The Satan and Yom Kippur - Emor
There is a very difficult Gemorah in Yoma. The Gemorah says that Eliyahu said to Rav Yehudah, “You ask me why Moshiach has not yet come? Well, today is Yom Kippur and there are many acts of Zenus being committed today.” Rav Yehudah said, ”What does Hashem say about this?” Eliyahu answered, “ Hashem quotes the Possuk “When a person is born the sin is crouching by the door” Rashi says that the Yetzer Harah forces man to sin. Rav Yehudah asked, “What does the Satan say?” Eliyahu said that the Satan does not have permission to prosecute on Yom Kippur. HASATAN in GEMATRIAH is 364 representing the days that he has permission to prosecute and not on Yom Kippur. It seems that the Satan would have an answer to Hashem’s defense of people but he was not allowed to say it on Yom Kippur. What was it? It would have been the end of the Possuk, “AND YOU WILL RULE OVER IT” RULE means to rule by force. Now this is very difficult to understand. First Hashem said that man was forced to sin and then the Satan would say that man can rule over the Yetzer Harah. Which one is it?
Another question. The GEMATRIAH only works if you add the HEI to SATAN. That seems to be cheating. In addition, we have a famous Midrash in Pirkei DeRebbe Eliezer that says that the Seir LEAZAZEL was a bribe to the Satan on Yom Kippur to prevent him from nullifying the Yom Kippur Korbanos. How could he nullify them? He is not allowed to prosecute on Yom Kippur. What does it mean to BRIBE THE SATAN?
There is a very strange story brought down in Kiddushin. The Tanna Plimo used to say every day “AN ARROW IN THE EYE OF THE SATAN”. Erev Yom Kippur the Satan came to Plimo’s door appearing as a poor person and asked for food. Plimo gave him bread. He said “Everyone is eating inside and I am eating outside?” Plimo brought him inside. He said, “Everyone is eating at the table and I am eating alone?” He sat him at the table. The Satan broke out in festering sores and was popping them and behaving badly. Plimo said “Sit properly!” He said, “ Give me some wine!” They gave him wine. He started drinking it and spitting it back into the cup. Plimo reprimanded him. All of a sudden the Satan convulsed and fell dead at the table. A voice came from the outside, “Plimo killed a man”. (it was Roman times and they were very strict about murder) Plimo ran to the public bathrooms at the edge of the city to escape. The poor person came to him. Plimo fell at his feet. The Satan revealed himself. He said to Plimo, “Why do you say every day ‘AN ARROW IN THE EYE OF THE SATAN?’” He said “What should I say? He said Hashem should help me combat the Satan.” What about the Possuk AND YOU WILL RULE OVER HIM?
The Gemorah tells us the basic understanding about our war with the Yetzer Harah “IF HASHEM DOES NOT HELP YOU, YOU CANNOT OVERCOME THE YETZER HARAH”. What does this mean? Chazal tell us that the Yetzer Harah is the Satan who is the Angel of Death. How can a human being fight an Angel In fact, that is what Hashem said on Yom Kippur that people are forced to sin in order to justify their actions and not punish them. Yet Hashem also said YOU WILL RULE OVER HIM? How? A person has to realize that they cannot overcome the Yetzer Harah on their own. However, they have to go through the motions and try their best. That is what the Gemorah in Berachos means “A PERSON SHOULD ALWAYS YARGIZ THE YETZER TOV AGAINST THE YETZERR HARAH.” However, a person can never believe that they have the power, no matter how great they are, to win the fight by themselves. That was the mistake of Plimo.
A person that recognizes the power of the Satan and is constantly beseeching Hashem to make his fight successful will get the SIYATA DESMAYA to win. That is what we say by TEFILLAS GESHEM, “YICHUD LEV VEGAL EVEN”. Yaakov was an old man, past 70 when is rolled a stone off the well that normally took ten men to lift. Yet he took if off like popping a cork. How? He had YICHUD LEV. His heart was focused on Hashem. He knew that there was just so much that he could do. However, when he said “Hashem, this is all I can do, I need your help”, he was given the strength of Shimshon and rolled the stone. The same is true when the Satan fought Yaakov. How was it possible for a human to overcome a Malach? The Possuk says, VAYAAR KI LO ICHUL LO” The Midrash says, “Who is the LO?” The Sechina. Yaakov was able to allow Hashem to help him to the fullest extent until the Sechina KEBEYACHOL became a part of Yaakov and the Malach was subdued.
The key to success in the fight against the Yetzer Harah is to understand who we are up against. Never underestimate your enemy. Only through Hashem’s help can we MOSHEL the Yetzer Harah. This is the concept behind BRIBING the Satan. We admit and respect the Satan’s power. That makes us realize how powerless we are without Hashem. With that great understanding, the Satan has no power over us. However, that was good in the time of the Bais Hamikdosh that had the SEIR LAAZAZEL. However, after the Churban what could we do on Yom Kippur? That is why Hashem created the power from the GEMATRIAH of HASATAN. HAI is the HAI HAYIDIAH.it stresses the power and supremacy of the Satan. That realization took away his ability to prosecute Klall Yisroel on Yom Kippur because we realize that we are totally dependent on Hashem.
The Gemorah tells us that when we start the fight against the Yetzer Harah it is like going through cobwebs. However with each success we have against the Yetzer harah it becomes stronger until on the highest level, with the greatest Tzaddikim it assumes its true form the Satan, a Malach. At each level we need Hashem’s help to succeed. As we grow we get closer to Hashem and Hashem becomes part of our true existence. That is the only way to overcome and rule over the Yetzer Harah!