Restoring the Soul

Tehillim 19:8

The Torah of HASHEM is perfect, it restores the soul;

As of the writing of this blog it is the beginning of the reading of the Torah for the New Year 5773.

The Torah of HASHEM is perfect because it comes from the Perfect One, our Creator. He wrote in his Torah that nothing shall be added to or subtracted from it. Why – It is perfect in its entirety. Within it the ETERNAL ONE placed in it everything man needs to live by, just like He put everything on the earth to sustain our lives so is the Torah the complete nourishment for our souls.

Not only will it nourish our souls but when our souls get sick and in need of healing the Torah will restore it.

What does restore mean?

To bring back into existence, use, or the like; reestablish: to restore order. To bring back to a former, original, or normal condition, as a building, statue, or painting. To bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor. To put back to a former place, or to a former position, rank, etc.

By applying the Torah to our lives and following its instructions a broken soul can be restored back to its Makers original condition.

Let’s look at an example from this week’s Torah reading from the first parsha of the Torah.

Bereishis/Genesis 4:6-7

And HASHEM said to Cain, “Why are you annoys, and your countenance fallen? Surely, if you improve yourself, you will be forgiven. But if you do not improve yourself, sin rest at the door. Its desire is toward you, yet you can conquer it.”

Here we have G-d questioning Cain about his attitude about the rejection of his offering. G-d does not question the offering but Cain’s depression over the result of his failure.

When one becomes depressed over their failures and self-condemning he lays a foundation for more failure and sinks into despair.

G-d tells Cain how to overcome his failure – “improve yourself” make changes to your actions, do what is right and “you will be forgiven”

The Hebrew word that is translated into English as, ‘forgiven’ literally means to be lifted up – that is what forgiveness does, it lifts you up not only to your original stance but also out of despair.

G-d goes on and tells us that if we do not improve ourselves that sin rest at the door and its desire is toward us – sin or the evil inclination will be like an encroaching tiger about to pounce on its prey. BUT

G-d says we can conquer sin and bring improvement to our lives.

“Yet you can conquer it.”

“i.e. you can prevail over it if you wish(Rashi), for you can mend your ways and cast off your sin. Thus G-d taught Cain about repentance, and that it lies within man’s power to repent whenever he wishes and G-d will forgive him (Ramban).”

“…It lies within man’s province to conquer his baser instincts by exercising the freedom of will given to him. Man is only free when he conquers the bestial portion of his instincts, and not when he permits it to conquer him (Malbim).”

The Torah of HASHEM is perfect.

The Torah of HASHEM says to improve yourself.

The Torah of HASHEM says that improvement brings forgiveness.

The Torah of HASHEM says that you can conquer sin.

The Torah of HASHEM restores the soul.

Terry W. Hayes


I have started a video blog on youtube as well that follows the subjects of my written blogs.


Artscroll Tehillim

Artscroll Chumash Stone Edition

Bereishis –  Artscroll Tanach Series

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