A question I received: What’s the meaning of the words “the evil inclination”?
My Answer: The evil inclination is your desire that you define as evil. In Hebrew, the word inclination – Yetzer, originates from the word Ratzon – desire. And it’s not just one desire, but many desires inside you that impede you from attaining the goal of creation, that appear as obstacles on your path.
The stumbling block on the path to the ultimate success is found within you; it’s not anything on the outside. However, you can’t destroy it or get rid of it on your own, despite the fact that you see how much trouble it causes you, how it ruins your life and stands in the way of your success! That is why this quality inside you is called your evil inclination.
The “evil inclination” is evil only when you have made every possible effort to get rid of it… and failed. You then reveal that it has the ultimate power over you and everything you do. It always cheats you, but you forget this and endlessly follow its advice. Thus, the evil is a desire that coerces you.
The recognition of evil is not an easy process. You have to become a true judge of yourself and not give in to being “bribed.” You have to clarify what is your goal, who you are, what your qualities are, and to understand what you have to eliminate within yourself. And then you have to make the utmost effort to do this. And finally, whatever qualities remain that you just can’t change is what you call your evil inclination.
If you do this, you will be prepared for the correction to come from Above, and then the Light will come and correct you. Only once you have done everything in your power can you truly realize what evil is. This, in turn, prepares you to turn to the Creator with a plea and to entreat Him: “I want to get rid of this evil once and for all – but I can’t!”
And that is when you reach the realization that it was Him beneath it all. Inside the evil inclination, you reveal the connection with the Creator, His will in all that has happened. All of the problems that you can’t cope with are sent to you intentionally by the Creator, in order for you to build a connection with Him, to turn to Him.
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