Tuesday, June 06, 2017

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The Soul You Have Given Me

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

The Soul You Have Given Me


     "The soul You have given me is pure, You have created it, You have formed it, You have breathed it into me, and You preserve it within me, You will eventually take it from me and restore it within me in Time to Come."[i]

     The soul is a 'chelek (portion) of Hashem on High. As such it cannot have been created in the sense that everything else has been created. All creation is created, "Something from nothing" (yesh me'ayin), and as such, all is still being formed out of nothing. If Hashem's will that holds all creation together would cease even for a moment, all creation would revert back to nothing.

     But the soul is a portion of Hashem on High. It is not made out of nothing as is all creation. So why does the prayer say that it was created?

     The word "create" can be used in more ways than its most common meaning of creation of "something from nothing". Such as when Hashem commanded Ezekiel to "construct a signpost…."[ii] There, the root "create" is used to mean "make". Besides create and make that word/root can also be used for "to form".

     The soul is unique in all creation. In order for creation to appear Hashem has to hide Himself. The lower the nature of the created object, the more is Hashem hiding there. But with the soul there is the least degree of hiding in all of creation. The soul is not being created "something from nothing" as is all of creation. The soul is an actual portion of Hashem from on High.

     Almost all people go through life considering themselves to be their body. But we are not the body. The body is a vehicle, a garment for the soul. The soul without a body can accomplish nothing in this world. The soul needs the body in order to fulfill Hashem's purpose in creation. But we are not the body.

     The soul enlivens, vivifies us into our being. What we are is that enlivenment that Hashem has allocated to our body, and what our lives will amount to depends on the way that we utilize that enlivenment.

     Those who consider themselves to be the body will be led almost entirely by their animal inclination.

     Those who realize that their very life, their being is the soul's life will search for ways to satisfy the One Who is breathing that soul into us.


[i] Early morning blessing

[ii] Ezekiel 21:24 


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