One of the fundamental beliefs of Judaism is that the physical world is a reflection of the spiritual.
This is a study of supernatural selection, not that the greatest adaptations survive, but that the actions of a generation can eternally influence the existence of their progeny and the spiritual nature of the universe.
Why do people strive for wealth? One reason is that wealth puts one in a position to afford one’s needs and wants. The same is true for any goal that one strives to achieve. There is a means and an end.
This truism applies in the spiritual realm too.
Hashem (God) created human beings, placing neshamos (souls) in physical bodies. Our mission is to utilise the physical to nurture the spiritual aspect of existence.
Human beings are created in the image of Hashem, meaning that we have the ability to transcend the spiritual levels of even angels and attain a likeness to Godliness beyond any other creature (kedusha - holiness.)
By striving for spiritual connection and knowledge of Hashem, we have the potential to transcend physicality and live at the level of supernatural.
This is a spiritual law and if addressed properly, is a guaranteed outcome. Yet it does not come easily and only the select few have maximised their earning capacity in spiritual levels in this world.
Two such individuals were Avraham Avinu (our father) and Sarah Imeinu (our mother.) By applying all their beings to Hashem’s mission, they transcended natural barrenness to have a child at the ages of 99 and 90 respectively.
Avraham’s ultimate spiritual test was, after a life completely dedicated to spreading the name of a merciful and benevolent Creator and shunning all forms of cruelty and idolatry, to be prepared to slaughter and offer his son up to Hashem, which he passed faultlessly, without actually doing the deed.
This act of Avraham, earned a level in spirituality that not only raised him above physical nature, but his descendants were now predestined to live an existence outside of nature; supernatural selection.
Around 400 years later, Avraham’s descendants, the Jewish people are freed from Egypt in the greatest show of Supernatural since the creation (see God in Judaism.)
They go on to experience the splitting of the sea, Revelation of Sinai, Mun from Heaven, clouds of glory and water from the rock.
They come to Israel, a land unlike any other, which transcends nature and is the perfect place to live a supernatural existence for eternity. They are virtually invincible and at the level where they can conquer the land without bearing arms (Rashi; Devarim 1:8)
They lower their spiritual status by sending spies; the spies descend down into a natural level of worldly interaction, give a doomsday report, the people cry and Hashem responds “...you cried with no cause, I will give you cause to cry through the generations.” That night was Tisha B’Av. (Gemora Taanis 29a.)
Hashem doesn’t change – He built into Creation the ability for human beings to acquire or lose levels of spirituality – closeness to Him (kedusha.)
The level of required exertion in the physical realm is inversely proportional to achievement in the spiritual realm.
Continued: Beliefs of Judaism Part 2