Some thoughts on Cabbala RE-INCARNATION…
according to Judaism… or not… A Layman view
by Albert Bivas

When discussing “re-incarnation” one tend to think about Eastern culture such as Buddhism, Hinduism and similar religions and /or philosophies of India in particular and the Asian continent. One perhaps tends to think of re-incarnation into another body, more particularly, re-incarnation into animals, “re-incarnation of the soul into an animal/re-living as an animal. Generally when celebrities or any kind of notorious people are interviewed on American “talk shows” and are asked the following question: “If you were to return to this life (on this earth) how would you like to be re-incarnated (or come back, to use the simple term used in those talk shows?” they would most likely answer by selecting an animal into which they would like or want to be re-incarnated. They would apparently never answer, just that they want to return perfect, without any of their current and human limitations. That they do not answer thus could be obvious to some of their audience because they are often thought of very ego-centrist in their estimation of themselves, which they may be or may not be. Yet it might be surprising to many otherwise sensitive and wiser people that this latest answer is not given more often.

But what is re-incarnation in Judaism if there is any such an idea? There is the final redemption in Judaism when the Messiah will “arrive” or “return” (whatever the term that one would prefer whether in Judaism, Christianity or any other belief) when all will be perfect and we shall all “resuscitate” for all eternity with no more evils.

I n Cabbala they do have or mention “re-incarnation” but that is very different. In Cabbala there is a belief that the soul, each soul is here to perform some kind of task, perhaps in “correction” or “to perfect itself and/or “the world” in the “universe”. In a sense, it seems that the soul is not supposed to come back perhaps it is even not its desire to do so though it will return only if it did not complete its mission in order to enable it to do it. . It is difficult for us humans to think how the soul would return or trans-migrates, indeed perhaps the fact that we “think” in human term is our impediment. We do not either know what it is that we need to correct in the “universal” term for there is a difference between the correction and perfection in our mundane transient life and in the universal eternity if any, that our human limitation is incapable to grasp. In human term, the easiest for us mortals to understand is that re-incarnation or the transmigration of the soul is just the human bodily act of procreation. The simple act of giving birth to children through a new generation is “re-incarnation” “the trans-migration of the soul”, at least the one explication that our limited human mind in the here and now can grasp. The soul would go (re-incarnate) from generations to generations as long as it does not yet accomplish what it came down on earth to perform. That is the purpose of bearing and raising children with all its pleasures and problems as we have come to learn. Our G-d has mercifully combined pleasure of bringing children in this world with its inherent difficulties in order to sweeten our lives here on earth as we accomplish our task. As we have accomplished our mission here on earth, the trans-migration stops, there is no more need to procreate, bear and raise children and thus we can understand that childlessness is a blessing and not a calamity as some religions and cultures claims it to be because we no longer need to “relive” our life albeit in different bodies through generations on forward. When all will have attained this stage, this world, as we know it will end and that is perhaps the final redemption indeed, our rest, and our liberation from the yoke of this mundane and human life.

Albert Bivas
Published in Los Muestros, no. 93 , Dec 2013