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As discussed in this question, the Talmud tells us that 40 days before someone is born, a heavenly voice calls out "This person is destined for so-and-so".

Not sure if anyone can answer this, but I'm wondering if this same 'calling out' for the soul happens to souls who are destined to be in a body that dies very young and never even has the opportunity to marry. (My father had a brother that died within the first month, and an uncle of mine had a daughter that died after a couple of months.)

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@Menachem has edited the question so as to restrict it to the "if this same 'calling out' for the soul happens to souls who are destined to be in a body that dies very young" part. The way I read it, that was meant merely as an example of someone who dies unwed (which is covered in the older question). Perhaps I've misread it. Was that not the intent, BarryHammer? Are you asking specifically of someone who dies young and not of anyone who dies unwed? –  msh210 Dec 2 '11 at 15:28
    
@msh210: I saw it as different than someone who chose not to get married and dies unmarried as an adult. In this case, the person was never in a position to be able to get married, since they passed away very young. If so, maybe they don't have a soulmate. –  Menachem Dec 2 '11 at 17:01
    
@Menachem, I'll let BarryHammer clarify and will be very glad to reopen and bump. –  msh210 Dec 2 '11 at 18:18
    
@Menachem, I was indeed asking about someone who dies young; in theory, I could also have asked about those who die unwed, but to my mind (also like msh210 says) there is a big difference to someone who could get married (even if they are young), and someone who never had the chance because they were a small baby when they died. I tried looking for this question, to see if it was asked before, and didn't see it asked, which is why I asked it in the first place. –  Barry Hammer Dec 3 '11 at 17:35
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migrated from meta.judaism.stackexchange.com Dec 2 '11 at 13:25

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1 Answer

There is a Baal Shem Tov story (one version of it is here) where a couple who couldn't have children, had a child due to the Baal Shem Tov's blessing. When the child died on his second birthday, the Baal Shem Tov consoled the bereaved couple by explaining that their child was the reincarnated soul of a great convert who had to come back down in this world in order to rectify the first two years of his life, where he was "conceived, borne, and fed for two years in the spiritually negative environment of the royal palace."

Based on this story (and I'm sure if I looked I could find sources in Kabbalistic works dealing with reincarnation), we see that sometime a soul has to be reincarnated for a short period of time in order to rectify a certain blemish.

In this letter, quoted in this answer, the Lubavitcher Rebbe brings the opinion of the Arizal, that the heavenly voice calls out "This person is destined for so-and-so" only the first time the soul descends into the world. Not every time a soul is reincarnated the soul's intended match is reincarnated with him.

So, if we could make an assumption that when a soul is brought down to the world for a very short time it is in order for the soul to have some kind of rectification (that requires only a short time on this earth), it would make sense that the soul's intended match is not reincarnated together with him. (Even though the soul does have a match and the before the first time it entered the world the heavenly proclamation was made).

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So Judaism believe in reincarnation? –  Jim Thio Mar 29 '13 at 2:50
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@JimThio: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/2443/… –  Menachem Mar 29 '13 at 3:03
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