Shabbat Shalom from In Tune with Torah

Dear friends,

I mistakenly posted the commentary for EMOR last Friday and so there will be no posting today.

Next week we’ll be back on track and continue.  I apologize for the error.

Meanwhile, here’s a thought to ponder this Shabbat.

In Hebrew there is more than one word used to refer to our soul.  The two most familiar ones are nefesh and neshama.  Literally, the word nefesh refers to the ‘animal’ part of our soul, the area related to our natural appetites, desires, and earthly wants.  The word neshama refers to the spiritual longing of the soul,  the area of the soul through which we seek Hashem and desire to have relationship with Him.

In the declaration of our faith, the Shema Yisrael, which we say daily we declare that we are to “love Hashem your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your possessions.”  It is very significant that in this passage the word for ‘soul’ in Hebrew is nefesh.  One would expect it to be neshama.  However, when we think about it, it becomes abundantly clear why Hashem — in giving the Torah to Moshe — used nefesh in the Shema.

He commanded that we love Him with all our ‘nefesh’ – our ‘animal’ soul, that part of the soul that relates to the earthly and physical passions and desires.  If we succeed in doing so, as manifested through self-discipline in these areas, it follows as a natural course of spirituality that we will then love him with our Neshama as well.

In Tune with Torah this week = asking myself if demonstrate my love for Hashem in my speaking, eating and other areas of the natural, physical life.

Shabbat Shalom

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