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Wednesday, February 28, 2024 - 19 Adar I 5784
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Evil Inclination
During the period of Geulah, will we still have to contend with our evil inclination?

The Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, a 13th Century Kabbalist and Torah commentator) writes that in the days of Moshiach we will no longer need to fight the inner battle between our two inclinations. Our impulses will be only for the good, since the entire concept of evil will be eradicated.

In his words: “In the days of Moshiach, the choice of good will be natural; the heart will not crave that which is not appropriate, and it will have no desire for it at all... Man will be restored to what he was before the sin of Adam, when he naturally did whatever was fitting to do.

“This is the explanation of what is written in the prophet Jeremiah (31:30-32): 'Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, and I will form a covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, a new covenant.' This refers to the nullification of the evil inclination, when the heart will naturally choose the appropriate action... since the evil inclination will be entirely eradicated in that time.”

However, Chassidic teachings explain the matter from a different perspective. The Lubavitcher Rebbe writes that in the days of Moshiach there will still be free choice between good and evil; however, it will be easier to choose the good, and one will not have to battle with the evil. During this period, the Jewish people will become purified of evil, as is written, "I will sprinkle upon you pure waters and you will be purified" (Ezekiel 36:25). Therefore, there will no attraction to evil, but evil will still exist in the world and there will still be the possibility to choose it.

After the resurrection of the dead, however, evil will be eradicated completely, as is written, "I will remove the spirit of impurity from earth" (Zachariah 13:3), and then there will no longer be the possibility of choosing evil.

Sources: Ramban, Nitzavim 30:3-6. Sefer Maamarim Melukat, vol. 2, p. 329. Igros Kodesh vol. 17, p. 357.



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