Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hashgacha and Gilgul

I noticed a new book by Artscroll that has come out called Ascending Jacob's Ladder by Rav Yaakov Hillel who is a Rosh Yeshiva n Eretz Yisroel and a mekubal. It looked interesting so I bought it.

It is basically a collection of essays and lectures that he has given over the years.
Here is one idea in the book that I found interesting.

Many people are familiar with the machlokes between the Ba'al Shem Tov and others regarding hashgacha p'ratis. To put ity simply (and superficially) the Ba'al Shem Tov believes there is hashgacha p'ratis on every creation, even inanimate ones. Others disagree and say hashgacha p'ratis is reserved for people and inanimate objects are only bound by hashgacha klalit.

Rav Ya'akov Hillel writes an interesting p'shat in the Ba'al Shem Tov"S mehalech on pages 101-102.

"The truth is there is no contradiction, as the Rambam explains in Morei Nevuchim. There is hashgacha on everything created and everything that happens. What then is the difference between these two types of hashgacha [hashgacha pratit and hashgacha klalit] ...The kabbalists tell us something beyond this. They say that sometimes a soul can transmigrate and assume the form of a stone, water or an animal. If there is a soul in a leaf or a cat than anything that happens to that leaf or cat because it is part of the soul's tikkun is an act of hashgacha pratit. This is what is meant by those who say that whatever happens to even an animal or leaf is Divinely ordained, Otherwise an animal or leaf is ruled by hashgacha klalit."

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