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600,000 Jewish Souls


Question:

I was told about 600,000 Jewish souls & that there are only 600,000 Jewish souls. Is this a fact & could you explain it. I don't understand how only 600,000 souls are possible with so many more Jewish people in the world. Please explain and thank you.



AskTheRabbi.org answered:

Your question is fascinating and I will try to share some of what I have learned on the subject.

According to the Kabbalists, there were 600,000 Jewish souls that stood at Sinai to receive the Torah. They comprise the "Body" of the unified Jewish People. Together they represented the complete creation of Mankind (before the sin) by God on the sixth day of Creation.

You ask: What about today and the millions of Jews that live today in the world? How do the numbers fit?

The answer is that each Jew has a Jewish soul, but not necessarily an entire soul of someone who stood at Sinai. We each have at least part of one of the the souls of the people there, and possibly various parts of different people who stood at Sinai. Pieces of souls. However, the pieces that we have were given to us by God in order that we have a unique purpose in our lives.

This may sound strange, and I admit that it is beyond my comprehension, but it is our tradition, and the classical Jewish sources and teachings - from generation to generation - back this up. I personally do not feel it is something to dwell on, except to the extent that it will help us come closer to understanding God and our purpose in our lives.


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