Atomic Soul: The Power of the Soul

Power of the soul

The following is a free adaptation of an excerpt from a letter by the Rebbe dated Shevat 14, 5714 (January 18, 1954), [Igrot Kodesh, Vol VIII, p 168]

…May the Almighty grant that from this small seed shall grow great and wondrous things.

When I say “small” I am not speaking of quantity: even in the material world we observe that it is not so much the quantity of a thing that matters but its quality. This is one of the lessons to be derived from the recent discoveries regarding atomic power: if a minute particle can destroy an entire city, how much more so is this true in the positive realm, since “good is many times more potent than…’’[1] Certainly, one cannot fathom even the physical potential contained in a single human being, infinitely more so, the potential in an iota of spirituality; who, then, can speak of the potential in the iota of G-dliness in every Jewish soul.

In the above analogy, a “jolt” is needed to manifest the potential energy implicit in the atom. The same is true regarding the divine essence that is hidden in the world—hidden in order that man should seek it out…

[1] It is written that G-d “remembers the sins of the fathers for four generations” (Exodus 34:7); on the other hand, He “retains kindness for two thousand [generations]” (ibid.). Thus our sages have said that “Good is five-hundred times more potent than misfortune.” (Rashi on Exodus, ibid.).


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