Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
A new online course
Starting January 22nd
Register »
Contact Us
Souls may be reincarnated into food in order to finally become rectified.

3:3 Tasty Fixings

3:3 Tasty Fixings

3:3 Tasty Fixings
Souls may be reincarnated into food in order to finally become rectified.

"If three have eaten at one table and they have spoken no words of Torah over it, it is as if they have eaten of idolatrous sacrifices..." (Avot 3:3)

A dead person may be reincarnated into an animal that will serve as food for humans….

Woe to sons who have banished from the table of their father! In the name of the Maggid of Mezritch, I heard an account of the way in which the Baal Shem Tov explained this text, which declares that it is as though these three ate of sacrifices to dead idols. The Hebrew, though, means literally, "as though they ate of the sacrifices of the dead." The esoteric meaning is that a dead person may be reincarnated into an animal that will serve as food for humans, in order that they should say words of Torah over it at their meal table - and through this, the dead person who was reincarnated will be given new life in the heavenly realm. But if no words of Torah are said, the dead person reincarnated into the source of that food is simply "sacrificed" and cast off to remain an inanimate entity.

This is why the text speaks of "the sacrifices of the dead". And this is why we find in the Talmud (Berachot 3a): "Woe to sons who have banished from the table"; Who have they banished? "Their father"! For it is possible that it was the father of the man who is dining, that was reincarnated into the creature that provided the food…

[Be'er Mayin Chaim on the Passover Haggada; L'shon Chassidim; Midrash Rivash Tov (5); Sefer Baal Shem Tov]

Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov [“Master of the Good Name”], 1698–1760. A unique and seminal figure in Jewish history, revealed the chassidic movement, and his own identity as an exceptionally holy person, on his 36th birthday, 18 Elul 1734. He passed away on the festival of Shavuot in 1760. He wrote no books, although many contain his teachings. (Also referred to as “the BeShT,” from an acronym of Baal Shem Tov.)
Rabbi Eliezer Shore, the translator, studied in yeshivot in New York and Israel for many years. He currently lives in Jerusalem, where he is a writer, storyteller, and Torah teacher.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
henry castellanos hamilton, canada via June 10, 2011

evil eye/witchcraft I would like to know what the kabbalah teaches about a solution to evil eye and or curse/black magic. How can we defend ourselves using kabbalah against this evil? Reply

Webmaster via June 10, 2011

For Henry These are all deep and complex questions. Very good. But they can't be answered in an email, it requirse concentrated study to comprehend. Fortunately, you can find all the relevant material translated into English on this site. Clack on "classic Kabbalah" and then on "Gate of Reincarnations". Reply

Henry Castellanos Hamilton, Canada via May 9, 2011

reincarnation I would like to know how the Creator determines reincarnation. Who reincarnates into what when and who does not? What happens if you are not a jewish soul? Reply

Related Topics

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.