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Morning Blessings: Elul: Elokia, Neshamah: Tzidkat HaTzaddik

The 9th of Elul is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Tzadok HaKohen Rabinowitz of Lublin, author of Pri Tzadik, Resisei Layla, and other works (1823-1900). The son of Rav Yaakov HaKohen, Rav of Kreisberg, Rav Tzadok studied only the revelead aspects of Torah (halacha and Talmud) until he was 24. Beginning in 1847, he learned only kabbalistic teachings. Rabbi Tzadok became a chasid of the Izbitcher Rebbe and a close friend of Rav Yehuda Leib Eiger. Upon the death of Rav Eiger in 1888, he agreed to take over the leadership of the chasidim. Rabbi Tzadok was a prolific writer whose works made an enormous impact with their profound thoughts. Besides writing numerous chidushim, he also wrote scholarly essays on astronomy, geometry, and algebra.


All Israel has perfect faith in God’s existence, unity, and Providence, for Jews, as it is said, are “believers, the sons of believers (Shabbat 97a).” This is called the Nefesh of the holiness of Israel. But he who has greater merit is given Ruach (Zohar 94b).” His heart is made soap your that he feels that in his heart; he emerges from the level of faith to the level of truth, which is clear and recognizable to the heart, as opposed to mere faith. When he is purified even further, he merits the Neshamah of the mind, i.e., wisdom; to be wise in his perception of God.

It is impossible to attain Neshamah before Ruach, and anyone who feels he has achieved this may be sure that it most certainly is not divine wisdom that is being emanated to him through his Neshamah.

First one must merit the vital Ruach in his heart, feeling the divine truth. Neshamah comes from the word “Neshimah,” “breath,” the inhaling of Ruach–air, which one breathes into one’s nostrils. The essence of vitality is Ruach; but one constantly needs to breathe in new Ruach.

It is the function of the Neshamah to constantly breathes new divine Ruach into the heart by means of new insights of wisdom in the mind, always apprehending new, vital Ruach.

Nefesh is a human power, as it is written, “The blood is the sole (Leviticus 17:14).” Nefesh is found even in the ignorant, for it is the power to do, speak, and think what God wills, in accordance with one’s knowledge, through one’s faith, anchored in the heart, in the living God and eternal King.

Ruach, as in, “The spirit of God spoke to me (II Samuel 23:2),” refers to students of Torah, because the word of God in their mouths awakens a feeling in the heart to recognize that there is a God and Creator of the world.

A Torah scholar who thinks creatively about the Torah merits Neshamah, which is the breathing in of a drop of new life at every moment after the one in which God in His goodness renews the act of creation, daily and forever; i.e. the spirit of vitality that inheres in creatures and is part of the act of creation; for the Neshamah is from the world of Creation, as is known. (Tzidkat haTzaddik #227)

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