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Who is a Goof?

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Topic: Goof, Definition

Ed wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

What is the "guff," or is there such a term in Jewish history or tradition? I saw a video entitled "The Seventh Sign" and it mentioned the "guff" in relation to the Hall of Souls. I want to know if it is purely fiction or not. Thank you.

Dear Ed,

The "guff" is a term the Talmud uses to refer to the repository of all unborn souls. Literally, the word "guff" means "body."

The Talmud says, "The Son of David (Mashiach) will not arrive until there's no more 'soul' in the 'body.' " This means that there are a certain number of souls in heaven waiting to be born. Until they are born, they wait in a heavenly repository called "the body." The Mashiach won't arrive until every single one of these souls has been born into the physical world.

This teaches that each person is important and has a unique role which only he, with his unique soul, can fulfill. Even a newborn baby brings the Mashiach closer simply by being born.


  • Tractate Yevamot 62a
  • Tractate Avodah Zarah 5a

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