Monday, November 14, 2011

Body and Soul

The Zohar teaches that Sarah represents the body, whereas Avraham represents the soul.  Even after death, the soul still remains related to the body, thus "Avraham - the soul - came to eulogize Sarah - the body - and to weep for her"  [Chayei Sarah 23:2]

Chassidic teachings emphasize the importance of the body as a tool in the service of G-d.  Since the ultimate purpose of creation is to sanctify the physical world, the body has a distinct advantage over the soul, in that it is the means by which G-d's Will is enacted.  Therefore, G-d told Avraham [the soul] "Whatever Sarah - the body - tells you, listen to her voice" [21:12], indicating that there is an inherent superiority to the body, over the soul.

Although the soul is incomparably more refined than the body, nevertheless, in the times of Moshiach we are promised that the superiority of the body will be revealed such that "the soul will be animated by the body".

Based on Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe


  1. Devora,

    Would you mind sourcing where you read this. This seems to contradict everything that I have been learing. The body is supposed to serve the soul and not the other way around. Please clarify/explain. Thanks so much, Vanessa

  2. I know, it confuses me a bit too. But its from the Lubavircher Rebbe's Sichos, I'll get some more info on it.
    Source: Gutnick Chumash

  3. It's simple: IN THE FUTURE (Moshiach), the body will elevate the soul.

  4. Devorah,
    Thanks for looking into this for me to the actual source and place. I still find it confusing and need some more clarification and source place. Hope all is well, Vanessa

  5. Thanks Devorah,
    so where did this actual article come from or was it an interpretation of another article?

  6. The article I published is from the Gutnick Chumash, parshas Chaye Sarah: an english translation of a sicha of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

  7. Devorah,

    Thanks so much, I did not figure out the Gutnick Chumash part. So late right now. I will try to find the Chumash. I am going to email you privately in a second about something else. Thanks a million for source. Vanessa