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05 April 2016

Life and Death

A few weeks ago our Sabbath dinner conversation turned to deep questions: What is life? What is death?

I didn’t have a solid answer readily at hand. As a believer, I know we should have a Biblically-based understanding of such things, so I started at the beginning of Scripture… with Adam.

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)


Consider those unique moments of Creation when Adam was made. In the time between the formation of Adam’s flesh and when G-d breathed into his nostrils, his body was 100% human and 100% flawless, undefiled, and uncorrupted… and yet not fully alive. It was only after G-d breathed the breath of life ( נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים, nishemat chayyom in Hebrew) into Adam’s body that he became a living being ( לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, l’nephesh chayah).

I think of it like a basic algebra equation: the body + the breath of life = a living being.

A+B=C… simple, right?

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Yom Sheni, 14 Nisan, 5784 - Pesach

Monday, April 22, 2024


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