Within the Jewish schools of thought that affirm the idea of reincarnation (i.e. that a soul can return to Earth in order to correct mistakes),

  • Are there any new souls on Earth today?

  • How do we know if we have been reincarnated?

  • Do you have some reason to think someone may be able to tell if they've been reincarnated?
    – Double AA
    Mar 10, 2022 at 0:02
  • @DoubleAA I don't see why people couldn't be able to reach a point of understanding, even if little, of their purpose and mission in this world. And couldn't this knowledge be applied to understand what someone's weaknesses are in order to correct them? Mar 10, 2022 at 0:11
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    @DoubleAA R. Haim Vital thought he was Hezekiah, R. Shalom Sharabi thought he was R. Isaac Luria, the Yismah Moshe thought he had reincarnated three times prior as Jacob, Moses, and Jeremiah... it seems that historically some adherents of the theory believed they could make the identification. Mar 10, 2022 at 0:36

2 Answers 2


See Yevamos 62a (https://www.sefaria.org.il/Yevamot.62a.17?ven=William_Davidson_Edition_-_English&vhe=William_Davidson_Edition_-_Vocalized_Aramaic&lang=he&with=all&lang2=he)

 אֵין בֶּן דָּוִד בָּא עַד שֶׁיִּכְלוּ כׇּל נְשָׁמוֹת שֶׁבַּגּוּף

The Messiah will not come till all the souls in the "body" are finished / completed.

Rashi there explains (מנשמות שבאותו אוצר ששמו גוף) that there is a store of souls whose name is "body", and that the Messiah will not come till all those souls have come to this world.

It follows that if the Messiah has not yet come that there are still new souls coming to this world.

  • That gemara implies everytime a person has a child he brings down a neshama from the guf. That gemara in it self is difficult to reconsile with gilgulim.
    – Shlomy
    Mar 10, 2022 at 7:23
  • @Shlomy I think the Ben Ish Chai says the gemara is lav davka.
    – pcoz
    Mar 10, 2022 at 11:50
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    Could be that it's a necessary but not sufficient condition
    – Joel K
    Mar 10, 2022 at 12:38
  • @JoelK Actually (in support of your argument) I think I have seen mekubalim who say that there are no new neshamos nowadays.
    – pcoz
    Mar 10, 2022 at 13:45
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    @Deuteronomy I don't know.
    – pcoz
    Mar 11, 2022 at 6:21

Almost all souls that are born today came in multiple gilgulim already. New neshamos are extremely rare in these last generations, only great yechidei segulah merit new souls as they are very lofty. The Baal HaTanya in Likkutei Torah brings that there are two kinds, chadashos & chadashos mamash. Dovid HaMelech for example was a neshama chadasha but not mamash because although it was his first time in a physical guf he had already been in this world within the neshama of Adam HaRishon and therefore was not a neshama chadasha mamash. The latter on the other hand, are souls that weren’t even included within the neshama of Adam HaRishon which was comprised of all the Jewish souls except for those that will be born after techyias hameisim and some exceptions who are born before. The Baal Shemtov said about the Baal HaTanya that he was a neshama chadasha mamash entrusted with a special mission (neshamos chadashos don’t come for a tikkun prati) to reveal a new derech in Avodas Hashem and be a light in both nigleh and nistar, hence his name Shneur (shnei-or) the Baal HaTanya & Shulchan Aruch the two lights.

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    do you have exact sources for this answer? We really value having trusted mekoros to support any answers otherwise you are just another voice on the internet. Thank you for all your efforts!
    – Dov
    Apr 12, 2022 at 8:26
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    I will look them up, I just remember I saw it in those 2 places. Apr 12, 2022 at 12:42

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