Saying Elohai Neshamah in the morning

By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, October 20, 2013

The prayer Elohai Neshamah, whose first line in English reads, “My God, the soul that you breathed into me is pure” is one of the first things we say after rising in the morning. 

The prayer appears in Talmud Berachot 17b as a meditation which one of the sages used to add after the end of the Amidah and was later moved to the start of the siddur. It gives a powerful spiritual jolt of energy first thing each day, packing into a few lines some of Judaism’s most fundamental religious concepts. 

Elohai Neshamah affirms that the soul is the Godly element in each one of us; God instilled (or breathed) a unique, individual soul into every human body. In the end the soul will leave our body and be restored in the world to come and as long as God restores our soul to us each morning, we can thank God for the simple joy of being alive. The kabbalists also point out that the imagery of breath implies a direct and continuous connection to God.

Last updated: 5:45pm, October 20 2013