Listen to this prayer

The soul that You, my God, have given me
is pure.

You created it,You formed it,
You breathed it into me,
You protect it within me,
and You will some day take it from my body
and return it to me in the world-to-come.
As long as my soul is within me,
I give thanks to You Adonai,
my God and the God of my ancestors,

Master of all Creation, Lord of all souls.
Praised are You, Adonai,
Restorer of souls to bodies that have died.

Continuing with the theme of Modeh Ani, we thank God each morning for restoring our souls to us after a night’s sleep. The sub-text is that even as God restores our souls to us each day after a “mini-death” (i.e., sleep), God will some day restore our souls to us after our real death (i.e., in the world-to-come).

The question is often posed whether Jews believe in life after death. Although Christianity tends to emphasize individual salvation in the world-to-come while Judaism speaks of the need to perfect the world in which we live today, it is important to remember that Christianity took the concept of life after death directly from its parent religion. Eternal life is one of the most important doctrines of rabbinic Judaism, and Elohai Neshama is a daily reaffirmation of that doctrine.

Listen to this prayer