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December 04, 2011



"He [Rabban Yochanan] said to them [his students]: Go out and see which is a bad way which a person should avoid. R. Eliezer said: A bad eye. R. Yehoshua said: A bad friend.".

- This Mishna is asking what should be avoided b'derech klal.

Rabbi Yehoshua said: An evil eye, the evil inclination, and hatred of others (lit., of the creations) remove a person from the world."

-This Mishna is addressing the root cause as to what takes a person out of this world. A bad friend doesn't take a person out of this world. The friend is not inherently evil. 'Ein Adam chote ela im nichnas ruach shtus', So evil is the ruach shtus not the person being possessed so to speak. It is the Yetzer Harah, Evil Eye, Sinas Habrias that causes a person to go bad. Where do these forces come from? Well it depends how you perceive them. If one is in the midst of a 'ruach shtus', then one is predominantly subjective. One will naturally project outwards the metzius of evil to his surrounding environment, 'ein adam posul ela memumo'. But if in a state of tiqun a middos, one can be more objective and see the evil as a force that is unleashed when a person is vulnerable or unhinged in someway then it is simultaneously internal as well. But regardless as to how you view their location they do not need to be mutually exclusive. It will always be relative to a current state of spiritual/emotional vulnerability that will determine a person's perception of evil.

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