never can be good, G-d in me is good and leads me in doing good things.
My Christain perspective. Reply

deb eisenberg houston, tx August 20, 2008

evil inclination I so appreciate R'Friedman's calm tone and accurate listening to the questions posed to him. Reply

Shmuel Beis Toronto, ON August 18, 2008

For Aaron Hi Aaron,

Even though you chose to eat a non-kosher sandwich on March 12 2008, you are still a "Good man".

There's no escaping yourself and your inheritance, anywhere in the world, but you can break free of the clutches of the world by learning the Book of Tanya with a competent teacher.

Good luck! Reply

SarahRachel Los Angeles usually, CA June 2, 2008

Keep em coming! Awesome video! I just love Jewish logic. It's so...well, logical! Reply

Aaron Goodman Beijing, China March 12, 2008

Big Mac attack Very insightfull. Unfortunately, I ate a non-kosher sandwhich today.

There is no escaping McDonald's, anywhere in the world. Reply

Robert Hazel Norway March 2, 2008

Evil inclination Wonderful lesson, Thank you. Reply

crz Brooklyn, NY February 27, 2008

Superb Please make more of these videos. This is very moving, beautifully done, and totally relevant. Reply

deb eisenberg hou, tx February 27, 2008

evil inclination this presentation helps me communicate Jewish morality to young, questioning children and young adults. I will take it subtly into the classroom during social wrangling situations. sincere thanks for this outreach program Reply

George 1700, Switzerland February 27, 2008

Manis Friedman Thank you so very much for this great video! Reply

Wim Dublin, Ireland February 26, 2008

Great! That's a great video, really well done. Thanks so much! Reply

Yoshi February 25, 2008

So cool! This was really well put together. Keep it coming please. Reply

Host, Michael Chighel, talks to some of the world's greatest experts about the masterpiece of Hasidic thought, the book of Tanya.
Related Topics