Reb Zalman writes:
[pages 90-91] ...One does not need to visit the death camps to come across their impact. Even if I had not believed in reincarnation as a result of my study of kabbalah I would have begun to believe in its reality for reasons of fact. My reputation as one interested in spiritual phenomena has attracted people who have confided in me about memories of having lived during the Holocaust years in their past life-cycle. Some of them have vivid memories of having been victims. A few have memories as oppressors. Some have come back in Jewish births, others in non-Jewish ones. Some of the Jewish ones have chosen blue-eyed, blond-haired bodies that would make them pass as Aryans. Others, born to non-Jewish parents, have felt an overwhelming attraction to Jews and Judaism and feel themselves haunted by that pull.
Recycled souls are still around us. Here are only two such phenomena as I have witnessed them.
Mark (not his real name) who had never spoken Yiddish before, attended a Havurat Shabbat [Jewish Sabbath retreat] session during which a visitor had introduced a breathing exercise calling on the participants to breathe deeply and rapidly, alternating the beathing in and out more rapidly. Mark entered inot a state of panic, beginning to cry in Yiddish for Maschiach [Messiah] to come. He banged on the door, could not open it and collapsed, wimpering. Fortunately, he recovered in the warmth of the gentle ministrations of his friends. His story, when he could be coherent, was that during the exercise he had lost touch with the reality of the present and had fallen into a state in which he re-remembered his dying in the gas chamber.
A woman from upstate New York was referred to me by her psychiatrist because of the strange anxiety attacks she experienced each time she tried to daven [say Jewish prayers] in a traditional shul [synagogue]. She belonged to a progressive congregation. Although she preferred the traditional davening, she felt terrified when she would attempt to daven in a more fervent minyan [congregation]. I instructed her to shut her eyes and imagine the davening going on, and as she did she began to weep. She re-remembered davening in the traditional fashion in another lifetime. When the fervor rose, it triggered in her memories of the outcry of the last Shema [a Jewish prayer] in the gas chamber. Working with her therapist, I was able to help her to remain present to both the horror memory and that this was not in the present lifetime...
©Copyright 1987 by Zalman Schachter. Used with permission.
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