1 Tishrei 5781 / Saturday, September 19, 2020 | Torah Reading: Rosh Hashana
 
dot  Add to favorites   dot  Set as homepage  
 
   
    Create an account    |    Sign in
  
    My Account     Orders History     Help
 
 
  My Country:  
  United States   
 
   Language:  
  English   
 
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
 
   
Home Page Torah Portion Spirituality and Faith Foundations of Judaism Inspirational Stories Family & Daily Life Holidays and Fast Days Israel and Society
   Shabbat     Hitbodedut (Personal Prayer)     Holiness for Men and Women     Jewish Daily Life and Halacha             
 
  More  
 
 
 
Jewish Outlook  
 
HomeFoundations of JudaismJewish OutlookFive Types of Erev Rav
 
  Advanced Search
   Articles
 
   Search
 
            
 

Five Types of Erev Rav    

Five Types of Erev Rav



The Erev Rav today could have the best pedigree, the most thorough Torah education, the longest beard; so how can we even begin to recognize and avoid them?

 



Part 3 of "The Erev Rav"
 

 

The five types of Erev Rav
 
The Zohar explains that there are five categories of Erev Rav:
 
1) The Amalekites - who makes themselves leaders by force, and are scourges to Israel
 
2) The Nefilim (or 'fallen ones') - who fall into fornication with fair women
 
3) The Gibborim ('mighty ones') - these men build synagogues and yeshivot and place in them Torah Scrolls with rich ornaments, but they do it not for the sake of G-d, but only to make themselves a name
 
4) The Refaim ('weak ones') - who if they see Israel in trouble, abandon them, even though they are in a position to help them, and they also neglect the Torah and its students in order to ingratiate themselves with non-Jews.
 
And lastly;
 
5) The Anakim ('giants') - who tend to bring the world back to the state of 'tohu vabohu' and they caused the destruction of the temple.
 
Practically speaking, this is where Rebbe Nachman’s approach of acknowledging and eradicating Erev Rav character traits really starts to come into its own, because none of us are perfect, and at least occasionally, we’ll all be guilty of behaving in a way that’s typical of the Erev Rav.

The authentic Jewish approach to overcoming these negative character traits is to:

1) Acknowledge our wrongdoing on some level.

2) Display some sort of embarrassment, shame and regret, even if they can’t immediately stop doing it. (The yetzer hara, or evil inclination, is very strong, and it's very hard to immediately stop doing bad things, even when we've actually realized they are bad.) 

3) Ask Hashem to help us to change, because we have the humility to know that we can’t do these things by ourselves.
 
By contrast, if we fail to accept any suggestion that we’re doing anything wrong, and we try to justify our evil deeds with lies, evasion, intimidation and other manipulative behaviors - that’s a sign that we really need to up our hitbodedut, (personal prayer) in order to get a grip on the Erev Rav character trait of brazenness.

 

Again, it’s crucial to remember that there is no despair in the world, and that even if we suspect that we do have some Erev Rav character traits, all we need to do is to acknowledge them, make a list of them, and then work through each one in hitbodedut, asking Hashem to help us eradicate them. 


What other types of negative behaviours are typical of the Erev Rav?
 
In his book Even Shlema, the Vilna Gaon writes that the selection and purification of Israel will not be complete until the Erev Rav seperates from Israel completely. The Vilna Gaon (or some say, one of his students) then explain that:
 
“And the five types of Erev Rav are:
 
1) Those that create strife and talk lashon hara
 
2) Those who pursue their desires, like prostitution, etc
 
3) The swindlers who pretend to be tzaddikim, but their hearts are not straight
 
4) Those who pursue honour and build great synagogues to make a name for themselves
 
5) Those who pursue money and strife”
 
The 'Brazen-faced' of the generation
 
In Sifra DiTzniuta Chapter 1, the Vilna Gaon also explains that:
 
"The entire 974 generations (as brought down in Chagiga 13b, as mentioned above) which are the 'Erev Rav' which are the souls from the world of chaos (TOHU), G-d transplants them every generation, and they are the brazen-faced of the generation. Our sages said that in the period of 'Mashiach's footsteps' impudence will become great…and the Erev Rav will return to be the leaders of Israel."
 
Next week: More clues about the Erev Rav from our morning blessings, the Yom Kippur davening, and King David


 
* * *
Check out Rivka Levy's new book The Happy Workshop based on the teachings of Rabbi Shalom Arush





New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Rivka Levy
   Read more about Jewish Outlook


Back    Back          Part - 3 of - 7          Next    Next
See All Parts of Erev Rav


Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version


 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
 
 
  
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:

   

 Related Articles Related Articles
 
 

 
Chart It, Discard It               Appreciating the Basics               Election Fever, 2012
 
 Chart It, Discard It  Appreciating the Basics  Election Fever, 2012


  2 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
  1.
  This site
Laine9/10/2017 7:30:34 AM
     
 
  2.
  This was great.
Dassie11/7/2013 6:21:35 PM
     
 

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

 
 
  
In Honor of:    In Memory of:
  
 
Like What You Read?
 
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making a better world.
 
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
  
 
 
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
 
 
 
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 
 
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 Most talked about Most talked about
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Most read Most read
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Facebook Facebook
 
 
 
 Mailing List Mailing List
 
 
 
Subscribe Here:   
 
   
 

 
 



  
 
 
open toolbar