In my faith, we have the belief that in each of us there are two competing sides, one good, one bad. Sound familiar?
Because my faith is Judaism and has been around for so long, many things including the beliefs of certain other religions, emerged or were based in some part or another on our beliefs.
The angel on the right shoulder, little devil on the left, the very struggle between good and evil and even the very concept of hell itself are all based in the tenets of Judaism.
For the sake of this post, however, we were discussing the struggle between good and evil within.
In Judaism, the good inclination in the individual; the part that pushes us to do well in school, get up and clean the kitchen, our room, say nice things, and do nice things for others, is called the “yetzer tov” (the “yetz” is pronounced like the famous poet William Butler Yeats, the “er”, pronounced like air, and the “o”, in tov is a long o sound, as in the word ovum, or overture).
The bad, or “evil” side is referred to as the yetzer hara (the “ha” is pronounced as if in the word harangue, and the “ra” as in ” ra ra sis boom ba”). The yetzer hara is the side of us that either seeks to do bad things, or tries to stop us from doing the right things. For example, the yetzer hara LOVES to hit the snooze button
So today, I had an epiphany. I was walking past a place of worship and the Rabbi said to me “Why don’t you come to pray?” I stood there, thought for a long moment and said quite honestly “I really have no idea. Truly, for the life of me, I do not know.”
He approached me and said, “I’ll tell you why, it is your yetzer hara. It’s the same with all of us, everyone.” As I was walking up the stairs to my apartment building a few hundred meters on (1/8 of a mile of so) I thought wow!
I have been so busy using my yetzer tov to keep my yetzer hara from doing bad things, that I have been forgetting to use my yetzer tov to do good things!
Make sense? It will if you give it a sec, and a good think.
So yesterday I decided to use my yetzer tov for some good things; wrapping my tefillin, holding a bus a a woman I didn’t know, cleaning the kitchen for my wife, and cooking dinner for her as well, just so she wouldn’t have to also schlepp at home after having worked all day at the office as well.
Finally growing up?… Keep ya posted