Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Bride's Debt

It once happened in Safed, that a disciple of the Holy Ari had to go on a long journey. Before departing, he came to his teacher for a letter of recommendation. The Ari wrote it for him, then blessed him and said "May G-d be with you, and may you go in peace".

The disciple then asked "Master, can you tell me anything about what will happen when I get there?"

"You will marry a beautiful woman" the Ari replied. "And she is your destined soulmate for this life. But after you have been happily married for only six months, she will suddenly die. And here is the reason: In another incarnation, this woman was a man, and you were also a man then. He was your dearest friend, but he also caused you some legal trouble for six months. Finally, he brought a lawsuit against you in the civil courts, which caused you to lose 600 gold coins, even though you were innocent of his charges.

"Now" continued the Ari, "this friend from another life is once again reincarnated - as the woman you will marry on your journey. His soul has come to make atonement for his sins against you. For the six months of trouble that he caused in that life, you will have six months of happiness in this life. The inheritance you will receive when she dies is to repay you for the 600 gold pieces you lost in the past life. But even though you know this, you should be kind and patient to this woman, and grant her forgiveness for the trouble she caused you in the previous life."

And everything happened exactly as the Holy Ari said it would.

[Shivchei Ha-Ari, 16th century]

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