It seems that each of our lives is a string of struggles to feel aligned in the most elevated ways. Finding our purpose is certainly the first step to being able to tap into the elevated space, but because of how hard it is to maintain being in that space, we fall, we question, sometimes we rebel against the truth because of it’s seemingly transient feeling. What we don’t seem to tap into enough is our interconnectedness, & the fact that we are all part of the same being, elements of a whole Soul connected on high.

We read;
כּל־הַנֶּ֧פֶשׁ לְבֵֽית־יַעֲקֹ֛ב הַבָּ֥אָה מִצְרַ֖יְמָה שִׁבְעִֽים
“The entire soul (nefesh) of Yakov’s household who entered Egypt was seventy.”

Rashi teaches that the entire household of seventy people are referred to in singular, as nefesh, one soul. And, as we know, Yakov (Yisrael) & his sons, the 12 tribes, are who the nation of Israel stem from, as it’s stated in Talmud Shavuot, “All of Israel are responsible for one another.” It says this because each of us has a portion of each other in ourselves, & so we learn that when a person sins, they harm not only themselves but the portion of everyone’s soul included within them. & it is because of this shared soul that we are responsible one for another, as we are like one flesh. As R’ Cordovero teaches, it is essential that each person seeks the benefit of their fellow, be pleased with their success & let their honor be as dear to themselves as if it were their own honor, since they are in fact one & the same.

Rabbi Meir compared the flip side of this interconnectedness & love as someone who takes revenge – painting a picture of how fruitless the act is: imagine someone holding a knife in their right hand & accidentally cutting their left hand. What purpose would it serve for his right hand to take the knife & cut their left hand back in vengeance? We only harm ourselves in these acts; in truth, we cannot disconnect from each other, no matter how great of a facade we are able to construct.
As @ThomYorke sings on “Paranoid Android”: God loves his children, we need to do the same at all moments.

Thanks for reading! Much love & Shabbat Shalom!🤍🕊

– Erez

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