Culture, Justice, Religion

A Guide to Eating Reincarnated Souls

Cross-posted to LastTrumpet
From Lazer Beams:

Once a year, during the Hebrew month of Nissan, we have the special mitzva of making a blessing over (at least two) blossoming fruit trees. According to Kabbala, this blessing is deeply significant, and helps correct the soul that is reincarnated within the tree. That soul is forever beholding to the person that makes the blessing, for he or she has done a great favor in helping that soul attain its tikkun, or correction.
For your convenience, here is the blessing,
In English: Blessed are You, Hashem our God, King of the Universe, who let nothing lack in His universe and created within it good creatures and good trees in order to give pleasure to human beings.
In Transliteration: Baruch ata Adonoi, Eloheinu Melech ha-olam, she-lo chisar be-olamo klum v-vara vo beriyyot tovot ve-ilanot tovim lehanot bahem bnai Adam.
In Hebrew: áøåê àúä ä’ àìäéðå îìê äòåìí ùìà çñø áòåìîå ëìåí åáøà áå áøéåú èåáåú åàéìðåú èåáéí ìäðåú áäí áðé àãí

It’s significant that the trees are fruit-bearing. The ultimate pleasure those trees give us, as Reb Lazer explains later, is when we eat their fruit – “If you haven’t eaten a red grapefruit right off the tree in Eretz Yisroel, you don’t know what the taste of heaven is.”
Does anyone know any for veggies? Or for non-tree fruit? Is it safe to assume that the same principle applies?
I’m liberating kiwi souls right now.
On to meat –
From The Ba’al Shem Tov on Pirkei Avot:

“If three have eaten at one table and they have spoken no words of Torah over it, etc.”
Woe to sons who have banished from the table of their father. In the name of the Maggid of Mezritch I heard an account of the way in which the Baal Shem Tov explained this text, which declares that it is as though these three ate of sacrifices to dead idols. The Hebrew, though, means literally, “as though they ate of the sacrifices of the dead.” The esoteric meaning is that a dead person may be reincarnated into an animal that will serve as food for humans, in order that they should say words of Torah over it at their meal table (emphasis mine) — and through this the dead person that was reincarnated will be given new life in the heavenly realm. But if no words of Torah are said, the dead person reincarnated into the source of that food is simply “sacrificed” and cast off to remain an inanimate entity.
This is why the text speaks of “the sacrifices of the dead,” And this is why we find in the Talmud (Berachot 3a), “Woe to sons who have banished from the table”; whom have they banished? — “their father”! For it is possible that it was the father of the man who is dining, that was reincarnated into the creature that provided the food…
Be’er Mayin Chaim on the Passover Haggada; L’shon Chassidim; Midrash Rivash Tov

I’ve heard something very similar as a case against Jewish vegetarianism. I don’t remember if he cited this teaching, and it was explained as applying to making the bracha over the food.
Does an environmental concern trump the BeShT? I imagine that absent major agro-business, meat could be raised for food in a sustainable way. The Rabbi wasn’t arguing for 20oz steak – he just wanted a few bites.

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