A few weeks ago our Sabbath dinner conversation turned to deep questions: What is life? What is death?
I didn’t have a solid answer readily at hand. As a believer, I know we should have a Biblically-based understanding of such things, so I started at the beginning of Scripture… with Adam.
Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)
Consider those unique moments of Creation when Adam was made. In the time between the formation of Adam’s flesh and when G-d breathed into his nostrils, his body was 100% human and 100% flawless, undefiled, and uncorrupted… and yet not fully alive. It was only after G-d breathed the breath of life ( נִשְׁמַת חַיִּים, nishemat chayyom in Hebrew) into Adam’s body that he became a living being ( לְנֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה, l’nephesh chayah).
I think of it like a basic algebra equation: the body + the breath of life = a living being.
A+B=C… simple, right?