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Friday, August 7, 2020 - 17 Av 5780
 
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Robots and Souls
We have already become accustomed to technology extending the range of our human senses. Our computers and iPhones process information faster than the human brainand expand our memory. Our communication systems vastly expand the reach of the human voice. Microscopes, telescopes, X-rays and MRIs allow us to visualize what the human eye could never perceive on its own.

Now scientists have invented the most powerful body extender yet. It is a suit that transforms its wearer into a real superman. One who is wearing it can lift a 100-kilogram load 500 times in succession with no effort. With just a bit more development, it will enable soldiers to carry heavy loads for long distances and go for many hours without fatigue, to transport injured comrades on his back and to run at lightning speeds. Paraplegics confined to wheelchairs will be able to use this suit or a partial suit to overcome their disabilities.

This suit essentially is a lightweight robot exoskeleton, which uses a sophisticated computer to mimic the body’s natural movements while amplifying them many times over.

**

A suit like this serves as a parable for a spiritual system provided by the Torah. The 613 mitzvot (commandments) correspond to the 613 organs and nerves of the body, the spiritual limbs of the soul. Each mitzvah we do strengthens the flow of spiritual energy from the soul to the body and increases the body’s strength. Each time we fail to fulfill a positive mitzvah, or violate a negative mitzvah, we deny our body spiritual energy or worse, cause a physical blemish or weakness of the body.

Many who suffered illness or injuries were advised by the Lubavitcher Rebbe to check their tefillin or mezuzuot, to be more meticulous in keeping kosher, or similar directives. This is because the Rebbe could identify which power of the soul was weak and needed to be strengthened.

In Chassidic teachings, the 613 mitzvot are referred to as the “garments” of the soul, which are divided into thought, speech and action. As of today, we can put on or take off these garments at will, by choosing whether or not to follow the path of Torah and mitzvot. We can direct the powers of our soul any way we wish—we can choose whether to bind ourselves with G-d or G-d forbid to separate ourselves from Him. In the future, however, our body and soul will be united in an eternal bond and there will no longer be a need for us to work on making the connection. Fulfilling mitzvot will be instinctive, just like breathing, and another way of life will be inconceivable. The dream “suit” will become part of us, forever.
 

 


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