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Evil inclination a strange God within man?


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar I 1, 5779
I’ve found a article which quoted some interesting thoughts: Our sages said about the verse (Shabbat 105b), “There shall not be a strange god within you, nor will you bow before a strange god.” What is the strange god in man’s body? It is the evil inclination. This means that an idol-worshipper is called “the evil inclination.” It follows that when speaking of a single body, then idol-worshipping, which is called “a foreign god” or “a strange god,” is entirely within man. So here are my questions: Why is the evil inclination compared to a foreign/strange god? Also, what is the connection between idolatry and the evil inclination? And why is it assumed that both come from or occur within man?
Rav Kook explains that the real “me” isn’t my body but rather my Godly soul. We all have a “higher desire” (e.g. greatness, idealism) and a “lower desire” (e.g. laziness, selfishness), but the real me is when I’m idealistic, because that’s what I really want out of life, not my yetzer hara, bad inclination which is “what I feel like”, even if I know that it’s not the essence of life. We all know that long-term pleasure is more mature, serious and deep, as opposed to short-term pleasure which is more childish and immediate. Accordingly, my negative inclination isn’t my genuine and Godly self, but a “foreign” god who prevents me from being the real and idealistic “me”.
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