Answer: A person always remains a person, a man – a man, a woman – a woman, and a cat – a cat. Matter remains the same matter.
All of the theories and fantasies about the reincarnation of souls in various animals and even in plants are erroneous.
And in general, the soul doesn’t belong to the body. The body exists only to create conditions for developing the soul. But to the degree that the soul is developed, the body begins to receive new physical characteristics, which help us to develop the soul further. Everything happens for this purpose only.
Question: I don’t understand; what happens with a person after he dies?
Answer: Don’t we see what happens to a person after his body dies? The body rots and turns into dust. If a person doesn’t develop the soul within him, then only a conscious element of the soul is left, which must create a body again.
Question: What happens if I have developed a soul?
Answer: If you have developed your soul to the necessary level, meaning you have corrected it absolutely, then you no longer need to be incarnated any more into this world, and the soul will live forever.
Question: Will that soul itself be my “self”?
Answer: Specifically the soul is the “self.” A person is his soul, whereas the body is only material that accompanies him and helps in developing the soul.
Question: So why do the Kabbalists sometimes write that a person is reincarnated into animals, for example, into a pig?
Answer: This is written metaphorically. “Reincarnated as a pig” means that desires like those of a pig come to a person, which he had apparently abandoned a long time ago.
Just as sometimes in a person’s life he behaves like this and we call him a “pig.” In the same sense Kabbalists speak about incarnation as a pig, meaning such characteristics like a pig appear in a person, but it is clear that he remains a person.
From Israeli Radio Program 103 FM, 2/1/15