In Genesis 2:7 the Hebrew word [translated] “and he [the Lord] formed” has two yods (smallest Hebrew letter, equivalent to English “y”) in the unpointed Hebrew text. In Rabbinic Hebrew the word [for] “impulse” (yētzer) is a noun from the same root as “to form.” Hence, the rabbis deduce that because of the two yods in Genesis 2:7—the first letter of the words “to form” and “impulse”—God created two impulses in man, a good impulse and a bad one! This makes us smile, but it at least shows that these interpreters carefully observed what was written. Unfortunately, instead of using their ingenuity to clarify the precise meaning conveyed by the language, they looked for “deeper hidden meanings.”
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Author: A. Berkeley Mickelsen
Keywords: Evil Inclination, Evil nature, Hara Yetser, Ha-ra Yetser, Hara Yetzer, Ha-ra Yetzer, Hara Yezer, Ha-ra Yezer, misspelled, Two jots, Two yodhs, Two yods, Yatsar, Yetsarim, Yetser ha ra, Yetser ra, Yetser tov, Yetzer, Yetzer ha ra, Yetzer Hara, Yetzer ra, Yezer ha ra, Yezer Hara
Bible reference(s): Genesis 2:7
Source: Interpreting the Bible (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmanns Publishing, 1972), p. 24.
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