Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:November 13, 2013
The portion Vayishlach is the story of Jacob battling the angel, and is the first time that the Torah speaks about the battle between ourselves and the Sitra Achra, the Negative Side. One of the ways this battle takes place with us on a daily basis is through our words.
It says in Song of Songs, nafshi yitzah bidvaro, which translates as, “my soul went out in speech.” What does that mean?
The Baal Shem Tov said that every word that comes out of our mouth takes with it a part of our soul. So, if every word that we speak takes with it a part of our soul, there’s now a diminishment, a lack, in our soul that needs to be filled, and it is the words themselves which tell the Creator to send in a new spark of Light. But that new Light is dependent on the words that we are using; if a person is saying positive words, then the Light that it is asking to become rejuvenated with is coming from the positive side and therefore the new Light that is being entered into that soul is from the positive side. But if a person is speaking negative words, then the lack is filled from the Negative Side.
In every word that a person says, he does two things: he takes out a part of his soul, and he causes a new part to come in. The new part that is coming in is going to be dependent on the type of words that he is saying in the first place. For example, when you have a car, every once in a while you have to change the oil, because as you use the car, the oil gets dirty and you’ve got to change it. And if you don’t change it over time as you are going, the car is going to break down. The same is true with our soul. This is the way we can sustain our soul. This is the cycle that we go through. Everything about us, good or bad, is dependent on the words that we say.
This is an important concept, because it also helps us understand the power of reading the Zohar.
The Ari says that for somebody who wants to correct his past there’s almost nothing as powerful as reading the Zohar, because every word of the Zohar that you speak takes out a part of your soul, and therefore the new Light that’s going to come in is going to come from the Light of the Zohar. And now your soul becomes more pure in every word that you say because you are scooping out the old soul and putting in a new soul from the Zohar. If a person read Zohar, let’s say for a month straight, and said no other words, he’d have an unbelievably pure soul. Because what he’s done is he has taken out all the old junk and replenished it with the Light of the Zohar.
That’s what reading the Zohar does. That’s the ultimate level. But the first level, which has to be clear to us, will hopefully change everything about the way we view our words and about the way we talk. Positive words replenish our soul with positive Light. Negative words replenish our soul with negative energy. Ultimately, this is a really beautiful thing, that we have the power through our words to cleanse our soul.
On this Shabbat, we are able to begin to draw great strength in our daily battle with the Negative Side. One way we can do that is through purifying our words; when we sit down with the Zohar, and read the words, we ask that every word we say takes out a part of our soul which is not 100% pure, and send back a pure replenishment.