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Third Blessing: Nefesh 2

It is with the third blessing that we are able to achieve the level of our soul being identical with prayer.



We turn again to the Nefesh Hachaim:


“The idea is as follows: The service through prayer replaces the service through sacrifices. The point of sacrifices was that you were offering your soul on the altar. In the same way that the soul of the animal rose above, atonement was achieved through the sprinkling of blood. This is because blood is always identified with the soul. Similarly, the burning of the parts on the altar was symbolic of the fact that my soul should be placed to burn upon the altar. That is the main concept of prayer. To lift, give over, and attach one’s soul to the above.


We know that the power of speech is called soul. As it says in the verse, “And it was to this primal human being a Nefesh,” a soul. Onkelos translates Nefesh in Aramaic to mean ‘the ability to speak.’ Every word that comes out the mouth of a human being is a reflection of his heart. Therefore wastes his words, part of his soul is wasted in the process. We see that speech is a main part of the soul. This is the difference between a human being and an animal. Every word that comes out of a person is part of his Nefesh.


At the time that a person stands in front of his Creator, he must remove his body from his soul. He must remove all the extraneous nonsense that comes from his body that has attached to his soul, so that when he prays he is praying only with his soul, and not with his body. That is called Kedusha, or Sanctity.”


This thought is contained in the words “B’chol yom yehallelucha selah”. I remove myself from my physical limitations and I pray only with my soul.


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