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Someone who feeds improperly slaughtered meat to a Jew comes back as a leaf on a tree

Sins & Their Reincarnations

Sins & Their Reincarnations

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Two, Section 6

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One who speaks loshon hara [i.e. slander], or similar will reincarnate into a stone, which cannot speak and as we said [in the preceding section] regarding Naval HaCarmelli, since the opposite of speaking is silence.

Someone who feeds improperly slaughtered meat [in Hebrew, 'neveilah'] to a Jew comes back as a leaf on a tree, the level of vegetation. The wind blowing him back-and-forth will never allow him rest and this will be his punishment. When his time is over, the leaf will become detached from the tree, wither [in Hebrew, 'novelet], and fall to the ground. This is an example of a real death for him one who was cut off and uprooted from the world.

Sometimes the withered leaf can return as another leaf which will wither...

This is the secret of the verse, "The leaf will wither" (Jeremiah 8:13), since one who feeds neveilah to a Jew reincarnates into a leaf that withers and falls to the ground. This is also the secret of the verse, "You will be like a elm tree with withered leaves" (Isaiah 1:30). Because sometimes the withered leaf can return as another leaf which will wither, even many times, as in the case of a person who has to reincarnate many times in this world to receive his specified punishment.

Some people reincarnate into water, [which is] considered on the level of vegetation, as we mentioned previously. This can happen to a person who spills blood in this world, and you can remember this from "you will spill it [blood] on the ground like water" (Deut. 12:16).

It also says, "One who spilled the blood of another, his blood will be spilled" (Gen. 9:6), meaning that he will be placed under a flow of water that will pour on him constantly. He will want to get up and stand, but the water will constantly pour on him and he will find no relief, constantly rotating in circles under the flow of water.

Anyone meant to die by strangulation ... will reincarnate into water.

This is hinted to in the verse, "We will all die, like water flowing along the ground that connects [shall we] be collected" (Samuel II 14:14). As well, anyone meant to die by strangulation but who was not punished by a court, will reincarnate into water and so be 'strangled' every moment.

One who commits adultery with a married woman, and who is therefore punishable by strangulation, will reincarnate into a grinding stone, into which wheat is placed and which uses water to grind. That is where the man and woman will be judged, in the secret of "for another my wife will be ground" (Job 31:10).

The word 'grinding' is used here as a euphemism for marital relations. (Sota Chap.1)

One who is not scrupulous with the washing of the hands [before eating bread] will reincarnate into water. This is the secret of the verse, "Then they would have surged across our soul, the treacherous waters. Blessed is G‑d, Who did not present us as prey for their teeth" (Psalms 124:5-6). The head-letters of "nisananu teref lishenaihem [did not present us as prey for their teeth]" spell the word NTL [to wash].

We must thank G‑d that we, unlike the wicked, wash our hands.

This is the secret of what the Sages say: One who eats without washing his hands is uprooted from the world and is judged with water. (Sota 4b) There is a hint to this from, "Blessed is G‑d, Who did not present us as prey for their teeth," whose head-letters spell the word NTL [wash]; by washing one’s hands one is not given "as prey for their teeth," that is, of the surging waters. Therefore, we must thank G‑d that we, unlike the wicked, wash our hands.

One who does not recite blessings in advance of enjoying something, treating them with no respect, or steals from his father or mother, or befriends a destructive person, also reincarnates into water.

Some reincarnate into animals. A community leader who lords himself over others reincarnates into a bee, as Rabbi Nachman bar Yitzchak said: "Pride does not suit women. Two women were proud, and the names of both were not positive: one was called 'bee' and the other was called 'weasel'. (Megila14b) He was referring to Deborah the prophetess, who lorded herself over Barak when she sent for him and did not go to him herself (Judges 4:6).

The other was Chuldah the prophetess, who insulted Zedekiah the king when she said, "Speak to the man" (Kings II 22:15), as opposed to "Speak to the king," as the Sages say. From their words you can see that Deborah was a proud woman, and therefore she didn’t perform any work and was very talkative, never remaining silent. Therefore, a leader who lords himself over the community, and one who speaks improperly, comes back as a bee who have these two traits.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Rabbi Yitzchak Luria […Ashkenazi ben Shlomo] (5294-5332 = 1534-1572 c.e.); Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death): 5th of Av. Buried in the Old Cemetery of Tzfat. Commonly known as the Ari, an acronym standing for Elohi Rabbi Yitzchak, the
G-dly Rabbi Isaac. No other master or sage ever had this extra letter Aleph, standing for Elohi [G-dly], prefaced to his name. This was a sign of what his contemporaries thought of him. Later generations, fearful that this appellation might be misunderstood, said that this Aleph stood for Ashkenazi, indicating that his family had originated in Germany, as indeed it had. But the original meaning is the correct one, and to this day among Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria is only referred to as Rabbenu HaAri, HaAri HaKadosh [the holy Ari] or Arizal [the Ari of blessed memory].
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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