Midrash (biblical exegesis) teaches that Adam was created by God using the finest clay taken from the four corners of the earth (adamah in Hebrew) and initially infused with an earthly nature. Adam was originally created as a being without a soul.

When the Eternal had created everything else, the angels inquired: “Aren’t You going to make the human You spoke of?”

The ORacle, November 2010 Issue

God replied, “I made this human long ago, only the soul is missing.” And only then did the Eternal cast Adam’s soul into him, making him a nefesh chayah – a living soul.


Not only are we created in God’s image, imbued with a soul, but we have been taught this through the gift of Torah. What would our lives be like without the knowledge that the “spark of creation” is within each of us? Imagine our lives without our neshama, without our soul. [1]


The Rabbis further teach that we do not own our souls, but that we are given a limited-time stewardship of them while we dwell on earth. As recipients of the gift of free will, we have the opportunity to make this stewardship the best it can be, or to squander it.


As the holiday of Thanksgiving approaches, we are reminded if the infinite ways to express our gratitude. Judaism commands that times of thanksgiving are to be shared with those who are less fortunate. Our Rosh Chodesh meeting this month will include cooking or serving at a soup kitchen and I invite each of us to find a meaningful way to express our gratitude for the gift of a nefesh chayah, a living soul. This ORacle includes a listing of Snohomish County Food Banks and Soup Kitchens that can serve as a guide.


May the Source of Life help us connect with the numerous blessings in our lives, and may we respond with gratitude and thanksgiving.


Snohomish County Food Banks and Soup Kitchens


Annie’s Community Kitchen

Arlington Food Bank, Arlington

Stillaquamish Seniors Food Bank, Arlington

Darrington Food Bank, Darrington

Annie’s Community Kitchen, Edmonds

Edmonds Food Bank, Edmonds

Edmonds Westgate Chapel Food Bank, Edmonds

South County Senior Center, Edmonds

Hands of Hope Food Bank, Everett

Salvation Army Everett Food Bank, Everett

Volunteers of America Everett, Everett

Granite Falls Food Bank, Granite Falls

Father’s House Food Bank, Lake Stevens

Lake Stevens Community Food Bank, Lake Stevens

Lynnwood Food Bank, Lynnwood

Maltby Food Bank, Maltby

Marysville Food Bank, Marysville

Sky Valley Food Bank, Monroe

Concern For Neighbors Food Bank, Mountlake Terrance

Mukilteo Food Bank, Mukilteo

Snohomish Food Bank, Snohomish

Stanwood/Camano Food Bank, Stanwood

Sultan Food Bank, Sultan

[1] Sermon by Michael E. Brandt, Ph.D., Thanksgiving and the Essence of Judaism, 1999.