After reading an interesting scientific article concerning how mammals apparently dream prior to birth, it reminded me of Rabbi Simlai in Niddah 30b discussing how each Jewish soul learns the entire Torah prior to its birth.

Are there other sources within Torah literature that discuss the occupation of the soul prior to its descent and birth into this world? Is there a differentiation between the Jewish soul and other souls? Does this even relate to the souls of all animals like the scientific observation suggests?

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    I have seen references that the Jewish soul studies Torah and forgets the learning upon birth. There is a reference that the dent above the lips and below the nose is caused by the touch of a malach upon birth., causing the forgetting of the infant. If that is the case, then even a nonJewish fetus would have learned something appropriate that is forgotten upon birth. However, I have no idea what that would be. Jul 26, 2021 at 17:45
  • @sabbahillel Sounds the beginning of a good answer. Needs research... Jul 26, 2021 at 19:30
  • @sabbahillel Just in the context of the link to the article which appeared in Science Magazine, it discusses all mammals. That’s a much broader scope than just humans. And the obvious question is, if it relates to all mammals, does this go beyond even that limitation to include all living things, everything with a soul? Jul 26, 2021 at 21:10
  • I have been told that animals do not have the dent because they do not have a neshamah like a human being and would not have been taught what a human fetus has learned. Thus, they would not have the interaction with a malach that a human being does. Jul 27, 2021 at 2:42
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    R Simlai's prooftexts are self descriptions from Iyov. There is no reason to think he is talking about Jews in particular. Jul 27, 2021 at 5:54


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