Inspired by this question: Prayer for changing name for transgender reasons?

While the subject of transgender individuals has been discussed, I was wondering if it is possible, from a hashkafic sense, for someone to receive an opposite-gendered soul? When I say an opposite-gendered soul, I am talking about someone who has a male body and female soul, or vice-versa.

If so, how is this idea discussed?

  • 2
    Not that I know what an opposite gendered soul even means, but apparently some Kabbalistic traditions ascribe a female soul to Yitzchak Avinu.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 21:16
  • dupe? judaism.stackexchange.com/q/44508/759
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 21:18
  • 2
    @DoubleAA That question asks if souls have a gender, as opposed to being gender-neutral. This question seems to accept that souls have genders, and asks if they can be different than the gender of the body. Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 21:20
  • Possibly relevant: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/6034
    – msh210
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 6:54
  • Do you want nefesh specifically, or would appreciate sources that discuss a male with a female 'teva' and the reverse?
    – user6591
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:32

4 Answers 4


The Zohar writes that the Patriarch Yitzchok had the soul of a female (Pikudei 257a). The Seder HaDoros (Elef HaRishon) says that it was the soul of Chava.

  • 2
    Where in the Zohar does it say this?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 21:29
  • 1
    see left coulum seems like Sarah's neshama at one point. beta.hebrewbooks.org/…
    – sam
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 22:57
  • 1
    @DoubleAA See this comment.
    – Fred
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 23:18
  • @Fred yashar koach - I was going to respond after I get my notes later tonight, but I'm going to borrow some of your sources instead. Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 0:28
  • @Fred I'm not up on my Zohar, but that seems like a tenuous connection at best. Aren't there other things which could be symbolized by "left" or other ways in which femininity could be associated with Yitzchak other than a misgendered soul?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 27, 2015 at 0:37

Kaf Hachaim Orach Chaim 38:9 says that Michal bas Shaul had a male Neshama.

Haichal Habracha - Bamidbar 27:7 says that the Bnos Tzelafchad had male Neshamos.


The Ashel Avraham (Pri Migadim 23:2 ) writes that one should not wear tzitzs out next to a kever of a child because maybe his neshama is that of a gadol. He also mentions that in a case of a woman it seems that there is no concept of loeg lerash since a woman is not obligated in tzitzs in their life time. He adds by saying that we are not worried that a womans neshma was that of a man . It seems like there is such a concept, yet rare . See Shar Hagigulim as well.

  • Why would it matter if she had a male neshama? She still wasn't chayeves in tzitzis.
    – Heshy
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 13:18

As per the poster's agreement to accept cases of transgender teva, nature, I will quote a couple of sources concerning Yosef and Dina.

The Pirush HaRadal on the Pirkei Drav Eliezer chapter 38 #4 says that Dina who was switched from a male to a female through Leah's prayers retained some of her male nature and that's what led her to leave the house and go outside.

This same idea of the aftereffects of the prayer for gender switching is mentioned by Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky in his Emes Liyaakov in parshas Vayeitzei chapter 30 verse 21. He quotes Rashi that Leah prayed to have her fetus become a female and adds but they did not change completely, for we find Yosef fixing his hair, 37 2, 39 6. And we find Dina being someone who goes out, 34 1.

I'm pretty sure the Shlah writes something similar, But I don't know where offhand.

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