Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A new Creation in the Morning


Every morning after waking up, Jews say a special blessing thanking G – d for returning their soul (Neshama) back into the body. According to the “Kitzur Shulchan Aruch”, the blessing “Mode Ani …” is said even before washing one’s hands.

Every morning, our life begins anew. Just like a new creation. The kabbalistic ZOHAR teaches that our souls leave our bodies when we sleep in order to rise to the upper spiritual worlds. However, this doesn’t mean that the soul is undergoing only positive experiences. Sometimes the Neshama has difficulties going up and gets stuck in some lower impurity levels. This may cause us bad dreams.

As soon as the soul leaves our body while we sleep, the body itself is regarded as “dead”. Dead always means “Tumah – Impurity”. This is the reason why we first wash our hands after waking up. When we wake up, our soul is immediately returned into the body but the former Tumah remains until we wash our hands. Chassidim take this Halacha very seriously and place a bowl of water next to their beds. Other people usually get up and go to a sink in order to wash their hands ritually (with a Natlah).

In the morning, the alarm clock rings and we are upset. We are either still tired, in a bad mood, not in the mood to go to work or the opposite. However, who is thinking about the new creation just taking place ? G – d decided to give us our Neshama back. We wake up and this alone is like a total new creation.

Who of us is thinking about the great miracle just taking place ?

1 comment:

  1. "When we wake up, our soul is immediately returned into the body but the former Tumah remains until we wash our hands"

    To be precise, the Tumah leaves our entire body when we wake up at morning, except for the hands (more particularly the fingertips). That's why we don't wash our entire body when waking up, but only the hands, because when sleeping, our hands came into contact with our body (as you said, sleeping is a form of death. In fact, it is said in Kabbalah that it represent 1/60th of death) but also with parts of our body which are normaly covered. That tumah can leave only after negel vasser (netilas yodaim, which literaly means "raising of hands" and not "hands washing").

    For the rest, you said it all.

    Concerning your last question, unfortunately, most of us (or many among us) don't have proper Kavannah while ushering the birchas hashochar. it is a pity because those blessings we say every morning contain deep teachings in them.