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The Torah Concept of Reincarnation

Gate of Reincarnations

Gate of Reincarnations


Beginner Beginner
Gate of Reincarnations
The Torah Concept of Reincarnation

The work, "Shaar HaGilgulim," as the title reveals, is about the Torah concept of reincarnation. Based primarily on the Zohar in Parashat Mishpatim where gilgulim are discussed, it is from the writings of the master Kabbalist, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (1534-1572), otherwise known as the 'Arizal.' The book was recorded by his foremost disciple, Rabbi Chaim Vital, and amended by Rabbi Shmuel Vital, his son.

In addition to outlining principles of personal rectification and reincarnation, this work reveals the spiritual roots of many of the great Torah scholars of the past. Furthermore, it often provides vital information about the future in terms of helping one understand the challenges to be expected throughout Jewish history and particularly at the 'End-of-Days.'

Our new annotated English rendition was translated by Rabbi Yitzchak Bar Chaim. We have divided the lengthier of its 42 chapters (in the original called: hakdomot - "Introductions") into a number of sections. The first eleven chapters were edited and annotated by Rabbi Shabtai Teicher of blessed memory, a respected Ari Kabbala scholar in Jerusalem. Chapters 12 - 36 were then edited and annotated by Rabbi Perets Auerbach, a well known teacher of Zohar and Ari, also in Jerusalem.

Yitzchok bar Chaim is the pseudonym of the translator, an American-born Jerusalem scholar who has studied and taught Kabbala for many years. He may be contacted through: He translated the Ari's work, "Shaar HaGilgulim;" his translation into English (but with much less extensive commentary than offered here). Information about his translation in book form may be obtained through
Rabbi Chaim Vital c. 5303-5380 (c. 1543-1620 CE), major disciple of R. Isaac (Yitzchak) Luria, and responsible for publication of most of his works.
Rabbi Peretz Auerbach, originally from New York, has been living and learning Torah and kabbala in Jerusalem for 18 years. He teaches at Shvu Ami beit medrash, lectures in Kabbalah and chassidut at the Jerusalem Connection and Heritage House and to private groups. Rabbi Auerbach is also a talented musician. He is currently working on an all new translation of the Zohar into English with extensive commentary as well as a disc entitled "Music, Meditation and Mysticism."
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Discussion (8)
November 10, 2015
Is incarnation really real?
October 24, 2012
First there was just the "Or Ain Sof" or as we have called "Infinity" or Infinite Light". G-d then Created a "vacated space" in the "center" of this infinity. Creation takes place in this "vacated space". Time is a measurement between events. Therefore Time as we know it can only exists in this space where an event can take place. This so-called "infinity" is only an expression we use to describe something that really cannot be expressed. It is the area outside of space-time. It is infinite because it has no limits or boundaries. It is the Ain Sof and has no spacial or time dimension and is beyond human comprehension.
Yehuda Yomtov
Brooklyn, NY
October 22, 2012
Perhaps it depends upon whether you define infinity as "endless time" or "endless space." Time does not have a center. Or, come to think of it, when the tzimtzum occured it might have created the blip in which we exist (the Universe) as a "center of Time"?
Pleasantville, NY
January 5, 2012
tzimtzum self contraction/withdrawl
Since the space is created within infinity, it automatically becomes the center if infinity, since it is surrounded on all directions with infinity.
Yehuda Yomtov
Brooklyn, NY
December 24, 2011
tzimtzum self contraction/withdrawl
In Etz Chayim it states that G-d had to withdraw, creating a finite space within infinity, in the center of infinity. But infinity has no center point; it is boundless. The finite has a center, the infinite doesn't. Explain this interpretation to me please.
mark w brady
seattle, wa.
December 17, 2011
Bible Language
Where in the Bible does it indicate anything about reincarnation? I have been looking for it but cannot seem to put the verses together to make reincarnation something to look forward to or not.
Battle Creek, MI
November 11, 2009
Shaar HaGilgulim
The English name is "Shaar HaGilgulim", published by "Thrity Seven Books." But it may be out of print, and it does not include the commentary that is on this site.
R. Yerachmiel Tilles
Tzefat, Israel
September 7, 2009
Shaar HaGilgulim
I'm waiting so much an English edition! Where can I buy it?
Rome, Italy

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

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
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