yetzer hara


yetzer hara (YEH-tzer HUH-ruh) listen
yetzer hara (yet-TZER ha-RAH) listen


  • Lit. 'The evil inclination.'

Example Sentences

  • "The yetzer hara is particularly strong during thesis work." (A thesis advisor in regard to working on one's thesis)

  • "The yetzer tov is good, but the yetzer hara is very good, because without it a man wouldn't marry, procreate or go into business." Talmud Ber 61b.

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • יצר הרע

    • Who Uses This

      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • Yiddish and English: A Century of Yiddish in America, by Sol Steinmetz (Tuscaloosa, 1986).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      yeytser hore


  • Commonly used to refer to sexual urges.

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