Order, Order

The order used in the parts of the soul cited before — Nephesh, Ruach, Neshama, Chaya, Yechidah — is now largely standard in works of Kabbalah, Chassidut, Mussar, and Hashkapha, but that wasn’t always so.

In fact, the citation from Devarim Rabbah 2:37 lists the order as Ruach, Nephesh, Neshama, Chaya, Yechidah; Zohar 2:158b cites them as Neshama, Ruach, Nephesh, Chaya, Yechidah; Zohar Chadash 91a simply states that there are levels without enunciating them; and Sefer Bahir 53 lists them as Ruach, Chaya, Yechidah, Nephesh, Neshama. And there are various other sources elsewhere in Zohar, Tikkunei Zohar, Midrash, in some piyyutim and elsewhere that list them all variously.

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