cheshbon hanefesh

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

Definitions

  • "Soul-searching, self-accounting" (Glinert).

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." (https://avodah.net/make-heshbon-hanefesh-meaningful-for-you/)
  • "This year, we suggest that you use the questions below to guide your own heshbon hanefesh." (https://www.movingtraditions.org/deep-reflection-an-accounting-of-the-soul/)
  • "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." (https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/Chabura/Qs3Jufg529o)
  • "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." (https://urj.org/blog/2017/09/11/cheshbon-hanefesh-group-activity-assessing-our-collective-selves)
  • "As the new school year and Rosh Hashana coincide so closely this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about cheshbon nefesh." (https://bialik.ca/blog-new-school-year/)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew

Etymology

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)

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

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

Notes

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

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