Friday, March 27, 2009

PARSHA/ Vayikro

In the begining of this Parsha, Parshat Vayikra, we read the expression Nefesh ki techeta -- "when a person will sin." The Torah goes on to describe the various atonement offerings necessary to absolve one from their trespasses. The Kabbalistic classic, Zohar, renders this phrase both literally and spiritually. Nefesh is interpreted as not merely a person but a soul, and the verse is punctuated by a question mark. In other words, the Torah is asking Nefesh ki techeta? Shall a soul sin? Can a Jewish soul, a yiddishe neshamah, a spark of divinity, really and truly stoop to commit a lowly sin? How is that possible?

Indeed, the only way it can happen is when we forget who we are, when we are no longer in touch with our true spiritual identity.

And who really are we? We are a Jew! We are a son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a daughter of Sarah, Rifka, Rachel and Leah. We are a member of the "kingdom of priests and holy nation." We were freed from Egypt and stood at Sinai. We have survived countless attempts on our life and our faith. We have emerged from the ashes of Auschwitz only to live again.

The holy Zohar reminds us that we are not only "a person who may sin." We are a soul, and shall a soul sin? A soul is by definition a piece (spark?) of G-d. And for this G-dly soul within us - this burning ember inside every Jewish soul, an ember that remains inextinguishable no matter what - means, that distancing ourselves from our very source is absolutely unthinkable.

So if you ever have doubts about who you are, remember the Zohar. You are a soul. And a soul never dies.

1 comment:

mishmum said...

AHHH!!! I recorded this one. :)