- November 18, 2010 at 12:36 pm#24158
- November 18, 2010 at 12:41 pm #322639
- November 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm #322623
- November 18, 2010 at 1:51 pm #322616
- November 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm #322602
- November 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm #322593
- November 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm #322574
- November 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm #322566
Is there a belief in reincarnation in Judaism? yes- but not in the way it is popularly protrayed, nor in a way that people would be able to go back to their past lives through regression and all the other nonsense out there! Let me explain:
IN a simplistic view of the soul, it has three levels- a simple animalists animating spirit that is part of the body, a holy soul that is the spark of G-d in each of us, and a portion that connects the physical to the spiritual- this is also the part that contains the “YOU” part- your intellect, personality etc. Now the purpose of this world is to enable the holy part t learn, grow and increase its spirituality- the laws in the Torah are for that purpose and elevate the animating spirit away from the physical and towards the holy as part of that process- that is why there are laws relating to physical needs such as eating and sex, to take those out of physical necessities we just adhere to and into an elevated spiritual activity.
How does this relate to reincarnation? When we die, the animating spirit part dies with the body. The “YOU” part is the part that is judged and rewarded and experiences the punishment (temporary) of Gehinnom and the part that will be resurrected when mashiach comes. The Holy part is the part that is reincarnated and will come down to be part of another body and live again (and thus why you cannot experience past lives etc- the part of the soul connected to that past life is no longer there!).
As to the statement you ask about in the Talmud, I have never come across it (but then I haven’t studied the whole Talmud so I cannot state it doesn’t exist since you haven’t referenced where in the talmud it is found!) Could it be there? It could- but it would most likely be in the realm of Midrash (extrapolated and or hinted at meanings in the text, but also including homiletic statements etc) or aggadata- tales found in the Talmud/Midrash that may or may not be true but serve to illustrate a poitn of ethics/moralityor even the law
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