Menachem Bluming Muses: Judaism’s Teaching on Reincarnation

I remember at school a friend failed his end of year exams and had to repeat a grade. He stayed back for a year and was no longer in our class, but rather the class below. We all moved on but he was held back.

Some think reincarnation is like repeating a year at school. While some souls graduate to the next world after their life in this world, others are sent right back down to get things right in another life.

That is not quite how Judaism teaches that it works.

A better metaphor would be a mobile data rollover plan. The phone company gives you 15GB of data per month. Any part of that data you don’t use in one month rolls over to the next month. So if you only used 14GB in May, that 14GB is gone, but the remaining 1GB comes back for you to use in June.

Your soul has multiple gigabytes of spiritual energy and divine potential. This is the power G-d has invested in you to fulfill your mission in life. You use that potential by doing good deeds, performing mitzvot. Every mitzvah activates another gig of your soul energy. You have been given an allotted number of days in this world to utilize your gigs for good.

At the end of the billing cycle, when your time comes to leave this life, the activated parts of your soul go up to a higher place, because that part of you has completed its mission on earth. But if you have unused soul potential, if you didn’t activate all of the energy invested in you to do good, then that unused part of your soul comes back again in another body to finish the job.

So when someone passes away, we pray that their soul should find rest in heaven, because that’s where the already-used part of the soul is found. As for the unused part of the soul, it will come down for another gig.

Mendel Menachem Bluming and Rabbi AM and many other sources based on Arizal, Shaar Hagilgulim Chapter 14

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