Press "Enter" to skip to content

What is the relationship between matter and spirit? How does it differ between Modern Orthodox and Chassidic thought?

Are matter and spirit one and the same thing, or two different things? Will there be matter in Olam HaBa (the next life), or only spirit?

I follow this Kabbalah-themed page on facebook. It’s largely composed of Tzvi Freeman (Chabad rabbi) quotes, and one of them stuck out to me recently. I don’t have the quote on hand, but it was something about how the soul yearns to be freed from the limits of the body, or something like that.

Again I haven’t seriously studied Kabbalah before, but from what I know of it, I get the vibe that Kabbalah (and, thus, kabbalistic denominations like Chabad) takes a somewhat negative view of matter, the human body, and the world at large. Matter is portrayed as (if my understanding is correct) an inferior form of spirit, and I’ve seen quotes about how this world, Olam HaZeh is “mostly darkness”.

I find it hard to accept this view. I’m still pretty uneducated when it comes to Torah, but in prayer I find myself experiencing G-d in large part by appreciating the things he has created, by experiencing the resplendent beauty of Olam HaZeh and seeing G-d in it all. To that end I prefer to do Hitbodedut outdoors. “Taste and see that the L-rd is good” (Psalm 34:8), right? Again I’m pretty uneducated still, but I feel there is a deep connection between the spiritual and the material.

Are there rabbinical views that take a more positive view of the material world? Also correct me if I’ve misunderstood the Kabbalistic view.

submitted by /u/wingedhussar161
[link] [comments]
Source: Reditt