Holy Sparks

A kabbalistic concept of the light found in all creation.

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Hasidism and the Holy Sparks

The doctrine of the holy sparks occupies a prominent place in Hasidism. But in this movement the whole doctrine was further developed in two ways. First, unlike in the Lurianic kabbalah, which makes little of the holy sparks residing in food and other worldly things, except when the discussion has to do with the performance of the precepts, Hasidism taught that it is incumbent on the Hasid to be fully engaged in worldly affairs in order to reclaim the holy sparks inherent in the food, drink, and other worldly things.

Secondly, in Hasidism each individual has his own holy sparks, as in the Lurianic system, but, in addition, his own sparks in creation which only he and no other can reclaim. Because of this one finds many Hasidic tales of a master being propelled by a force beyond his control to journey to distant places for no other purpose than to carry out there some task, otherwise neutral or insignificant, that would have the effect of rescuing the holy sparks held there captive by the kelipot--those sparks awaiting the one rescuer whose soul-root is close to them in the divine scheme, like the princess in the ogre's castle who will only consent to be rescued by the particular knight in shining armor to whom she has plighted her troth.

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Rabbi Louis Jacobs

Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs (1920-2006) was a Masorti rabbi, the first leader of Masorti Judaism (also known as Conservative Judaism) in the United Kingdom, and a leading writer and thinker on Judaism.