“The greater the person, the greater the yetzer”
Our rabbis say, “the greater the person, the greater the yatzer hara (evil inclination)” (Kiddushin 52b). This is a way of making a great person reach the height of his spiritual potential. Thereby, Hashem has decreed that a person will never lose his behira- free will. When a person has overcome a challenge, induced by the yatzar hara-evil inclination, a new, more difficult challenge will be on the horizon. The yatzar hara loves a good challenge and picks a person who will put up a good fight.
Moreover, the essential difference between a tzadik- a righteous person- and a rasha- an evil person- is that the tzadik, always chooses good, even though the scales of good and evil are presented before him equally. The rasha, however, having no desire to choose good, will not choose good, even thought he also has the equal scale between choosing good and evil.
In the past few weeks, we have seen from the pasha’ot, that through all the plagues and miracles Hashem brought upon Bnai Israel, Pharaoh came to realize Hashem’s power and enormity. In a sense, he became “greater.” As a result of this, Hashem needed to continuously increase his yatzar hara, and -harden his heart- to create a balance and restore Pharaoh’s free will. By hardening Pharoah’s heart, Hashem aroused a forceful and vigorous reaction from Pharaoh’s yatzar hatov- a good impulse to enable him to repent. From that we can see that Pharaoh indeed did have the free choice to let Bnai Israel free during each plague, and the free will to allow them to leave Egypt.
Each of us struggles with our yatzar hara. However, this should not us and turn us away from Hashem. Rather, when Hashem hardens our hearts- and makes our yatzar hara stronger, Hashem is just giving us harder challenges because He knows we can handle them. Remember, where there is a strong yetzer hara (evil inclination), there is an equally strong yatzer ha tov (good inclination). In all, as Hashem continuously hardens our hearts, He is giving us opportunities to develop ourselves so that we can become greater.