One would think that this should be directed to an "Ask the Doctor" website, as opposed to "Ask the Rabbi"... But indeed, the Torah encompasses all subjects—and this is no exception.

Our souls existed long before we were born. They lived in a pristine spiritual world and were one with G‑d in every way. Their thinking was not limited to that of a human mind; their seeing was not limited to that of a human eye.

Life in our world is very different. And so, as a baby forms physically, its soul must undergo a "spiritual transformation" before entering this physical world.

Using Kabbalistic terminology, the soul originates in the spiritual world of Atzilut ("Emanation"). That world contains ten sefirot, or levels, and the soul gradually descends throughout these levels until it reaches the last level, Malchut—at which point the baby is born.

The soul's nine-step journey manifests itself physically in a nine-month pregnancy.

Click here if you'd like to gain a basic understanding of the sefirot.

Yours truly,

Rabbi Yisroel Cotlar