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The Complex Approach of Kind David

Each of the methods of Tikkun ha-Berit listed in the last chapter is logical, but involves only one of aspects of human nature. It remains unclear how all these aspects connect. And also, what is the correct sequence of using different methods? Despite the fact that Rambam speaks of integrity of man in his works and offers his model “the five aspects of the soul” (“8 Chapters”), even he does not explain interrelation mechanisms of these aspects clearly enough. In addition, Rambam, while developing his model, relies more on scientific knowledge about man than on the text of Scripture.

The sages teach that while careful studying the Tanakh you can find answers to all the questions concerning a man. Hence, you can find there a complex view of the structure of man. Where is the answer to our question in the Tanakh? In Psalm 16.

A lot of Divine wisdom is concealed in this Psalm. We'll consider only that part which directly concerns the internal order of man. David devotes the propositions 2–7 to his thoughts. There are the thoughts of God among them: “O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee” (16:2), “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot” (16:5), “I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons” (16:7); the thoughts of righteous men: “But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight” (16:3); thoughts of sinners: “Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another [god]: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips”(16:4); thoughts of his own life: “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage” (16:6). After the detailed description of the thoughts, King David speaks of Imagination. “I have set the LORD always before me: because [He] is at my right hand, I shall not be moved” (16:8). Positive emotion is the result of positive thoughts and positive images. “Therefore my heart is glad.” Further, down the chain, a burst of energy, “and my glory rejoiceth.” And all this is reflected in the physiology that, “my flesh also shall rest in hope” (16:9).

Let us consider the phrase “my glory rejoiceth” in more detail and examine how it relates to energy. In Hebrew it sounds so, “vayagel kvodi.” The verb “vayagel” comes from the noun “gal,” “wave” (cf. “galgal:” “wheel”). This verb, which has no exact translation in the English language [Not sure: the author speaks of the Russian language! — Daniel Alievsky], in itself speaks about the movement, associated with the subsequent noun “kvodi,” “my glory.” The word “kavod” is used in the Tanakh in several senses, and the correct understanding follows from the context. For example, in a prophetic vision of Yechezkel (3:12) the prophet hears the voice saying: “Blessed be the glory of the LORD from his place,” and in Psalm 63 it's said: “To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee (‘hazotiha’) in the sanctuary” (63:3). The meaning of the word “glory” in this case is clearly different from its meaning in the commandment, “Honour (‘kabed’, the imperative of ‘kavod’) thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). We see that the word “kavod” sometimes describes an external relation to an object, and sometimes its internal state, such as, “the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34,35). Likewise, the phrase “vayagel kvodi” in the discussed 16th Psalm describes the internal state of a man, namely its energy state8. For a self-test, let's substitute the meaning “honour, respect” into the 16th Psalm. The result is absurd. Honour and respect depend on the emotional state (“Therefore my heart is glad”), but it is false9.

Thus, the complex approach of King David, formulated in the 16th Psalm, schematically looks like this:

Thought → Imagination → Emotion → Energy → Physiology

It is seen from the Pharaoh's “patent,” that this chain works not only “top-down,” but also vice versa. The conception of happiness of Rabbi Nachman of Braslav shows that working with emotions can draw off the energy from below and clean it and , moreover, give a new task for Imagination. Thanks to these two examples, it becomes clear that the complex approach helps to understand the workings of each method on the basis of the knowledge of the internal logic of the Divine order of man.

And yet, King David's Complex approach allows us to understand what other levels we have to use (in addition to the methods described in the previous chapter) to achieve Tikkun.

Important note. Despite the fact that the Complex approach is discussed in this book in a context of Tikkun ha-Berit, its value is much wider. This King David's Psalm provides a comprehensive method of diagnosis and proper selection of ways of eliminating problems in the way of achieving complete psychical and physical health. I plan to speak on this, with the help of God, in another paper.


  1. Besides the word “Kavod,” Tanakh also uses a number of terms related to energy, such as the Ruah, Oz, Koah, Hail, Tuma, and Tahora.
  2. Over the centuries, Jewish sages struggled with the literal understanding, among the people, of anthropomorphisms used in the Torah in relation to God. Now no one interprets such expressions as “Hand of God” and “Eye of God” literally. The problem, acute in our time, is interpretation of some terms of the Torah in form of abstract concepts. This delusion is not less dangerous than the previous one, because it makes the Torah, in people's eyes, from the description of the Divine order of the world into an abstract system, God forbid! It is necessary to understand that such words as Ruah, Shekhinah, Kavod, Tuma, Tahora and others are terms that indicate objectively existing phenomena.
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