Getting To Know Your 70 Forces & Soul & Feelings [#2999]

Question:

What is the purpose of the Rav’s series דע את כוחותיך (Getting To Know Your 70 Forces of the Soul) and how does it contribute to the development of one’s soul? Also, what is the difference between the approach of the sefer דע את נפשך (Getting To Know Your Soul) with sefer דע את הרגשותיך (Getting To Know Your Feelings)? Both of these sefarim are explaining character development, from different angles. Getting To Know Your Feelings emphasizes the removal of negative traits, whereas Getting To Know Your Soul deals with developing the positive aspects of the soul. So I would like to know what the relationship is between these two sefarim.

Answer:

The series דע את כוחותיך explains the more detailed aspects of the soul’s abilities. Everything contains roots and branches. The three root forces of the soul are in the three forefathers, which correspond to the right, left, and middle. The offspring of the forefathers are the 12 tribes, which correspond to the 12 senses of the soul, as explained in Sefer Yetzirah. After that, the soul subdivides into the 70 descendants of Yaakov Avinu. The “70 forces of the soul” [as described by the Gra, and which is explained about in the series דע את כוחותיך] correspond to the 70 descendants of Yaakov Avinu.

Therefore, the rest of the “Da Es” series deal with the “roots” of the soul, whereas the series דע את כוחותיך deals with the “branches” of the soul.

דע את נפשך deals with the faculties of the soul in their potential form. In contrast, דע את הרגשותיך deals with the soul’s abilities in terms of emotion. In general, the world of emotion is synonymous with the world of middos (character traits), which are rooted in the soul’s abilities, and which are revealed by way of the emotions.