The Arizal states that we are here to accomplish the 613 mitzvots, until we do, we keep coming back..

from this can we assume that all our reincarnations since the time of our forefathers have been Jewish? And all goyim are goyim since forever as well?

  • 1
    How do explain coming back as an animal then?
    – user6591
    Dec 18, 2017 at 17:25
  • How do you know he states this? Does he state this is the only reason for reincarnation?
    – mevaqesh
    Dec 18, 2017 at 17:50
  • I've heard of such an Arizal , would you mind quoting where it is? Dec 18, 2017 at 17:54
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    We know for sure that goyim can become Jews so the second part of the question cannot be true
    – mbloch
    Dec 18, 2017 at 18:27
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    Regardless of whether or not those things are true, they certainly cannot be assumed solely on the basis of what you quote the Arizal as saying. He seems to be giving one scenario in which someone would 'keep coming back'. That doesn't mean it's the only scenario....
    – Jay
    Dec 19, 2017 at 4:19

2 Answers 2


As mentioned in this answer according to the Arizal, one of the reasons for the daily blessing of not being made a heathen is that

each night a person returns his soul to the creator and it[sic] possible that this soul be switched into another body or state of being. ...each day ... a person awakes to find himself in this particular configuration of body and soul

Source: eitz chayim, heichal adam kadmon, shaar alef, anaf heh. CF Likutei Halachos (R' Nathan Sternhartz) Yoreh Deah, Basar B'Chalav 4:1

The implication being that there is a possibility that a Jewish person could have his/her soul incarnate into a non-Jew.

For a more extensive treatment of this topic see these videos

  • I thought the Nefesh stayed in our bodies while we sleep, keeping us alive. So that not the entirety of the soul goes back to the Creator each night. I'm sorry I don't have a source for this
    – Lilopinpin
    Dec 18, 2017 at 18:43
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    I couldn't understand how you jumped into this conclusion. If by "non-Jew" you mean "non-Jewish body" I would understand, but switching the soul into non-Jew is impossible, as the soul stays Jewish all the time.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 19, 2017 at 1:25
  • @AlBerko yes, I mean non-Jewish body, which I understood was what the OP meant in the question. Dec 19, 2017 at 13:45
  • I would slightly rephrase your question, I was always puzzled by what we say "נשמה שנתת בי", meaning that I am my body, not my soul. So you should clarify what you mean by "Jewish" - Jewish soul or Jewish body - if the soul - it stays the same (Jewish) and changes bodies, if body - then it changes souls.
    – Al Berko
    Dec 24, 2017 at 1:27
  • @Al berko why must you say it implies "I am my body" and not " I am my consciousness"?
    – Orion
    Aug 16, 2018 at 4:22

@Lilopinpin. You said: "The Arizal states that we are here to accomplish the 613 mitzvots, until we do, we keep coming back."

How can one person perform all 613 when some are specific to men or to women or to farmers or to Kohanim? One person cannot accomplish ALL 613. Israel as a nation, collectively can, but not an individual.

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