It is quite insulting to call someone an animal. However, even those who don’t believe that humans evolved from monkeys concede that each of us have aspects that we share in common with the animal kingdom. Sifra Detsniuta, one of oldest and most significant parts of the Zohar, presents a conception of humanity in which we each have two sides: a divine side and an animal side. The classic work of Chassidus Chabad, Tanya, also relates to the divine and animal souls inside us. However, there is a fundamental difference between the two approaches. Whereas the Tanya sees a constant struggle between the two sides in which each tries to annihilate the other, Sifra Detsniuta sees both as authentic sides of our being that we must find the proper balance between them.
The Animal Inside Me