We're happy to share these thoughts about ensoulment by one of our friends who sent this to us last week:
There is a long accepted principle that there are no extra words in the Torah. With this in mind, there a phrase in the Torah which is used each and every time a birth is mentioned. This phrase is "Va'Tahar VaTeled" [... 'and (she) conceived and gave birth'].
So why did Hashem feel it necessary to ALWAYS add the descriptive verb 'Va'Tahar' (conceived)? Might it have just been sufficient to have written; '...and she gave birth'. There must be something about the curious addition of the word 'Va'Tahar' that the Torah is tryin to convey.
I believe that maybe taken within the entire context of the famous Midrash about PreBorn Babies being taught the Torah by an Angel for the full nine months while they are in their Mothers' Womb, can hopefully raise additional important questions [at least for ProChoice Rabbis] of when the Soul enters the Baby and therefore when Life Begins. Although this Midrash ends with the Baby being touched on the lips by an angel and forgetting everything it has been taught, there is still a clear benefit to this effort which we can explore at a different time.
What is critical to this discussion is that in order for this Midrash to have any meaning, the PreBorn Baby must be assumed by Our Oral Tradition to have received a Soul at Conception in order to benefit from this nine months of learning Torah.
These Traditions are not taught in a total vacuum of Faith. There is very often within the Torah itself a 'Hint' of the Midrash. In our case this Hint may be within the very Hebrew letters of the word 'Va'Tahar' itself. If one takes the actual letters of the word 'Va'Tahar' [Vav, Taf, He, Resh] and rearranges them using the established Kabalistic interpretative method of 'Temurah', one finds that the word 'Va'Tahar' transforms into the word 'Torah' [Taf, Vav, Resh, He]...
In brief, what should have been sent was the observation associating the famous Midrash that a baby is taught Torah by an Angel for nine months in its' mother's womb before it is born. In order for that Midrash to have any meaning, the baby must have received a Soul at Conception.
In the Traditional Kabblistic Tradition, almost all (if not all) Midrashim are hinted at in the Torah. In this case the words 'Va'Tahar' may hold the hint to this famous Midrash.
If one takes the Hebrew Letters of 'Va'Tahar' (Vav, Taf, He, Resh) and uses the Kabbalistic method of Temurah to help interpret this word, these letter also spell 'Torah' (Taf, Va , Resh, He) which may hint not only about the Midrash, but also may help explain why Traditional Judaism predominantly believes that 'Life' begins at conception.