Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “He must relinquish his soul to God”

When a person knows that his soul is essentially bound to God, and when he is prepared to relinquish it to Him, then he is open to the Divine and is ready to begin praying and learning Torah.

In order for the words of prayer and Torah to have value, the person speaking them must be connected to God, which means that he must relinquish his soul to God.

Otherwise, what he is doing is only a game that he is playing by himself, whether to gain emotional or intellectual pleasure, in which he may or may not be including the attempt to create a connection with the Creator.

The only expression of a true, fundamental relationship between a human being and his Creator is the human being’s total and unconditional surrender of his soul to God.

The willingness to relinquish one’s soul exists within every Jew, but since often this is spontaneously revealed only in moments of crisis, in normal times it must be actively evoked.

A person prepares his soul for such an awakening by saying “My God, the soul that You have placed within me…” before he begins an act of divine service such as a mitzva, Torah study, or prayer.

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz