A Different Kind Of Charity: How One Thought Can Change The World

Today, we look at a parable from the book of Zohar, which illustrates how different streams within a person are in constant disagreement with each other and how understanding this inner conflict may lead to a more wholesome way of looking at life.

intro/outro: Sammy's Medley, Creative Commons
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About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.
  • Connie L Garrett

    I am glad to see and hear more from you. Can you elaborate on the 4 layers of deeds?

    • א. קליין

      Hi Connie! We’re happy to hear that 🙂

      As for your question, there are four stages of being according to the ancient tradition, which are generally described from bottom-up as this:

      1. Non-moving (like a stone): when a person is just mechanically doing things without understanding, like a robot

      2. Plant: the plant already has a certain ability to move (towards the sub) and is rising up from the ground. At this stage a person has a will to grow, and this desire is like a small seed which includes the whole tree, but it is not yet fully developed.

      3. Animal: an animal has the ability to move from one place to another, unlike a plant. In terms of human psychology, a person chooses his actions based on previous knowledge and experience, but is still mainly motivated by a sense of self-preservation.

      4. Speaking: the sages describe this level as the true potential of a human being where he acts based on an understanding how the whole universe descends from the thought of creation and rises up again. In that sense, a person is in communication with the creator, not in a sense of “hearing voices” but through his moods and experiences in every moment.


    Praise God Eti and Andre. I really miss the podcasts, however I listen to others over and over, each time causing a little more illumination from the inside out. I enjoy listening to this podcast again and again too. It helps me see with more clarity how God is that Stream that makes glad the city of God. I appreciate what you are sharing with us its a breath of fresh air. Thanks for your response to Connie. Your explanation of the 4 layers of deeds gave me more of an application of the Inanimate, Animate, Animal and Speaking Levels are that I could relate to my own spiritual growth. As I listened to this particular podcast it reminds of Elijah and the widow woman of Zarephath. Is the blueprint of the soul the same as explain here? Thank you sooo much. You are an answer to much prayer!!!


    Also as explained “judgment” is a lack of Grace. Does not mean apart from our connection to the Creator we lack Grace. Therefore we are given an opportunity to receive and dispense Grace one to another, the good and the bad as the rain comes down from heaven and waters the earth.

  • Connie L Garrett

    Can you talk more about the idea of thoughts and the comparison you made with the candle?