Reincarnation and the Holocaust

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Reincarnation and the Holocaust

Sara Yoheved Rigler


Quote:Finding an article about reincarnation in Scientific American is as unlikely as finding a recipe for pork chops in a kosher cookbook. How surprised I was, therefore, to read “Ian Stevenson’s Case for the Afterlife: Are We ‘Skeptics’ Really Just Cynics?” in Scientific American’s online issue of November 2, 2013.



Quote:We Jews certainly never learned about reincarnation in Hebrew School. But if we dig, we discover that there are hints to reincarnation in the Bible and early commentaries 1, while in Kabbalah, Judaism’s mystical tradition, overt references to reincarnation abound. The Zohar, the basic text of Jewish mysticism (attributed to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a 1st century sage) assumes gilgul neshamot [the recycling of souls] as a given, and the Ari, the greatest of all Kabbalists, whose 16th teachings are recorded in, Shaar HaGilgulim, traced the reincarnations of many Biblical figures. While some authorities, such as Saadia Gaon (10th century) denied reincarnation as a Jewish concept, from the 17th century onward, leading rabbis of normative Judaism, such as the Gaon of Vilna and the Chafetz Chaim 2, referred to gilgul neshamot as a fact.

The Ramchal, the universally-admired 18th century scholar, explained in his classic The Way of God: “God arranged matters so that man’s chances of achieving ultimate salvation should be maximized. A single soul can be reincarnated a number of times in different bodies, and in this manner, it can rectify the damage done in previous incarnations. Similarly, it can also achieve perfection that was not attained in its previous incarnations.” [3:10]
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


I’ve Been Here Before: Holocaust and Reincarnation

Sara Yoheved Rigler


Quote:The Secret Society is so recondite that most of its members are unaware that they belong. The qualifications for membership are Holocaust-related recurring dreams, panic attacks, fearsome flashbacks, or phobias of trains, showers, or uniformed men. Most of its members were born between 1945 and 1961, in North or South America, Europe, or Israel.

Although members’ individual experiences are unique, the common denominator, the secret handshake of this society, is a childhood obsession with the Holocaust by youths unrelated to Holocaust survivors, who never heard it discussed, who never saw a Holocaust movie until after their dreams, flashbacks, or phobias were already haunting their young lives.

In 2013, at the end of my Aish.com article on “Reincarnation and the Holocaust,” I appealed: “Readers who have stories alluding to a Holocaust incarnation are invited to send them to the author.” Among the hundreds of emails to my website, I read the frequent refrain. “After reading your article on reincarnation and the Holocaust, I felt ‘normal’ for the first time in my life.”
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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