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Questions tagged [soul]

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13
votes
7answers
42k views

Nefesh, neshama and ruach as words for “soul”

All three words can mean something like "soul", e.g., neshama in גלגול נשמות, and ruach in וַתְּחִי רוּחַ יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם (Bereshit 45:27). So, what is the difference?
7
votes
5answers
535 views

Is the brain the seat of the soul?

There are disturbing ideas in the Feb 21, 2011 Time magazine cover article 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal. The article attributes to Raymond Kurzweil the prediction that within the next 25 years ...
12
votes
2answers
518 views

Reincarnation vs. resurrection of the dead

Some Jews believe in reincarnation. They are also supposed to accept the Resurrection of the Dead, where actual bodies are resurrected. In that case, for each soul, which body is resurrected?
11
votes
2answers
600 views

Do converts represent a “farblondzshet” neshama?

Before our wedding, a mikvah lady learned that my wife was marrying me -- a convert to Judaism. Her response was that I must represent a "farblondzshet neshama" (a confused or a lost Jewish soul). ...
3
votes
3answers
270 views

Inner being: Soul or Spirit?

Bereshit (Genesis) 2:7 reads: 'vayipach beapav nishmat chayim vayehi ha'adam lenefesh chayah' Is my inner being a 'soul' or a 'spirit', or am I a 'soul' or am I a 'spirit'? Let me make myself clear: ...
13
votes
5answers
849 views

What's “chelek Eloak mimaal”?

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
238 views

Is the “I” consciousness from the body or from the soul

Where does the sense of "I" (i.e. the sense of self-awareness) originate from? Is it from the physical body (the brain) or is it from the spiritual soul which wears the body (as brought down in ...
6
votes
2answers
467 views

What are the implications of karet?

Does karet mean the soul will not ever enter the olam haba? Can teshuvah rectify the transgression which lead to the karet? Can that soul in another re-incarnation rectify the blemish of karet? By "...
6
votes
1answer
336 views

Does anyone have a proof text that animals *don't* have spirits?

I've heard it said that animals don't possess a רוח However, Ecclesiastes 3:21 uses the phrase רוּחַ הַבְּהֵמָה. Is there any text that indicates that animals don't possess a spirit? Edit: Upon ...
5
votes
2answers
613 views

What happens when the neshama has an aliya?

there is a common practice to learn torah for someone who is deceased 'l'iluy nishmato/a' - to raise her/his soul. There is also a common (american/ashkenazik?) custom for a relative of a deceased ...
2
votes
1answer
259 views

Effect of knockout on my soul

I have experienced a knockout two times in the boxing ring during my active fighting career. At the time I was KO, I was conscious of nothing and then I woke up. I am interested in knowing what was ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

Am I a body with a soul or a soul with a body?

I've always thought that our true essence, who we actually are, our personalities are our souls. To me, bodies are just temporary "homes" for the soul. My body can perish, but my soul will continue ...
8
votes
3answers
209 views

What is the importance of the human body after death?

On one hand, we are told that the body is a simply container holding our soul. We have to take care of it while alive because we are borrowing it for our time on Earth. It is widely believed that our ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Do spirits/souls have genders?

Bodies have genders (physical anatomy and genetics) and the brain has a gender (gender identity), but do the spirits/souls or our heavenly bodies have genders as well? Similar: Do we retain our ...
9
votes
4answers
446 views

Can the living negatively affect the dead?

As far as I know, living people can positively affect the dead. This is the reason we say Kaddish and learn Mishnayos for the souls of the deceased. (Feel free to comment with more examples of this.) ...
7
votes
1answer
204 views

Unconsciousness in Jewish Thought

Yes, that pun was intended. We know that sleep is 1/60 of death, and dreaming is 1/60 of prophecy (Brachos 57b). This is because it's a partial death, in which a piece of the Neshamah leaves the ...
7
votes
1answer
325 views

Can a soul be destroyed to non-existence?

Can a soul die (make choices that will lead to its being completely destroyed)? The Zohar 1:131a states that the souls of transgressors will became ashen cinders under the feet of the righteous. From ...
5
votes
2answers
358 views

What is the Yeshiva Shel Maala?

What is the "yeshiva shel maala" (literally yeshiva on high) that is found a number of times in Chazal's writings (ex. "whoever teaches his fellow's son Torah merits and sits in the yeshiva on High" - ...
3
votes
3answers
200 views

What distinguishes humans from animals?

Both Humans and animals seem to have: Flesh: (Bereshit 6:13) The ketz (end) of kol basar is come before Me. Nefesh Chaya: (Bereshit 1:30) wherein is a Nefesh Chaya Ruach Chayim: (Bereshit 6:17 & ...
3
votes
2answers
107 views

How can Nefesh mean a dead person?

In Vayikra 21:1 it's stated that one should not defile himself for any (dead) nefesh (person). How can a word like nefesh which seems to be the force that animated the body and gave it it's life, ...
3
votes
2answers
281 views

Humans have 613 organs?

Does the human nefesh (nefesh haAdam) have 613 spiritual organs? Tanya CH.4 says that a soul has 613 organs like the "organs of the King". I'm assuming that since man is made in the image of G-d, then ...
2
votes
1answer
313 views

Belief in Yechidah

According to Chabad.org, Yechidah connotes the essence of the soul--its unity with its source, the singular essence of G-d. For the essence of the soul of man is "literally a part of G-d above"...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Soul residing in one's mind

I heard from someone that the soul resides in one's mind/ brain. Does anyone where the source for this can be found?
0
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3answers
198 views

Does the Torah discuss the difference between Jews and non jews?

I know that Jews are forbidden to marry non Jews. This leads me to believe that there is some intrinsic and apparently incompatible difference them. Regardless of this prohibition though, I wonder if,...
0
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2answers
86 views

Does the Neshama (soul) choose the body?

I think i might have read in various places i just can't find where that the neshama chooses the body based on the life missions that it needs to accomplish so it chooses the most suitable conditions ...
0
votes
1answer
163 views

Jewish Meditation for Soul Travel? [closed]

I know that there is meditation and practices for a soul to transcend the body. I have found these meditations across many religions, however, I am wondering if Judaism has a specific meditation for ...
-1
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2answers
610 views

What are the five levels of Neshama according to the Zohar?

What are the five levels of the neshama for a Jew and the two levels for a non-Jew according to the Zohar? What are their meanings? What are their sources in the Zohar?