You Clothed Me in Skin and Flesh

by tillerofthesoil

Image“The Rabbis taught: The kidneys advise [Psalms 7:10; Proverbs 23:16], the heart considers [Deuteronomy 6:5; Proverbs 2:2, 10], the tongue articulates, the mouth finishes [Proverbs 37:30], the esophagus brings in all kinds of food, the windpipe gives sound, the lungs absorb all kinds of fluids, the liver causes anger, the gallbladder secretes a drop into it and calms it, the spleen laughs, the gizzard grinds, the stomach [causes] sleep, the nose [causes] wakefulness” (BT Berakhot 61a, cf. Vayikra Rabbah 4:4).

“Three are hostile and these are they: the tongue, the liver and the gal.

Three love: the heart, the ears and the eyes.

Three give life: the two nostrils and the liver of the left side.

Three kill: the two lower orifices and the mouth.

There are three which are in man’s control: the feet, the hands and the mouth.

There are three which are not in man’s control: his two eyes, his ears and his nostrils.

Three evil things are heard by the ear: cursing, blasphemy and an evil report.

Three good things are heard by the ear: blessing, a good report and praise.

Three sights are bad for the eye: adultery, an evil eye and a deceptive look.

Three sights are good for the eye: modesty, a good eye, and a trustworthy look.

Three things are bad for the tongue: He who speaks in the presence of the slanderer, he who speaks one thing with the mouth but another with the heart, and he who speaks too much.

Three things are good for the tongue: silence, reticence, and speaking the truth” (Sefer Yetsirah §59b).

“When the human was created, what is written? You clothed me in skin and flesh (Job 10:11). What then is the human if not skin and flesh, and bones and sinews? But surely the human being is nothing but soul! And these that we have mentioned—skin, flesh, bones, and sinews are all merely a garment; they are a person’s clothing not the human. And when a person departs, he is stripped of those garments that he is wearing” (Zohar 2:75b–76a).