What is about mysticism that attracts humans so much, especially us Jews?
It was Shabbat evening.
I had just finished eating a Shabbat meal with my friend and her family.
I remembered that I needed to buy my cat some food.
Since it was already 8:30 p.m., it was about time to feed them.
Anyway, I’m drifting off the subject, so back to the point.
As I walked out of the store with bags full of cans of cat food, a religious-looking man walked up to me and said, “Shabbat Shalom.”
“Shabbat Shalom,” I replied back.
He then asked, “How are you?” in Hebrew.
“I’m good,” I replied. “How did you know I speak Hebrew? I’m not wearing a religious girl’s clothes.”
“I could see in your face,” he said.
“Huh, interesting,” I replied.
He started to introduce himself.
He said he was a Kabbalist, and he could see things about people, things that people went through.
“What can you see about me?” I asked excitedly.
He told me that I have been in this world 20 times, that I had 20 past lives. “Really?” I asked, pausing to put my bags down, now even more stoked to hear what he had to say.
“Who was I in my past lives?” I asked. “Was I ever not Jewish?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“You were a male, religious priest. You were a religious leader. You were well known in your community.”
“Really?” I said, excitedly. “Tell me more.”
“Well, what do you want to know?” he said.
“Everything. Why was I born as a Jew, for example?”
He said, “Well, your soul is Jewish. Your first life was as a Jew in Israel.”
I asked, “When?”
“Around the time when King David was alive.”
“Did I know him?” I asked enthusiastically.
“No, you didn’t,” he said confidently.
“Well, that’s disappointing,” I thought to myself.
My mind began to fill with adrenaline and questions.
I asked him if I were ever an Arab.
He said I was an Israeli Arab.
I asked him if I was Asian.
He said, “No, you weren’t an Asian.”
(Hey, I even asked him if I were a cat, since I feel that I can relate to them so much.)
He said, “No, I can for sure tell you that weren’t an animal.”
I then started to think about my past, about people who had hurt me, about the people who had been there for me.
I asked him why I had such a rough time in the past, why I was hurt so badly. He told me that in my past recent life, I was a promiscuous actress who went with married men and had lots of abortions.
That was my so-called Karma.
I couldn’t stop asking him questions.
I asked him about my ex-boyfriend, if he’ll ever have to pay for what he did to me.
I asked him about other people that had hurt me.
He told me that their soul is connected to Satan’s soul.
That gave me chills all over my body. I asked him so many questions that he got tired of me.
Then, he gave me his business card and told me that if he wanted to know more, I could call him after Shabbat.
I ended up throwing the business card away, and there it was, a click in my head, an epiphany.
“Why does it matter?” I asked myself.
“Who cares about my past freaking life?”
If Hashem wanted me to remember my past lives, I’d remember them.
Maybe there is a reason why we start a new life, a new page.
“But, what is it that made me so excited?” I asked myself.
Why did I want to know about my ex-boyfriend?
Why did I want to know about my life as an Arab or as a promiscuous actress? What is it about la-la land that I’m attracted to?
And then I realized that it’s some type of closure.
We’re afraid of the unknown.
Even if we have imaginary solutions to our problems or to our pain it gives us some sort of relief.
We want to know why and how things happen to us.
So we go to psychics and speak to rabbis and read stories, and it’s good.
But we also need to know when to concentrate on what is happening right here and now.
…I hope I’m making sense…
Basically, regardless of whether I was once a religious priest or a promiscuous actress who had lots of abortions, or an Arab who lived in Israel…I am Anat now.
In this life, I am Anat, and this is what I’m going to focus on…my life, the present moment.