Learning Biblical Hebrew
7/3/09 at 04:58 PM 0 Comments

Gilgul Neshamot

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What does it mean?

The concept of reincarnation in Hebrew is called Gilgul, Gilgul Neshamot. In Hebrew, the word Gilgul means "cycle" and Neshamot means "souls. These souls attach themselves to different bodies ,human and nonhuman ,over time.

The most basic component of the soul is called the nefesh. The nefesh is always part of the Gilgul process. It must leave the physical body at the stage of death. The purpose of the Gilgul process is to able the soul to make a tikkun ," rectification " .


The concept of Gilgul Nashmot does not appear in the old scriptures like the Old Testament or the Talmud
In the Kabbalha scriptures, and especially in HaAri Hakodosh (the holy Ari) writings, there is a specific expiation to the idea of Gilgul Nashmot . Acoording to the Ari, most of the babies that are born, are Gilgulim of "old" souls as written is his book Shaar Hagilgulim (The Gates of Reincarnation):

"דע, כי כמעט אין אדם בארץ אשר ימלט מגלגולים אלו"

"Know, that no person on earth can escape from these Gilgulim"
The Ari claims that if a purified soul has neglected some religious duties on earth, it must return to the earthly life, and attaching itself to the soul of a living man, unite with it in order to make good such neglect.
Further, the departed soul of a man freed from sin appears again on earth to support a weak soul which feels unequal to its task. However, this union, can only take place between souls of homogeneous character.

According to the Ari ,man bears on his forehead a mark by which one may learn the nature of his soul: to which degree and class it belongs, the relation existing between it and the superior world ,how it can be freed from demoniacal influences and to which soul it should be united in order to become purified and make a tikkun.

And what about you?
Do you believe in life after death?
Do you believe that one's soul continue to exits after his death?

main phrases of the post + transcription + translation

Hebrew           Transcription       Translation
גִּלְגּוּל נְשָׁמוֹת      Gilgûl nəšāmôt   reincarnation
נֶפֶשׁ                 nepeš               soul
תְּחִיַּת הַמֵּתִים     təhiyat hamētîm resurrection of the dead
תִּקּוּן                 tiqqûn               rectification


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