Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “Far above the level of human understanding.”

In the Garden of Eden, the soul exists in a state of pleasure derived from the radiance of the Divine Presence.

The pleasure of the soul does not relate to its existence but is connected with and attributed to the deeds done by that soul in this world.

Just as every soul can have weaknesses and can sin, so does every soul have connections with realms of holiness, whether through performing a divine commandment, studying Torah, or experiencing the elation that stems from holiness.

The soul can cleave to holiness as it is understood within the material world.

However, in truth, we cannot comprehend the genuine sanctity to which the soul relates and connects, since it is far above the level of human understanding.

Even a great person who performs the commandments with inner happiness and devotion and not merely out of obligation is limited by this material existence.

As long as a soul is in a body, all of the souls potential experience is limited by the body’s receptors.

In the Garden of Eden, on the other hand, the soul is in a state in which it can sense and understand everything that happened to it in this world.

Any holy act performed in the world continues to exist on a spiritual plane, and since the soul is open and receptive, it takes pleasure in the radiance of the Divine Presence, or, in other words, from the experience of everything it acquired, and was preoccupied with, in this world.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz