Judaism and Reincarnation

Written by RabbiYerachmiel Tilles

Judaism and Reincarnation

How prevalent isrepparttar Jewish belief in reincarnation today? How does it differ fromrepparttar 146892 Asian belief? What dorepparttar 146893 Rabbis think of it?

The root ofrepparttar 146894 word " Torah" isrepparttar 146895 verb "to instruct". Torah's primary function is to teach us how to live Jewishly, in harmony with G-d's will. As such,repparttar 146896 basic levels of scriptural interpretation lead to a practical understanding of mitzvot and related Jewish values.

" Many Jews are surprised to learn, or may even wish to deny, that reincarnation...is an integral part of Jewish belief..." The Torah, however, is a multi-layered document. Many of its deeper levels of interpretation are not readily accessible; and they may not lend themselves to obvious, practical application in daily life. As such, these more esoteric aspects of Torah are not of interest to significant segments ofrepparttar 146897 Jewish population, including some rabbis and scholars.

Consequently, many Jews are surprised to learn, or may even wish to deny, that reincarnation -repparttar 146898 "revolving" of souls through a succession of lives, or "gilgulim" - is an integral part of Jewish belief. But this teaching has always been around. And it is firmly rooted in source-verses.

Examples abound. Ramban, one ofrepparttar 146899 greatest commentators onrepparttar 146900 Torah (and onrepparttar 146901 Talmud), and a seminal figure in Jewish history, hints several times that reincarnation isrepparttar 146902 key to penetratingrepparttar 146903 deep mysteries involved inrepparttar 146904 mitzvah of yibum (the obligation ofrepparttar 146905 brother of a childless, deceased man to marryrepparttar 146906 widow). In his explanation of Gen 38:8, he insists that Yehudah and his sons were aware ofrepparttar 146907 secret of reincarnation, and that this was a major factor in their respective attitudes towards Tamar.

" The responsibility lies with us..." The Jewish understanding of reincarnation is different from Buddhist doctrines. It in no way leads to fatalism. At every point of moral decision in his life, a Jew has complete free choice. If not for freedom of choice, how unfair it would be of G-d to make demands of us - especially when reward and punishment is involved! Reincarnation does not imply pre-determination. It is, rather, an opportunity for rectification and soul-perfection.


Written by Irvin L. Rozier

A July Third Sunday In South Georgia

Sunday morning, July 3d, 2005, arrived in south Georgia...it was a humid morning, butrepparttar birds were singing, I could hearrepparttar 146891 distance church bell ringing. I made some coffee and drank a cup of it on my porch. I then went torepparttar 146892 Lord in prayer, asking for his blessings as I was preparing to go preach atrepparttar 146893 nearby nursing home where I have preached forrepparttar 146894 last 17 years.

I arrived atrepparttar 146895 nursing home, and was warmly greeted byrepparttar 146896 residents. Asrepparttar 146897 song, "O What a Savior" began to play onrepparttar 146898 stereo,repparttar 146899 spirit ofrepparttar 146900 Lord moved in a loving way. The feeble residents lifted their voices and hands as they sang along withrepparttar 146901 song. We played a few more, including "Touring That City", a wonderful song about heaven andrepparttar 146902 joys that await us.

I then openedrepparttar 146903 word of God, and spoke on 1 Samuel Chapter 12 verses 16-19. The children of Israel had wanted their own king like other nations...a human king instead of King Jesus. The Lord granted their requests and gave them King Saul but he also sent trouble inrepparttar 146904 land. Samuel,repparttar 146905 man of God, prayed untorepparttar 146906 Lord, and he sent thunder and rain, and allrepparttar 146907 people fearedrepparttar 146908 Lord and Samuel...God's power was revealed in these thunders and lightnings, and made them realize that God indeed was in control ofrepparttar 146909 affairs of earth.

I then went over to 1 Kings 3, verses 5-28, and talked about another king, one sent by God, named Solomon. Solomon realized that withoutrepparttar 146910 Lord, he was as a child and could not rule his people. In Gibeon,repparttar 146911 Lord appeared unto Solomon in a dream and asked Solomon what could he give him. All Solomon asked for was wisdom and an understanding heart to judge his people. The speech Solomon made pleased God, and God granted his request and also gave him long life, and riches and honor...see, everything comes fromrepparttar 146912 Lord. Mind you, all this was going on in a dream...yes,repparttar 146913 Lord speaks to his children in dreams. Solomon awoke, and knew it was a dream. Then, his wisdom was put torepparttar 146914 test when two women came to him for a decision about a child. Solomon judged rightly inrepparttar 146915 case, and all of Israel heard about it and they feared (respected) Solomon because they could see thatrepparttar 146916 wisdom of God was with him. Mayrepparttar 146917 Lord God give us leaders of wisdom, and judges of understanding.

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