LESSONS OF JUDAISM

 

 

Why the Animal Soul Controls the Body

†† Abraham Lincoln said, ď People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be". He understood that people have a choice to be happy or to be unhappy.They canít always choose their circumstances but they can choose their reactions to those circumstances.

 

†† People also have a choice to criticize their faults or be tolerant of them.†† People have free choice not only to be happy or overlook their faults but also to follow G-d or not.The theme of creation is free choice.G-d wanted to see if given a free choice, that there would be a people who would choose to be obedient to Him.

 

†† To have free choice there must be at least two equally attractive options.To achieve this G-d gave each Jew two souls.The Divine Soul knows G-d and knows that He is the source of all of creation.The Animal Soul does not know there is a G-d and sees creation as existing independently.The body is the battleground between the two souls.For free choice to be effective the body must be controlled by the animal soul.

 

††† By way of analogy, imagine an experiment to see if a person would freely choose to seek a source of electricity.In order to make a free choice he must not be persuaded one way more than the other.The presence of electricity and its many uses would persuade a person in that direction and remove free choice.Therefore, the experiment requires an isolated location where there is no electricity.It is so isolated that there would be no hint of modern influence

 

†† Next, a totally neutral person is needed.†† He could not be from N.Y. City.In the city he would be exposed to lights and sounds produced by electricity.He would know the benefits of electricity.If we put a New Yorker in the isolated location he would know he was in a place with no electricity.He would remember electricityís advantages and desire to return to it.It must be a person who has no exposure to electricity or itís uses.He must not be aware of the existence of electricity nor the advantages it provides.For the sake of a name he will be called Natural Man.

 

†† Finally, there must be something that tempts him toward electricity.If the temptation was in the form of an appliance or light it would be too obvious and he would no longer be neutral.Instead Natural Man is given a companion named City Man.This companion is from NY City and he knows there is electricity.He knows its benefits and is not happy to be living without electricity in this isolated land.

 

†† City Man does everything he can to convince Natural Man that there is this thing called electricity.He attempts to describe it and itís uses.It will be difficult for him because he canít prove the existence and benefits of electricity; he can only describe them.

 

†† A horse and cart are the only means of transportation available.City Man wants to use the horse and cart to travel the long distance to a city with electricity. He greatly misses his former existence and longs for a generator to bring electricity to his current home.However, the horse belongs to and listens only to Natural Man.†† All City Man can do is try to convince Natural Man that it is worth the trip.

 

†† If they leave, the journey is so long that the crops will die, the livestock will die, and everything Natural Man has will be lost.Having much to lose, Natural Man is reluctant to pursue this unknown electricity.If it is real than the trip will have been worth it.However, if it does not exist than he will have lost everything for nothing.

 

†† The isolated location in the analogy is this created world.It is a place where the presence of G-d (electricity) is concealed to such a great degree that it appears there is no G-d.Natural Man represents the Animal Soul.It is this soul that gives life to our body and it is part of this world.Being from this world it sees itself as existing separate from G-d.

 

†† The City Man is the Divine Soul given to every Jew.It is an actual part of G-d, a spark of His essence.The Divine Soul knows that there is a G-d and that nothing exists separate from Him.It longs to be reunited with Him.It constantly tries to convince the Animal Soul, which controls the body, to perform mitzvoth.Performing the mitzvoth of Torah unites our Soul with G-d.

 

†† Finally, the horse is the body, controlled by the Animal Soul.If the Divine Soul controlled the body than it would constantly be doing what the Torah requires and uniting with G-d.Instead the Animal Soul controls the body.

 

†† This creates a situation of free choice.The Animal Soul on one hand sees itself as existing separate from G-d.The Divine Soul sees everything as existing through G-d.The Animal Soul can choose to continue thinking as it does or listen to the urgings of the Divine Soul.

 

†† The body does as the Animal Soul chooses.To unite with G-d or not, that is the choice.If the Divine Soul can convince the Animal Soul to perform mitzvoth than the Divine Soul, Animal Soul, and body will all be united with G-d.

TOPICS

 

Growth

Equilibrium

Find a Good Teacher

Judaism, A Religion of New Beginnings

Knowledge and Wisdom

Never Give Up

Our Greatest Teacher

Progress

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Truth; Our Most Powerful Tool

Value of Routine

Relationship: To G-d

Dishonoring Torah

Feeling Close to G-d

G-d Wants the Heart

Incomplete Offering

Time Spent

Whole and Willing

 

 

Prayer

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G-d Will Answer Your Prayers

Most Effective Prayer Offered

Purpose of Prayer

Why Prayer Services Arenít More Entertaining

Role of The Jewish People

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Eternal Life

Everything is Connected

G-dís Hidden Presence

Key to Success

My Part

Our Actions Change the World

Revealing the Concealed

Why the Animal Soul Controls the Body

 

 

Relationship: To Another Jew

Harbor No Enmity

Practicing Forgiveness

Spouses

Who Are your Victims?

The Soulís Mission

Just Right

Leaving a Mark on the World

Perfect Family

Perspective

Repair Your Part

 

 

Relationship: To Community

Charity Given With Joy

Love Every Jew

Mitzvah of Giving Up

Single Entity

Special Role of the Baal Teshuvah

Unity From Acceptance

Whole Story

Trust and Faith

Choices

Choosing for a Purpose

Donít Put G-d in a Box

Faith

Stick With G-d

 

 

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