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Why do Jews believe in reincarnation?

In my last question about converts to Judaism and the messiah an answerer said that converts were born Jewish in a past life, but for reasons known only to God they were reincarnated to not be born Jewish but they are still real Jews.

“Reincarnated?”

Have Jews always believed in reincarnation? What is the basis for believing in reincarnation?

10 Comments

  • Judaism has always believed in reincarnation- its just the modern liberal sects that tend to discard it. The composition of the soul and how it relates to reincarnation is discussed in the Zohar, as well as in Likutei Amoraim (also known as Tanya).

    Now the biggest issue that some people have with reincarnation often is: If we have multiple lives- how does everyone get resurrected in the time of mashiach? After all- which of those lives would come back?

    So, to understand reincarnation and how it can be understood in light of techias meitim in the time of Mashiach- you need to understand the understanding of the soul.

    In the simplest way of explaining it, the soul has three parts: Ruach which is tha animating spirit, think of it as the animal soul which every living being has and which dies when the person dies. Neshamah- this is the holy spark from G-d- it is 100% pure, cannot sin ad is sent into this world to be able to experience spiritual growth.

    Now these two parts represent 100% physicality (Ruach) vs 100% spirituality (Neshamah)- and the two cannot combine or influence each other- which is where the third part comes in- the Nefesh. This si the “You” part- your intellect, mind, personality. It is the part that ties the spiritual to the physical and enable spiritual growth through the making of spiritual choices.

    Now- when we die the Ruach dies- it plays no further part as its role was to animate the body. The Neshamah is 100% pure- it cannot sin and thus cannot be judged- it is the Nefesh that is judged- your actions, choices etc- and that which undergoes purification in gehinnom and then reward in the world to come. When we speak about reincarnation- we are referring to the fact that the Neshamah returns to this world to continue its spiritual growth. When we talk about Techias hameitim (Resurrection of the dead) in the time of Mashiach- we refer to the fact that the Nefesh is given a new body and thus returns to earth. Thus since there is an unique instance of the Nefesh for each time the Neshama is reincarnated, there is an unique person to be resurrected each time.

  • This confirms what I’ve been saying all along…Jesus believed in reincarnation.

    EDIT:
    And Jaye, Jesus said you must be born again. I’m glad we think so much alike, friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • From what I understand, reincarnation is a personal belief not a mandatory belief or tenet of any religion.

    I am a Christian that believes in reincarnation……shocking isn’t it?
    (At least that is the most mild response I get on YA.)

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    ** One of the basis’ I have for believing this way is the many ways ‘karma’ has been spoken of in the old test. as well as the new.

    One small biblical example: A man reaps what he sows. – I know many people that have died having never paid the price for certain things in this one lifetime, if therefore they are to ‘reap’ what they have sown it only makes sense that they would need to come back again.

  • You seem to key onto one sentence and obsess over it, my friend.

    answer: Not all Jews belief in reincarnation. Some believe the soul reincarnates until one is righteous enough to join G-d when dying.

    Some believe the soul reincarnates until the Messiah/Messianic Age comes around.

    Some don’t believe in reincarnation at all (more of the prevalent belief).

  • I believe in reincarnation only because that is what the spirit inside of me, (who claims to be God), told me that I can expect.

    But, He didn’t tell me that part.

  • Yes, traditional Orthodox Judaism has always had reincarnation from the time Judaism was founded at Mt. Sinai.

    The later movements that split off from Orthodox Judaism (Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Humanistic, etc.) didn’t put too much emphasis on it and still don’t. Pretty much ignore it in fact.

    It’s one of the things they kind of tried to get away from as being “old superstitious nonsense” in traditional Orthodox Judaism. They didn’t throw it away exactly, but it isn’t taught. Many Jews who belong to these movements are unaware it even exists and will deny it even when they find out it is.

    It is the traditional Orthodox Jews who still keep these teachings, and understand it. It is a part of the deeper teachings of the Torah.

    Do some research on it. There are many books written by Orthodox Jews on “Judaism and Reincarnation” that will give you the history of it.

    Look on Amazon.com

    Do a Google search under “Gilgul” which is what it’s called in Hebrew.

  • Judaism focuses on this life and has no specific teaching of the afterlife. Some Jewish sects believe in reincarnation but not all.

    I wil star your question for Jewish contacts.

    _()_

  • Not necessarily. Jews have very diverse opinions on the previous/afterlife. Some believe you go up to Heaven, others believe in reincarnation (though I’ve never really heard of that), others believe they just die. That’s it.

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