Why Neshama?

What’s in a name? In Judaism, names mean everything. Just looking at the Bible, we see people whose names were changed to reflect what G-d was doing in their lives. Avram and Sarai became Avraham and Sarah. Ya’acov became Yisra’el. Hoshea became Yehoshua. These are just a few of the examples we can find and that’s not even mentioning people who didn’t have name changes, but were given significant names to begin with.

With this in mind, the name for this new ministry was not selected randomly. It was carefully chosen with the intent that it would reflect the goals and spirit of the ministry and community that we are seeking to create. We pray that this becomes a vibrant online community where women can share and exchange ideas and spur each other on to a deeper understanding of the Word and relationship with G-d.

At the core of that goal is the belief that without knowledge and understanding (da’at and binah), we only scratch at the surface of who G-d is and how we relate to Him and the world around us.

For the L-RD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge (da’at) and understanding (binah)… Proverbs 2:6

Photo Jun 27, 8 40 39 PMThat very knowledge and understanding that we are looking for, and that we desperately need,  comes from the mouth of Ad-nai.  If we look in Job, we will see the same word, binah, used again and the source of that “understanding” is more fully revealed.

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty (nishmat Sh-ddai), that makes him understand. Job 32:8

It is the very breath that comes from G-d that imbues us with understanding and knowledge.  This breath is the breath that breathes life into us and makes us the thinking, feeling human beings that we are.  His breath expands us physically and spiritually.

then the L-RD G-d formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (nishmat chayim), and the man became a living creature. Genesis 2:7

The breath of life….the breath of the Almighty….that is Neshama.  This word is sometimes translated as “soul” for indeed, who we are, our soul, is breathed into us by the breath of G-d.  We are just empty vessels until we receive that Neshama, but the breath that comes from the mouth of G-d reaches into our very core and fills us with knowledge and understanding.

Photo Jun 27, 8 52 15 PM

Too often and for too long in the body of Messiah, we have left the vast majority of “thinking” to others.  As women, we are quick to inhabit the realm of emotions and feelings.  That comes most naturally to the vast majority of us, and let’s face it, it’s easy to talk about feelings.  We are biologically wired for that.  We have ceded the domain of understanding and knowledge.  We have not staked our territory and demanded of ourselves that we be held to a high standard – expected to learn and dig deep into the scriptures – to fully know our Creator.  We have not spoken up with the unique understanding (binah) and perspective that G-d has given us.  Our silence is deafening.

That is our challenge to you at Neshama – and our goal.  We want this to be a place where you can be who you were created to be.  You are emotions.  You are creativity.  You are laughter.  You are knowledge.  You are understanding.  You are Neshama.

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