Discover the Divine attributes that color your soul. Unearth how your soul's Divine roots guide your unique path to spiritual connection. * On Tanya for 12 Elul.
Have you ever pondered why people experience spirituality in such diverse ways? Some seem to effortlessly exude joy and passion in their religious practices, while others appear to be more reserved and introspective. Could it be that our different modes of spiritual expression are actually guided by the very roots of our souls?
The lesson from Tanya explains that the root of one’s soul can be traced to either of the two Divine attributes—chesed (kindness) and gevurah (strength). "Depending on the root of their souls above, in the categories of the ‘right’ (chesed) and the ‘left’ (gevurah), there are two distinct kinds and levels of service to G-d." The nature of these roots informs whether one's spiritual journey is marked by expansiveness or by restraint.
The really intriguing part here is that our ways of serving G-d aren’t mere personal styles or cultural differences. Rather, they are deep-seated spiritual inclinations rooted in Divine attributes. How you engage in spiritual practices isn’t just about you; it's a mirror reflecting aspects of the Divine.
Drawing upon the Zohar, we find a beautiful elucidation that "Chesed and Gevurah are like two arms that together uphold the universe" (Zohar I, 11b). Here, we see that both attributes have cosmic significance and serve distinct, yet mutually supporting, roles in the spiritual tapestry of creation.
In the Midrash, it is noted that "G-d created the world with chesed but saw that it could not stand, so He associated it with gevurah" (Bereshit Rabbah 12:15). This ancient teaching reveals how the attributes of chesed and gevurah are not just personal tendencies but are integral to the very fabric of existence.
So, as we make our way through the maze of modern life, let's take a moment to appreciate that our individual pathways to Divine service are not just personal choices but reflections of Divine wisdom. Whether your spiritual journey feels expansive or reserved, remember that both are rooted in the Divine attributes, serving to enrich our collective connection to G-d.