Question of the Week:
I suffered a miscarriage recently. While I am thankful for the beautiful children I have, I still feel a sense of loss for the child that I will never know. Is there some kabbalistic explanation for why these things happen?
I'm sorry to hear of your loss. It's understandable that you are left wondering what could have been, in what seems to be a case of a potential unfulfilled.
But Kabbalistically, there's no such thing as what could have been. Every soul has its own flightpath. Why some souls spend longer on this earth, some shorter, and some never make it - is a mystery that only G-d can solve. We can only suggest a possible explanation, by exploring what Kabbalah teaches us about the soul's journey.
The soul has a pre-history that goes back a long way. There is a storehouse of souls in heaven, where from time immemorial every soul that was ever born or will ever be born waits for its time to come down. When a mother down here conceives, up there a soul is summoned from the storehouse and sent down to begin its mission. The Messiah can only come once that storehouse is empty, and every soul has been sent on its path.
It is a scary and traumatic experience for a soul to leave its divine source and descend to this lowly world. The materialism and darkness of our universe is completely foreign to this pure and G-dly spark. In order to ease the soul's descent into this world, it experiences a transitory stage, it enters a realm that is neither heaven nor earth - the mother's womb. The womb is a haven where the soul enjoys the warmth and protection of its mother, the support and love of its father, without being tainted or corrupted by the world outside. At this stage, the soul does not yet enter the body, but rather hovers around it. It is still free from the limitations of the physical. This is an intermediate step, in order to soften the shock of arriving in the world beyond the womb.
But some souls are never ready to leave. They are too sublime, too pure, too sensitive to be thrust into the harsh realities of worldly existence. It would be simply too cruel to plunge such a gentle soul into a body, to enter a world polluted by evil and selfishness. So instead of descending further, these souls float back to where they came from - the higher and holier realms where they feel at home. Perhaps they will come down some other time. Or perhaps their mission is fulfilled, having come down far enough.
For the mother, this is a painful loss. The future she anticipated for her child did not eventuate. But is it a miscarriage? Miscarriage implies that something went wrong, that a mistake happened; but we cannot know if perhaps this was the destiny of that soul.
This does not in any way diminish the loss that you have suffered. Your pain is real and justified, and your wounded heart will take time to heal. To the cry, "Why me?", these may seem to be just empty words. But at moments of spiritual clarity, at times when your thoughts can overpower your emotions, maybe you can sense that in a way you have been honoured, to have hosted such a holy and precious soul in your womb. That sacred time you shared with your little unborn child can never be taken away from you.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Can a Soul be Miscarried?
Question of the Week: