One Chanukah, when I was a teenager, a friend showed me a cool trick. If you snuff out a candle, the smoke rises from the wick for a few seconds. If you place another flame directly in that smoke , the flame will actually follow the smoke down and relight the candle. I made a video showing it here. It's a cool trick, but I never really understood the real meaning of it, until last week when I realized that this is exactly what happened to my son when I blew his soul back into him!
"A candle of G-d is the soul of man" (Proverbs 20, 27). Chassidus elaborates on the parallels. Flames don't want to exist. They want to expire & fly back up to where they came from in heaven. It's the wick and fuel that tie the flame down and keep it from expiring. So too, a soul wants to fly back up to heaven, where it came from, and the body is what keeps the soul down here alive.
As a flame is extinguished, and it's en route back up to heaven, a trail of smoke follows it. Even though the flame is already gone from the wick, if you catch it midway, and put another flame into the smoke trail, the flame will climb back down to the wick.
You may have heard that I pulled my son's lifeless from the bottom of a pool a couple months back. There's no doubt in my mind that his soul was on it's way back up to heaven. Luckily, while his soul wasn't in him, it hadn't made it all the way back to heaven either. Without any training in CPR, I put him on the concrete and started alternating between blowing into his mouth and pumping his chest. After about 30 seconds, the flame of his soul came back, and he started to faintly breathe.
You see? This flame trick is actually a perfect analogy of CPR! It catches the soul midway and pulls it back! What a privilege to see how King Solomon's analogy of "A flame of G-d is the soul of man" is literal in every detail. The entire Torah is true in every detail. As we go through life, if we pay attention, we can see more and more of this truth.
It's been brewing for a while, but the events of this week underscore a sad milestone in the path America seems to be on. The majority of Americans, on both sides of the political aisle, believe that America is heading in the wrong direction. Each side blames the other with evidence and rationale to explain their beliefs. As Jews, we aren't loyal to either political side. The Previous Rebbe once said about politics, "Nothing can exist without the truth of Torah. Whatever truth exists in each political side is from Torah." I've been wanting to write this idea down for a while now, but have been waiting for the right time. Hopefully that time is now. Many political systems and empires have achieved the status of world power, from the Babylonians, to the Romans, to the Turks, the British, and for the last 300 years, America. America has been a tremendously benevolent country, and has created unprecedented prosperity. However, empires' status as world p
Here is a story that happened to me, While I was still swimming in my mother’s tummy. An angel, a malach, came over to me, And taught me the Torah from Aleph to Z. But then he tapped me so hard on my nose, And I felt it all leave from my head through my toes. I forgot all the Torah that he had taught to me, And just then I popped out of mommy’s tummy. For years, it bothered me. Why did all that Torah flee? Then one day while walking I saw an old man. Can I ask you a question, and he said, yes you can. So I asked the old man who seemed so soft and kind, Why did the Torah disappear from my mind? And if all that Torah I had to forget, Why did they teach me from the onset? The old man looked down at me with a smile, To explain this one, he said, will take quite a while. Because of your parents love and care. Most things that they have they will certainly share, But some things they won’t, like a diamond or a gem, They won’t let anyone get close to them. Our father, Hashem, is the King of