handing over one's soul

[was out sick for the past three days, stay tuned for all the backlogged posts that should come out over the next two days.. plus hopefully regular new ones.. like, for example:]

While learning today's Tanya, I uncovered what was for me a very great secret. The word כה often comes up in the context of the Jewish people in the Torah. In fact, today's Tanya was the end of perek כה (the 25th perek) of Likkutei Amarim. This is what gave it away, the Baal HaTanya talks about how this midah of ours of mesirat nefesh (מסירת נפש) is the lynch-pin of our Torah observance, of cleaving to God and proper repentance. (תשובה) Suddenly it clicked with עקדת יצחק (the binding of Yitzhak) where Avraham says אני והנער נלכה עד כה. (I and the child will go as far as כה) This is significant because Yitzhak's life was going to be offered..the literal translation of מסירת נפש - mesirat nefesh.

So now I finally know that כה is the midah of mesirat nefesh, of being willing to give your life in the name of God.

In hindsight it's also illustrated in the word itself, made up of a kaf (כ) which wmeans palm, (or spoon) and the letter heh (ה) which represents the soul and (it has gematria 5) it's five levels, nefesh being the lowest of the five levels. So כה is literally the handing over of your soul.

[I also discussed כה at the end of this post on shabbath]


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