Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Materialistic and physical motives.”

On the individual psychological level, most people live in a state of exile.

During prayer and while serving God, the individual leads an exalted life.

When engaged in Torah study or in prayer, he avows that his physical life, the life of the body, is secondary and of little importance for his true, inner life, the life of the spirit and the soul.

At such times, a person earnestly thinks that his life is dedicated to drawing near to God, to transforming himself into a receptacle for the Divine Light.

However, after the prayer concludes and when he is not engaged in Torah study, this same person leads a completely physical life.

All his desires and aspirations are like those of any ordinary person.

Materialistic and physical motives and goals determine his way of life.

The life of such a person is conducted within a dual framework, full of inner contradictions.

Yet he himself is totally unaware of the existence of such contradictions in his life.

As in a dream, he accepts the existing picture of reality.

He fails to understand that this situation is illogical and impossible.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz