Arizal is the most contemporary Rabbi to specify gilgulim in his teachings that I have studied, but I know others have come after Arizal who also dealt with the subject and could have specified who the past gilgulim were of more modern figures. For instance, who were the prior gilgulim of Napoleon? Of Hitler? Of Mao? Of the Dalai Lama? Of Abraham Lincoln? Of Einstein? There are too many to list but I would be interested in lists of prior gilgulim for any known historical figure. They can be pre-Arizal also, since I'm sure I don't know all pre-Arizal either, and there are likely multiple opinions on some figures.

  • When I was young people liked to say that Hitler was a gilgul of Haman for some reason.
    – pcoz
    May 6 at 12:57
  • @pcoz I find this to be unlikely. A gilgul is meant to be a punishment of sorts; it means that neshama did not fulfill its tikkun and therefore must be sent back to the physical in order to "try again" so to speak. Furthermore, can the souls of non-Jews be reincarnated?
    – ezra
    May 6 at 16:39
  • I don't think this question can really be answered. The concept of gilgulim is hardly universally understood the same way or accepted, and there would be no way for someone to know whether a historical figure was a gilgul or not. I know you must read Chasidic stories which present rebbeim who are able to tell someone about their neshama's past, but in truth this is just fairy tale.
    – ezra
    May 6 at 16:41
  • 1
    @N.T. The Zohar says that Bilaam was a gilgul of Lavan.
    – pcoz
    May 8 at 10:51
  • 1
    @pcoz judaism.stackexchange.com/a/83850/759
    – Double AA
    May 11 at 11:12


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