Come and see: on Shabbat, when the day is
sanctified, souls emerge from the Tree of Life ; these holy souls flow down and rest on them [the Jews]
throughout the Shabbat day. At the end of Shabbat, all these souls go up
to be crowned with holy crowns above [by means of the words of Torah that
they heard or said during Shabbat]. Also G‑d summons for that man [the
additional Shabbat soul that we receive in honor of Shabbat]. This is
the additional soul. And though this soul came to him, as for the soul he had before,
the food of the first one, "her clothing, and her duty of marriage, shall he
not diminish," according to the explanation given.
BeRahamim LeHayyim: What does the above mean for you, and why is
it being revealed to you now?
What does it mean that we receive an additional soul on Shabbat? R.
Eliyahu Dessler wrote in a letter to close students that
it means an increased potential for holiness from heaven. He heard from
his teacher, the Alter of Kelm, that if someone does not personally feel an
added sanctity on Shabbat, it is a sign that he or she has no such
additional soul! And if someone never feels holiness in his
life, it is an indication that he has no soul. Only with teshuva
will his soul return.
Now that's pretty harsh, Nu?! A very Mussar-like approach to
holiness. And frightening to say the least. We are redeemed,
however, by R. Shimshon Pincus' approach to prayer, that we actually feel
holiness and the additional soul more than we think. Sometimes
on Yom Kippur, or when davening at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, or maybe
saying Lecha Dodi on Friday night. R. Shimshon Pincus says that
based on the Rambam in The Guide to the Perplexed, if you want the
Shechina to be with you, then all you have to do is think about
Hashem, then voila, He is with you! To access this soul,
just think about it. Which is why in Sefardi prayerbooks it says after
Boi Kalah on Friday night: Think that the extra Nefesh has descended
in to you. After Barchu, it tells us to think that the extra
Ruach has entered, and after Ufros Aleinu, the extra Neshama.
This awareness itself brings the additional Neshama from within.
Bracketed annotations from Metok Midevash and Sulam commentaries
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