Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students and Senior Lecturer at Diaspora Yeshiva, is not only a popular speaker and teacher, but also a dynamic thinker and writer. A student of Harav Yaakov Kamenetsky and Harav Gedalia Schorr, Rabbi Sprecher was granted smicha (rabbinical ordination) by Torah Vodaath Yeshiva. Prior to his current position, Rabbi Sprecher was a professor of Judaic studies at Touro College in New York. In addition to his duties at Diaspora Yeshiva, Rabbi Sprecher writes a regular column on various Judaic topics in the Jewish Press, and lectures regularly at the OU Israel Center in Jerusalem.
G-d’s Mishpatim - REINCARNATION!
Published: Thursday, February 13, 2020 04:55:09 PM
Number of views: 1482

“And these are the JUDGEMENTS you shall place before them.” (Shemot 21:1) Parshat Mishpatim begins with a litany of human suffering, misery, afflictions, poverty and slavery. Why does life contain so much tragedy?

The Zohar states that the answer to this profound question lies with our verse “And these (human tragedies), are G‑d’s JUDGEMENTS for a person’s misdeeds that he committed in a previous lifetime.” Thus the Zohar is linking G‑d’s Justice and Judgement to the Doctrine of Reincarnation.

The Ramban brings a proof text for Reincarnation from the book of Iyov. "Wow, all these wonders G-d does, two or three times with a person, to bring back his soul from the grave, to light up his life with the living light." (Iyov 33:29-30).

Why is there Reincarnation? Life works the way that education works, which is about moving up from level to level as one matures and becomes more intelligent. The educational process that we go through in life is meant to enhance a person's ability to function in the world and to help people make the most of their lives. Life is about our need to become responsible and compassionate members of society.

As a person grows up, his spiritual capabilities also increase and mature but not automatically. The more one puts into an education the more one derives from it. Similarly the more one puts into spiritual growth, the more one grows spiritually, and the more spiritually empowered one becomes. This process of spiritual growth enables one to enjoy and delight in G-d's presence for Eternity in the Afterlife.

Kabbalah teaches that though we all have one, unique, special soul, each soul actually comprises five parts, each of which has a specific name – Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah, Chaya, and Yechidah. Nefesh is the person’s life force. Ruach is the person’s spirit. Neshamah is G‑d’s breath of life. Chaya is the living soul, and Yechidah is the unique special soul of each person.

These five soul parts represent the path to spiritual completion and perfection. Because each level up provides increasingly greater access to higher levels of spiritual capacity and eternal closeness to G‑d.

At birth every individual has all five levels of soul. We have to if we are going to continuously receive G-d's light to keep us functioning, since the five levels of soul connect us to the light of G-d which nourishes our souls and keeps our bodies alive. To be missing a level of soul would be to break the connection between a person and G‑d, the Source of Life.

The Torah gives a person access to higher levels of spiritual understanding and to the perfection of the soul. The problem is that the Evil Inclination can interfere with our ability to Climb the Soul Ladder from Nefesh to Ruach to Neshamah, etc., so much so that time can run out on our lifetime before we have completed our mission.

People often remain stuck on the lowest soul levels for decades, or even entire lifetimes. G‑d can't afford to give up on any soul, as Iyov 31:2 states, "CHELEK ALO’AK MIMA’AL" (We are a portion of G‑d from above.)

Thus the necessity for Reincarnation. We return to complete and perfect what we started in other lifetimes even if we aren't aware of who we were or where we were. The Hebrew word for Reincarnation is GILGUL which means recycling.

The word GILGUL in Hebrew, Gimmel Lamed Gimmel Vav Lamed, has the same numerical value of 72 (GEMATRIA) as the word CHESED, Chet Samech Dalet, (LOVINGKINDNESS). What is remarkable about this is that 72 is also the number of one of G‑d’s Mystical Names, Shem Ayin Bet = 72. When this type of numerical connection occurs, it implies a profound conceptual relationship. GILGUL is the ultimate CHESED of G‑d, in that a soul is given another chance for the refinement of its past and the spiritual growth and advancement of its future.

To succeed in Eternity, a soul returns to this physical world again and again to do its TIKKUN and to fulfill its spiritual mission. This is true because G‑d is in the soul repair business.

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