10 Awesome Texts for the 10 Days of Awe – Day 8

NOTE: Each day from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur I will be posting an inspiring Jewish text along with a few questions for reflection. Feel free to answer and discuss here, or to use these questions for your own reflection/journaling. These texts are also being posted on my Facebook page

TEXT 8 – Talmud, Berachot 61b

Rabbi Yosei the Galilean says: “The good inclination rules the righteous, and the evil inclination rules the wicked. Middling people are ruled by both.”
Rabba replied: “People like us are middling.” Abaye, his student and nephew, said to him: “If you claim to be middling, you do not leave room for any creature to live!”


  • Can you think of a time that you were ruled by your Yetzer Ha-Ra (evil impulse) and a time that you were ruled by your Yetzer Ha-Tov (good impulse)?
  • Who is Rabba referring to when he says “people like us” are middling? Can you explain his nephew Abaye’s response to the statement?
  • Why is Judaism so focused on reminding us that we don’t have to be perfect?

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