I heard the concept called "shoresh neshama" that every person has. Is this the same as your reincarnation?

  • 1
    It means that two people can have different neshamos that stem from the same shoresh. For example, let's say that there are 600,000 letters in the Torah and that each letter corresponds to one neshama. But we know that there are more than 600,000 Jews? So the answer can be construed to be that there are 600,000 shorashim of neshamos but many neshamos can stem from each shoresh.
    – The GRAPKE
    Nov 12, 2023 at 12:49

2 Answers 2


It translates as "root of a soul".

The soul is divided into 3 parts, nefesh, ruach and neshama, and within each of these are 613 spiritual "limbs" and "tendons". There are also 4 spiritual worlds asiya, yetzira, beriya and atzilut. There are indeed other partzufim (arrangements of the sefirot, beyond the scope of this question) leading to many unique combinations.

Each combination is a potential soul root, which will impact the personality, mission and various other aspects of the person. All of the roots devolve from the proto-soul of Adam HaRishon. Every person will come from a particular root in his soul. Some people can be from the same or very similar roots.

See Shaar HaGilgulim discusses this in its first few chapters, especially chapter 2, but is a very advanced read.

Is this the same as one's reincarnation? No. Reincarnation here means the same soul coming back for another life.

  • Can you expand a little on the phrase "devolve from"? Are the "roots" really parts of tree with Adam HaRishon being the actual root?
    – einpoklum
    Nov 13, 2023 at 12:53
  • @einpoklum something like that, but this is a very deep and advanced topic and the summary above is probably about as much as we can say here.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 13, 2023 at 15:49

Refer to the Nefesh HaChaim who explains the "root of the soul" as follows:

וכ''ה הענין בג' הבחי' נר''ן של האדם. כי כל בחי' מדבר שבקדושה כלול מעשר בחי' פרטים. שהם הי''ס שלו. והבחי' העליונה של הנפש. נאחזת ומתקשרת עם הבחי' התחתונה העשירית של בחי' הרוח. ובחי' העליונה של הרוח מתקשרת עם בחי' התחתונה של הנשמה. והנשמה ג''כ מתקשרת ומתדבקת בבחי' שורש הנשמה. סוד כנסת ישראל שהיא שורש הכנסיה של כל נשמות כלל ישראל יחד. וכן עז''ה גם בחי' שרש הנשמה ג''כ מתקשרת למעלה מעלה ממדרגה למדרגה עד עצמות א''ס ב''ה

And thusly is the matter of the three aspects Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama for man: Each aspect of a holy thing is comprised of ten individual parts that are its ten sefirot. And the highest aspect of the Nefesh holds onto and is connected with the tenth lowest aspect of the aspect of Ruach, and the uppermost aspect of Ruach connects with the lowest aspect of the Neshama, and the Neshama too connects and adheres in the Shoresh ha-Neshama *Literally “root of the Neshama”, also known as Chayah1, the secret of the k’nesses yisrael ("Congregation of Israel" — the collective of all the souls of all Jews) she being the root of the general collective of all souls of Israel. And also, according to this approach, the aspect of the Shoresh ha-Neshama also connects to higher above, from level to level, until the Atzmus Ein Sof (blessed be He).

1 Refer later to Shaar 2, 17:1

  • 1
    Stunning source, thank you
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Nov 12, 2023 at 13:03
  • Many thanks @RabbiKaii
    – Dov
    Nov 12, 2023 at 13:04

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