Monday, November 12, 2007

The souls of the special Jews

There are different parts to the soul. Each one has a purpose of its own in this world.

Video of FC with Binaymin Golden. (The Rabbis said he has the highest level of "message recieving" and a very lofty soul)

There was an article published in Hamodia Newspaper [magazine section] that although it was written to help people understand the 'special-needs' community better, it explains the issue of the soul very well. I've brought it here for you to read. I can guarantee you will be on a much higher level of understanding after reading it.

The article was adapted from a lecture by HaRav Mordechai Neugraschel

There is a concept in halachah of a person who is not responsible for his actions. I would like to illustrate how, with the correct attitude toward and understanding of those who fall in this category, not only do we not detract from their worth, but on the contrary, we gain a new appreciation for them.

Halachah relates to various categories of special needs, which today have professional labels, in order to designate those who are not responsible for their behavior, ranging from extreme cases to those that straddle the fine line between partial and full responsibility. There are three ways to define the extent of a person’s responsibility for his actions. He may be a meizid, acting with full responsibility, for better or worse; a shogeg, acting with criminal negligence; or an anus, who is exempt from responsibility. If the act is connected to the person’s inner self, he is responsible for his actions. If not, he is not held responsible.

A person who is not on the level to understand cause and effect certainly cannot be held responsible for his actions.

This leads us to a powerful question: If that is the case, then why were these people put in this world? The answer is paradoxical.

The Kabbalah, Toras hanistar, discusses at great length the concept of souls — the roles they play and their reincarnation. It’s interesting to see that in Shaar Hagilgulim, among the writings of the Arizal and Rabbi Chaim Vital, it is brought that a soul can return to this world several times — not as a punishment, as people tend to think, but within the framework of the original plan that Hakadosh Baruch Hu created for it. A person is comprised of several components, including nefesh, ruach and neshamah. The nefesh is connected to action, the ruach to
speech, and the neshamah to thought. There are even higher components — chayah and yechidah, which are connected to the person’s innermost desires and to the subconscious. It is possible for a person to come down to this world for the sole purpose of rectifying the aspect of his soul that is connected to action
— to do good deeds or to refrain from doing them, to act violently or to restrain himself, each person according to his situation.

When a person has successfully fulfilled all his tasks, he appears after 120 years before the Heavenly court, from where he is sent back in order to rectify the higher level of his soul: ruach. Obviously, he also comes down with a nefesh — we see him eat and drink, but he’ll never steal from anyone, nor will he cause anyone harm. He won’t receive any reward for this because it was no test for him! His soul did not come down to this world to rectify his deeds, and therefore he is also incapable of failing. Something that is perfect cannot be ruined.

Why, then, was the nefesh brought down to this world? Only because the ruach cannot be sent alone. In that second reincarnation, the person will be tested in the area of ruach memalelah, holy speech, or, chalilah, forbidden speech and foul language, as well as in the areas of wisdom and knowledge. If the person passes all the tests during this lifetime too, he will be sent back again in order to rectify his thoughts, neshamah. Needless to say, he will come down with his nefesh and ruach as well, for they serve as a lower platform for his neshamah; however, with respect to nefesh and ruach, he will have no freedom of choice, and consequently no possibility of failing.

It is possible that this person will appear in the world as one who is not responsible for his deeds. He has no sins. Whatever he does, even foolish acts, are not attributed to him at all, because they do not touch upon his true self. His soul is above and beyond that. Indeed, when we interact with such a soul — whether it is a child or an adult who still acts like a child — we sense that this is a human being full of soul, full of love. There is a good reason for that. As I have explained, that person is on an extremely high spiritual level.

From here we can gain a deeper explanation of the well-known story of how the Chazon Ish stood up in honor of these special souls, because he said they came to this world only to complete their tikun [rectification]. On a simple level, we can
understand that since the special person is not responsible for his deeds, he has no sins, and therefore there is no other explanation for his existence other than that he has come to the world to rectify his soul.

But on a deeper level, according to what we have learned from the Arizal about the appearance of different souls in the world, it is an additional means of bringing nefesh, ruach and neshamah to this world without freedom of choice, thereby enabling the subconscious thoughts and inner desires that are hidden
within them to fulfill their tasks in this world.

We do not have an awareness of the soul. You see the special-needs
person as one with limitations, one who is incapable of controlling his actions,
for which he is not responsible, according to halachah. He mumbles nonsense or perhaps he is not even capable of that, and when he expresses his thoughts, they are like those of a small child. But take notice: What thoughts can he express? Only his conscious ones. The main part of a person is his subconscious, and how can we even begin to comprehend what goes on in that realm? Therefore, when we are brought into contact with any human being, we must tread carefully, bearing in mind that “the place you are standing on is holy earth,” giving each one the necessary respect and consideration. The more challenged the person is in terms of his speech or behavior, the more he needs our support, and the responsibility grows correspondingly. The fact that he is disabled in terms of motor ability or even mental ability does not make him any more or less deserving of our care, affection or consideration.

The soul, which is the most important part of a person, is not disabled whatsoever. The soul cannot be affected by any ailment or malady – not CP, not Down syndrome, not autism. All those disorders exist only at the lower levels of the person’s existence. It is incumbent upon those who are “healthy” and “normal” to provide special people with all the requirements of the lower parts of their souls so that they can withstand the tests of the “higher parts” and complete the rectification for which they were sent down to this world.

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