On Divine Inspiration – Chapter 23

However, we still need to understand what, in essence, is this Divine excitement in the comprehension of the Divine soul which is qualitatively different than the excitement in the comprehension of the natural soul, as mentioned above. To understand this, we must first preface with the general principle of what the excitement of the Divine soul is.

Since it is literally a “part of G_d”, therefore, we are literally forced to say that the excitement of the Divine soul is totally different than what the excitement of the natural soul is. This is solely due to the fact that its excitement is an aspect of the excitement of the Divine itself, rather than an excitement that is separate from the Divine, similar to the verse, “All my bones declare ‘HaShem, who can be compared to you.’”[1] This is because to the Divine soul, G_dliness is natural and essential, since it is from there that the essence of what it is was derived.

(Divine excitement, rather than human excitement; the soul becomes excited, rather than the body. This is called hearing, meaning that the soul hears. Generally, it is called hearing with the soul or the like.)

This may be compared to the excitement of the angels called “The Sons of G_d”.[2] Certainly their excitement is nothing but Divine excitement. Just as the natural soul becomes excited about physical matters in an essential and natural manner, because that is its source, so too, the Divine soul becomes excited about matters of G_dliness in all their details, in an essential and natural manner.

We are compelled to say this, because it would certainly make no logical sense to think that the Divine soul could get excited about matters involving physical lusts, such as the desire for food, or the like. This is because it is totally unrelated to bodily lusts.

(In like manner, the natural, physical soul is far removed from getting excited about matters of G_dliness, except by way of very great effort. Nevertheless, as mentioned before, it is possible for it to become excited about these things. This is because Nogah, which is its source, also has a root to receive sustenance from the G_dly power that brings everything into being. However, the sustenance comes there in an extremely hidden manner, as mentioned above.)

This being the case, it is certain that how the Divine soul becomes excited is totally removed from the physical manner that the natural soul becomes excited, except that it is invested and enveloped within it in the way of investment in  a garment only, as mentioned above.

Though we observe excitement of the Divine soul simultaneous to the natural soul’s excitement about matters of G_dliness, whether in thought, acknowledgement and resolve or love, fear, intention, desire and pleasure, nevertheless, the essential difference between them is that the excitement of the natural soul is totally separate from the essence of G_dliness. On the other hand, the excitement of the Divine soul in matters of G_dliness is essential to it. This is because the essence of G_dliness is rooted and embedded in it, literally like its nature.

Since the Divine soul also includes the levels of Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah, Chaya and Yechidah and is invested in the Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah, Chaya and Yechidah of the natural soul, (in other words, it generally possesses desire, intellect, emotions and the three garments of though, speech and action etc.) therefore, though it experiences Divine excitement in an essential manner, nonetheless, it undergoes various levels of diminished or expanded consciousness, similar to the observable division of levels in the natural soul in its desire for closeness to G_d, mentioned above.

However, generally speaking, the whole gamut of Divine excitement stemming from the Divine soul is called “Those who serve HaShem with their souls”, rather than “Those who serve HaShem with their body.” About this it states, “You who adhere to HaShem are alive etc,”[3] – meaning that they adhere “automatically”, in an essential and natural manner, as was explained above concerning the general distinction between Divine excitement and physical excitement.

    Therefore, even Nefesh of Asiyah of the Divine soul contains a glimmer of the Yechidah of the Divine soul, which is the aspect of its essential bond to HaShem. This is in accordance to the statement of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, “We are bound together with one bond etc.”[4] Now, his statement refers to the highest level of attachment. However, there are many categories of levels in this. The Divine soul becomes invested on these levels according to the condition of its garment, which is the natural soul etc.



[1] The word for “my bones” is “atzmotai” and shares the same root as the word for essence. With a slight variation of one vowel from “atzmotai” to “atzmootai”, the meaning of the verse becomes, “My whole essence declares, ‘HaShem, who can be compared to you.’”

[2] Job 1:6

[3] Deuteronomy 4:4

[4] Zohar, Idra Zuta, 288a, 292a

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