Tuesday, October 09, 2018

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A Ray


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     A Ray

 

From Ovadia

     Gutman, I have been so inspired by you along my journey to yiddishkeit. But now as an orthodox Jew I have encountered certain questions many of which you have answered. I have one question though. It is brought in Chassidus, in a number of places, that a Jewish soul is unlike anything else, a literal spark of G-d. While everything else is sourced in davar Hashem (word of G-d), a Jewish soul is sourced in His breath.  Therefore, according to midrash and Chassidus, etc., everything is secondary to the Jew. While I have believed this, I am now finding it to problematic for a couple of reasons. There are sources that say that the physical world itself is a manifestation of Hashem's essence and to me the idea that a Jew is anymore sourced in the essence of G-d is a problem on a number of levels.
Please help me understand this.  How can this be?  Is it possible our rebbeim didn't see the whole picture?

 

Gutman's reply:

     Hashem is Infinite; therefore, He must be all. But He is not just the all… He is beyond the all, too.[i] By definition, the Infinite has no end, therefore He must fill and surround all at all times. There can be no place devoid of Him.

     Then, can we say, since He is All, he must be the chair I am sitting on, too? And if so, can we then say that the chair is G-d?

     We do say that the Infinite is all, which includes the finite, but since the finite is limited, it cannot be called the Infinite. We cannot say that the chair is G-d.

     Hashem hides Himself in order for creation to appear. He hides more in a rock than in an animal, but He also fills and surrounds the rock. If we could look at a rock with a good enough microscope we would see the molecules the rock is made of moving around. There is life even in a rock. The more dense the object, the more Hashem seems to be hiding.

     All people have an animal soul, this is what vivifies us.

     Jews have an extra role to play in creation. We are to be a holy people, a Nation of Priests and a Light unto the Nations, so Hashem gives us an added degree of holiness in order for us to be able to accomplish our task. To do this, instead of creating a holy soul something from nothing to give to us, He simply apportions a ray, or a spark, of His Being over our soul.

     However, as with all things… we can either use the added spiritual benefit that Hashem gives to us and make the world a better place both spiritually and physically…, or we can choose to ignore it and live a life guided only by the animal soul. Each of us decides how to live our own life.



[i] Deuteronomy 4:39

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