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  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • The Jewish Attitude to Evil

Good and evil

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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Sivan 9, 5779
Question
What is good and what is evil? How to understand it correctly?
Answer
We believe that the objective "good" is the eternal ideals and actions as done and suggested by the Perfect God and His Torah. He created a perfect world, which obviously includes challenges enabling us to be independent and have free-will to choose to be good, godly and productive, or the opposite (=bad, evil, wrong, not beneficial in the long-range). In other words part of man's "good" (=his free-will), is the possibility to choose bad, and receive the ramifications. Nevertheless, even if man chooses "bad", in the end, the Perfect God, similar to a wise chess-master, can turn every bad or "wrong" decision into a positive one. In addition, we can always turn around and improve, and this is the natural process of "trial and error" and spiritual evolution.
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