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Nisan-Perfecting Our Speech VII

It is written, “And God formed man out of dust from the earth, and He breathed into his nostrils a soul of life, and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7).” The Targum renders this last phrase, “and man became a speaking soul.”


The Baal Shem Tov writes that the concept of man’s life force and the “spirit of man inside him,” is his power of speech. The phrase, “a living soul,” is therefore rendered as “a speaking soul.” When a person speaks words, these words are his life force, therefore, he loses a bit of his life force with each word. Man’s life force, however, is very closely attached to its root. Therefore, his words themselves have the power to transmit to him new life force from the root.

It is for this reason that the individual continues to live. He may spew forth his life force with each word, but each word also brings him new life. (Arvei Nachal; Vayishlach)

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