cheshbon hanefesh


cheshbon hanefesh (CHESH-bone hah-NEH-fesh) listen
cheshbon nefesh (chesh-BOHN NEH-fesh) listen


  • n. Soul-searching, self-accounting.

Example Sentences

  • "If you're going to sort yourself out, Gary, you'll need to do a thorough cheshbon ha-nefesh" (Glinert)

  • "We understand that it is difficult to focus on our Heshbon Hanefesh with so many aspects of our lives pulling us in so many directions." (source)

  • "This year, we suggest that you use the questions below to guide your own heshbon hanefesh." (source)

  • "Why isn't it undermined by the choshesh and the types of tauiyuos of choshech that the Ramchal spoke of earlier? Ramchal says that the cheshbon hanefesh requires hisbonenus during a period of hisbodedus. A period of deep reflection and solitude." (source)

  • "The practice of cheshbon hanefesh is not one that is limited to our own soul searching. As congregational leaders and board members, you also have the opportunity to perform a collective cheshbon hanefesh." (source)

  • "As the new school year and Rosh Hashana coincide so closely this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about cheshbon nefesh." (source)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • חשבון הנפש cheshbon hannefesh 'inventory of the soul, accounting of the self'

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
      • Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa


      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      kheshbon hanefesh, heshbon hanefesh, cheshben hanefesh, kheshben hanefesh, heshben hanefesh, cheshbon hannefesh, kheshbon hannefesh, heshbon hanenfesh, cheshben hannefesh, kheshben hannefesh, heshben hannefesh, cheshbon nefesh, kheshbon nefesh, heshbon nefesh, cheshben nefesh, kheshben nefesh, heshben nefesh, cheshbon ha-nefesh, kheshbon ha-nefesh, heshbon ha-nefesh, cheshben ha-nefesh, kheshben ha-nefesh, heshben ha-nefesh


  • "Cheshbon ha-nefesh and teshuvah are the central themes of the High Holy Days" (JPS).

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