Contact Us

How Do I Know that I have a Soul?

How Do I Know that I have a Soul?

 Email

Question: How do I know that I have a soul?

Answer: Do you have a body? Did you say yes? So now tell me: Who is this "me" that has this body? Couldn't be the body—you can't say that the body has a body.

So this is what we call the soul. More comprehensively, we are each the composite of a soul and a body. Explains why we're all so confused, right?

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
28 Comments
1000 characters remaining
leon roiter barranquilla June 25, 2016

your belief system Tzvi: the soul is the hardware ashem gave us to keep our body connected to Him.It is our mind which designs how we work with our soul. Our mind is our soul.You cannot see your mind neither your soul.The soul lives in our belief system it is built by our mind.Ashem talks to your mind, your soul makes your heart a partener with your mind.Your soul, your mind, your thoughts créate a wonderful world of feelings.Talk to ashem and ask Him to keep you in the gan eden, ask him to strengthen your faith so that you can remain in gan eden.Keep your belief system close to ashem and you will enjoy the wonderful feeling of been guided by ashem. Reply

Anonymous Oakhurst June 24, 2016

I lost a baby at 5/6mo.the Dr said the baby didn't have a heart.I was always told if you don't have a heart you don't have a soul.please explain this to me. Reply

leon roiter barranquilla August 12, 2014

Thank you rabbi for your light I will keep using my breath to connect to my soul; specially when I daven.
I believe that I am a soul wrapped in a human body, both belong to who ever gave the order to live this earthly experience.
Shakespeare called this wrapp "Mortal coil". Reply

David Prachya ben shlomo Halevi Don nemer August 9, 2014

Shalom Rabbi,

Our sages tell us that when we do a mitzva, Hashem creates an angel for us. What happens to our soul? Specifically what are the consequences to our soul here and in the Olam Haba when we do bad very bad acts? Reply

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman April 21, 2013

For Leon Rabenu Bachye, in his commentary to Genesis, writes that the animal soul emerged with the formation of Adam, whereas the divine soul was breathed into him after his creation. Reply

leon roiter barranquilla April 18, 2013

tzvi freeman God did not breath through the human being´s two nostrils. Hashem breathed the divine soul beyond the animal soul already planted inside the human body at the time man was formed with HaShem's two hands.

Tzvi, did man have an animal soul at the time Hashem decided to breath his soul through the man's nostrils?

Could I connect to my divine soul breathing air when I daven? Wouldn´t my breath connect me with the animal soul then to the divine soul and finally to the ein sof?

Kindly instruct me, enlighten me.
Reply

Christine South Carolina April 17, 2013

What if it works a little differently? What if the body is an emanation of (a/the) soul... more a question of 'does (a) soul have a body?" rather than 'does a body have a soul?" And, what if the gift - the breath - that God gave to Adam was awareness ... awareness of the soul?

I'm particularly interested in Darren's comment and wonder how he accounts for things like time. Even scientists have difficulty with time, which moves backward and forward at the sub-atomic level and only forward at the ‘material’ level. Or the affect of intention on light, which at the subatomic level appears to be both particle and wave until a decision is made for it to be one or the other….human intention can affect this. Or Einstein's '’spooky action at a distance’? He likely knows where I am going with this….consciousness. Consciousness is increasingly being proven to exist. This is something independent of brain activity. Is the soul consciousness? Is consciousness the soul? etc. Reply

Tzvi Freeman April 7, 2013

Re: Does a clone have a soul? According to the Ari, even rocks have a soul. Just that the soul of a rock cannot be compared to the soul of a plant, which cannot be compared to the soul of an animal, which cannot be compared to the soul of a human being. Each one is an entirely different level of soul. And then there is the G-dly soul that is breathed into the human being, beyond his human soul.

As for whether a cloned human being would have such a soul, I don't see how anyone can give a categorical yes or no. That's up to the Creator of all things, to breathe a soul into this clone. It is still He, and not the technicians, who has created this clone and sustains its life. Reply

Angela South Korea April 7, 2013

Does a clone have a soul? I saw in other sites that animals don't have a soul. I also want to ask you if clones (a copy of a human) have a soul. This relates to a book called 'The House of the Scorpion' by Nancy Farmer. Do clones have a soul? Reply

Mary Trinidad, West Indies January 2, 2013

Body and Soul I would like to understand what is soul.
How I see it is that the soul is a combination of body and spirit. That is when God breathed His Spirit into Adam he then became a "living" soul (i.e. combination of body and spirit such as flour and water making"dough").
I look at the "breathing of His Spirit" into Adam as "Birthing a Spirit into Adam" so that the Spirit in Adam was the real Adam whose body that God made from the slime of the earth would not have been able to move and have its being.
Therefore, how is it that the "soul" can die does it mean that the "soul" that came from God to inhabit the "body" can experience death.
This is still confusing me.
If my assumptions are wrong I stand to be corrected.
Please help. Reply

leon roiter barranquilla, colombia via old.chabad.org December 5, 2012

definition of the soul Tzvi: Do you agree on Yanki Tauber´s definition of soul?
Have you read Sholom Lipskar's definition of soul?

Kindly enlighten me, Reply

All that is November 29, 2012

The heart! You don't have a soul... You ARE soul/spirit/infinite conciousness. Your body is a vehicle for this experience on earth. A lot of religions lead us to believe that God and Heaven is some place far away and to get there you must follow so many rules but god/heaven/enlightenment is within everyone's heart. Everyone has their own unique way of going into their heart and finding "God"... Of course this is only my beliefs, I'm not saying this is true, I'm just giving my opinion :) Reply

Omena Tolland County, CT January 8, 2012

How do I know if I have a soul Your soul is the quintessential expression of feeling joy, sadness, sorrow, despair, passion, and love. Your soul’s purpose is for you to be happy, experience your true self, and to evolve into all that you are.
Your soul is your personal history book of all your memories from past lives. They remain in your inner consciousness until patterns of mental, emotional, or physical pain kicks you out of your comfort zone into fear or healing.
The essence of your soul is the basis of all knowledge and awareness. Your knowledge comes from your life (s) experiences, and nothing happens to you without your permission.
Your soul gains wisdom from experiencing the fragility of your personality. They are misunderstood and judge by many. Human frailties are mistakes we make, and we pray that we do not have to suffer because of them.
Your soul loves and accepts you the way you are, and holds no judgment on how you experience your life. It provides you the opportunity to change Reply

Darren LA, CA December 14, 2011

Ummm... Sorry but I don't really understand the arbitrary comments on this thread, which is probably dead anyway, but a lot of anything about the soul posted on the internet is just completely unsupported. It has been realized that the brain is simply a big mesh of molecules that can tell their fellow molecules if they're in an on or off state, 0 or 1, like binary. And the state of these cells can also be influenced by the cells around them. So given all this - my interpretation is that the brain is just a nice big complex computer that has been programmed through evolution to do the things that are beneficial to itself and man kind. Now I would just like someone to tell me where the idea of a soul is supported in any of this or in a topic I haven't grazed. Reply

anon who, knows October 4, 2010

I guess technology is helping us connect our wires inside so we can properly focus Reply

Random Highschool student August 23, 2010

So our soul only watches our brain? So from what I can tell from this conversation is that a soul isn't what thinks and makes decisions for us but its simply an observer of the brain and what it does. So our soul takes the information and feelings from the brain and then expeiriences it but has no say in what the brain does? So free will is simply an illuision created by an overly advaned decision making device called our brain, and it is just displaying its processes and sensory input to our soul? That would mean that as my brain is writing this (ironically) the only true concious part of me that isint just an evolved replicating robot is simply watching with no way to alter it?

That would be one way to look at it :D. Maybe our soul can influence our brain with moral judgement or something... Or maybe our soul is just lent to us from god :D Reply

leon roiter barranquilla, colombia March 16, 2010

to zav We have to agree on the definition of a soul to be able to talk about it.

Each jewish denomination has its own definition of a soul. That is the reason why you hear such a variety of opinions concerning the soul.

Like everything else in judaism before you embark in a debate about a soul you have to refer to the talmud and quote the authority who wrote about it.

I do not believe that the members of the Hevra Kadisha (burial society) have seen a soul. Reply

zav Dallas March 14, 2010

Anon, how do you know this? Anon - tell me how you know what a soul is and why animals have one.

If you can not identify what a soul is, and what constitutes having one, how can you claim that you know animals and we have one?

Which animals do not have one? Why?

Please define and locate a soul, so I can find out what one is. Reply

Anonymous March 14, 2010

Oh My Word. All animals have souls. They think like us. They speak like us. They just don't have the power to overrule us! Remember, we are animals aswell! Think of it like that. Hinduism is the root of religion but has been reaaaaaaally adopted i believe - why not adopt one more thing? Reply

leon roiter barranquilla, colombia February 11, 2010

to sam omeksra G-d gave us free will.

Good or bad has nothing to do with the soul. Reply

Related Topics