Lent Day Eight

Today I refer back to the commentary used last Sunday
An Aramean Destroyed My Father
This collection of haggadah (stories) notes the continuing stories of exile and redemption in every generation, the evil that is within and among us, from family, not from strangers (Laban, not Pharoah) and especially powerful is the comment on evil done for the best reasons.

There is much to ponder in this page. I keep talking about it and quoting it in emails...

Evil Inclination

"I remember when I was a little child at the seder of [my grandfather], Rabbi Jacob Aryeh, I heard from his holy mouth concerning [the verse, "an Aramean would have destroyed my father"] that there are two kinds of yetzer hara (evil inclination). The first is like Esau; it kills through the temptation to sin, which causes a person to forfeit both this life and the life of the world to come. This is the common form, which affects average people.—

There is, however, another form of the yetzer hara that is like Laban the Aramean, which convinces a person that a mitzvah (a commandment) is a sin or that a sin is a mitzvah. And this kind of yetzer hara can come against even a tzaddik (a righteous person), since it comes through trickery (rama'ut, a pun on Aramean). And this is what the Haggadah means by saying that Laban wanted to uproot the whole, since this kind of yetzer hara can affect everyone, including the righteous. This is what I heard from my grandfather, and his face was lit up like a flame and he appeared like an angel."

--Rabbi Jacob Aryeh ben Solomon Guterman of Radzymin (1792–1874), Polish Hassidic Tzaddik quoted by his grandson Aaron Menahem Mendel, Haggadah Commentary Tzemach Menahem