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What Is Evil

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From When A Jew Celebrates

Nothing in creation is evil in itself the hand of a human can kill. But it is not evil. The hand of the human can also create lasting beauty. A wild animal Kills. But it is not evil. Most animals only for food or to protect their young. Atomic power could kill all mankind. But it is not evil. Atomic power also promises to provide water in the desert and food for the world’s hungry.

Evil comes from the misuse of the gifts given us. It comes the most often from the lack of knowledge and understanding. From ignorance comes fear, from fear comes evil. Evil begins in the darkness in man’s mind.

But how do we know what is evil? How do we know the difference between evil and good? And how do we avoid evil. We avoid evil by learning to understand the ways of the human and the ways of God.

That’s why, to a Jew, it is a religious duty to study- particularly to study those things that give you understanding and so make you a better person. This kind of study is so important to the Jews that they consider it a form of worship. To study the Torahתּוֹרָה‎ Tōrā,/ˈtɔːrə, ˈtoʊrə/; “Instruction”, “Teaching” or “Law”) The first five books of the Bible or also called “the books of Moses” comes from an archery term meaning to shoot.  and other great books of the Jews which teach the rules for a good life – is to reach for understanding. That’s why their Rabbis say: “It is permitted to change a House of Prayer into a House of Study; that is moving upward. It is not permitted to change a House of Study into a House of Prayer” (“of course today are both found in one synagogue.”)

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