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The Soul According to Judaism

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The Soul According to Judaism

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Chassidus explains that there are three souls: (1) Nefesh ha’bihamis, the animal soul, also called Nefesh ha’chiunis, the vital soul or natural soul; (2) Nefesh ha’sichlis, the human rational soul; and (3) Nefesh ha’elokis, the G-dly soul. The third aspect of the soul is unique to Jews; Gentiles have both an animal soul and a human rational soul.

Kabbalistic Philosophy
From the book "Demystifying the Mystical," 1996
VI. The Three Drives within the Human
Chapter 8
Nefesh ha’Bihamis- Animal Soul


  1. Neshomo- Soul
  2. Coach ha’misave
  3. Power of Passion

Chassidus explains that there are three souls: (1) Nefesh ha’bihamis, the animal soul, also called Nefesh ha’chiunis, the vital soul or natural soul; (2) Nefesh ha’sichlis, the human rational soul; and (3) Nefesh ha’elokis, the G-dly soul. The third aspect of the soul is unique to Jews; Gentiles have both an animal soul and a human rational soul.

To understand the significance of the three souls, we must first understand what is a soul? It means, basically, a drive. We can say that a soul is something spiritual, or not of the body. The Hebrew word used for soul is generally Neshomo. But practically it means a drive, a direction in which a person is moved. We will describe each soul in a general way, then we will move on to understand each more in detail.

The animal soul, the Nefesh ha’behemis, is similar to an animal in that it desires animal like pleasures. It does not use its intellect to discern between good and bad, similar to an animal which acts based on its instincts and its intellect is subordinate and overpowered by what it sees and feels. Notwithstanding this fact, the animal, possess a drive of passion, which makes it unique and different in a positive way, over all other species of creation. The passion that the animal has can be used for many positive and constructive tasks, such as plowing fields, transporting people, and sometimes it even teaches us humans what is proper and what’s improper. The Talmud explains the advantage to an ox plowing a field, the result being an abundance of wheat. If a human being would pull the plow, the amount of wheat harvested would be minimal in comparison to an animals efforts. When animals shlep a wagon with people as passengers, it will get to its destination much quicker then if that same wagon would be pulled by real live people. When it comes to performing hard choirs, people get tired and hungry much quicker then animals, and they give up doing their task. We also learn incredible good values from animals. Take for example the incident mentioned in the Torah with Billam’s donkey. She basically scorned Billam for acting out of order and hitting her. Sure the ability for a human to understand an animals language is miraculous, regardless, animals do have their own language, and part of that language includes a silent message. It’s a language that teaches ethics and goodness, just as it taught Billam a very important lesson. The Talmud says were it not for the Torah prohibiting us from stealing we would derive that prohibition from a cat. A cat doesn’t steal food from another cat even though the food lies around and is open for grabs, yet it feels it might belong to another cat. We also find that the prophet Isaiya scolds the Jewish people by saying, "the ox knows its master, the donkey knows its owner who gives it the (evus), however my nation (Israel) doesn’t know Me (G-d)...". This statement clearly demonstrates the goodness and obedience in which animals listen and follow, and the verse also teaches us how we humans should behave and learn from them. If I had to sum up an animals special quality, I would say it’s "passionate determination", the animal will do anything and everything to get what it wants or to get what its master desires, nothing can get in its way. We find all of these qualities in the animal soul.

The animal soul in its very essence is neutral, not evil. But it is passionate, it is full of desire. The direction of its desires, the way its passion will be directed toward, depends on its environment. An analogy would be the air we breathe. The function of the lungs is to breathe, but the type of air we take in depends on the environment. Whether we're in the smog of Los Angeles or the fresh air of the countryside, our lungs will still do their work, but what we end up with in our bodies will be very different. Likewise with the animal soul: in a materialistic environment of money and physical pleasure, this soul will desire material things; in a bad spiritual environment where G-d, Torah and Mitzvohs are concealed or worse, scoffed at, the drive will be harnessed in the pastures that lead to sinfulness and spiritual corruption. However in a good spiritual environment, one of metaphysical beings and angels or simply good and decent G-d fearing people, its passion will be directed toward spiritual G-dly things. Put in another way, imagine a puppet, depending on your movements with your hand that’s the direction the puppet follows.

The same is true for the animal drive. Chassidus teaches that the Nefesh ha’bihamis is able to connect more passionately with G-d then the Nefesh ha’elokis! The reason being, as we will see later, the strength of the Nefesh ha’elokis is Elopes-G-dliness, which necessitates a more calculated approach then the simple passion used by the Nefesh ha’bihamis, therefore the passion for G-d as seen from the Nefesh ha’elokis’s perspective is limited. This is similar to the person who’s been eating non-kosher food for years and all of a sudden decides to do Teshuva, return to G-d, and stops eating food that a Jew shouldn’t be eating. He then starts doing more Mitzvohs and following the Torah. This persons fervor and enthusiasm is totally passionate for G-d, literally, he is in love with G-d! If you compare his practice of Mitzvohs to people who were born into a family that never saw, smelled or knew what non-kosher food looks, tastes or smelled like, you will find that their practice of Mitzvohs is dry and cold, it’s missing a heart and soul. Why is it this way? Because when something is natural to you it doesn’t mean as much compared to something that’s new and unnatural to your experience. So since the Nefesh ha’bihamis’s desire for G-d is a novelty, therefore it’s passionate and constantly fresh, warm and exciting. On the other hand the G-dly drive since its desire for G-d is natural, therefore it doesn’t get excited about G-dliness, on the contrary, it says what’s the big deal, I been having this experience for many years give me a break! Subsequently its passion for G-d is not there. This special quality is called the coach ha’misave of the Nefesh ha’bihamis, the power of passion.

Questions for review:

  1. State and explain the negative aspects of the Nefesh ha’bihamis
  2. State and explain the positive qualities of the Nefesh ha’bihamis
  3. What is a soul?
  4. What is the primary modus operandi of the Nefesh ha’bihamis? explain
  5. What is the ancillary operative mode of the Nefesh ha’bihamis? explain
  6. How does the coach ha’misave operate?
  7. What productivity do animals have that supersedes a humans ability?
  8. What Torah values can be derived from animals?
  9. Why indeed did the Torah instruct us regarding certain Mitzvohs, when we can come to the same conclusion by observing animals?
  10. How do you plan on harnessing your Nefesh ha’bihamis?

Chapter 9
Nefesh ha’Sichlis-The Rational Drive

1. Yesh Meiayin-Something from Nothing
2. Milmato limailo-From Below to Above, Milmailo Limato-From Above to Below
3. Itarusa d’leilu and d’litato-The arousal from G-d and from Us
4. Teshuva-Return
5. Bichira-Free choice

The drive of the human rational soul, the Nefesh hasichlis, is intelligent and logical. Its purpose is to figure things out. This soul looks for cause and effect, system and organization, clarity. It will perform this function wherever it is. Therefore being that the Nefesh ha’sichlis is found in the domain of intelligence, which is part and parcel of the very fiber and make up of this physical world, therefore it is influenced and feels at home when rationalizing on worldly matters. It allows itself to become the intellectual tool for the animal drive. Since they both share something in common, that is they both begin their operative system from a "this worldly" perspective. Therefore they both naturally use each other to co-exist. In actual practice, the animal soul tries to get the rational soul to serve its needs, to use its logical and rational capacity to figure out how to accomplish its desires and fulfill its passions. The rational soul also engages in justification and rationalization of those desires.

Chassidus explains this concept by taking the idea of creation ex nihlo known as Yesh meiayin and showing us the approach of the Nefesh elokis and the Nefesh ha’sichlis towards it. We know G-d created the world. He as the creator is infinite, He choice to contract his infinite power in order for their to be the creation of a limited finite universe. This process is known as the Tzimtzum. We call the created universe "Yesh", meaning "something" and we call G-d as the creator, "ayin" meaning "nothing". What this means is that prior to the contraction of the infinite power, all that existed was something that’s totally beyond our rational human experience, namely infinity. Therefore from our perspective it’s "nothing"-ayin, we don’t no what it is, it’s not tangible or real in our earthly domain, therefore to us it’s "nothing". On the other hand, what G-d did create, is very tangible and real to us, we are able to identify with it and say, we know what this is, it looks this way and it feels a particular way. Therefore we call it a "something"-Yesh.
Chassidus continues to clarify this point. The outlook of the Nefesh ha’sichlis on all aspects of form and matter is m’yesh l’ayin, meaning from the "something" to the "nothing" conclusion. The process of analysis used by the Nefesh ha’sichlis in understanding and relating to all physical and material matter is, first and foremost accepting the fact that the physical item really exists and is here in the real world. It draws this conclusion since the "Yesh-something" can be seen and felt. On the other hand the cause of how it got here is not seen and felt, therefore from the Nefesh ha’sichlis’s perspective it’s not here, it’s "ayin-nothing", it has no worldly existence in that it’s not tangible. Chassidus calls this process of analysis, milmato limailo, from below (from the worldly tangible vantage point) to above (the heavenly abstract view).

The Nefesh elokis on the other hand, views all physical and material matter and form from just the opposite vantage point, meiayin liyesh, from "nothing to something". Its primary interest is the ayin-G-d, who we call "nothing" since we don’t know Him. From there the Nefesh elokis comes to the conclusion that there is a "something" that is the result of the ayin’s doing. He call it "something" because from its perspective it’s merely a "something", the fact it’s here and functions as an entity, has very little significance and importance. The Nefesh elokis begins its relationship with matter and form, by first and foremost finding out how the matter and form was created, who made it and why is it here. This we call milmailo limato, from above to below.

So to recap, the two opposite approaches used by the Nefesh ha’sichlis and the Nefesh elokis are: One, the rational response is primarily interested in the effect and its ancillary interest is where it came from, Two, the G-dly response is primarily interested in the cause, how it got here, and the fact that it’s here, is a mere by- product and result.
Since we’ve mentioned the concepts of milmato limailo and milmailo limato, therefore will mention another two terms that are used as synonyms. They are Itarusa d’lieila, an arousal from (above)G-d, and Itarusa d’litata, an arousal generated by (below)man. To help us understand these terms, let me share with you a practical example. Several years ago a fellow popped into our Yeshiva. I approached him and asked, how did you get here? he said he was fleeing from someone who was trying to hurt him, so he got into his car and drove from Nevada to California. As he was driving, he noticed a synagogue. He parked his car and came into the shul. The rabbi approached him and asked him if he needed any help. He told the rabbi his story, the rabbi immediately brought him to the Yeshiva to begin refining his life through finding out his own roots. He never had the opportunity to study Torah and was raised in a very non Jewish manner.

As I reflected on his story, I realized that his return to Torah was what Chassidus calls Itarusa d’lieila. Why? Because prior to driving down the road in California he had absolutely no idea and interest about Judaism, and yet hours later he finds himself in the Yeshiva! amazing. How is it possible to make an hundred and eighty degree turn in such a short period of time? The answer is, it comes from G-d, it’s not your doing rather G-d intervenes into your life and provides you with an awakening and arousal called Teshuva-return. This gives you the ability to make a zenith change in your lifestyle regardless of the fact that from your mental, emotional, and spiritual state of being, your not even in the realm of returning to G-d. This is why we call this Itarusa d’lieila, the arousal that you feel to make a move, is generated by G-d, d’leila from G-d who is above. This is also the meaning of milmailo limato, from above to below.

The second term expressing the opposite approach is, Itarusa d’litata and milmato limailo. To clarify, every year a month before the days of awe we prepare ourselves by taking stock of what transpired in our lives throughout the previous year. Just as every business person knows the importance of taking inventory at least once a year, so to we, Jewish people do the same. We know the holy days are upon us, a time of judgment, a serious and awesome time, therefore we need to reflect and take "inventory" of what we did the past year which needs improvement, and how we are going to implement a organized plan to avoid having the same difficulties.

This approach of self reflection and meditation is also known as Teshuva, however it completely different and the opposite from the Teshuva approach mentioned earlier. This Teshuva approach is generated from within you, it’s initiated by you, no one inspires you or shleps you to the yeshiva. It’s all your doing, therefore this is called Itarusa milmato, referring to you the person who is limato-below, meaning here on earth which is called "below" in comparison to limailo-above, which is called "above" referring to G-d who is above beyond your earthly mundane experience.

In other words, the Itarusa d’limato approach is coming from you, it’s very calculated and thought out, however the Itarusa d’leilo approach is coming from G-d, and therefore being that G-d is infinite, the impact on you is uncalcuated. That’s why it doesn’t have to take time for you to adjust and prepare yourself to go from an oasis of Jewish knowledge, to the peak of the Jewish experience, the Yeshiva! Since it’s not generated from you, therefore all your doing is allowing yourself to be swept away with the current, and wherever you land, that’s where G-d wants you to be in order to get your life back on tract.

Another very important dimension and quality that is unique to the Nefesh ha’sichlis is the issue of bichira, free choice. When we say a Jew has the free will to exercise his or her will to do what’s right or what’s wrong, which part of the Jew are we talking about. The part of the Jew that wants to be G-dly and Jewish, the Nefesh ha’elokis, is pre set and "forced" to act in a Jewish way. The reason being, the only language and life it knows, is Judaism. Therefore from its perspective there is no true choice of doing G-d’s will. The Nefesh ha’bihamis is also pre determined as far as its choice. It desires the mundane and corporeal, since that’s its modus operandi. So it to is "forced" to act like an animal, therefore it doesn’t have true free will. Therefore when we say a Jew has free will, we are addressing his Nefesh ha’sichlis, his rational mind that’s impartial from any particular practical and emotional behavior. The Nefesh ha’sichlis is sechel, intelligence, it has the capacity to make a true choice that’s free from any pre conceived notions of what’s right and what’s wrong.

We can see here that a struggle is going on--what the Tanya calls the "battle over a city." The G-dly soul tries to get the rational soul to rise above the world, while the animal soul tries to get it to justify its desires and lusts. What is the target here, what is the aim of this battle? To conquer the human rational soul. The human rational soul is where free choice exists. The intelligence can come to appreciate that there is something beyond; or it can choose to justify the animal soul's desires, which says that the body and material things are more important. This is the general picture: the battle between the G-dly soul and the animal soul for dominance over the rational soul.

We now understand that our primary "job" is to harness the Nefesh ha’sichlis in a direction that is G-dly and Jewish. Chabad Chassidus provides the tools and information to properly accomplish this very important task. Therefore Chassidus Chabad incorporates the human mind in relating to G-d, for it’s the mind that’s of key importance in really and truly being a servant of G-d. If your mind lacks the commitment, even though your G-dly soul is on fire in loving G-d, You the person from your mental perspective is not in love with G-d.

Questions for review:

  1. What is the Nefesh ha’sichlis?
  2. How is different then the Nefesh ha’bihamis?
  3. What does Yesh meiayin mean?
  4. Why is G-d called, ayin?
  5. Why is the world called Yesh?
  6. What do milmato limailo and milmailo limato mean?
  7. What do Itarusa d’leilo and l’tato mean?
  8. What are the different approaches to Teshuva?
  9. Why is bichira dependent on the Nefesh ha’sichlis?
  10. Are we the Nefesh elokis, ha’bihamis, or ha’sichlis? Explain.

Chapter 10
Nefesh ha’elokis-The G-d like response

1. Pintele Yid, Nikudas ha’Yahadus- Quintessence aspect of a Jew
2. Chelek eloka mimal mamesh- an actual part of G-d
3. Malach- An Angel
4. Klipas Noga & Sholosh Klipas Hatimeios-Translucent force & The world of Defiance"
5. Elopes Shenase Nivre-G-dliness that becomes part of Creation
6. Ratza and Shuv-Yearning and Retreat
The Nefesh elokis or G-dly soul is the true Jewish essence, the Pintele Yid, and it is directly connected to G-d, a part of G-d. Since it is G-dly, it is not limited, it transcends the ordinary material world. From the perspective of the rational and animal soul, indulgence in worldly pleasures could be justified. But the divine soul tells us there is something beyond, a true G-dly spirituality. It says, if something in this world does not manifest G-d, it is not for you, a Jew, because it is contrary to your real essence.

To understand this in a deeper way we need to ask ourselves several questions. What is the significance of the Nefesh elokis being a "Chelek eloka mimal mamesh", an actual part of G-d? Also, do righteous gentiles posses a Nefesh elokis? If not, why not? Just because they aren’t born to a Jewish mother or have had a proper Jewish conversion, shouldn’t exclude them from attaining the same union as Jews have. Also, what is the highest spiritual level a gentile can reach?

Chassidus explains that the Nefesh elokis is actually part and parcel of G-d. It manifests itself by the very fact that a Jew cannot and will not be able to forsake his or her Jewishness. Regardless of circumstances, every Jew posses a G-dly soul, even though temporarily the Jew might drift into strange non G-dly pastures. This fact has been demonstrated many times. I myself have witnessed hundreds and hundreds of people who have been far from Judaism, and after their G-dly soul was rekindled they revealed their inherent relationship with G-d. How is this actually possible? If your not mentally or emotionally cognizant of G-d, was is it the stimulus that causes you to look for your roots? The answer is, it’s your Neshomo, your g-dly soul. This soul has never been lost, because it not only comes from G-d, but is actually a part of G-d. Therefore, just as G-d transcends time and space, the same is true in regard to everything that is part of Him. As the Ball Shem Tov says, "when you grab part of Him, your actually holding on to all of Him". The reason being, G-d is inseparable, He is G-d all over and at every time. The only reason we express ourselves and say G-d has placed part of himself within the Jewish soul, which indicates at first glance a departure from the essence of G-d, is because our way of expressing ourselves is limited, whether it be Hebrew or English, therefore there is no other way of conveying the concept that the Neshomo is an extension of Him, without saying, Chelek eloka mimal mamesh, the G-dly soul is an actual part of G-d, mentioning clearly G-d having a part to him. However this "part" only enhances his powerfulness, it expresses His omnipotence and His true infinity.

Based on this ideology, we will be able to understand the spirituality of a gentile. A gentile is not a Jew. The very fact that a gentile is born to a non Jewish mother establishes this fact. This in no way denotes a inferiority rather a different role in fulfilling his mission in life. Therefore even a very righteous gentile doesn’t have a Jewish soul known as a G-dly soul, a Neshomo. What does a gentile have? Chassidus shares with us a concept brought in the Kabbala, to help us answer this question. This is called Klipas Noga, the translucent husk. There are two kinds of coverings upon a light. One is a kind that is so thick that no one can see through. The other type of covering is a partial see through, it conceals the essence however there still is an appearance of the object. These two ideas are examples of the two types of negative energies that exist in the world. There is what’s known as klipat Noga, which is analogous to the see through type of a curtain, and there is Sholosh klipot Hatimeios, meaning the completely negative forces that preside within the universe. The type of curtain which totally conceals what’s beneath it, is analogues to this type of klipah.

A righteous gentile’s soul comes from klipat Noga. This means that he possesses a level of spirituality that expresses some form of G-d. This is the basic idea that G-d is good, and that his desire of human kind is to make the world a better place, a place in which all of society has the proper tools including modern technology, to accomplish this task. When a gentile assists in this mission, he attains and expresses his soul and is called a righteous gentile. The reward being, as Maimondies says, he will receive a portion in the world to come. However a gentile doesn’t have a Nefesh elokis and doesn’t have the same responsibilities as a Jew does. Therefore a gentile isn’t able to connect to that level of G-d which we call essence. An example of this would be, a father has a child and that same father is a carpenter. Is there a difference between his child and his chairs and tables that he makes? Sure, however does he see this difference as a better and worse situation or is it simply that they are two entirely different roles that the father has, both just as important and equal to him. However there is a very real difference, and it doesn’t make one good and one bad. The same is true for a Jew and a gentile.
Chassidus takes this one step further. The difference between a Jew and a gentile can be compared to the difference between a Neshoma-soul and an angel. An angel is limited to its mission, whether it’s kindness or severity, an angel cannot go beyond what role G-d has placed on that particular angel. Therefore Michoel the angel of Chesed-loving kindness is limited to kindness. Gabriel the angel of fire and severity is limited to destruction and cannot do acts of kindness. Therefore in the Torah there is an episode in which G-d sends three different angels to accomplish three different missions. Why didn’t G-d have one angel do all three? All three missions were all in close proximity to each other? Are angels some kind of limited physical beings that limits them to a certain place?

The explanation is, that angels are spiritually limited to their roles given to them by G-d. They don’t have the free will to do whatever they want. That’s why G-d choose three different angels to accomplish the task. The three tasks necessitated three different spiritual approaches. On the other hand a Neshomo is limitless, it can be kind and at the very same time be strict. on the contrary, if a Neshomo isn’t able to do all kind of spiritual missions which involve kindness, judgment, compassion, then the Neshomo isn’t doing it’s job. Based on this explanation, neshomos are called mihalchim, walkers, and angels are called omdim- standing, an angel in comparison to a soul, is standing in one place based on its particular mission. On the other hand a Neshomo is constantly going and walking from one mission to another. This activity of a Neshomo includes totally opposite missions, therefore neshomos are called "walkers".

In the same vein, we can explain the difference between the soul of a Jew and the soul of a gentile. A gentile is limited to his or her mission. That’s the way G-d created him or her. Therefore the level of spirituality for a gentile is limited to perfecting himself and the world around him. Yet a gentile cannot transform himself to become limitless, he is a creation of G-d just as all other creations. Therefore there is a defined application to his ability. This is called in Chassidus, Givul, limited. However a Jew is not a creation of G-d, rather a "part" of G-d, therefore a Jew is able to go beyond the worldly defined experiences. The reason is, a Jew is not a creation of G-d rather a Jew is G-dliness as he expresses himself in creation through a Neshomo. This concept is called in Chassidus, elokus shenase nivre.

We now understand the term Chelek eloka mimal in a deeper way. However what still begs clarification is the term mamesh, meaning actuality. Of course the Neshomo being a part of G-d, is actually that. If so, what is meant by mamesh, it’s self understood?

Chassidus point out, that the word mamesh comes from the word mamoshes, meaning tangible. This means that you are able to touch it with your hands. If this is the case, how is this possible, the Neshomo is non tangible? So, Chassidus says, No! The Neshomo is tangible in that it allows itself to be seen and felt by its association with the physical material world. Basically, when a Neshomo activates itself and permeates the physical matter, it then becomes tangible through the material. So when you touch the material that has been impacted, your actually, mamesh, touching G-d! This is the significance of the Neshomo being a Chelek elka mimal mamesh. On one hand the Neshomo is G-dliness, the epitome of spirituality, on the other hand the Neshomo enclothes itself in the material corporeal form that conceals G-d. This is called in Chassidus coach hamafli lasos, the wondrous power of G-d, in that G-d has put himself in the physical material world, this is a great miracle!

This concept was addressed by Rabbi Sholom Ber of Lubavitch, the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe. When asked to explain the seemingly contradictory statement, mimal and mamesh, he responded by saying, "it’s the idea of Ratza and Shuv." Ratza meaning the desire and yearning for G-dliness, and Shuv meaning the retreat and return to the physical world. Chassidus elaborates on this concept and gives several examples to understand it. One of these examples is the Talmudic story in which four rabbis have an experience in which their souls ascend to Pardes, meaning the Garden of Eden or paradise, and three out of the four simply can’t handle the divine revelation. The fourth Rabbi is, Rabbi Akiva. He, the Talmud says, "enters with peace and exits the Pardes with peace".

The question raised by the Lubavitcher Rebbe is, why does the Talmud say he entered with peace, it would suffice to say he exited in a peaceful manner, in contrast to the other three rabbis, one of which didn’t exit at all and the other two exited in a non peaceful way? The Rebbe answers, that the reason Rabbi Akiva was able to leave in a peaceful way even though he had just had an unbelievable experience, is because the way he entered was in a peaceful manner. If rabbi Akiva would have not made up in his mind prior to entering that he is going in "with Peace" then he to would have never made it out in a normal fashion, just as his contemporaries. What’s the concept of "peace"? Shalom or peace simply means there are two opinions that disagree with each other and all of a sudden they a third opinion or person causes them to be able to make peace and agree with each other. Rabbi Akiva realized that the material world of gashmius-physical, is a contradiction to the spiritual world of Pardes which is totally ruchnius-spiritual. How was he going to make peace between them? He realized it’s only by baring in his mind prior to entering the garden, that he there is a higher power then both the spiritual Pardes and the physical world. This is the true essence of G-d who created both and he desired to bring harmony between both. On the contrary, from G-d’s perspective if there is a blockage between the two, then He, G-d is not being expressed at all. Pardes doesn’t express Him without incorporating the physical reality.
This is the meaning of Rabbi Akiva entering with peace, and only because he came to this realization did he succeed in exiting properly. His friends all entered with a desire to forsake the material world. Their ambition was to "space out" and have a "ratzu" experience. Finally after so many years of learning about this great Paradise they now had the opportunity to "run away" from it all and never come back! This had been their yearning and longing that they had aspired to! Not so rabbi Akiva, he kept in mind the true purpose of creation, which is the "Shuv", the return and retreat to reality. This he realized was the zenith of G-dliness, not remaining in a state of spirituality where you don’t want to associate any longer with the physical, on the contrary, you work on having the spiritual permeate the material.

In Chassidic terminology this would be known as Shuv sheb’ratzu, the realization of the purpose of creation within the desirous state of cleaving to G-d. It’s not enough to say I’ll have a feeling of love and ecstasy now, and I’ll forget about everything around me, all I care about is being with G-d. Later, I’ll deal with the real world. The reason this isn’t a proper attitude is because there might never be a later, it might be to late. A person must think about the reason for creation at the very beginning even prior to getting involved in the burning desire to be absorbed by G-d, otherwise if he allows himself to have this experience, there wont be the opportunity to "come back down" to planet earth!

To make this more practical, imagine a relationship between two people, if one partner intends on only giving, and doesn’t have in mind, at the time of their initial contact, to restrain himself and draw the line and say "no", this relationship is going to be doomed. It’s not adequate to say, I’ll hold myself back later, once we are married, now I’ll give my entire self without having any borders. Wrong, free and true love is based on a disciplined organized approach as we discussed in the chapter on sechel and middot.
Now we have a better understanding of mimal mamesh in one breath. The entire purpose of mimal, is mamesh. If a person just desires the state of "mimal", this is the ratzu state mentioned earlier. If a person wants only mamesh, this is the "Shuv" state which also isn’t the purpose of creation. What is necessary is the realization that the purpose of mimal is so that there is a mamesh arena, and that both go together. We could say this would be called, "the mamesh within the mimal".

Questions for review

1. What is the Nefesh elokis?
2. What does Chelek eloka mimal mamesh mean? Explain
3. What’s the difference between an angel and a soul?
4. Are gentiles able to be as spiritual as Jews? Explain
5. What is the role of a gentile?
6. What does elokus shenase nivre mean?
7. How can a Neshomo go beyond its own limitations?
8. What is Klipas Noga? What is Sholosh Klipas Hatimeios?
9. What does coach hamafli lasos mean?
10. What are ratzu and Shuv?

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#1 Dua 2010-12-31 15:43
Okay this one was interesting and was good to know.
But a few things that i didnt understand about this pretext is,
according to you Jew contains much spirituality than a gentile than why does not "lost in Gods love" people are found in Judaism?
Why is people more worldly rather than being Godly?
Why they are after their world esteem and not the intellectuality ?

I have several more questions to ask. Here one thing that i would prefer to deduce is that you cant, at all degrade a person to whom God has created as you are one of His Creation. God loves,gives and guides equally to human. As animals are same likewise humans do. =) So, nobody is superior in any aspect and no one is inferior in any aspect

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