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Fundamentals of the Jewish Faith

Chapter Two: The Spiritual World (Part 2)

Everything in our experience is comprised of borders. Each and every thing begins at a certain point and only extends as far as its margins will allow. That's why I'm not you and you're not me. For I begin here while you begin there, and if I went on from my here to your there, you and I would meld, we'd each lose definition, and many things about us would start to get vague.

I'd wonder, for example, if it was I who was feeling happy or you; if my sneezing deserved your gesuntheit, or if you were getting a cold, and so forth. It goes further yet, though. Would my childhood memories be partly yours, or are they all my own, with you there as a constant observer? Would you have to come along as a matter of course if I decided to travel, etc.?

It touches on many other things in our experience, too, including our senses. We'd really be thrown if our ability to hear somehow or another combined with our ability to see for example. Or if we managed to smell things as we touched them. The point of the matter is that all of that is out of our experience since it's outside the realm of this physical world. (Nonetheless see Exodus 20:15, where we're told that "all the people saw the thunder ... and the sound of the Shofar" when the Torah was revealed at Mount Sinai, which only comes to underscore the supernatural nature of the event.)

Nevertheless, understand that without borders there'd be no sense or reason in the world; we simply wouldn't know what's what. And so it's safe to say that borders help mold our beings, define our life, and form the basis of the physical world.

Yet there are phenomena that don't have set borders; that are beyond the confines of space and time, physicality, and definition. They inhabit the spiritual realm. And it has a reality of its own.


Text Copyright 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and Torah.org.


 

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