THE GARDEN OF EDEN: THE DUAL NATURE OF A HUMAN BEING
What is the essence of a human being?
Why are we here in this world?
What is the purpose of our existence?
These are questions that any serious seeker will ask him or herself. Judaism offers powerful answers to these questions through two stories:
The Story of the Garden of Eden
The Story of the Creation of the Universe as described by the sixteenth century Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Ari).
Through the study of the story of the Garden of Eden we reached certain key realizations about humanity and the nature of our world. Chief among them is the truth that one part of us belongs to this world, and another part belongs to a higher realm. Our task in this life is to harmonize these two halves of ourselves and integrate them into one spiritual whole.
We then looked at the Ari’s concepts of shevirat hakalim, or the breaking of the vessels, and tikkun olam, the repair of the universe.
We explored how these two ideas permeate and define the whole of our existence and the goals to which we aspire in our lives. We came to realize that the awareness of the brokenness of this world, and the yearning to repair and uplift it, form the foundation of Judaism’s approach to life.