Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Torah: The Antidote to the Yetzer Hara

The numerical value of "Bnei Yisrael" בּני ישׂראל plus the number 8 - corresponding to the words' eight letters - [an accepted method of gematria] - is equal to that of "Torah" [611]. This alludes to the fact that observance and study of Torah is the very essence of the Jewish nation and the key to its survival. In the words of R' Saadiah Gaon: "Our nation is a nation only through Torah".


I have created the yetzer hara [evil inclination] and I have created the Torah as its antidote" [Kiddushin 30b]

It is clear that if the Creator has created nothing but Torah as a remedy against the yetzer hara, then it is absolutely impossible for a person to be cured of this malady without this cure. Anyone who thinks to the contrary is mistaken and will realize his mistake in the end when he dies a sinner.

Who, then, would place this cure aside and take something in its stead in order to live?

Source: Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato
[Mesilas Yesharim ch. 5]

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