Sunday, February 24, 2008

Love, relationships and souls

In a previous message, I opened with the question of whether Snape's so-called love for Lily was in fact true love, and discussed the Torah's perspective on the purpose of relationships. I'd like to now discuss this from a different angle.

Several times throughout the Harry Potter series, Dumbeldore tries to teach Harry about the difference between Voldemort's mutilation of his soul and Harry's pure soul characterized by his ability to love. But what does the ability to love have to do with the soul? Isn't love simply an emotion, that can be felt by anyone regardless of the state of their soul?

The Talmud has interesting discussion about how Adam and Eve were created. According to one of the sages, Adam was first created with two faces, essentially comprising Adam and Eve in a single being. When G-d seperated Eve from Adam, He essentially split a double being into two single beings.

What's the point? Was Adam the Torah's version of Dr. Doolittle's PushMePullYou?

Commentaries elaborate that the splitting of Adam and Eve into two beings should be seen as a lesson for married couples throughout time. The Torah's ideal marriage is when a couple see themselves as two halves of the same being, with a single set of goals, aims, and even feelings, which collectively are accomplished by the two of them. It might be building a home together, raising children together, or changing the world together. It might be each person accomplishing different things that collectively fulfill their shared dreams. It might be a lot of things. But it should reflect shared feelings.

The Zohar takes this one step further. The Zohar says that every person has only a half a soul, and the other half of each person's soul is the half-soul of their soulmate. A "soulmate" is just that -- the person whose half-soul is the exact mate of the other's half-soul.

So we see a clear connection between love, love in a relationship and by analogy Harry Potter's ability to love, and the proper state of a person's soul. A person who can love is a person whose soul is in the shape that it was created, the half-soul that will perfectly match their soulmate's half-soul.

There's a lot more to say about this concept, interested readers can read this article for more exploration.

Any opinions or feelings on the subject? Feel free to leave comments below!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

For Hebrew speakers: הארי פוטר והתורה

To any Hebrew speakers (non-English readers)...

הבלוג הזה עבור הספר הארי פוטר והתורה
שנכתב באנגלית
אם אתם מעוניינים לקרוא בנוסא הזה ולא יכול לקרוא באגלית
בבקשה תשאיר הערה פה
או תשלח דו'א ל

דב קרולוויץ

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

NYC's J Levine Judaica now selling Harry Potter and Torah

To all you New Yorkers who want to see a copy of Harry Potter and Torah before buying it, head over to J Levine Books at 5 W 30th Street in Manhattan.

Besides having copies in their store, they're also selling it on-line.