When Are We Good Enough?

(Andy Blumenthal)
(Andy Blumenthal)

I was having this conversation with a friend today in Synagogue. There was a bar-mitzvah in Shul and there were many young children there for the celebration.

We were watching some children in synagogue playing. He says to me: “Would you like to be that age again?” I said: “Ah, not really–once was enough.” We both laughed. I asked: “Do you believe in reincarnation?” He is a religious person and he thought for a brief moment, and said: “Yes, absolutely!”

He went on to tell me about some fascinating videos he’s seen about this topic.  One video, he described, was about a 2-year old Palestinian boy who was only surrounded by Arabic-speaking family and friends. And then suddenly, one day, the little boy starts speaking perfect English and on top of it with a very distinguished, full British accent.  Yes, it was inexplainable, except of course, unless the boy had lived once before as someone else, who was from the U.K.

I too believe strongly in reincarnation.  I think that is partially what G-d means by doing justice in this world.  If you bomb out in life and don’t fulfill your true potential than G-d sends you back for another try.  And this can happen as many times as it takes to get it right!  If you are a miserly individual, what can be a more appropriate punishment and lesson than to come back as a needy person. If you are an abusive person, then you come back and see what it’s like to be the abused one, and so on.  The point isn’t to hurt people–G-d’s children–but rather to teach us!

Life is learning and life is growth.  Often I see children and they are mature in their thinking and mannerisms well beyond their years.  I know that I am looking at an “old soul”–someone who has been here before and learned many of those critical life lessons already.  As for me, I hope that I am getting it mostly right in my life (this time).  The last thing that I want to hear (again) is: “Nope, not good enough!”

About the Author
Andy Blumenthal is business and technology leader who writes frequently about Jewish life, culture, and security. All opinions are his own.
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