Satan & The Tzadik

No, I’m not referring to the tzadik Iyov. I’m referring to the tzadik Rabban Gamliel. Jack commented on my other blog regarding my previous entry, Prophecy & The Yetzer Hara:

Perhaps Rabbi Akiva was “peering” at Rabban Gamliel with eyes of envy, or perhaps even with eyes of desire.

The word (tzofeh) connection (in the example discussed) doesn’t go that far to suggest any specific emotive causes on the part of Rabbi Akiva. It only suggests the desired result of the “peering” – to cause spiritual decline. In other words, Rabbi Akiva was being used by the Accuser (like in the Iyov story) to test Rabban Gamliel, whatever Akiva’s personal motivations may have be.

Likely, Rabbi Akiva wasn’t even aware of “peering” prior to his realization and admission statement (as described in the daf) … “I was watching Rabban Gamliel”. In my opinion, this may be the point where Rabbi Akiva realized his “yes man” attitude – as “Rabbi” Akiva was likely awed by “Rabban” Gamliel – was being used as a tool of the Accuser. So, actually, the realization and admission statement made by Rabbi Akiva speak well of his personal integrity and attempt to put an “end” to it. Rabban Gamliel would have been a very likely target for testing by the Accuser – he was a tzadik, head of the Hillel school, and a Nasi of the Great Sanhedrin.

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2 Responses to “Satan & The Tzadik”

  1. Ben Says:

    totally absurd. not sure what your point is, except to make fools out of the authors of the Gemara, who were men!

  2. liorah Says:

    Hardly absurd. I won’t even start on my assessment of human beings, men and women.

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