In Judaism, the higher nature of a human being is divided into five major components: the nefesh, the ruach, the neshama, the chaya and the yechida. Each of these expresses a different aspect of the soul.

1. The nefesh can be considered as synonymous with the personality or intellect. It is the thinking, feeling human being in the world, the component that makes him the creative, active creature is.
– The personality is the expression of the soul as it is reflected in one incarnation.
– It is a garment that the soul puts on in order to clothe the higher self in a body. It provides a vehicle for our true Self.

2. The second level of the soul is the ruach.
– This is the name for the spark of the Divine that is within us all.
– It is the individual soul, the personal expression of the greater Divine life in which we live, breathe and have our being.

3. The ruach, however, cannot be understood without reference to the neshama – our true Soul.
– The neshama is the larger soul to which we belong and from which we come.
– A neshama is composed of a number of individual souls who share a similar spiritual background and are bound together into a single unit or group.
– The neshama is the essential Divine element from which Humanity is formed.

4. Each neshama or group soul is part of an even greater group soul which, in turn, is part of an even greater group soul; a process that goes on ad infinitum.
– As we evolve in our evolution to become one with the source of our neshama, we reach up into the higher source from which our neshama has come.
– The neshama of the neshama, the greater group soul from which our own neshama comes, is called the chaya.

5. The last aspect of the soul is called the yechida.
– The yechida relates to the Universal Soul from which all of humankind has emerged.
– In the Kabbalistic tradition this soul is called Adam Kadmon, the Primordial Man, or alternatively, Adam Rishon, the First Man.
– Each human being is a spark of this vast soul.
– The yechida is the shoresh neshama, the supernal root from which our soul has originated; the specific part in the body of Adam Rishon to which it can be traced.