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The mission of Hebrew Seminary is to train rabbis and Jewish educators to serve all Jewish communities, including the deaf community. Hebrew Seminary has been an inclusive and egalitarian community for the study and practice of Judaism since our founding in 1992.
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In joyous anticipation of summer, our April newsletter explores Jewish wedding traditions. This is the first of a series of postings from an interview with Hebrew Seminary President Rabbi Dr. Douglas Goldhamer.
Rabbi, you often talk about the soul. Teach us about finding our soul mate.
Christians teach that the soul is established at conception. Judaism teaches that the soul is established when the baby leaves the mother’s womb and takes her first breath. The Hebrew word for breath and for soul are the same.
The Kabbalah teaches that there is a world of souls and everyday thousands and thousands of souls rain down from this world of souls. As soon as one of these souls hits the earth, it breaks up into many pieces of the same soul. Let’s say piece “A” of soul number one enters a newborn boy and two years later piece “B” of the same soul enters a newborn girl. Twenty years later the little boy with the little piece of soul number one meets the little girl who also has a piece of soul number one within her and they fall in love. We say kabbalistically they fell in love because they are of the same soul, they are soul mates. They fell in love because they both share the same soul that originated in the world of souls in heaven. That’s where we get the expression, “a marriage made in heaven.” There are so many possibilities for so many people to get married according to the Kabbalah.