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A holy soul cannot be reborn as one of the pious of the nations

Reincarnation and the Nations

Reincarnation and the Nations

Part 2

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Reincarnation and the Nations
A holy soul cannot be reborn as one of the pious of the nations

The Saba now goes on to explain why a holy soul cannot be reborn as one of the pious of the nations.

Master of the Universe! Who shall not fear You, who rules over all the kings of the world, as it states, "Who shall not fear you,1 king of the nations, to you it is fitting…" (Jeremiah 10:7) There are many people who muddle up the interpretation of this verse. Everyone recites this verse, but do not get it straight. Is the Holy One then the King of the nations? Isn't He King of Israel only? In relation to the other nations the way He is referred to is as written, 'When the Supreme One gave the nations their inheritance'. (Deut. 32:8) The nations receive a mere 'inheritance' from G‑d, and therefore He is referred to as 'the Supreme One' -- completely transcending them. In relation to Israel, however, it states, 'For part of G‑d is His people.' Israel remains part of Him and does not merely receive an inheritance. For this reason He is called the King of Israel specifically. Israel … does not merely receive an inheritance…

And if you will say that He is also called 'King of the nations' as in the verse, "Elokim reigns over the nations' (Psalms 47:9) then this is to their credit that the Holy One, blessed be He, is King over them. Not as they say, that they are under the authority of those that serve Him and whom He appointed - the sun, moon and stars and the angels. Furthermore, the end of the verse states, 'for among all the wise men of the nations, and throughout their kingdoms, there is none like You'. (Jeremiah 10:7) Thus it is strange that they do not elevate themselves, by way of this verse, to the very heights of the heavens. But the reason is that they are blinded, and do not know the Holy One, blessed be He, at all. We say that they are all as naught, null and void, as it is written, 'all the nations are as nothing against Him; they are regarded by Him as null and void'. (Isaiah 40:17) By way of contrast, if one argues that the G‑d of Israel is also King over the nations then they would have an important and lofty part, and would have been made by this verse into a great and honored entity."

Rabbi Chiya said to him, "But it is written, 'Elokim reigns over the nations'", (Psalms 47:9) indicating the G‑d is indeed King over the nations as well, at the very least via His name Elokim?

The old man responded: "I see that you are on the other side of the fence, and so you have cited this verse in their support. I should first expound upon what I said, but since I have found you on your travels and when a person is traveling he can regress to a state of Mochin d'katnut,I will move you along from there i.e., from the incorrect understanding caused by your mochin d'katnut, and from that point on you will continue to remove from the state of mochin d'katnut completely until you reach the state of Mochin d'gadlut.

"Come and see: All of the names of the seven Names that one is forbidden to erase2 and epithets such as 'the Compassionate One,' 'the Holy One,' etc., all produce an effect outside of Him,3 according to their nature, and all of them clothe themselves in one another, and all of them divide up into known ways and paths. With exception of the Ineffable Name, the name superior to all others, which has been granted to the special nation, chosen from among all other nations, the name Yud-Hei-Vav-Hei, as it is written, 'For part of G‑d is His people,' and it is written, 'and you cleave to G‑d'. (Deuteronomy 4:4) In both of theses verses this name Yud-Hei-Vav-Hei rather than any other name is used. One of His other names, Elokim, also produces an effect outside of Him, and subdivides into a number of ways and paths these are the 120 permutations of the name Elokim, 72 of which are holy. The 48 remaining permutations ultimately become the source of sustenance for kelipa.4 It is this aspect of the name that He granted to the nations of the world. Thus it is divided among His servants and appointees who lead the other nations, as it states, 'And Elokim came to Balaam in the night'; (Num. 22:20) 'And Elokim came to Abimelech in a dream at night'. (Gen. 20:3) Each of these instances of the word Elokim signifies Elokim acheirim -- other gods, not a Divine revelation. And so too, each and every appointee that the Holy One, blessed be He, allotted to the other nations -- all are included in this name. Even idolatry is referred to by this name. They are called Elokim acheirim. This is the name by which He rules over the nations, not by the name by which He reigns over Israel. For He is unique to the unique nation, the Nation of Israel, the Holy People. When (the nations) see in their wisdom Your deeds and Your power…they proclaim, 'there is none like You'

"Now if you will argue that we can resolve the issue based on the verse, 'who shall not fear You, King of the nations', (Jeremiah 10:7) which implies that G‑d's Name Elokim reigns over the nations, and in this Name reside fear and judgment, indicating that the nations of the world also fear G‑d, this is not so. It was not said in this regard, for if so, even idolatry would be included in this since other gods are called 'Elokim acheirim.' But the wall upon the back of which you were leaning has crumbled i.e., the verse upon which you relied in your state of 'backwardness' -- mochin d'katnut -- cannot support such an interpretation. (Damesek Eliezer) Rather the way I interpreted the verse, that Elokim here means Elokim acheirim, will become evident with even a minor analysis: 'Who shall not fear You, king of the nations' -- if you will say that this refers to the Holy One, blessed be He, as King of the nations, this is not so. Rather, the proper interpretation is: which king of the nations shall not fear You, and be in awe of You, and tremble before You? Similarly, the following verses: 'Praise the Lord! Offer praise servants of the Lord; offer praise to the Name of the Lord'. (Psalms 113:1) A person hearing this would not understand what is being said since it appears that the verse is saying: 'Praise the Lord!' and also, 'praise the servants of the Lord.' Thus it should have said, 'Servants of the Lord, praise the Name of the Lord' Here too, it should have stated, 'who, King of the nations, shall not fear You?' However, everything was stated in the proper way. The verse 'which king of the nations shall not fear You' continues: ''for among all the wise men of the nations, and throughout their kingdoms, there is none like You.' In their wisdom, what is the matter that concerns them? 'There is none like You.' And all the nations acknowledge this. When they see in their wisdom Your deeds and Your power, this instills in them an awareness of this matter and they proclaim, 'there is none like You.'"

The circle of disciples were so delighted with this interpretation that they wept. As before, the old man also wept.

[Translation and commentary by Moshe Miller]

Footnotes
1.
The Zohar below will show that the Elokim here does not refer to G‑d but to the angelic beings He has appointed to be in charge of the nations. Accordingly, we have written 'you' etc. in lower case letters.
2.
See Shevuot 35a; Rambam Mishna Torah Shevuot 12:11.
3.
D'Itpashet in the original. We have paraphrased it here according to its meaning rather than according to its literal translation - "spread out."
4.
Torah Or p. 109d. See Sha'arm HaKavanot, Pesach, derush 1; The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Teshuvot u'Biurim p. 23-4.
Rabbi Moshe Miller was born in South Africa and received his yeshivah education in Israel and America. He is a prolific author and translator, with some twenty books to his name on a wide variety of topics, including an authoritative, annotated translation of the Zohar. He has developed a coaching-type approach to dealing with life's issues based on Chassidism and Kabbalah—a tool for dealing with normal issues that everyone faces as well as issues psychologists usually address, often ineffectively. He also gives free live classes over the Internet.
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, also know by the acronym "Rashbi," lived in the Holy Land in the 2nd century C.E. A disciple of Rabbi Akiva, Rashbi played a key role in the transmission of Torah, both as an important Talmudic sage and as author of the Zohar, the most fundamental work of Kabbalah. He was buried in Meron, Israel, west of Safed.
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kimani thika, Kenya July 31, 2011

Saba Wow!
Is the old man in this narrative Eliyahu, the prophet? Reply

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