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I have frequently heard the human (or only the Jewish?) soul referred to as "חלק אלוק ממעל", literally "portion/section/piece/allotment of God (from) above".

  • What does this mean?
  • Who's the first to refer to the soul thus? Citation, please, if possible.
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Is it referring to a לוי? –  WAF Aug 12 '13 at 18:29
    
@WAF Num. 18:20 says that God is Aaron's חלק, not that Aaron (or the levite) is God's. In any event, to answer your question: Not specifically, no. –  msh210 Aug 12 '13 at 18:44
    
obviously cannot be taken literally since God is one and only He is eternal. i think it means in the created way He manifests Himself to the creations, then the soul is somehow connected to that –  ray Aug 12 '13 at 19:45
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also see he.wikisource.org/wiki/… –  Shmuel Brin Aug 12 '13 at 20:59
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2 Answers

its a quotation from Scripture (Iyov 31:2)

and see tanya, (by rabbi shneur zalman boruchovitch - first lubavitch rebbe ) those are the first words of chapter two: (with the addition of the word "mamesh" ) it is explained there a length.

here is a quote

to describe G-d’s implanting the Jew’s soul in his body signifies that this soul originates in the “innermost” aspect of G-dliness.

see there at length

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Is the Alter Rebbe the first to connect the Pasuk to the neshama? –  Shmuel Brin Aug 16 '13 at 20:10
    
@ShmuelBrin as far as i know yes, but i didnt look into it deeply. however he popularized it and thats why its so well-known. and as i understand first to explain it at length. –  tryingToGetProgrammingStraight Aug 16 '13 at 20:18
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@Shmuel Brin. The Ramchal in Da'at Tevunot also refers to the soul as a chelek eloah mima'al. The reference is in siman 24 (page 7) of the R' Chaim Friedlander edition. The Ba'al HaTanya was born in 1745, and the Ramchal died in 1746, meaning that the reference in Da'at Tevunot is definitely older. I don't know if there are any sources older than that, but it sounds from the Ramchal's verbiage that the concept was already pretty well known. –  Chanoch Sep 2 '13 at 15:28
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The Ramchal in Da'at Tevunot refers to the soul as a chelek eloah mima'al. The reference is in siman 24 (page 7) of the R' Chaim Friedlander edition. I don't know if there are any sources older than that, but it sounds from the Ramchal's verbiage that the concept was already pretty well known.

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