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MISC-----neshama / what is it 2

smile4me Posted - 28 February 2002 16:10

A brain gives a person feelings & emotions but what does a neshama do?

Can you live w/o it? I don’t understand at all what it is. can you please explain this to me? thanx!

MODERATOR Posted - 28 February 2002 16:41

We have two Neshomas. Each of these is sub-divided into more neshomos, and there are different opinions about this, but we will stick to the basics here:

Level 1 - "Nefesh HaBehamis". This is your "life force". It is what makes a corpse into a living being. Animals have this Neshoma too. It controls basic life functions, like the ability to move and breathe and make sounds. It does not control thinking, or coherent speech.

Level 2 - Nefesh HaMedaberes, aka "Nefesh HaSichlis". This enables thought, speech, free-will, and the ability for you to connect to Hashem via Torah and Mitzvos.

The Nefesh HaElyonah is connected to Hashem on one end, and to you on the other end, and expresses itself as your thoughts, which are the most spiritual, non-tangible part of you. Your mind is actually an expression of your Neshomah, not your Guf. This is why improper thoughts are so damaging - they attack the Neshoma directly. Your Nefesh HaElyonah is attached to the nefesh HaBehamis, which is connected to your physical body through your blood, which contains the "vital force" that keeps you alive. This "vital force" is an expression of your Nefesh HaBehamis, not your body.

Without your Nefesh HaElyonah you would be like an animal. Without your Nefesh HaBehamis, you would be dead.

smile4me Posted - 08 March 2002 0:13

Sorry moderator, but I still don’t really understand it! What does a brain do then?

And & how do we know that we have a neshama?

MODERATOR Posted - 08 March 2002 0:39

Your brain is a piece of meat. The scientists still don’t understand what gives it the power of sentience. What is it about the brain, that this particular arrangement of meat allows coherent thought? It’s a big mystery.

The answer is your Neshomah.

When you ask about how we know we have a Neshomah I assume you mean the Nefesh HaElyonah; the Nefesh HaBehamis keeps you alive.

You can sense the Neshoma in a person in human nature.

Humans, unlike animals, have desires that have no practical value, and are actually counterproductive to survival. They include:

1) The desire for honor and glory
2) The desire for power over other humans
3) The urge to travel - people from the East want to see the West and those in the West want to see East etc.
4) The desire for spirituality
5) The drive for the elusive phantom called "success", which means more than just survival.

Animals do not have these. Give a cow some food water and a spot under a tree and he's happy. Humans, on the other hand, have these weird desires that can’t really be fulfilled, only serve to create friction, dissatisfaction, depression and animosity between people. Survival-wise, we'd be much better without them. So how did the most "evolved" species - humans - develop this baggage?

Answer: These desires are your Neshomah, that desires something intangible and unattainable through material means. Namely, Torah and Mitzvos.

When people pursue the unending task of collecting more and more money, conquering more and more land, becoming the most powerful etc., urges that are never, ever, satisfied the way the urge to eat or drink is, they are really feeling the longing of the Neshomah for Torah and Mitzvos. They just misdirect it, which is why they will never satisfy those urges.

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