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What is the Jewish belief about man's spirit?

Discussion in 'Messianic Judaism' started by drmmjr, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

    459
    +7
    Christian
    On another thread here in the Messianic Judaism forum, we got into a discussion about man's spirit, and how it continues on after death.

    Here's what I have read and understand spirit and soul to mean.

    In the Old Testament, "spirit" is translated from two Hebrew words, neshamah and ruach. Neshamah is defined as "breath", and is called "breath" in eleven texts. It is called "soul" once (Isaiah 57:16), and "spirit" twice (Job 26:4; Proverbs 20:27). It is called "blast" three times (2 Samuel 22:16; Job 4:9; Psalm 18:15), and "inspiration" once (Job 32:8). In general use, "breath" and "spirit" are synonymous in meaning. The word ruach is defined as "wind". It is called "breath" 28 times, and "spirit" 232 times. Other renderings are: air, anger, blast, cool courage, mind, quarters, side, tempest, wind, vain, windy and whirlwind.

    Ruach is the word translated "spirit" in Ecclesiastes 12:7: "The dust shall return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return to God who gave it." Quite often, men use "spirit" of this text interchangeably with "soul" and claim that it never dies. "Spirit" is the ruach or air that man quits breathing at death, and which goes back to God who gave it. "Soul" is from nephesh, meaning "life". "Spirit" and "life" are not used interchangeably, although one cannot exist without the other; life cannot continue without air. When the breath is taken away, life ceases, we no longer breathe.

    But nowhere in Scriptures does it speak of an immortal soul or spirit, so I don't see how you can say that a person's spirit can continually exist without breath since spirit is breath.

    I am interested in seeing what the Jewish thought is about the spirit.
     
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  2. sojeru

    sojeru just a Jew

    870
    +21
    Judaism
    thats just it-
    you quoted it.
    "the spirit goes back to HaShem who gave it"

    also, how is it that the sins of the fathers are continued in their children?

    it is a spirit of their father(s)
    come together to make up a new nefesh

    ahh the mysteries lol
     
  3. drmmjr

    drmmjr Regular Member

    459
    +7
    Christian
    Yes, the breath of life goes back to God. And the same thing happens for beasts as well as man.

    Ecc 3:19 - For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
    20 - All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
     
  4. sojeru

    sojeru just a Jew

    870
    +21
    Judaism
    I guess this goes to show you why animals must also die by the trangression against the breath
     
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