Jew and Non-Jews: The Nature of the Soul

 The Nature of the Soul
 The Seven Noahide Commandments
 
The Seven Principles of Faith
 Love–Continual Re-creation
 “All is in the Hands of Heaven Except for the Fear of Heaven”
 Mercy–God Performs Miracles
 Victory (Trust)–Self Transformation
 Sincerity–”I am Abraham’s Servant”
 Truth–Divine Providence
 Lowliness–A Home for God
 Summary Chart

 

Every human soul possesses ten sefirot, or spiritual powers. The first three are intellectual, while the remaining seven relate to the emotions.

The three powers of the intellect are the primary motivating force of the Divine element of the soul. The seven emotive powers are the primary motivating force of the soul’s animal element.

For this reason, much of Jewish identity is based on the principle of “three.” The Jewish People come from three patriarchs; in our prayers, we pray to “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” The priestly blessing is composed of three verses (three individual blessings). Our sages state: “Blessed be God, the Merciful One, who gave a threefold Torah [i.e., the Five Books of Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings] to a threefold people [Priests, Levites, and Israelites] on the third month [Sivan] by means of three [Moses, Aaron, and Miriam].”

Though the principle of three is innate in the mind of the Divine soul of Israel, it is secondary to our absolute faith in God’s essential Oneness, which transcends the power of the mind. By clinging to the wisdom of Torah, which links the mind of man to God, the Divine elements of the soul become fully conscious of the absolute One, as it is said: “Hear O’ Israel, God is our God, God is One” (see footnote).

In the animal soul’s innate state, the three intellectual powers serve the earthbound desires of the seven emotive powers. It is to correct this “upside-downedness” that the seven Noahide Laws were given.

 

For a non-Jew, spiritual “rectification” involves the refinement of the seven innate powers of emotion through a commitment to fulfill the seven Noahide commandments. The non-Jew’s innate first nature is thereby transformed into a second, rectified nature, which enables him to “see through” the three uppermost levels of his soul and envision the “One.” This (often sudden) perception causes the seven emotive powers to serve the three Divine powers, rather than the other way round. If a non-Jew neglects his obligation to observe his seven commandments, he remains unable to apprehend God’s true unity, and his consciousness is apt to fall into idolatry, with its deluded worship of the “three,” the stars, nature, yogis, the pantheon of “gods,” money, etc. etc. In short, idolatry can be defined as the worship of anything or anyone other than the One True God.

 


Footnote #1:

The innate identity of the non-Jew, on the other hand, is based on the principle of “seven.” There are 70 Noahide nations on earth. The core-essence of these nations is the seven Canaanite nations that occupied the Land of Israel before the Jewish People conquered it.

The number seven also has a special significance in Jewish tradition. It denotes “endearment”; in the words of our sages, “all sevens are dear.” For the non-Jew, on the other hand, the number depicts general secular reality. For him, the seventh day of creation is not qualitatively different from the six preceding days. It is a day of work and experience of Divine providence and immanence. For a Jew, however, the seventh day, Shabbat, is qualitatively different from the six weekdays. It is a day of rest from worldly endeavor, a time to experience Divine transcendence. The Jewish seven reflects unity, while the non-Jewish seven represents plurality.

 

In the Jewish soul, the seven emotive powers are subordinate and serve the spiritual quest of the three intellectual powers. The 70 souls of Israel that went down to Egypt are subordinate to the three Jewish patriarchs.

 

Next 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *