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14

Most undertand this to be a prayer for the trait of humility; specifically as expressed by ignoring the abuse of others. This is implied by the Chovos Halevavos (Shaar Hac'nia ch. 10): והששי כי מעשה הנכנע מקובל אצל האלקים...וחשוב בו תמיד והשתדל לקנותו ופקדהו עם נפשך ומדותיך תדיר והעזר באלקים עליו ושאל אותו ממנו להתקרב אליו ולהגיע לרצונו אולי יישירך לו ...


10

The Gemara in Brachos 8a says מיתת נשיקה is "נשיקה דמיא כמשחל בניתא מחלבא" which Rashi explains to mean כמושך נימת שער מתוך החלב--like pulling a hair out of milk.


10

R. Ezekiel Landau discusses this aspect of the tale in his commentary there. He explains that the spirit cannot leave the body until the body decomposes, and that is why we conduct burials in a manner that will quicken the process, by burying directly in the ground and using linen shrouds. A mat of reeds slows the rotting process and therefore the body of ...


10

Over a period of about five hundred years, various medieval Jewish scholars wrote books attempting to systematically address many issues of Jewish theology and metaphysics. Saadia Gaon (882-942) wrote Kitāb al-Amānāt wa l-Iʿtiqādāt (Emunot V’deiot). The only complete English translation of the original Arabic is The Book of Beliefs and Opinions by Samuel ...


9

One interpretation is that given by Tosafos (B'rachos 17a, s.v. ונפשי כעפר): ונפשי כעפר לכל תהיה. מה עפר אינו מקבל כליה לעולם כן יהי רצון שזרעי לא יכלה לעולם כמו שהוא אומר והיה זרעך כעפר הארץ Translation: "And may my soul be like dirt/dust to all": Just as the dirt can never be destroyed, so may it be Your will that my progeny is never destroyed, as ...


9

Am I the soul or the body? The answer is yes. The mashal is given of a blind man and a lame man in the king's orchard. The blind man put the lame man on his shoulders. The lame man steered the blind man to the fruit and they were able to collect a harvest. Emperor Antoninus asked Rabbi how there could be punishment in the life beyond, for, since body ...


8

By the way, generally a "Talmudist" means someone who studies the Talmud; the rabbis who wrote the Talmud are known as The Sages, Hazal (an acronym for "our sages of blessed memory"), or the Tannaim (those before the year 200) and Amoraim (from 200 to 500). Okay, let's back up here. The reading of Deuteronomy is a very nuanced one, which your translation ...


8

Kaballah says that the soul enclothed within the body and it is the reflection of the Divine Form, called the tzelem (tzelem Elokim). This can be described as the spiritual mold of man's physical form, linking his body and soul. This mold is derived from the configuration of the sefirot, which structure the worlds through which the soul descends on its ...


8

The Zohar writes that the Patriarch Yitzchok had the soul of a female. Additionally, the Arizal explained that Michal wore tefillin because she had a male soul. So it seems that souls do have genders, both male and female.


7

http://www.chabadlibrary.org/books/admur/tm/11/15 איתא בזהר ח״א צא, ב. שאיש ואשה הם נשמה אחת, אלא שבירידת הנשמה לעוה״ז, באה מחצית הנשמה בגוף של זכר, והמחצית השני׳ – בגוף בת־זוגו. ולכן נקרא כל אחד מהם בלשון "פלג גופא" זח״ג ז, ב. קט, ב. רצו, א. , כיון שבכל אחד מהם לבדו יש רק חצי נשמה. ועז״נ בראשית ב, כד, "על כן יעזב איש את אביו ואת אמו ודבק באשתו ...


7

Summary: One who drinks water on the eve of Shabbat or, according to other opinions, following mincha on Shabbat, steals water from the souls in Gehenom and thus harms them. There is little, if any, Scriptural discussion regarding the continued life of a soul following death, therefore we are left exploring the murky depths of Midrash. I refer you to the (...


7

In a Teshuva of the Maharam MiRottenberg (#19) he writes that the angel in charge of conception chooses souls from a chamber (that needs to be emptied before Moshiach can come) to place in the womb. Sometimes the angel makes a mistake and puts a Jewish soul in a non-Jewish mother, and sometimes the inverse. The Jewish soul goes on to become a convert to ...


6

The names of nefesh, ruach, neshamah, yechidah, chayah (in that order) is from Bereishis Rabba 14:11. I wish to add two more positions to the discussion. The first is Rav Saadia Gaon's (Emunos veDeios 6:3). Rav Saadia Gaon was an Aristotilian rationalist, although to a lesser extent than the Rambam, who had to deal with the topic when writing a commentary ...


6

Rashi in Maseches Beitza 16a writes that the neshama yesera is: רוחב לב למנוחה ולשמחה ולהיות פתוח לרוחה ויאכל וישתה ואין נפשו קצה עליו This very roughly means that it expands his heart so that he has a greater capacity for rest and joy and is able to eat and drink more without overdoing it.


6

Perhaps this Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 4:5) indirectly addresses your question: תני ר' ישמעאל משל למלך שהיה לו פרדס והיה בו בכורות נאות והושיב בו המלך שומרים אחד חיגר ואחד סומא ואמר להן הזהרו על בכורות הנאות האלו לימים אמר חיגר לסומא בכורות נאות אני רואה בפרדס אמר לו סומא הבא ונאכל אמר לו חיגר וכי יכולני להלך אמר סומא וכי רואה אני רכב חיגר ע"ג סומא ואכלו את ...


6

Kabbala (Jewish mysticism) talks about there being multiple worlds, but our laws of who-is-a-Jew basically pertain to the world that we know right now. Reincarnation is a concept stressed by kabbalists starting in the late 1500s, though some traditionalists challenged it. Today I'd say most rabbis have heard of the concept, but if someone doesn't believe in ...


6

The Zohar (2:151) states that the soul is subject to judgment until the body has decomposed.


6

Maimonides' Thirteen Principles of Faith attempted to boil them down. The existence of G-d. G-d's unity and indivisibility into elements. G-d's spirituality and incorporeality. G-d's eternity. G-d alone should be the object of worship. Revelation through G-d's prophets. The preeminence of Moses among the prophets. That the entire Torah (both the Written and ...


6

One wonderful book which addresses all these questions is Gesher HaChaim by R Yechiel Michel Tucazinsky but it might not be so easy to find these days. An alternative would be to start with books by R Aryeh Kaplan who writes very clearly about profound philosophical ideas. Start with his Anthology vol. 1 (the first part being centered on Maimonides' 13 ...


5

Executive Summary The first source for that expression is the Alshich - first published 1593, but likely said significantly earlier. The concept is older. According to Tanya it means that the soul uniquely feels itself inseparable from G-d, more so than other things that exist in creation. Longer Answer As far as I know, the first source for this specific ...


5

Yechida is one of five levels of the soul often described in the teachings of Chassidus, which were only revealed about 250 years ago - which is likely when the concept (named as such) became mainstream. The soul's five names are mentioned in Midrash Rabba (Bereishis 14:11, Devorim 2:26), written in the 4th - 5th century - the earliest source I could find. ...


5

I had understood this Mishna to be speaking of an actual physical life, so unless you murdered somebody c'v... There are surely other understandings, and maybe somebody more versed in the commentaries will bring one. As to your other question, Judaism teaches that you can always repent, no matter what. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev zy'a stated this principle ...


5

The Ramchal writes in a letter that in his time (already 300 years ago) there is no longer "one" soulmate for everyone - in earlier generations, complete souls came to the world, and each soul had it's other half. However, today our souls are actually just fractions of greater souls, and not necessarily is there a corresponding "piece" to your fraction of a ...


5

It depends what level of proof you are looking for. If you mean irrefutable proof, I don't think you will find as much. If you mean indications, here are a few: The verse in Koheles (8:1) says חכמת אדם תאיר פניו a man's wisdom lights up his face. This has been understood (see, for example, here) to refer to that which there is a light in a person's ...


5

No. A soul is a spiritual entity and has no gender. However according to Kabbalah there are two worlds where souls can come from. A "Masculine" world and a "Feminine" world. The Lubavitcher Rebbe Z"L explains that that the way of a soul from the "masculine side" is to transform the world by being pro-active and outgoing, while the path of the soul from ...


5

The word נפש is not limited to mean strictly "souls." It often means something along the lines of "life force" or "being." When someone kills someone else, the Torah refers to it as having struck the נפש - as in אדרוש את נפש האדם of Bereishit 9, or מכה נפש of Bamidbar 35, or רצחו נפש of Devarim 22. נפש תחת נפש (Vayikra 24) seems to mean "a life for a life....


5

Vayakheil 205a: האי יומא יומא דנשמתין איהו ולאו יומא דגופא English: This day is a day of souls and not a day of the body.


5

I asked R' Tzvi Berkowitz this question. He said that when one sleeps, 4 parts of the soul leave, while the lowest part of the soul remains with the body. The "me" in this prayer is that lowest level of soul, but not the body. I once heard R' Avrohom Schorr speak, and he quoted a Zohar which I did not manage to find afterwards, which said על בשר אדם - מלמד ...


4

The Torah says (in the 10 commandments) that God punishes the guilty for 3 or 4 generations. In many places, I have seen people troubled by this idea, and the general kiruv answer is that if person's children do not do mitzvot, because of the sins of the parent the parent is punished for those lack of mitzvot and sins being done, up to 3 or 4 generations. ...


4

The Ramchal, as translated by Rabbi Abba Zvi Naiman in The Elucidated Derech Hashem (1:3:2) states: "[...] The Divine Wisdom decreed that a person be composed of two opposing elements. That is, he should be created from a pure, intellectual soul and an earthy, obscure body [...]." Rabbi Abba Zvi Naiman in his Zichron Yaakov Eliyahu commentary on the ...


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