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Is There Proof of the Existence of a Soul?

Is There Proof of the Existence of a Soul?


Dear Rabbi,

Ever since the death of my brother seven years ago, I have been grappling with the concept of the soul. I wish I could believe in it. I am the type that needs rational arguments to convince me, and it seems the soul is too abstract for my mind. I know these things can't be scientifically proven, but do I have to resort to blind faith to believe in the soul?


The pain of losing a loved one is so deep because it is so final. You can never replace a person whom you have lost.

But what if you could?

Imagine it were possible to clone your late brother. A genetically identical replica could be created who talks, thinks, looks and smells precisely the same as the person you grew up with. Furthermore, what if scientists developed a way to preserve and replicate memory? They could take your late brother's memories and insert them into his clone. You could sit with your newly recreated brother and reminisce about childhood experiences and laugh at the good old days, sharing a bond that only brothers can.

Would you opt for this? Would you be satisfied with an exact copy of your brother? Would his death be reversed when you met his clone? Would it end your pain?

I can't imagine the answer could be yes. I can't imagine anyone would truly believe that a clone could replace a brother or sister, son or daughter, parent or spouse or best friend.

But why not? Why would a refurbished model be any different from the original?

Because something is missing. This is not your brother. He may have your brother's voice and your brother's expressions, your brother's manner and mind and memory, but he doesn't have your brother's soul. It just isn't him.

That's what soul is. It is what makes you, you. It is the fragment of G‑d that makes each one of us unique. Above your body, beyond your personality, transcending genetics and even deeper than memory is the core of your being, the ineffable essence that is you. We call this your soul. It is soul that makes each person irreplaceable. And it is your brother's soul that you miss.

You don't need scientific proof of the soul, neither do you need blind faith. You know it to exist just as you know your own existence. You can choose to ignore it, or to remember it constantly. Sometimes you can even feel it. And at those moments when you feel your soul, you will feel your brother's soul too.

See Sending Love Packages to Deceased Loved Ones from our Jewish Death & Mourning minisite.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to
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Discussion (87)
November 12, 2015
Is this true that when someone dies we are not able to see his/ her shadow
Harshit Singhal
May 13, 2015
Does it actually matter? There is a constant cycle where people need rationale proof of what is and what is not. There is somewhat a 'requirement' that everyone should 'abide' to some "fact" that can be proven... so what if I believed in souls and you do not? Would having the same conclusion of souls help in my pursuit of what I choose to achieve in my life and would that help in yours? So I will choose to believe in what I believe helps me, as long as it stems out of love.
May 10, 2015
I disagree with this answer there is nothing you told about soul,it is a psychological treatment for a person who keeps another person to n his mind who was his close,I mean here you didn't tell anything about what is soul? Does soul exist,? If soul exist and if it is immortal as we say then how it can die?
Pramod Abraham
November 14, 2014
To mike
I would love to hear about your experience. Please do tell details. I am a believe of God souls and eternal life. I would to to hear what u saw and went through
September 1, 2014
Here is why I disagree with you. The concious knows the diffrence between good and evil. The soul lives on after death and it now has a super concious feeling good and evil in a inhanced state of being. If you do not believe in the soul then this does not matter to you but I can tell you this ,I am fifty seven year old male who had a death experience. In Sept of 2007 I suffered a massive heart attack died and had to be ressusatated. I could go on for days about the topic but do your own research . Your eternity depends on it. Eternity is a long time !!!!!
August 31, 2014
The reason we wouldn't be satisfied with a clone is because we would know it is a "clone." If someone replaced one of your family members with an exact replica, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference because they would react and look the same, and it would do the exact same thing that the "original" family member would do. If anything, the soul is merely your consciousness and it doesn't live on after death.
June 6, 2014
do souls exist?
i want to know whether souls really exists?
how can we know that the loved one's souls is still existing ?
May 14, 2014
Argument for the soul
The soul is an immaterial thing that contains consciousness and animates the body. It is not a “thing” or “object”, but has being. If you say you believe in the G-d of Abraham, then we can assume, based on what is written in the Torah/Tenakh that He, also, has consciousness. That is to say, He has emotions such as anger, love, etc., He experiences things and events, He has beliefs and desires, and He acts out of free will. All that said, He is not limited to a physical body.

If A = B, then we can assume both A and B are the same in all aspects. But, if there is a difference between A and B at any point, then we can no longer claim that A = B, but rather that they are, indeed different. Please allow the following explanation:

Consciousness has 5 states: 1) sensation, 2) thoughts, 3) beliefs, 4) desires, and 5) acts of free will. All of these are non-physical states. Within these states, there are things that cannot be measured as brain activity. That is to say, although our consciousness can feel the sensation of the brain being mechanically stimulated, it’s not the same thing as a brain state. For example, a sensation is not the same thing as a belief.

Further, we all know the brain state is physical, and the consciousness is not. Indeed, the brain state is either true or false, but states of consciousness can be both true and false. For example, I may think that the sky is orange in color, but it is actually blue. Or, I may believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers will win the superbowl, but they do not. I may will that I should climb the empire state building, but cannot. And so on… These are not measurable scientifically.

Thus, A does not equal B. And therefore, although our body carries a brain, the soul is separate and immaterial, but utilizes the brain, just as we would pick up a tool box and utilize the tools inside for specific purposes.

Brain activity, or measurements made by scientists of brain activity is just that. The soul is infinitely more, and transcendent.
April 29, 2014
I would agree, that when you die, the micro-tubules in your brain release the quantum information in your brain to the universe as a whole. This hardly is proof of God, quite a big jump in logic there wouldn't you say? There is absolutely no reason to assume this, and leads one down a path of inconsistency and fallacy. I mean, the truth of the matter is the Eastern religions have been saying that for thousands of years, not really a new discovery of science at all, science has merely confirmed what the Hindus and Buddhists have known all along!
April 28, 2014
Sounds like denial of the most fundamental principle in Judaism to me. "Shema Yisroel, Hashem E--lokani, Hashem ECHAD". How can you call something a fragment of God, God is indivisible!!! He is not composed of parts and therefore cannot be fragmented. Please don't reference late authorities to argue your view. Only primary sources and reason will suffice. Thank you.
Dan K.
Far Rockaway