Question:

  1. What exactly is the Yetzer Hara and Yetzer Tov? Are they angels? Are they spiritual ‘impure’ and ‘pure’ forces inside us that convince us to do bad or good? Is it a way of referencing the drives of the body vs. the neshama? Are all these correct somehow?
  2. Furthermore, what is the source and explanation of the saying that the yetzer hara is the satan who is the angel of death?
    Sources are appreciated. Thanks so much!

Answer:

 

  1. You are bringing up a very valid point, there are sources that the yetzer hora is an external force, and sources that it is the animalistic tendency that we have within ourselves. R Yisroel Salanter in his famous Iggeres Hamussar says that both indeed are true, and the way to fight both of them is thru learning torah and mussar.
  2. The source for this is the gemora Babba Basra 16a.

Best wishes:

 

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