As explained above, a healthy immune system is one that ever guards the well-being of the body. The spiritual sefirah that relates to the immune system ishod. Hod means "to acknowledge"–to acknowledge that which is true and that which is good. In Chassidut, this is understood to be the power of the soul to commit oneself to pursue a life of truth and goodness.
Commitment to an ideal implies acknowledging that which transcends one's normal realm of understanding; a true ideal is not one which is formed and developed in the rational mind but rather one that reflects the deepest intuitive sense of the soul as to what is ultimately true and good. Hod takes hold of the ultimate ideal in commitment to dedicate one's life to its fulfillment.
But here, more so than with regard to any other sefirah–just because hod relates to the transcendent, yet undefined realm of the soul and reality–lies the danger of misconstruction, in this case, the misidentification of the true ideal. Instead of committing oneself to serve God and dedicate one's life to His Divine plan for creation, one may fall to the point of commitment to the other side….
With regard to the body, we find in the Book of Daniel a verse that describes the body’s inability to properly acknowledge what is (true and good) self and non-self:
My pleasant appearance [ hodi] was horribly altered.
The word used for "pleasant appearance" is hodi, literally "my hod." When hod is spelled backwards, we have the word davah, which means "to be sick" or "ill." Kabbalah explains that the quality of hod during a time of exile (a dysfunctional state where normal conditions disappear and confusion sets in) is the quality of illness, of davah.
In the phrase "separation of her infirmity" [nidat devotah], davah (here: "infirmity") refers to the state of illness inherent in the feminine menstrual cycle, as mentioned above. This all points to the relation between hod and feminine reality, in the words of the Zohar: "she is in hod," as will be explained later.
The immune system is thus understood to be feminine in nature, a physiological system which–metaphorically, as a woman–either recognizes her ideal soul-mate and loyally commits herself to fulfilling his/their life's purpose, or one who strays away, disloyal to her soul-mate, unable to recognize him as the complementary side of her true being, without whom she cannot fulfill herself.
A new chapter is both uploaded to the web and sent out every week via the Inner Dimension (free) weekly Torah message email list. Click here to subscribe now!