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Can an animal have a human soul?

by Rabbi DovBer Pinson


Library » Philosophy » Afterlife | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Not exactly, but there is a concept of "Gilgul". It is possible that the soul of a human being comes down to this world in the body of an animal in order to reach its perfection. The animal is driven by a standard animal soul, and the human soul is imprisoned within it, with very little opportunity to express itself. When the animal dies, it is not the soul of the animal that goes to heaven, but rather the soul of the human being that was in the animal.


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Animals and souls

Posted by: Kelsey herr, Hixson, TN on Jan 24, 2005

In my opinion, I don't think it is possible for an animal to have a human soul!!! And even if it were possible, then animals would be able to walk on two feet and talk, right???

Editor's Comment

The soul may have powers which cannot be actualized because the body is deficient. For example, the amputee has a human soul, but cannot walk. This isn't because the soul has been injured...

do animals have souls?

Posted by: brosa, FORT COLLINS, CO on Feb 13, 2005

In G-d's infinite wisdom, all things are possible...

MY little Yorkie has soul, no doubt about it!! Any creature that gives back all kinds of emotion, especially unconditional love! has could they not!

I just lost my 15 year old Yorkie this past Friday. we included the celebration of her life with our Shabbas dinner, and will have a traditional funeral this afternoon, Sunday, honoring all the love and joy she brought to our life!.


Editor's Comment

Certainly animals have souls. The subject of this question is whether animals have human souls.

Pets and Human Souls

Posted by: Anonymous, Sherman Oaks, CA on Aug 09, 2005

I truly believe I have a dog with a human soul. When I ask him if he wants to hear Torah he runs to me. When someone talks to him, he looks deep into their eyes like he understands or is trying desperately to understand. I suppose there is no way to be absolutely certain, but I have heard that a human soul is more likely to be trapped in a dog's body, rather than in the body of another type of pet.

human soul in an animal

Posted by: Chava on Oct 18, 2005

Could I have the source for this please?


Editor's Comment

Arizal's Sha'ar HaGilgulim Hakdoma 22. See also Arizal's Sefer HaLikutim beginning of Bereishit; and in parshat Eikev.

Do animals have souls.

Posted by: Chashmal, Bloomingburg, NY, USA on Nov 18, 2005

I don't agree with the statement that animals do not have souls, I believe they must have souls. If everything in this life, everything in this universe are fallen sparks of light, everything has a soul then because it all came from the same thing.

The Souls of Animals

Posted by: Michael, Laguna Hills, CA on Apr 01, 2006

Philosophically, this idea is perplexing. As stated by another poster, how can animals (or any other animate being on this planet) not have human souls if we are all just sparks of Hashem? Everything comes from the same source, why would there be different sets of souls? This does not seem to indicate "sparks from the One, True G-d."

Editor's Comment

As made amply clear in previous posts and comments, animals -- as well as every other object created by the A-mighty -- possess souls. However, their souls are very different than human souls. The main two differences are: a) the human soul is intellect based; the animal soul is primarily controlled by emotions and instinct. b) While both souls emanate from the Divine, the animal soul has been "filtered" to the extent that its divine spark is concealed.

Souls within animals

Posted by: Anonymous, Virginia Beach, VA, United States on Jul 24, 2006

I just had something that happened to me the other day that I just can not get out of my mind. Let me start off by saying that I lost My aunt and her husband in a bad house fire July 18, 2006. I felt like I had to go to her house to see what she went through no matter how bad it would hurt me I just had to go. When me and a few of my family members went to go view her house which was burnt up so bad that it is going to have to be knocked down the stragest thing happened. I don't know if I can even call it strange. I didn't know that my Aunt and Uncle were raisind chicken and hens and when we were at her house looking at how bad it was. One chicken and one hen came from out there cages and walked fairly close to us. My cousin got scared, I didn't. I told the chicken and hen that we were just there to check on things to make sure that everything was ok. When I said that they turned around and walked away I was amazed. Do you think that maybe my Aunt and Uncle souls were in those animals

Animals and thier human souls

Posted by: Friend on Sep 05, 2006

One thing I would like to ask about this subject I just read.

When the animals are being used as sacrifice to clean someone from its sins, is this an act of murder then, if they are with human soul?

Best intentions implied.

Editor's Comment

To the contrary, that would mean that the soul is elevated and finally released from its "imprisonment" in its foreign environment.

Animals -- human soul before and after

Posted by: Friend, Bulgaria on Sep 07, 2006

If a human soul is “imprisoned” while it lives within the animal’s body, where was the human soul before and what happens with it after it is released?

Best intentions implied. I am only interested to learn about this.

Editor's Comment

The human soul used to inhabit a human body. At times, a person fails to complete a particular detail of his "human" mission on earth, at which time his soul MAY return in a foreign body in order to be rectified.

Animals and Souls

Posted by: Anonymous, Savannah, GA on Sep 27, 2006

What is the reasoning behind humans coming back to earth in an animal body to fulfill something they forgot to do? Is this an actual truth in scripture? I know it is not. It sounds exactly like reincarnation.

Do animals have souls? I am sure they do have something since apparently Eve talked to the snake without thinking it strange. When man sinned, it seems every type of relationship was cursed between man: man to earth, man to animal, man to G-d. Why would it seem so strange that sometimes animals seem to connect to us when man was doing that in the beginning? But to say that it may be a human spirit come back in an animal, that is silly. It seems to me to be just conjured up wishful thinking from over the generations, to make one feel better about how one lived during their life if he/she feels he/she has not done a good job. ie. "i'll get another chance in case i forgot something." We only have one life, and when we enter into eternity, we will either live with G-d or apart from G-d (which I don't want to even imagine!)

Final note: Make sure you live your life for G-d, that way you don't have to wonder!

Editor's Comment

We would advise you to peruse the many articles on our site discussing the topic of reincarnation. See


Life Cycle » Death » Afterlife
Miscellaneous » Animals/Pets