Trumah: Chapter 66

"With all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might"


Rabbi Yitzchak here asks why "and with all your soul" is necessary when the scripture already says: "with all your heart," since love is aroused only from the heart. He then says that "with all your heart" means both the good heart and the evil heart, or Evil Inclination. Next, he asks why the word "all" is included in "with all your soul." Rabbi Elazar answers that the soul includes Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah, adding that "all your might" means all your belongings. Love for God means to give Him all of this, and to love Him in everything. He then says that it is even possible for a person to love God with the evil inclination, for when this is subdued to Him, and the person breaks the evil inclination, he is showing love for God. He next tells of the Enticer, who is doing the will of the Holy One by tempting people from the true path and thus enabling them to show righteousness. The Enticer deserves praise, we learn, for he does the Holy One's command, and enables the righteous to inherit their supernal treasures in the world to come. Just as the side of life becomes strengthened when people do good, the other side, the Evil Inclination, becomes strengthened when the evil ones listen to him and he dominates them. Man, we are told finally, constantly becomes stronger with God, "Happy is the man whose strength is in You; in whose heart are Your highways."


The ultimate act of deception by the Enticer - the negative angel, the Satan - is to convince a man that he (the Satan) does not really exist. Consequently, we believe that our self-indulgent desires, our covetous aspirations, and our egocentric wants originate from within our being. This is a mistake. He has convinced us that our enemy is some other person or some external problem instead of our own untamed, uncertain nature. All the while, he hides in the shadows of our minds, lurking in the dark recesses of our beings, so that we might never know he exists.

In truth, these selfish desires and negative, uncertain thoughts are implanted within us by the angel Satan. Yet, the Zohar reveals a deeply profound reason for his existence: it is in order that a man, through his own effort, may triumph over him, rejecting the momentary, illusionary pleasure that the Satan provides, for the authentic, eternal Light of the Creator. In this way, a man expresses the Godly nature that dwells within his soul.

This portion of text accomplishes many things. We grasp the role of evil in the world, perhaps the most perplexing and disturbing of all theological questions. We unlock our ability to recognize our Evil Inclination as a separate and distinct entity, unattached to our true soul consciousness. We kindle Light, which extinguishes darkness, exterminating the very roots of evil. And, by virtue of the above, we become the cause and creators of our own Light; thus, we fulfill our purpose in this world.