Vayak'hel: Chapter 30

Whoever eats without a prayer


Rabbi Shimon opens with "You shall not eat with the blood, neither shall you practice divination nor soothsaying." He says that whoever eats without praying for his blood is the same as someone who practices divination and soothsaying. We learn that during the nights the souls go up, and since man is sustained by the power that permeates the blood he tastes death, for the power of the blood is not strong enough to receive the power of the Neshamah. Therefore when a man awakens he is not pure; the Other Side has power over a place vacant of soul. Even after a person washes himself with water, the Nefesh rules him, not the Neshamah. But when he prays, the power of the Neshamah is strengthened and the man is properly perfected with the Nefesh below and the Neshamah above. Finally, Rabbi Shimon explains how a man who eats before praying is considered a diviner and a soothsayer.