Dear Rabbi Ben-Chaim,


I've read the argument that Saadia Gaon was silent on reincarnation because: 1) he lived in a PLACE dominated by Islam, which would place his life in danger for promoting the concept of reincarnation, and 2) he lived at a TIME when Kabbalists were ordered to hide their knowledge.


Except, Saadia Gaon was NOT silent on reincarnation. He unequivocally denounced it; and he provided logical arguments that it's a false doctrine.  While I could understand a Rabbi staying SILENT to protect himself and others, I can't fathom a Rabbi deliberately writing a passionate and argumentative DENUNCIATION of something he knows to be actually true! If so, how do we know when a Rabbi is lying or telling the truth?  Doesn't this leave us in chaotic ignorance of what is Truth and what is False?


Would you please reprint Saadia Gaon's own words on reincarnation?  If another reader can explain with a convincing argument that Saadia Gaon was lying, I would truly like to learn and understand.


I've read one counter-argument, that Saadia Gaon was not actually privy to the Kabbalistic knowledge of reincarnation and THAT is why he wrote as he did.  Yet, my understanding is the opposite, that he was a Kabbalistic master. Although his approach toward Kabbalah was more philosophical than mystical, I thought he did possess the Kabbalistic knowledge obtainable by scholars of the highest stature.  Is this a correct understanding?


Many thanks,


Debby Kobrin