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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Judaism

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  #1  
Old 16-03-2011, 03:53 AM
Shim
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Reincarnation

Does reincarnation contradict scripture in Judaism?
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  #2  
Old 16-03-2011, 11:17 AM
RabbiO RabbiO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shim
Does reincarnation contradict scripture in Judaism?

The chasidim don't think so.

Of course I am not quite sure why you are interested in the opinions of those whom I believe you would include among "unsaved trash."

B'shalom,

Peter

Last edited by RabbiO : 16-03-2011 at 02:09 PM.
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  #3  
Old 16-03-2011, 09:10 PM
Shim
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I am interested in whether or not reincarnation is a credible belief, that is, according to tradition and/or whether it is explicitly mentioned in the Torah. Thanks for the lead RabbiO.
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  #4  
Old 16-03-2011, 09:42 PM
RabbiO RabbiO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shim
I am interested in whether or not reincarnation is a credible belief, that is, according to tradition and/or whether it is explicitly mentioned in the Torah. Thanks for the lead RabbiO.

Shim,

No, reincarnation is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah nor the rest of the Tanakh. For that matter there are in Jewish scripture perhaps three mentions regarding resurrection and very little, with the exception of the story of the diviner of Endor and Saul, to suggest that there is a soul separate from the body.

You might find interesting a book by Rabbi Neil Gillman, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, The Death of Death (Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought). If you read it you should remember that Rabbi Gillman expresses A Jewish viewpoint because there is no one position that can lay complete claim to being THE Jewish viewpoint.

B'shalom,

Peter
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  #5  
Old 16-03-2011, 10:10 PM
Shim
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Ordering the book now. Thanks for the referral RabbiO, "Gillman, a professor of Jewish philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary (a major training school for Conservative clerics)." His credentials are enough to sell me on the book!
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  #6  
Old 17-03-2011, 05:15 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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Shim...RabbiO has referenced a well known mainstream intellectual who also as a rabbi and a man has deep faith. His work Sacred Fragments is well know and highly recommended. It speaks more to those who are looking to find their way back to their roots and deepen their spiritual connection to God. Rabbi Gillman's work on the afterlife is trying to explain esoteric truths from the standpoint of when mainstream Judaism first began to refer to them...as in implying an immortal soul and an afterlife, as in refs in Daniel, Ezekiel, many of the Psalms, and so forth.

And he is also trying to make these concepts accessible to a modern Jewish audience, many of whom had no exposure to Jewish thought on reincarnation or the afterlife in their Jewish education, because it was considered mystical to the point of being "fringe". So he's done an admirable job of bridging a gap..or a chasm. This perpective is relevant to many...especially those who may not be that religious or even spiritual...but you may also want to look at some other angles.

The esoteric truths of the afterlife are of a similar tradition to Kabbalah...largely oral for who knows how long (?), until it "broke out" in written form in Spain. These writings were traditionally discouraged (and still are in some sense) for study by ppl (men) who had not reached a certain stage of learning and maturity. So it makes sense that it was rarely referenced or touched on in the Tanakh.

Also Judaism's focus has always been on grounding the soul in this life and then reaching "up" to God. We won't finish the task (of perfecting the world) but neither is it our place to desist from it. So the emphasis was never on the next life but on the current one, as it's all we have. Also known in buddhism as "living in the now".

Having said all that, as RabbiO mentioned, the Chasids are I think probably the best source of straightforwardly mystical writings. Though I am more in line with R. Gillman's tradition because I'm a woman and there are one or two important things that I disagree with re: orthodox positions...still, I highly recommend Rabbi DovBer Pinson's work on the afterlife. There is not a drop of Christianity in here, but what is there is nonetheless IMO both Jewish and also very universal.

I have seen both Rabbi Gillman and Rabbi Pinson speak at conferences. Both are very good but very different. I will say that you want to understand the Jewish perspective from a deeper or more mystical perspective, I would definitely seek out Pinson's works.

http://www.amazon.com/Reincarnation-Judaism-Journey-DovBer-Pinson/dp/0765760649

http://www.jewishwisdomafterlife.com/


Cheers!
7L
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  #7  
Old 17-03-2011, 11:48 PM
Shim
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Thanks 7luminaries, but "mystical" doesn't appeal to me. I ordered the book RabbiO recommended and will have to wait until next week. Much appreciate your reply and insight as always.
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  #8  
Old 18-03-2011, 02:41 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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LOL...np. Perhaps it's not your thing...but it might be worth a stretch. Depending on how much you really want to know about reincarnation and afterlife. It's discussed in various books that are considered sacred to many, but like many esoteric matters (and also certain "mundane" matters like marriage customs, mechitza, etc...), there is no explicit discussion in the Torah or Tanakh.

Probably (IMO) because the level of commentary depends on the level of awareness of the scholars but also society as a whole...certain things we have to discover for ourselves...as we, not God, establish many of the limits we and others must live under. Similarly for esoteric matters, a fuller understanding presumes a different kind of awareness of this existence, which Pinson has. Gillman too may have it, but I think his audience would definitely tend to constrain the extent to which he could discuss the topic from his knowing rather than his schooling.

Cheers,
7L
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  #9  
Old 20-03-2011, 09:35 PM
Shim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RabbiO
Shim,

No, reincarnation is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah nor the rest of the Tanakh. For that matter there are in Jewish scripture perhaps three mentions regarding resurrection and very little, with the exception of the story of the diviner of Endor and Saul, to suggest that there is a soul separate from the body.

You might find interesting a book by Rabbi Neil Gillman, a professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, The Death of Death (Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought). If you read it you should remember that Rabbi Gillman expresses A Jewish viewpoint because there is no one position that can lay complete claim to being THE Jewish viewpoint.

B'shalom,

Peter

RabbiO,

Do you think that the diviner (medium) of Endor, (1 Sam. 28) is credible testimony, that is to say after we are given instruction received in: Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6; Deuteronomy 18:12; Isaiah 8:19-20. Should we take into account these instructions before we believe that there is a soul separate from the body? since biblical law strictly forbids contacting spiritualist mediums?

One more thing, does this demonstrate God's foreknowledge? God had having turnt away from Saul in not answering his prayer, dreams, nor given any word through the Prophets. In the events of the following day, is this not just the outcome of what God had said would happen as a result from disobeying Him? (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).

Last edited by Shim : 21-03-2011 at 01:27 AM.
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  #10  
Old 21-03-2011, 05:33 PM
Mabuz Luciferi
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Would Jews consider the possibility that reincarnation exists?
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