A great cause of debate, discussion, disagreement and even friction among people, is caused by the fact that our world was created with a body and soul. Every human being, animal, plant, even every inanimate object, has a body and physical form, and a soul.

How does a basic concept like body and soul affect interpersonal relationships, to the point of friction?

Because body and soul represent two paths in life. While we all have bodies and souls, and must care for and nurture each in the own unique way, some of us follow paths that are more in tune with the physical side of our world, and some with the spiritual. Some with the body, some with the soul.

It is here where the great debate starts. People on both sides of the spectrum (there is much grey area too) tend to feel that their contribution is more important.

Let's take an educational enterprise, such as a school, as an example. The individual responsible for maintaining the 'body' of the school, i.e the building, paying the staff, getting the books, ordering the food etc. might feel that he or she is the one who really keeps the wheels turning. Someone responsible for the 'soul' aspect of the school, such as a teacher, might feel that without his or her lessons, the building, lunches, books and buses don't amount to much - that it is the teacher who makes it all worthwhile.

This great debate of 'I built it', vs 'I make it worthwhile' appears in many areas of life, from business to religion to relationships.

At first glance, Judaism might seem to be on the spiritual side, the soul side. The Torah appears to be all about adding some soul to a material world, being the 'teacher at the school'.

But this is not so. Of course the Torah adds endless inspiration and spirituality. But the Torah is about much more than that.

What Judaism seeks to do is to sync both body and soul, until they cease being two entities and harmonize into one. It seeks to inspire the physical with the spiritual, but also to acknowledge the fact that the spiritual cannot exist without the physical.

Rather than pick sides in this great debate, the Jewish approach is to recognize that both are equally important and necessary, both playing irreplaceable roles in society. Instead of putting the two sides on a seesaw and seeing who outweighs the other, we use them as different colors coming together to create one beautiful painting.

Rabbi Avrohom