There are some ideas which propose that an entire group can have their souls linked to each other, and undergo collective reincarnation. I am looking for whether there are Jewish sources that speak of this and describe the mechanism or reasoning as to why these souls got linked in the first place to undergo collective gilgul.

2 Answers 2


In the book Mishnat haGilgulim it says that the 24.000 inhabitants of Shchem are the 24.000 from the Tribe of Shimon who sinned with the Midianite women and are the 24.000 thousand Students of Rabbi Akiva that died during the Omer time.

They underwent collective reincarnation after they were killed by Shimon and Levi after their circumcision and therefore their souls claimed that they would have become holy if they had not been killed. They reincarnated into the descendants of their very killer, Shimon, and sinned in the Moment of the ordeal. Their leader Zimri ben Salu (previously Shchem ben Hamor) was killed by Pinchas (again Tribe of Levi).

Their leader came back as a simple man but became Rabbi Akiva and the 24,000 souls connected to him, felt drawn to him and became his Students but again failed to pass the ordeal at their lofty Level.

That's also the reason Rabbi Akiva says He wanted to bite the Rabbis like a donkey- a Hamor.

Or that it is Rabbi Akiva who holds in Masechet Brachot 9b that the Shma in the morning is connected to be able to discern a donkey.


Yes, Chapter 30 of Sha'ar HaGilgulim by Rabbi Chaim Vital, (based on the teachings of his teacher the Arizal) discusses groups of souls from the same origin within the body of Adam HaRishon,and how they interact with one another during and between incarnations.

  • @Setszu thank you for editing in the link. If you have time, check and see if Chapter 30 is included in the free English translation by Rabbi Perets Auberach on the Chabad Kabbalah website. It is certainly included in Volume 1 of Rabbi Pinchas Winston's translation Oct 24, 2023 at 21:17

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