He was unquestionably the greatest Kabbalist of the last 500 years at least.
Born Yitzchak Luria, in Jerusalem in 1534,
he became known as the “Arizal,” an acronym for: “The Godly Rebi Yitzchak.”
His premier student was Rabbi Chaim Vital, born in Calabria, Italy in 1543.
It was his manuscripts from the teachings of his master that eventually became
published as the “Kisvei Arizal,” the “Writings of the Arizal.”
It is to this collection of holy works that Sha’ar HaGilgulim—Gate of Reincarnations— belongs.
One would think that such a sefer is only about reincarnation.
It is not.
Actually, it begins with a discussion about how to AVOID reincarnation. T
he first part of the sefer is about personal tikun—rectification.
A person who follows such a path in life would not need to reincarnate—ever.
Then the sefer talks about what happens if a person does have to reincarnate,
and how it impacts his or her ongoing rectification.
It provides examples from lives of the past to make its points,
often resulting in fascinating but otherwise unknown insights into history.
Sha’ar HaGilgulim is full of indispensable knowledge about life that a growth-oriented person MUST know.
The problem is that Sha’ar HaGilgulim belongs to the highest and most mystical level of Torah learning,
Sod, or Kabbalah.
The basic assumption is that,
for most people,
it is a level of learning that is strictly off-limits.
True or not,
it is the reality.
Even to people who are not intimidated by Kabbalah,
the topic is not a priority.
It is as important to personal fulfillment,
as dessert is to a meal.
only once they have “eaten” their fill of the “main course,”
that is, Chumash to Talmud,
will they perhaps eat the “dessert.”
If and when they ever do,
they will most certainly look back with regret.
They will likely say,
“I really wish I knew these ideas when I was younger.”
It will literally be too little,
“What Goes Around” is meant to help bridge the gap.
It is a fictional novel based upon factual information.
The characters are not real,
but what happens to them could happen to actual people.
The Torah ideas discussed ARE real,
coming from or being based on teachings from Sha’ar HaGilgulim.
The idea is that a novel,
even based upon Kabbalah,
can have a much wider audience.
It can be an excellent medium to bring relevant but complicated ideas more down to earth, a
nd make them more accessible to a large crowd.
the person can decide for him- or herself to follow up with a more detailed investigation.