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View Diary: Bible: Life Begins at Breath, Not Conception (254 comments)

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  •  Except that in this case it isn't ruach, it is (0+ / 0-)

    nishmat. But both of which can be used to mean both breath or soul. In Jewish mystical teaching, there are actually three levels of human soul-ness, sometimes described as three souls. The "nefesh" is basically the same soul that all animals have. (Yes, animals have souls in traditional Jewish mystical teaching.) The "ruach" is a type of intellectual soul, in particular allowing humans to have morals and to distinguish between good and evil. The "neshamah" (related to "nishmat") and allows us to take actions in accordance with that understanding and to elevate our understanding.

    (Actually Jewish mystical teaching includes additional levels, but they are beyond my understanding.)

    Here is an excellent introductory article on this, by the late Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, one of the few approachable writers on Jewish mysticism:

    http://www.aish.com/...

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