Posted by: gruvenreuven | March 4, 2011

SuperMench vs The Yetzer Hara

Click Image to enlarge

A big Todah Rabah to Mike Gallagher (Artist and member of the Comic Geek Speak Podcast) who sketched the attached picture of me. He turned me into SuperMench, who he described as, a “Kind Super Hero”. Nice, A Chessed-Hero! I look forward to meeting Mike at the CGS Super show May 1st in Reading Pennsylvania. The Show starts April 30th 2011, but that falls on Shabbos.

I like to think, we are all Super Heroes who battle the Yetzer Hara from the moment we get up each morning. Batman has his Joker, Superman his Lex Luther, Spiderman his Green Goblin and we have our Yetzer Hara. The Yatzer Hara plays dirty, and requires much more then a Chessed-Hero.

Yetzer Hara can be definited in Hebrew as “the evil inclination” and refers to the inclination to do evil, by violating the will of G-d. The yetzer hara is not a demonic force, but rather man’s mis-use of things the physical body needs to survive. So the need for food becomes gluttony due to the yetzer hara. The need for procreation becomes sexual abuse… and so on. Judaism teaches that humans are born with a yetzer ra (physical needs that can become “evil”), but that humans don’t acquire a yetzer tov (“a good inclination”) until an age of maturity—12 for girls and 13 for boys.

The phrase yetzer lev-ha-adam ra “the imagination of the heart of man [is] evil” occurs twice in the Tanakh, in Genesis 6:5, 8:21.

Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, also known by the Hebrew acronym RaMCHaL, wrote in Derech Hashem (The Way of G-d) “Man is the creature created for the purpose of being drawn close to G-d. He is placed between perfection and deficiency, with the power to earn perfection. Man must earn this perfection, however, through his own free will.…Man’s inclinations are therefore balanced between good (Yetzer HaTov) and evil (Yetzer HaRa), and he is not compelled toward either of them. He has the power of choice and is able to choose either side knowingly and willingly…”

Battling an alien invasion of kitten attacking robots is easy, Battling our Yetzer Hara, now that requires are real SuperMench!

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Responses

  1. Awesome pic and very enjoyable post. Shabbat Shalom!


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