Response to Attack on Gilgulei Neshamot
It is Amazing How One Can Call Oneself Orthodox and Contradict
Something So Holy & Accepted in Torah
The following letter is my response against an attack on our holy Torah
and upon myself for representing authentic Torah teachings...
Attacks and insults against me personally are a violation of Torah Law,
unfortunately that has never stopped certain types of individuals from
performing such sins claiming to be acting with "religious zeal."
Attacks and insults against me personally can and will be ignored.
Attacks against our Holy Rabbis and well accepted Torah principles
cannot and must not go unchallenged.
In light of this I am sharing with you my repsonse to an essay penned by
one Rabbi Moshe Ben Chaim in his personal internet publication entilted
The Jewish Times.
HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok
In Defense of Kosher Torah
In Response to an Attack on the Torah Teachings of Reincarnation.
To: Rabbi Moshe Ben Chaim, Mesorah.org
July, 29, 2005
I read with interest your response to my comments on the Tamar Yonah
show published in your Jewish Times (vol. 4, no. 42). Your denial of
Gilgulei Neshamot is very disturbing. Do you realize this denial of
Divrei Torah and Hora'at HaZaL places you outside the parameters of
The Zohar, Shulkhan Arukh and practically every other Torah Sage for the
last 800 years holds by the De'ah of Gilgulei Neshamot and you did not
even bother to mention any of them in your material. This makes what you
wrote one-sided and dangerous. I would go so far as to say that you are
misleading fellow Jews by your apparent Christian oriented views.
Please tell me, who is your Rav, by what authority do you hold? Would
you like to continue to discuss this issue of the authenticity of
Gilgulei Neshamot in front of a Kosher Beit Din, in Jerusalem, perhaps?
No, this is not a threat, but your denial of Divrei Torah is fitting for
the so-called Conservative and Reform crowds, and is not fitting for
someone wishing to be accepted as an Orthodox Rabbi.
If you wish to attack me personally, this is of no matter. I recite my
forgiveness prayer every night as part of Kriyat Shema (and I forgive
all those who have sinned against me in this gilgul and in previous
gilgulim; that is the language of the tefilah). However, your attack
against Kosher Judaism under the guise of quoting RaMBaM and Sa'adia
Gaon is unacceptable and wrong.
RaMBaM never mentions Gilgulei Neshamot as he never mentioned anything
Kabbalistic. This should not be interpreted as RaMBaM holding any views
contradictory to Kabbalah, for this is an unsubstantiated opinion, as
the writings of Avraham Abulafia attest.
As for Sa’adia Gaon’s clear denial of Gilgulei Neshamot. This is not to
be denied, but rather understood. First of all, Sa’adia Gaon was a
Kabbalist in his own right. We have available today many of his
Kabbalistic writings, including a Goral. As leader of Bavli Judaism and
as a citizen living in the Moslem world, his works were read far outside
the Jewish community. Indeed, many were originally written in Arabic.
Islam, like Christianity believes Gilgulei Neshamot to be an
abomination. If Sa’adia Gaon, the leader of the Jews were to come out
and publicly endorse a religious position held blasphemous by the
majority and authorities, he would have endangered his life and the
lives of all Jews. If I were in his position, I might also have
concealed knowledge of this sacred material, especially since the
Halakha of the time was to never publicly reveal Kabbalistic material.
The legitimacy of Gilgulei Neshamot being a valid and Kosher Torah
position cannot be denied. Indeed, those who do deny this may rightly be
questioned if they are faithful to our Torah traditions and the
authority of our Sages.
I will be so bold as to send you an essay of translations I have penned
documenting many of what HaZaL have taught on Gigulei Neshamot. If you
wish to respond, please do not do so out of anger or arrogance, please
address the issues.
May HaShem bless you to do teshuva and embrace Divrei HaZaL and Hora'at
Sincerely, HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok