13 minutes | Jun 9, 2021

Ep. 32 Right, Left and Center in Jewish Law and Kabbalah

Why does Jewish law always prioritize the right side to the left?  

When you get dressed in the morning, the Code of Jewish Law writes that you should put your right hand in first.  It also writes that you should bathe your right side of your body first.  We cover our eyes for Shema with our right hand, place mezuzahs on the right side of the doorpost and many other examples.

So what is the concept of 'right' and 'left' in Jewish thought?  

Join me as we look at the Kabbalistic concept of right and left, corresponding to chessed (kindness) and gevurah (restraint), and we'll discover how that's really the backdrop of all of these laws.  The fundamental principle drawn from here is a basic building block of all relationships as discussed in the episode.

Happy Listening!

Rabbi Moshe

thethinkingjew.com


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Sources:

Code of Jewish Law, OC 2:4, one example of prioritizing the right side - https://www.sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh%2C_Orach_Chayim.2.4?lang=bi&p2=Mishnah_Berurah.2.5&lang2=bi

Tikunei Zohar, Introduction, 17a, kabbalistic source of right corresponding to kindness and left to justice and restraint -  https://www.sefaria.org/Tikkunei_Zohar.17a?lang=bi

Job 19:26, source of understanding G-d through analyzing the human body - https://www.sefaria.org/Job.19.26?lang=bi

Psalms 89:3, G-d created a world of kindness - https://www.sefaria.org/Psalms.89.3?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

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