נֶפֶשׁ

soul, life

nepes
Noun
754

The word נֶפֶשׁ can express various meanings. It can denote life, which, in numerous instances, is incorporated in the blood (דָּם), which consequently implies the prohibition against eating blood (Lev 17:14). Among other subtle meanings, it can denote physical components of breathing (throat or neck). Hence the breath, which is coming through the throat, is a necessary mediator of life in the creation of humanity: Lord God “blew (נפח) into his nostrils the breath (נְשָׁמָה) of life (חַי), and man became a living (חַי) being (נֶפֶשׁ)” (Gen 2:7). Therefore, when someone loses the potential to breathe, it means he is dead.