Harnessing Evil

Kli Yakar Leviticus Vayikra

Harnessing Evil

In an episode of the original Star Trek television series, there is a transporter mishap, that splits Captain Kirk into two beings (“The Enemy Within, Season 1, Episode 5). One version of Kirk is passive, gentle and good. The other is aggressive, passionate and bad. Perhaps one of their best and most powerful episodes, it demonstrated how man cannot live without his ‘evil’ traits.

To my great surprise, the Kli Yakar says the same thing.

There are two items that are forbidden with sacrifices:

“No leaven, nor any honey, shall you bring as an offering,” Leviticus 2:11

Curiously, there are two exceptions to the above commandment.

Leaven is brought as the sacrifice of the “two loaves” on the holiday of Shavuot, when we commemorate the giving of the Torah. Honey (in its original form as dates) are brought as the First Fruit offerings.

The Kli Yakar explains that leaven represents the evil inclination and honey represents the desire for the physical and pleasurable. He claims, that we need both, but just the minimum for survival, while anything beyond the minimum is harmful.

He quotes the midrash (Bereishit Rabba 9:9):

“If not for the evil inclination, man would not wed, nor build a house, and the world would be desolate.”

Hence the need to rein in and harness our evil and natural inclinations for good and positive purposes.

May we control our desires as opposed to the other way around.

Shabbat Shalom,



To my fellow runners from the Tzevet Daniel team participating in the Jerusalem Marathon. I think that for many people running goes against their natural inclinations, and while running is probably not evil in and of itself, I certainly need to rein in my other desires in order to get out and run (or walk more likely). For more info, read below.

My wife, Tamara, and I plan on running in this year’s Jerusalem Marathon on March 25th. We’re not doing the full one, but rather just the 10k, where I’ve been promised that we can also walk or even stroll.

Check out this website for more information about the marathon: http://www.jerusalem-marathon.com/

Besides for the badly needed exercise, we are doing this to raise money to complete a park – Derech Daniel – that is being built in our community, in Alon Shvut, in memory of our friend’s son, Daniel Mandel, who was killed in battle almost 8 years ago.

Visit the following website to see the story of this amazing man whose life was cut short, as well as details about the park: (www.daniel-mandel.co.il). Also, this article in the Jerusalem Post talks about the marathon and the Tzevet Daniel effort: http://www.jpost.com/Sports/Article.aspx?id=211221

Please help by sponsoring us in this event.

Accredited receipts for tax exemption will be issued:

1.    For donations in Israeli shekels, please make your check payable to Keren Gush Etzion OR you can make a credit card donation to Keren Gush Etzion by calling 02 993 9917 between 8 am and 3 pm – specify Park Daniel.

2.    For donations in American dollars, please make your check payable to the Gush Etzion Foundation OR you can make a credit card donation online if you want a US tax receipt. Click DONATE NOW then specify IN ORDER SUMMARY (LEFT SIDE OF PAGE) – PARK DANIEL AND AMOUNT


In you are donating via check please send the check to the following address:

Cheryl Mandel

P.O. Box 92, Alon Shvut

Gush Etzion, 90433


In all cases, please specify that you are sponsoring the Spitz family.


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