(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) 1996-2000 Project Genesis


Russell Hendel (rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu)
Mon, 29 Dec 1997 12:06:43 -0500

Zeftu@aol.co asked:
<<what I really want is the Jewish concept of the Satan and please give
some cites as to where in the Tenach this concept is mentioned.>>

....as to where in the Tenach this concept is mentioned

A good starting place is the mentions of Satan in the beginning Chapters of
Job (Chapters 1,2,3). The Ibn Ezra cites the well known statement of
Chazal that -The following 3 are one and the same: -Satan -The Angel of
Death(who is in charge of Killing) -The Yeser Harah(in charge of temptation
to sin)

Thus conceptually we are told that 3 processes are the same: * The
temptation to sin * The testifying against the sinner in the Divine
court(Satan) * The sentence of death (by the Angel of death)

Another good source (which is obscure and not often brought) is Rabbi
Samson Raphael Hirsch's commentary on Gen 4:6. Rabbi Hirsch explains WHY
the Satan tempts:

He cites a midrash that when Satan tempts and people succomb the Satan goes
to heaven to complain to G-d "Why are they listening to me and sinning".

Rabbi Hirsch suggests that the purpose of Satan tempting is so that we
should REFUSE his temptation (and thereby strengthen our moral reserves).

Rabbi Hirsch also connects the word "conquest" used in Gen 4 and 3 with
regard to -the husband wife relationship -the person satan relationship to
suggest that a a person's relationship with his inner passions (Yeser
Harah) should be like a marriage...they suggest` but you should have
dominance in the relationship.

I hope these two introductory ideas help

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu