Your Inner Essence – Light or Darkness?

Grand Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach authored an article entitled “Celebrating the Miracle of the Soul” published in the Jewish World Review. He wrote of the Hasidic or Chassidic Jews, a form of mystical Orthodox Judaism that began in the 1700’s in Eastern Europe with a name meaning “Master of the Good Name” in Hebrew:

Every Jew possesses an inner spiritual essence that can’t be tarnished by even the worst sin he commits. This inner spiritual point is so lofty and so holy that it cannot be contaminated. Even a Jew who discards everything “Jewish” retains this inner spiritual essence. This spiritual core is, and always will be, pure and holy. Indeed, it is to this, the Torah (Lev. 16:16) refers when it describes the Creator as He “who dwells with them in the midst of their uncleanliness.”

 Another version of this teaching is expressed by the Talmud (Sanhedrin 44a): “A Jew, even if he sinned, is still a Jew.” In fact, when one hears of a person who has transgressed all the prohibitions of the Torah and yet is awakened by the desire to repent and return to Him, it is a desire for return that emanates from this inner spiritual point.

As a Christian, admittedly I see this text through different eyes, and though I have some minor disagreement with the idea the inner spiritual essence will always be pure and holy no matter if a person completely falls away, I think I understand what is basic here. To be able to completely reject God and yet remain with a pure and holy essence means there is never a person or an angel that can fall from grace, but we know from the Bible that people and angels did in fact fall from grace. We are indeed free to reject God; this is actually true love from God, we are not prisoners in chains. We have freewill to decide what we chose to believe. More important than this discussion is the fact that we are indeed created in the image of God, and when God created us, He said it was good. Therefore, there is indeed a pure and holy spiritual essence in each of us, but we can indeed throw it all away and move to the dark side. There will be a judgment one day for each of us! Whose side are you on?