Tazria: Chapter 18

"and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life"


The second son of the marked man gives us this lesson. He says that man was born with two inclinations, the Good Inclination (corresponding to water) and the Evil Inclination (corresponding to fire). He says that the breath of life is the holy Neshamah that comes from Binah that produced the earth. The Neshamah has permission to ascend and speak before God. When a man sins or speaks evil, the Shechinah leaves him and an evil spirit comes to dwell on him, since holiness has departed from him. He is blemished everywhere, including in his flesh. People are also punished for omitting to speak good words when they should have, because this blemishes the speaking spirit.