Spiritual concepts

Nephesh

Nephesh (נֶ֫פֶשׁ‬ nép̄eš) is the Hebrew word for the Higher spirit.

In Judaic, mystic and esoteric thought human beings have a Higher spirit as do all other animals.  Individual plants do not each have a Nephesh, instead there is one Higher spirit for a group of individual plants of exactly the same type.  The term נפש‬ is literally “immortal soul”, although it is completely incorrectly translated as  "life" in many English texts.

In Genesis 2:7 the text states that Adam was not given a nephesh but "became a living nephesh." In effect Adam was the archetypical Higher spirit.  Leviticus 21:11 and Numbers 6:6 speak of a “dead body”, as being one in which, the Higher spirit has gone - in Hebrew a nép̄eš mêṯ, .

The soul - or more preciely the sub-conscious as opposed to the conscious is termed the  ruach (רוּחַ‬ rúaħ) .  Some Hebrew
scholars hold that “Nichema” is the Ego, or Intelligent Spirit [Personality]; “Rouach,” the lower vehicle of the Ego; and “Nephesh,” the Vital
Force, Vitality, or Life [Higher spirit].