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Gilgul

Reincarnation (gilgul in Hebrew: "rolling" or "revolving" [soul]) is a vehicle toward attaining an eschatological end; it's not the eschatological end itself. It's the reentry of the soul into an entirely new body into the present world. Resurrection, by contrast, is the reunification of the soul with the former body (newly reconstituted) into the "World Of Resurrection," a world history has not witnessed yet.

 

Resurrection is thus a pure eschatological concept. Its purpose is to reward the body with eternity (and the soul with higher perfection). The purpose of reincarnation is generally two-fold: either to make up for a failure in a previous life or to create a new, higher state of personal perfection not previously attained.1 The purpose of resurrection is to reward the body with eternity and the soul with higher perfection. Resurrection is thus a time of reward; reincarnation a time of repairing. Resurrection is a time of reaping; reincarnation a time of sowing.

 

NOTES

1. Shaar HaGilgulim, Chapter 8; Derech Hashem 2:3:10.

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