Proof of the Soul
Rabbi Israel Chait
Recorded by a student from Rabbi Chait on 10/7/2021
We can prove the human soul by comparing an animal to a human. When an animal sees a plank of wood, it views it merely as an obstacle to avoid. But man sees a series of points, length, breath…an ideational concept. He can create a triangle and theorems. Man sees an ideational entity.
In his Peirush Hamishnayos on Chagiga (chap. 2) Maimonides says, “Man should praise the soul” [he should view it as valuable]. Maimonides quoted Chazal: “One who has no pity on the honor of his creator, better he never existed, for he studies outside his capabilities and outside his nature.” [He says this about one who ponders 4 prohibited areas of thought: what is above the Earth, what is below it, what preceded creation and what comes after it. Chagiga 11b.] Maimonides says, “One who has no pity on the honor of his creator” refers to one who has no pity or mercy on his intellect, for the intellect is God’s honor, [and if he ponders matters outside his capacity] he has no [correct] evaluation of this matter [intellect] that was given to him.