Bless God Even For Evil

Elul 14/August 20, 2013—

One must recite a blessing for evil, just as one recites a blessing for good. For it is said: “And you shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5).  “With all your heart” – even your two wills, with your will to good (yetzer tov) and your will to evil (yetzer ra).  “And with all your might” – for every measure that God measures out to you, thank God with all your might.

(Mishnah B’rachot, 9:5)

For reflectionGod created both inclinations and they are both important – the yetzer ra is our desire to satisfy personal needs, which is an important part of daily living. But the yetzer ra can lead to wrongdoing when it is not controlled by the yetzer tov.  We have both impulses within us; it is our free will that allows us to choose which impulse to follow and we are responsible for the choices that we make.  When we can embrace the full spectrum of ourselves, then we are truly open to receive God’s blessing.  Identify your good and evil inclinations today.  As you distinguish them, express gratitude today for your yetzer tov and for your yetzer ra, so that you can then make amends for the excesses of your yetzer ra. 

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