Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is My Dog in Heaven?

Question of the Week:
My family has been greatly saddened by the loss of our beautiful German shepherd to cancer. My daughter told me she was sure our dog has a soul and would now be in heaven. Is this in accordance with our faith?
I am sorry hear that news. I hope you find comfort in the following thought.
Very often animals are reincarnated human souls. The Kabbalah teaches that some people leave this world without having learnt all the lessons they needed to learn, or without having achieved all that their soul was meant to achieve. So their soul is sent down again as an animal. In this form, they learn the required lessons, and then they are ready to move on to higher worlds.
This may have happened to your dog. The Kabbalists said that dogs are known to be faithful, loyal and protective. A dog will stick by its owner, putting itself in danger to ensure its owner's safety and wellbeing. A soul that lacked these traits in its human lifetime may be sent back down as a dog to attain these qualities.
Perhaps your dog was a soul that in a previous life had barked up the wrong tree. Maybe she was disloyal to her G-d, unfaithful to her people or untrue to her family, and therefore needed to come down again to learn fidelity and devotion. Or perhaps she came to protect your family from harm, because in a previous life she had failed to protect her own family. She excelled in these areas, and so her mission is complete.
We can't know these things for sure. But one thing we know is that her soul is better off now. Your family looked after her for her time here. Now the time has come for the soul within her to be released. She has learnt her lessons of faithfulness and loyalty. Hopefully you have too.
Don't wait for the next reincarnation to live a faithful life. Do it now.
Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss
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