This one is a little deeper—but it’s important for a lot of us. So many people believe that the only way to be spiritual is by ignoring their bodies. To them the body is just a lead weight chaining down the spirit. Others believe the opposite—they think that by doing Yoga and Tai Chi and other physical practices, they’re going to reach a spiritual high.

Both paths are headed down a cul de sac. The body isn’t an end in itself, but neither is it the ugly monster some make it out to be. The Kabbalists say that a soul waits above in a heavenly place of abundant light and ever-increasing ecstasy for thousands of years for a chance to come below into the confines of a physical body. Why? Because when the soul is just spiritual, it can only receive light. Light is like information—it can be very exciting, but it’s not “the thing itself.” Only by entering a physical body and doing some mitzvahs and learning some Torah while it’s there, can the soul touch the Essence, the place from where all that light comes.

That’s why the great Chassidic Master, the Maggid of Mezritch, said, “A small hole in the body is a big hole in the soul.” Because the soul really needs the body, just like an astronaut needs his spacesuit. Whatever path you are on, make sure it’s taking care of both the body and soul in harmony, as one.

— Rabbi Infinity, your favorite Kabbalist