Soul for a Fetus?: Soul & Afterlife Response on Ask the Rabbi
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Soul for a Fetus?

Where in Torah is there a reference to the exact time when God places the soul into the human being? Do Jews believe that babies have souls before birth?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

This is a very deep subject. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 110b) mentions five possibilities of when the soul enters, apparently representing a continuum of deeper levels of the soul: at conception, at birth, at the circumcision (8th day), at the time he begins speaking, and when he responds to blessings with "amen."

According to the great kabbalist the Arizal (16th century Israel), the soul is actually formed during sexual contact - even if there is no baby born from the union. Furthermore, according to Arizal, in the Messianic era when the dead will be resurrected from their graves, everyone will find that they have many additional children, as the souls that they created during marital relations will come to life at that time.

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