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If you want to learn more about how the soul is described in Hebrew, then you have come to the right place. This article will give you a short overview of some of the most common ways that people refer to the soul in Hebrew. You’ll also get an idea of the relationship between the soul and the body in judaism, and the rabbinic literature.
The rabbinic literature
The rabbinic literature on soul in Hebrew contains texts addressing the relationship between the body and the soul. Despite this, there is still some uncertainty about the nature of the soul after death.
During the biblical period, the soul was considered to be a separate entity. It was deposited by God into human beings. During the rabbinic period, the nSHmh was conceived as a life force that remained independent of the body.
In Biblical literature, the soul is called “neshamah” or “ruah.” Nefesh is the lowest level of the soul, while ruah is the highest.
A soul is made up of three elements. It is composed of a rational element, a spirituality, and a physicality. Each of these has its own specific functions.
Rabbis view the body as a medium for development and improvement. They also believe that a person can have a completely conscious life when the body is disembodied.
As such, the rabbinic literature on soul in Hebrew is of great interest to scholars and students of religion. It can serve as an alternative to an ontologist/techno-scientific approach to the study of the soul.
The idea of a disembodied soul was influenced by Greco-Arabic philosophy. This philosophic influence was transplanted to the Jewish community. Consequently, the idea of a disembodied soul became a common religious tradition of the ancient Near East.
The rabbinic literature on soul in Biblical and Jewish texts is divided into two parts. While the first part is more abstract and general, the second section is more concrete. These texts make reference to the creation account of Genesis and the figure of Adam.
While the Bible does not directly address the concept of the soul, it does appreciate the physical world. It recognizes its beauty and prowess.
The rabbinic literature on the soul in Hebrew focuses on the spirituality of the soul and the importance of the physical world. It also rejects the idea of a soul being confined to a prison.
While many scholars agree that the physical world is a medium of spirituality, they disagree about the role of the soul. Many rabbis consider the inclination towards right and wrong to be a faculty of the soul.
Plato’s view of the soul
There are two basic views of the soul. The Platonic view holds that it is a self-moving, indestructible, simple, and immaterial entity. At the same time, the Old Testament canon defines the soul as a living organism.
In the Platonic view, the soul is a three-part entity, consisting of logos, eros, and thymos. However, there is disagreement about the nature of the individual soul, which is referred to as the psyche. Some of the Christian theologians disagreed with the Aristotelian theory, and compared the psyche with the body.
Philo of Alexandria, a Greek philosopher, tried to reconcile the two views of the soul. He argued that the soul was a divine emanation. Nevertheless, he regarded the body as the cause of all evil. Moreover, he did not accept the concept of resurrection of the body and the soul, and thus, the soul was not immortal.
Unlike the Platonic concept of the soul, the Old Testament canon defines the soul in a more straightforward way. It is a living, rational, and immortal entity, which is defined as a part of the human being that partakes of divinity.
Aside from being the “soul” of the person, it also confers individuality. In addition to this, it is the “religious faculty” that enables people to have experiences beyond the scope of the mind.
In the Hebrew language, the word for the soul is nephesh. Although nephesh is not used in the Bible, ancient Jewish philosophers had an understanding of its meaning.
During the ancient period, the Greeks, Romans, and other non-Jewish philosophers had an influence on the thinking of the Jews. For instance, the Greek Jew Philo attempted to support the Platonic claim that the soul has three parts.
The Jewish philosophers were not always keen on foreign ideas, though. They were particularly wary of the Greek belief that the earthly body imprisons the soul. And they were not convinced of the Platonic notion that the soul predates the creation of the world. Nevertheless, some of the early Christian theologians embraced the ideas of the Greeks and incorporated them in their own beliefs.
The relationship between soul and body in judaism
The relationship between soul and body in Jewish theology is not well developed. Various scholars disagree on how to understand the nature of the soul. Some believe it is a psycho-physical unity, while others claim that it is a distinct entity that cannot exist without the body.
According to the Palestinian Talmud, the soul was created by God, but the human body was created by humans. Despite this duality, the Torah does not describe the relationship between soul and body.
However, the rabbis believed that the soul will be rejoined with the body at resurrection. This idea was supported by Biblical references. Moreover, it is not the body that bears the burden of sins. Rather, the soul is judged by God after death.
The Hebrew word for “soul” is nephesh. It is connected with the life-blood, breath, and respiration. In Biblical literature, the primitive state of spirit is called ruah.
In the Book of Beliefs and Opinions, Sa’adyah ben Yosef, a younger contemporary of Yisra’eli, wrote about the existence of the soul. He also drew on Greco-Arabic philosophical teachings to justify his views.
Though Sa’adyah ben Yosef emphasized retribution over assurance of personal immortality, his successors tended to focus on the more practical aspects of theology. They argued that the soul has a purpose and benefit in the present.
According to this view, the soul has five names. Male and female souls are paired before they descend to earth.
A soul is defined as a “psycho-physical unity.” It is a “transparent” entity, although it cannot be seen. The soul is responsible for the moral and spiritual conduct of a person. It receives communications from the heavenly abode.
There are two other elements that make up a soul. These are the soul’s “spirit” and the “image”. Depending on the context, the two elements are said to be a “wind of God,” a “burning lamp,” or a “fire in the heart.”
The most complex and lofty of all the souls is the human soul. The human soul is composed of parts of the Ruach, the supra-rational self, and the Neshamah.