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Michael Laitman, PhD

The Gender of the Soul

Q: Does the soul have a gender, like the body?

A: The soul does have a specific gender: male or female. That attribute extends from the root of creation, from the very beginning. Zeir Anpin (male) and Malchut (female) of the world of Atzilut are the prototypes of the genders in our world, and there are no greater opposites than these.

Throughout the system of creation, built from up downward, there is a division, a separation into a feminine part and masculine part. The lower the degree of creation, the coarser and simpler it becomes, and the more overlap there is between the masculine and feminine parts.

For example, in plants there is almost no division by sex. But the more the creatures develop, meaning the higher up they are on the ladder of evolution, the more distinct they become.

In the spiritual world, this oppositeness is very obvious. One does not cancel the other, but complements it. Without the feminine part, the system of creation is inconceivable. The masculine part depends on the feminine part and waits for it.

Q: Are the souls of men different from those of women?

A: Yes, it is true that men and women have different kinds of souls. But the souls of men are neither better nor worse than those of women. They are simply different kinds of souls, and hence their corrections are different.

Q: What is the difference between feminine and masculine souls?

A: Regardless of the physical body in our world, masculine and feminine souls are two types of parts of souls that comprise the spiritual Partzuf, also called the “right”and the “left” of the Partzuf. A Kabbalist who climbs the spiritual ladder alternates between the masculine part of the vessel and the feminine part. Consequently, at one time the Kabbalist has a masculine soul and at another time, a feminine soul.

An example of that is the soul of the First Man. It broke into 600,000 parts and then into a great many more. However, the content of the original Partzuf is retained in every one of them, turning each part to a minute Partzuf of its own. All the attributes and the forces of the entire creation that were concentrated in the first spiritual Partzuf now exist in every little spark of it.

Those sparks are called “souls” of people. Each has its own origin in the First Man and each comes from a different Sefira or a sub Sefira within the ten Sefirot of the First Man. Those souls divide by masculine and feminine souls, and clothe the appropriate corporeal body accordingly.

We are born with only a certain task. Our corporeal-animate characteristics do not change, whereas our inner-spiritual attributes change according to our correction. Thus, a woman may experience masculine spiritual situations, but on the outside, her body, which is the dressing, the clothing of this world, will remain a woman.

In the spiritual world, however, the soul experiences corrections both in its feminine part and in its masculine part. In our world, the body is fixed and retains its gender – male or female.

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