The soul of man functions through its instrument or vessel, which is the body.
Through it and with it, the soul thinks, perceives, feels, and acts.
Through it and by it, the soul has to fulfill its double function in reality.
First, it has to perform a certain task in the process of perfecting the outer world, or at least that part of the world to which it is destined.
And second, its task is to raise itself.
But these tasks are not necessarily separate; they are accomplished simultaneously.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From "The Soul of Man" in The Thirteen Petalled Rose by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz