All of Mankind is Interwoven and Interdependent

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Man was meant to live forever. We were originally created and designed to be a spiritual /physical unity that has an infinite connection with our Creator, and does not die. This is hard to fathom given the biological reality we live with. Death is the one thing that all mortals consider inevitable. How did the plan for humanity get changed so drastically? Rabbi Luzzatto explains: The first creation made a fundamental mistake and ate the fruit that God said not to. That mistake changed him from a pure being into a mixture of purity and impurity. That mixture cannot be perfected unless it undergoes disintegration and renewal. This mistake affected all of us because we are all pieces of him. You might say – we die for his sin. If we were to collectively rectify the blemish Adam created we could once again reach a perfection that denies the inevitability of death. This is an example of a major principle that runs through Kabbalah – that mankind, as an extension of the first man, is one.

Our collective purpose of connecting to the Infinite is thwarted by any one individual’s transgression. Therefore we bear the negative consequences of other’s mistakes. We find this expressed in the Yom Kippur liturgy. The formal confession, that is repeated a number of times during the prayers, is expressed in the plural: “We have betrayed. We have stolen. We have slandered, etc.” Upon reading this the first time everyone asks, “Why am I confessing to things I haven’t done?” The answer is we are all responsible for each other’s mistakes because we are one. Don’t worry though; it works in our favor as well. Your fellow man benefits you with his mitzvahs. We can elevate each other or bring each other down. How can it be fair that I’m held accountable for someone else’s transgression? The sages tell us that it’s not possible for one person to transgress unless the desire for that transgression lies in the heart of us all.

The Torah enjoins us to study all the commandments, even if you don’t think you personally will violate all of them. We are also commanded to educate each other, and point out (in a kind, loving, and sensitive way) the violations that we see in each other. It’s expected that we protest wrongdoing, and try to convince others of their mistakes. Commandments like, “Don’t stand idly be when someone’s life is in danger” (Leviticus 19:16), underline the communal responsibility that permeates the Torah. These are not merely moral injunctions but expressions of the spiritual reality that we are all connected. If the essence of man is the soul, and the soul is connected to the Infinite, then all souls are connected and therefore one.

It may seem schizophrenic but many of us may not be only who we think we are. We may be carrying around an extra soul from someone else. We may be here for the second or third time. We may be a reincarnation of someone else, a piece of someone else, or we may share a soul with someone else who is living. It’s even said that there is a piece of Moses in every one of us. These are not aspects of our idea of all humanity being connected, yet they accentuate the interconnectedness of the spiritual realm.

Our interdependence connects us throughout our entire history. From the time of the first human until the time of the intended perfection of all humanity. We see this in the kabbalistic teaching that the name Adam hints to this by being an acronym of the first letters of Adam, David, and Messiah in Hebrew. It seems that the DNA of the three major eras of mankind were inscribed in the first creation. It just might be that when mankind realizes how tied to one another we really are the ultimate perfection and purpose of creation will be at hand. And then we will live forever.See more of these essays on