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Fundamentals of the Jewish Faith

Chapter Two: The Spiritual World (Part 3)

Now, while the wide variety of life-forms that encompass the spiritual realm each have their own boundaries and properties, the one thing they all have in common is the fact that their makeup is utterly beyond our grasp.

We know they exist; we're aware of some things about them and about what some of them can do and have done; but we really can't grasp their beings. So we're forced to depend upon the tradition, which is to say, upon prophetic revelation, for substantive information about them. (For unlike things of the natural world, spiritual phenomena haven't elements that can be charted, scrutinized, prompted, or altered, so neither science nor speculation can be applied to them.)

And so while a lot has been written in popular literature about angels, spirits, and all sorts of small and large spiritual entities, the great preponderance of what's claimed about them is rooted in raw conjecture alone. Indeed, whatever we think we know about them on our own is as accurate at best as what we'd imagine we know about the thoughts of someone in the south of France right now or in Congo.

In any event, we're taught that there are three broad categories of spiritual entities: Transcendent Forces, angels, and souls.

Text Copyright 2007 by Rabbi Yaakov Feldman and



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