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Purpose Of The Neshama


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#1 AYidOnTheWayUp

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 04:28 PM

What was the purpose of Hashem bringing the persons Neshama down to this world? Just make a Yetzer Tov, Yetzer Rah and thats it, why the need of the Neshama actually being here where he is unhappy and doesn't even want to be in the first place?

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 12:17 PM

Your Neshama is the Yetzer Tov. The fact that it wants to live connected to Hashem as opposed to in a Gashmiyus world is the reason it urges you to Mitzvos. It knows that therein lies in connection to Hashem that it craves. The pain of the Neshama that you describe is what creates the pull of the Yezter Tov - it's the urge to alleviate that pain and go back to its proper place.

Your Guf is your Yetzer Horah. It comes from dirt, and is attracted to dirt. It wants Gashmiyus. So it urges you to choose it.

The battle between the Guf and the Neshama IS the battle between the Yetzer Tov and the Yetzer Horah.

You choose which one is the real "you.". If you choose the Guf, then your Neshama atrophies, and after you die, to the extent that you chose Guf over Neshama, there is no connection to Hashem.

If you decide that the Neshama is what you want, then your choice strengthens it and when you die, and the Guf is not there anymore, the Neshama connects to Hashem and that is the Gan Eden.

See also this.

#3 AYidOnTheWayUp

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 03:31 PM

Your Neshama is the Yetzer Tov. The fact that it wants to live connected to Hashem as opposed to in a Gashmiyus world is the reason it urges you to Mitzvos. It knows that therein lies in connection to Hashem that it craves. The pain of the Neshama that you describe is what creates the pull of the Yezter Tov - it's the urge to alleviate that pain and go back to its proper place.

Your Guf is your Yetzer Horah. It comes from dirt, and is attracted to dirt. It wants Gashmiyus. So it urges you to choose it.

The battle between the Guf and the Neshama IS the battle between the Yetzer Tov and the Yetzer Horah.

You choose which one is the real "you.". If you choose the Guf, then your Neshama atrophies, and after you die, to the extent that you chose Guf over Neshama, there is no connection to Hashem.

If you decide that the Neshama is what you want, then your choice strengthens it and when you die, and the Guf is not there anymore, the Neshama connects to Hashem and that is the Gan Eden.

See also this.

So where does the ego come from (the yetzer for kavod, gayva and all that) which isnt physical and "gufni?"

#4 taon

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 03:57 PM

That, if i recall correctly, is what happens when one's neshama gets corrupted by the guf. Rav Miller explains how the desire for kavod and other non-physical desires are meant to direct a person towards ruchniyus. The desire for kavod translates to desire for a high place in the next world. Only, these desires get corrupted.

#5 AYidOnTheWayUp

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 08:45 PM

That, if i recall correctly, is what happens when one's neshama gets corrupted by the guf. Rav Miller explains how the desire for kavod and other non-physical desires are meant to direct a person towards ruchniyus. The desire for kavod translates to desire for a high place in the next world. Only, these desires get corrupted.

So all feelings are from the neshama and can get corrupted by the guf? I dont get it clearly, where does jealousy, anger hatred...come from? You are saying they all stem from the soul and get corrupted by the guf?

#6 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 07:13 AM

He's talking about longings and desires that only humans have and not animals - such as the desire for glory, honor, travel,riches, and the like. Those are functions of the Neshama - it is longing for Torah - that the Guf feels and does not understand. So the Guf tries to alleviate these feelings by pursuing all sorts of things thinking, mistakenly, that his longing will be filled.

Anger and hatred, for example, are not in this category.

#7 AYidOnTheWayUp

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 05:55 PM

He's talking about longings and desires that only humans have and not animals - such as the desire for glory, honor, travel,riches, and the like. Those are functions of the Neshama - it is longing for Torah - that the Guf feels and does not understand what they mean. So the Guf tries to alleviate these feelings by pursuing all sorts of things thinking, mistakenly, that his longing will be filled.

Anger and hatred, for example, are not in this category.

"So the Guf tries to alleviate these feelings by pursuing all sorts of things thinking, mistakenly, that his longing will be filled."
You mean that the brain processes it as pursue all these things.
This may have been asked elsewhere on the site, but is the brain Gashmi? Or are the heart and brain part of the Neshama?

#8 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:17 AM

Meat and muscle ( = the brain and heart) are part of the Guf, not the Neshama. The Neshama manifests only in the choices we make. Our choices - בחירה - are a manifestation of the Neshama. Our physical meat is the Guf. However, the Neshama is adjoined to the Guf - which is what we mean when we say Hashem is מפילא לעשות, which means it's amazing thing that a spiritual entity (the Neshama) can be melded onto a physical entity (the Guf). The thing that binds the Guf ot the Neshama is called the צלם. The hierarchy of physical to spiritual, level by level is, from the lowest to the highest:

Guf
Nefesh
Ruach
Neshama

There are specific parts of the Guf that Hashem's מפילא לעשות manifests. One is the brain, which is the seat of the Sechel, which is the mechanism that facilitates our choices, which is the Neshama. Also, the רביעית דם - that part of the blood that maintains life - in there, the spiritual life force of a person is contained, through which the body gets life.

The word "לב" in Loshon Hakodesh does not mean physical heart but rather the mind. As in חכם לב, or רבות מחשבות בלב איש, and the like. The reason the word Lev, which literally means heart, is used to describe the mind is because our choices are the spiritual effect of the mind, and the amount of passion one has for his choices is a measurement of the strength and conviction of those choices. And passion is manifest in the racing of the pulse of the heart.

This is why the Gemora says לב מבין וכליות יועצות - the heart understand and the kidneys give council. The heart means the passion, and if a person really understand something and believes it to be true he is passionate about it. And the kidneys (which in the sense the Gemora means it includes the adrenal glands as well, which are attached to, and therefore considered part of the "kidneys" cause excitement, and the pulse to race.)

Also, the brain does not, on its own, decide that the longing of the Neshama is really a desire for physical things. Thatb depends on a person's understanding and wisdom. If a person understands what is going on inside him through Torah knowledge he will interpret the longing of the Neshama to be just that. But an ignorant person whose knowledge goes no deeper than Gashmiyus, will misinterpret these feelings to be a desire for glory, "success," travel, and honor.

It's like if a person hears a creak in his attic in the middle of the night. If he is a primitive ignoramus, he will think it is a ghost. If he is more sophisticated than that, he will think it is the house settling. Same thing with the emptiness humans feel inside. An ignorant caveman will think that it means he wants lots of money, honor, power, glory, experiences, etc. A more sophisticated understanding will attribute it to the desire of the Neshama for Torah.

As Chazal say - the Guf bound to the Neshama is like a sophisticated princess married to an ignorant caveman. משל לעירוני שנשא בת מלכים.