The Role of the Yetzer HaRa:
Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (the Ramchal) in his work "The Way of G-d" describes the role of the Yetzer Hara is man's quest for perfection "Man is the creature created for the purpose of being drawn close to G-d. He is placed between perfection and deficiency, with the power to earn perfection. Man must earn this perfection, however, through his own free will... Man's inclinations are therefore balanced between good (Yetzer HaTov) and evil (Yetzer HaRa), and he is not compelled toward either of them. He has the power of choice and is able to choose either side knowingly and willingly..."
Ohr Somayach: The Ramchal explains that this balance existed prior to the sin of Adam.
After his sin, however, he became more inclined to listen to the wiles of his Yetzer Hara. His job is now two-fold: First, he must even the balance between the spiritual and the physical. Then, he can work to perfect his soul until his spiritual so overwhelms the physical that the physical becomes elevated to its level of perfection.
The Yetzer Hara is an inclination to "stray," but Man has the wherewithal to overcome it. The pull of the Yetzer Hara is the more powerful of the two inclinations, but is by no means impossible to conquer.
The Torah states: "G-d said to Kayin, 'Why are you so furious? Why are you depressed? If you do good, will there not be special privilege? And if you do not do good, sin is crouching at the door. It lusts after you but you can dominate it.'"
Ha-satan is Identified with the Yetzer Ra: In Judaism, ha-satan (the adversary) is mostly identified with the yetzer ra, but also identified with one who leads astray, then brings accusations against man.
Its chief functions is those of temptation, accusation and punishment.
Under the control of G-d it acts solely with divine permission to carry out its deeds.
As we see in the book of Iyov, ha-satan's function is described as that of testing the sincerity of men's characters.
Ha-satan is at all times under the control of G-d and keeps within the limits which G-d has fixed for it.
In Talmudic literature, ha-Satan's function is to strengthen man's moral sense by lending him into temptation.
"Satan" is NOT a proper name referring to a particular being who is the antagonist or rival of G-d, as Christianity erroneously teaches.
In its original application, in fact, it is a common noun meaning an adversary who opposes and obstructs.
It is applied to human adversaries in 1st Shmuel 29:v4; 2ndShmuel 19:v23; 1Melachim 5:v18; 11:v14, 23, 25, and its related verb is used of prosecution in a law court (Tehillim 109:v6) and the role of an antagonist in general (Tehillim 38:v20, 21; 109:v4, 20, 29).
The angel who was sent to obstruct Balaam (BaMidbar 22:v32) was evidently chosen, as a "satan" (le-satan), and perhaps the consonants l-s-t-n are rather to be read as the infinitive liston, "to oppose or obstruct." (Ency. Judaica)
While the evil impulse is strong, Judaism believes that a person can choose to overcome it.
This is the concept of free choice, which is basically the purpose of our existence: To choose good over evil.
The teachings of the Torah are referred to as the antidote to the yetzer hara. Similarly, Ben Sira (21:11) states: "The man who keeps the Torah controls his natural tendency."
"Man is the creature created for the purpose of being drawn close to G-d. He is placed between perfection and deficiency, with the power to earn perfection.
Man must earn this perfection, however, through his own free will... Man's inclinations are therefore balanced between good (Yetzer HaTov) and evil (Yetzer HaRa), and he is not compelled toward either of them.
He has the power of choice and is able to choose either side knowingly and willingly..." - Aish HaTorah
The Yetzer HaRah fulfills G-d's Will
It is obvious that even the Evil urge fulfills G-d's will in performing its task.
The Zohar provides the following parable: ( p. 163)
~~"A king once had a son who he loved very much. He ordered him not to go with any woman other than his wife, saying that if he did so, he would be banished from the royal palace. The son readily agreed to obey his father's order. After a while the king wanted to satisfy himself that he son was doing as he had been told.
Near the palace, there lived a beautiful harlot. The king summoned her, and ordered her to dress seductively and try to tempt the prince to sin with her.
She was to use all her wiles; the king would thereby test his son, seeing whether or not he would pay attention to her.
When the prince resisted this temptation, the king was extremely happy.
He treasured his son, loving him even more than before, and gave him many valuable gifts. The one responsible for all this was the harlot."
The same is true here.
If not for the Angel of Death, which is the Evil Urge that tempts man to sin, he would not be deserving of any reward for doing good.
Our Sages therefore said, "Happy is he who does not encounter the Evil Urge, and happy is he who encounters the Evil Urge."
This statement is not self-contradictory.
When they say, "Happy is he who encounters the Evil Urge," they are speaking of the person who, upon being tempted to sin, wrestles with his urge and emerges victorious. [Think Ya'aqob wrestling with the Angel]
If a person is weak and easily tempted, then "Happy is he who does not encounter the Evil Urge."
Do not think that the Evil Urge wishes to kill people; it derives no benefit from doing so. It does its Creator's will in tempting man, but it grieves when a man dies for his sins.
The truly enlightened individual thanks the Evil Urge, since it is responsible for his ultimate reward. (Zohar, Shelach)
Yetzer HaRa - Torah is the Antidote The Rabbis taught: The Torah says, Visamtem "And you shall place these words of Mine on your hearts and on your souls..." (Devarim 11:18). You can also read that as "sam tom," a perfect medicine.
The Torah is the perfect medicine.
The Rabbis gave a parable, comparing it to a man who wounded his son, so he put medicine and a bandage on the wound. He told his son, "As long as you keep the bandage with the medicine on your wound, you can eat with pleasure, drink with pleasure, you can wash with hot water or cold water, and you don't have to worry about it. If you take off the medicine, it will get gangrenous." Likewise, Hashem has told Yisrael, "My children, I have created the Evil Inclination, and I have created the Torah as an antidote against it.
I wrote in My Torah: "If you do good, you will be more powerful.
If you do not do good, sin awaits crouching at the door; it desires to control you, but you can overpower it" (Bereishit 4:7).
As long as you are engrossed in the Torah, you will not be controlled by the Evil Inclination.
This is why the Torah says: "If you do good, you will be more powerful."
But when you are not engrossed in the Torah, you will be under the control of the Evil Inclination, as the verse continues, "If you do not do good, sin awaits crouching at the door."
"Not only that," Hashem said, "but the Evil Inclination will spend all its time and energies trying to make you sin, which is why the verse says "it desires to control you."
"If you want to, you can overpower the Evil Inclination, as it says, "...it desires to control you, but you can overpower it."
This video will give you a balance to these deep tendencies of Mankind
VIDEO BY::::Rabbi Jonathan Ginsberg;
Yeshayahu 45:7 I form light and create dark, I make peace and create evil - I, Hashem, do all this. In bringing down Babylon to uplift His people, G-d reveals Himself as the Creator of all - both the "light and the peace," the good, for His people and the "dark and the evil" for Babylon. This is stressed here for the conquering Persians to hear, because they believed in a dualism of gods, one of good an done of evil. But G-d is above all limitations and He can do these contradictory things. And even the evil He brings about is for purpose of bringing good, because the dark is a prerequisite to light. Even the wars that He brings about are for the purpose of bringing world peace. MeAm Loez - Yeshayahu
The phrase "very good" in Bereishit 1:31 is explained by our Rabbis as alluding also to the yetzer hara, frequently used in the sense of the 'productive urge': Bereishit Rabbah 9:7:
Nahman said in R. Samuel's name: BEHOLD, IT WAS VERY GOOD refers to the Good Desire; AND BEHOLD, IT WAS VERY GOOD, to the Evil Desire. Can then the Evil Desire be very good? That would be extraordinary! But for the Evil Desire, however, no man would build a house, take a wife and beget children; and thus said Shlomo: "Again, I considered all labor and all excelling in work, that it is a man's rivalry with his neighbor (Kohelet 4:4). 2
2) It is the Evil Desire which in the first place inspires this rivalry which leads to great efforts.--One may triumph over his human failings by turning even them to noble purposes.
Antoninus asked Rabbi, "At what time does the impulse to evil gain mastery over man: at the time of his conception or at the time he is born?"
Rabbi: "At the time of his conception."
Antoninus: "If so, he would have kicked his way out of his mother's womb. Accordingly, the impulse to evil must gain mastery at the time of birth."
Subsequently, Rabbi used to say: This is one thing that Antoninus taught me, and Scripture supports him, for it is said, "At the door [through which the newborn child issues], sin crouches" (Bereishit 4:7).
Shabbat 105b Tehillim 81:10 There shall no strange god be in you. What is the strange god within a man's body? It is none other than the impulse to evil.
Sukkah 52a-b: In the time to come the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring the Evil Inclination and slay it in the presence of the righteous and the wicked. To the righteous it will have the appearance of a towering hill, and to the wicked it will have the appearance of a hair thread. Both the former and the latter will weep; the righteous will weep saying, ‘How were we able to overcome such a towering hill!' The wicked also will weep saying, ‘How is it that we were unable to conquer this hair thread!'
And the Holy One, blessed be He, will also marvel together with them, as it is said, Thus says Hashem of Hosts, If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, it shall also be marvelous in My eyes.
R. ‘Avira or, as some say, R. Joshua b. Levi, made the following exposition: The Evil Inclination has seven names.
The Holy One, blessed be He, called it Evil, as it is said, For the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth.
Moshe called it the Uncircumcised, as it is said, Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart.
David called it Unclean, as it is said, Create me a clean heart, O Hashem, which implies that there is an unclean one.
Shlomo called it the Enemy, as it is said, If your enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat and if he be thirsty give him water to drink. For you will heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Hashem will reward you; read not, ‘will reward you' but ‘will cause it to be at peace with you.'
Yeshayahu called it the Stumbling-Block, as it is said, Cast you up, Cast you up, clear the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people.
Yechezkel called it Stone, as it is said, And I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh and I will give you a heart of flesh.
Yoel called it the Hidden One, as it is said, But I will remove far off from you the hidden one.
R. Yochanan remarked, There is a small organ in man which satisfies him when in hunger and makes him hunger when he's satisfied, as it is said, "When they were starved they became full" (Hoshea 13:6)
R. Isaac said: A man's impulse to evil renews itself [in allure] every day, as is said, "Every impulse wrought by his mind was sheer evil every day" (Bereishit 6:5).
R. Simeon ben Lakish said: A man's impulse to evil grows in strength from day to day and seeks to slay him, as is said, "The wicked watch the righteous, and seek to slay him." (Tehillim 37:32)
And but for the Holy One who is his help, he could not withstand it, as is said, "Hashem will not leave him in his hand" (Tehillim 37:33)
Berachot 54a: Mishnah: It is incumbent on a man to bless [G-d] for the evil in the same way as for the good, as it says, "And you shall love Hashem your G-d with all your heart," etc. (Devarim 6:5) 'With all your heart,' means with your two impulses, the Evil Impulse as well as the Good Impulse.
Kiddushin 30b: Our masters taught: The impulse to evil is hard to bear, since even its Creator called it evil, for He said, "From his youth the impulse in man's heart is evil" (Bereishit 8:21)