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Neshama and gender


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#1 eidel

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 04:12 PM

Is there such a thing as gender for the Neshama?
If not before the Guf is prepared, is there a point when the gender of the Neshama becomes permanently fixed (for the rest of its existence)?
Can the same Neshama be born as different genders in different Gilguls?

In another topic I saw that the Rav wrote something like Hashem looks into the "core of the Neshama" and decides the tendencies and circumstances here best fit for that Neshama to fulfill its purpose.
Will those characteristics be shed off some time in the future?

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 09:16 PM

Is there such a thing as gender for the Neshama?

Not a gender for the Neshama, but a man's Neshama is different than a woman's Neshama.

If not before the Guf is prepared, is there a point when the gender of the Neshama becomes permanently fixed (for the rest of its existence)?


It is fixed when Hashem decides what a person's gender should be. That is before he is born. See here also.

Can the same Neshama be born as different genders in different Gilguls?

A Neshama doesn't have a gender itself, but a person can be born in one Gilgul as a man, with the Neshama of a man, and n another Gilgul as a woman with the Neshama of a woman.

In another topic I saw that the Rav wrote something like Hashem looks into the "core of the Neshama" and decides the tendencies and circumstances here best fit for that Neshama to fulfill its purpose. Will those characteristics be shed off some time in the future?

I don't understand what you mean.

#3 sandythedog

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:10 AM

I think what eidel is saying is that there is a concept that Hashem looks at a person's neshamah, sees what needs fixing and puts the neshamah, the soul, into the circumstances it needs in order to grow. For example, if someone needs to learn to be more compassionate, Hashem might put that neshamah in the body of a person who may have a sick friend or in a place where there's a nursing home nearby so that that neshamah, that soul, can be influenced and grow. If I miss understood eidel, please correct me.

#4 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:32 AM

I think what eidel is saying is that there is a concept that Hashem looks at a person's neshamah, sees what needs fixing and puts the neshamah, the soul, into the circumstances it needs in order to grow. For example, if someone needs to learn to be more compassionate, Hashem might put that neshamah in the body of a person who may have a sick friend or in a place where there's a nursing home nearby so that that neshamah, that soul, can be influenced and grow. If I miss understood eidel, please correct me.

Well what you are saying is correct, but what is the question?

#5 taon

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 01:02 PM

Maybe she is asking what the person will be like in olam habah? If someone is given an emotional handicap, for example, will they still have it in the next world when they dont need it? (presuming that it wasnt expected of them to change that handicap).

#6 eidel

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:41 PM

Forgive me for my late response!

What I meant by "those characteristics" in the question was each Neshama's unique direction, as sandythedog wrote what the person "needs to learn" and flavor, like taon wrote "handicap". Would each Neshama still hold its individuality in that sense?

I am confused with what "person" means here. I thought a person consisted of his Neshama and his Guf, and that the Neshama gets different bodies in different lifetimes, but from what the Rav said, a "person" can have different Neshamos in different Gilguls? If the Neshama and Guf are both different, what's this "person" mentioned here? The core of the Neshama?

Thank you all for your patience in helping me out!

#7 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 04:08 PM

Forgive me for my late response!

What I meant by "those characteristics" in the question was each Neshama's unique direction, as sandythedog wrote what the person "needs to learn" and flavor, like taon wrote "handicap". Would each Neshama still hold its individuality in that sense?

I am confused with what "person" means here. I thought a person consisted of his Neshama and his Guf, and that the Neshama gets different bodies in different lifetimes, but from what the Rav said, a "person" can have different Neshamos in different Gilguls? If the Neshama and Guf are both different, what's this "person" mentioned here? The core of the Neshama?

Thank you all for your patience in helping me out!

You can call it the core if you like, or you can call it the "potential person." Hashem looks into the future and sees if it is better for this Neshama to be a man or woman, based on His plan and the person's choices. Based on that he decides whether to make it male or female.