Can a live person be soulless?

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    Literally, can someone be alive and without a soul?

    Thank you


    Depends on your definition of “alive”.




    (The reason is to long to post)

    Avi K

    Rambam (Guide 1:7) says that this is the definition of a ืฉื“. According to Psychology this would seem to be the definition of a psychopath. Rav Ephraim Sprecher quoted Rav Soloveichik as saying that if you see someone who has no human feelings, like a Hitler or Stalin ym”s, you can be sure that he is one of them.


    demons have no soul while
    angels (coming down to this world with a mission) also have no physical body & are just dressed up acted as regular people

    in galus

    What is a “soul”? The word “soul” does not exist in the Torah. Are you talking about the nefesh? The nefesh is what keeps a living thing alive, so no. The ruach? When you go to sleep you give up your ruach, so yes. The neshama? I don’t know but I guess that’s what people mean about demons. I don’t know if this is in the Torah though.


    Aww my question was deleted by the Mods!

    … okay so a different question: Is it possible for someone’s nefesh to depart from one’s body while he or she is still alive?


    Rewind… I mean neshamah.

    Can someone have a neshamah and then poof, it disappears while the person is still living?


    if there were still nevi’im today, when the were given a message from Hashem-to deliver to klal yisroel-their neshamas left them & they got the message & then their were returned to regular human beings with their neshamas returned to them. ONLY MOSHE RABBEINU spoke to Hashem face to face i.e. without his neshama leaving him cause he was on such a high level, but if any other navi would speak to Hashem face to face with their neshama regularly it would have immediately kill them.

    as an example: if any human today would go to another planet without taking oxygen with them they would not be alive as soon as they stopped breathing. yes Hashem made it that human beings needs oxygen to live while demons & angels do not


    “[O]ne who does not feel any holiness within himself at all
    can be sure that he does not possess even* a neshama;
    he has no contact with the neshama, for it has completely
    left him. It will return only if and when he does teshuva.”
    -Strive for Truth, vol. 1, page 211. Rav Dessler says this in the name of
    his rebbi – I think he was Rav Tzvi Hirsch Braude (son of the Alter of Kelm).

    *An earlier part of the paragraph was about the neshama yeseira of Shabbos.


    Sheidim/demons are not humans, just as, for example,
    potatoes or elephants are not humans.




    This is a very interesting question. It is certainly theoretically possible. We can imagine a humanoid robot that is not consciously self-aware and that has no free-will. It is humanoid without a soul but would appear to us (at least superficially) as a human.

    Whether such a being actually exists or has ever existed is something we cannot know.


    A golem.

    We know multiple golems have existed.

    Avi K

    LB, yes. That is what happened to Cain. That is why he is not listed among the descendants of Adam haRishon (Bereisheet ch. 5).

    Random, Rambam disagrees with you.


    Lb I know of a baal Shem Tov story where this woman passed away and no one guarded her body because her husband had to get the chevra kadisha and she opened the door when he came back…. Because her body was taken over by either a shed or forces of klipah aka lilis…. Anyhow they had more kids together who were also shedim/Offsprings of lilis and had no neshama….


    What’s the difference between a Baal Shem Tov story and a regular story?


    CS: Why’d the husband stay and have children with a sheid?

    Avi K

    I heard that some of the BST stories were written by maskilim in order to make fun of him.


    @solaro a Baal Shem Tov story is a story about the Baal Shem Tov. I know it didn’t finish the story where the Baal Shem Tov killed the shedim because I didn’t see that point as relevant.

    because he thought it was his wife who came bask to life.

    @avik that could be. You remind me of a saying I heard about Baal Shem Tov stories : if you believed every one certainly happened, you’re a fool. If you believe any story could not have happened you’re an apikorus.

    Avi K

    Chabadshlucha, I was not aware that hat was one of the Thirteen Principles. In fact, many Chassidic stories have serious halachic problems. Either they could not have happened or Chassidut is not a halachic movement.


    CS: I believe your BST story about him killing the wife and children who were sheidim fits in the first of the two categories of BST stories that you described to Avi.


    The end of the quote is so what to do? Believe every sorry could have happened…

    Avik no its not bit believing Hashem can’t do something through a tzadik is… Tzaddikim domim lboram. Anyhow its not a halacha, just a pisgam. But I have no clue what type taking about about impossible stories that go against halacha cvs, and I know many many stories.


    OK maybe I should finish the story.

    The beginning is as above. The family lived in an inn located between two cities atop a mountain. When the wife sickened and died, the husband had to leave her body alive to climb down the mountain and fetch the chevra kadisha.

    When they returned, she opened the door and asked where her husband had been. He was completely weirded out and asked the CK members to sleep over. The next day they said they need to tend to dead people, not live ones, so they left.

    Years passed and the couple had kids.

    One day the BST stopped at the inn with his talmidim. They made a Minyan to daven mincha but as soon as they started davening, a huge storm started and shook the house. The students were thrown to the ground.

    As soon as the BST finished davening, the storm ceased. It had been so strong that the mountain had split in half. The wife and kids were dead on the floor. That’s when the BST explained that his wife’s body had been taken over by forces of tumah and they had used her body to birth children who were also forces of tumah.

    The BST with his mincha accomplished that they should leave and never mix with humans again.

    If I’m not mistaken, they were taken over by shedim. But I could be wrong.

    It is notable to mention that in r’ yoel Baal Shem times the is a documented story of shedim taking over the apartment is an dead couple and scaring the wits out of the other tenants.

    Nowadays we don’t hear such stories anymore.

    Dybuk stories are less common as well although Rabbi kaplan from Toronto had an experience with excorcising one it seems


    Thinking about it it would make sense that it was forces of klipa that took over the bodies, not shedim because shedim are beings on their own.

    They were created last second on erev shabbos in the six days of creation and need to eat and drink like humans, but can change their appearance. Their feet look like chickens get and are the only thing they can’t change. they also have access to spiritual realms that regular humans don’t.


    If such forces taking over dead bodies was a thing, I would
    think that we’d hear of it in more than a single story.

    (“Shedim taking over the apartment is an dead couple” is gibberish.)


    Avi, are you absolutely sure that the Rambam says a sheid is a
    (human) body without a soul, and not a soul without a body?

    Avi K

    1. We don’t here of such things today? You never heard of the Amityville Horror?
    2. There are stories of “tzaddikim” giving all their money to some needy person and leaving their own families high and dry.

    Random, here is Rambam’s statement at the end of Chelek 1 Chapter 7 according to the translation of Smuel ibn Tibbon:

    “ื•ื™ื—ื™ ืื“ื ืฉืœื•ืฉื™ื ื•ืžืืช ืฉื ื” ื•ื™ื•ืœื“ ื‘ื“ืžื•ืชื• ื›ืฆืœืžื•” (ื‘ืจืืฉื™ืช ื”, ื’), ื•ื›ื‘ืจ ืงื“ื ืœืš (ื‘ืคืจืง ื) ืขื ื™ื™ืŸ ืฆืœื ื•ื“ืžื•ืช ืžื” ื”ื•ื. ื•ื›ืœ ืžื™ ืฉืงื“ืžื• ืœื• ืžืŸ ื”ื‘ื ื™ื ืœื ื”ื’ื™ืข ืขืœื™ื”ื ื”ืฆื•ืจื” ื”ืื ื•ืฉื™ืช ื‘ืืžืช, ืืฉืจ ื”ื™ื ืฆืœื ื•ื“ืžื•ืชื• ื”ื ืืžืจ ืขืœื™ื” ื‘ืฆืœื ืืœื•ื”ื™ื ื•ื‘ื“ืžื•ืชื•. ืืžื ื ืฉืช ื›ืืฉืจ ืœืžื“ื”ื• ื•ื”ื‘ื™ื ื”ื•, ื•ื ืžืฆื ืฉืœื ื”ืฉืœื™ืžื•ืช ื”ืื ื•ืฉื™, ืืžืจ ื‘ื• “ื•ื™ื•ืœื“ ื‘ื“ืžื•ืชื• ื›ืฆืœืžื•” (ืฉื).

    ื•ื›ื‘ืจ ื™ื“ืขืช ื›ื™ ื›ืœ ืžื™ ืฉืœื ื”ื’ื™ืข ืœื• ื–ืืช ื”ืฆื•ืจื” ืืฉืจ ื‘ื™ืืจื ื• ืขื ื™ื™ื ื”, ื”ื•ื ืื™ื ื• ืื™ืฉ ืื‘ืœ ื‘ื”ืžื” ืขืœ ืฆื•ืจืช ืื™ืฉ ื•ืชื‘ื ื™ืชื•, ืื‘ืœ ื™ืฉ ืœื• ื™ื›ื•ืœืช ืขืœ ืžื™ื ื™ ื”ื”ื™ื–ืง ื•ื—ืœื•ืฉ ื”ื“ืขื•ืช, ืžื” ืฉืื™ืŸ ื›ืŸ ืœืฉืืจ ื‘ืขืœื™ ื—ื™ื™ื, ื›ื™ ื”ืฉื›ืœ ื•ื”ืžื—ืฉื‘ื” ืฉื”ื™ื• ืžื•ื›ื ื™ื ืœื• ืœื”ื’ืขืช ื”ืฉืœืžื•ืช ืืฉืจ ืœื ื”ื’ื™ืข, ื™ืฉืชืžืฉ ื‘ื”ื ื‘ืžื™ื ื™ ื”ืชื—ื‘ื•ืœื•ืช ื”ืžื‘ื™ืื•ืช ืœืจืข, ื•ื”ื•ืœื™ื“ ื”ื ื–ืงื™ื ื›ืื™ืœื• ื”ื•ื ื“ื‘ืจ ื™ื“ืžื” ืœืื“ื ืื• ื™ื–ื™ืงื”ื•. ื•ื›ืŸ ื”ื™ื• ื‘ื ื™ ืื“ื ื”ืงื•ื“ืžื™ื ืœืฉืช. ื•ืืžืจื• ื‘ืžื“ืจืฉ: “ื›ืœ ืื•ืชืŸ ืง”ืœ ืฉื ื” ืฉื”ื™ื” ืื“ื ื ื–ื•ืฃ ื‘ื”ื ื”ื™ื” ืžื•ืœื™ื“ ืจื•ื—ื•ืช”, ืจ”ืœ ืฉื“ื™ื, ื•ื›ืืฉืจ ืจืฆื”ื• ื”ืฉื, ื”ื•ืœื™ื“ ื‘ื“ืžื•ืชื• ื›ืฆืœืžื•.
    ื•ื”ื•ื ืืžืจื•: “ื•ื™ื—ื™ ืื“ื ืฉืœื•ืฉื™ื ื•ืžืืช ืฉื ื” ื•ื™ื•ืœื“ ื‘ื“ืžื•ืชื• ื›ืฆืœืžื•” (ืฉื).

    You can see for yourself at

    In fact, in American cities there are many stories of such people taking over apartments. This has prompted the Manhattan District. Attorney’s office to institute a Narcotics Eviction Program.


    (โ€œShedim taking over the apartment is an dead couple is gibberish.)”

    Your right it was meant to be OF a dead couple.

    Happened in the city of the Alter Rebbe’s great grandfather reb Baruch batlan.


    “1. We donโ€™t here of such things today? You never heard of the Amityville Horror?”

    No I didn’t

    “2. There are stories of โ€œtzaddikimโ€ giving all their money to some needy person and leaving their own families high and dry”

    They were expected to give everything they had whether spiritually or physically for the klal. Notice they didn’t keep any money for themselves either yet they all survived and thrived. Hashem provides for us day by day, just as He did with the mon, but it takes real bitachon to live that way.
    But it works!

    Avi K

    1. You can google it.
    2. If they (and their families) survived and thrived after giving everything away obviously they took it back in some form. Or the stories are sippurei savta (bubbe meises in creole German).


    I heard a pshat on what becomes of a rasha merusha or a serial poshe’a. He is likened to a shofar or lulav from an ir nidachas. The item can be seen and held, it is fully physical, but its spiritual value is zero due to “ketutei mictas shiurei”


    But if he or she does teshuvah, and thus starts doing mitzvot, then he or she will fill back up?

    Uncle Ben

    On galus: Soul is not mentioned in the Torah?! What about, “Vayipach be’apav NISHMAS chaim”???


    Avi, that Rambam doesn’t say what you claimed it said.
    Was your remark about the Narcotics Eviction Program a joke?

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