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Beit Midrash Series Ein Ayah

Hashem’s Ability to Stop Evil

655
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Gemara:
If not for these three p’sukim, the legs of the enemies of Israel would have caved in (a Talmudic way of saying the dreaded opposite, that Bnei Yisrael would have been destroyed). One is: "those whom I [Hashem] have wronged" (Micha 4:6). Another is: "Indeed like the clay in the hand of the potter, so you are in My hand, Israel" (Yirmiya 18:6). Another is: "I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh" (Yechezkel 36:26). Rav Pappa said from this pasuk: "My spirit I [Hashem] will put in your midst and will make it that you will follow My statutes" (ibid.:27).


Ein Ayah: If there was a lacking that had to exist that caused the possibility to choose evil, there could be no hope that the matter would ever be fixed. That is why we are consoled by the pasuk of "those whom I [Hashem] have wronged" (which the gemara seems to understand as "caused you to do evil"). In other words, Hashem related the bad and improper choices to Himself, which shows that Hashem arranged the possibility of bad choices in order for good things to emerge from it. If that is the case, then there is hope that there will be a more ideal situation where this will not be necessary.
In theory one could have said that Hashem voluntarily decided to put into the world the possibility of bad choices, but that after He did so, it is no longer in His hands to change that reality. Then there would be no room for hope. That is why the second pasuk, "like the clay in the hand of the potter..." is brought. In other words, Hashem still has the ability to form us in the mold He wants.
We might still think, though, that Divine Wisdom mandates that it is proper for there always to be full free choice, with all of its drawbacks. To dispel this notion, the third pasuk is cited: "I will remove the heart of stone ..." Thus, the Divine Wisdom agrees that there shall come a time when the world will be truly fixed and that choice will be removed.
All of this only has shown that there will be a limitation on the level of choice on a general level, that mankind’s nature, represented by the heart and the flesh, will be improved. To assure us that the specific actions taken will also be fixed, another pasuk is brought: "My spirit I will put in your midst and will make it that you will follow My statutes."

Unnatural Satiation
(condensed from Ein Ayah, Berachot 5:44)

Gemara:
[In explaining how the great riches that Bnei Yisrael had after leaving Egypt had a part in bringing on the sin of the Golden Calf, Rabbi Yannai gave the following parable]: A lion does not roar from a container of straw but from a container of meat.


Ein Ayah: Riches that go well beyond a person’s needs bring a hardening of the heart because that is a state of unnatural satiation. It is natural to have enough for one’s needs. Unnatural satiation takes a person from a state of shleimut that he could reach according to his nature. This is represented by the lion who, in his ultimate state of shleimut should eat straw instead of meat, as he will in the Days to Come, as the pasuk (Yeshaya 11:7) says. That is why, when the lion is fed meat, his unnatural evil powers are awakened in him (thus, the roaring). This is a danger for a person who is exposed to unnatural wealth, who is tempted by desires that are far from the path of service of Hashem including the inclination toward idol worship.
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