It was New Year’s night, and the Rabbi was walking to his home when he met a shadowy figure. He was stunned to see that it was a man of the city who had recently died! What are you doing here? the Rabbi asked, you are supposed to be dead.
Rabbi, you know, replied the ghost, that this is the night when souls reincarnate on earth. I am such a soul.
And why were you sent back again?
I led a perfectly blameless life here on earth, the dead man told him.
And yet, remarked the Rabbi, you were forced to be born here again?
Yes, said the other, when I passed on I thought about everything I had done and I found it so good; I had done everything just right. My heart swelled with pride, and just then I died. So I was sent back to pay for that.
The figure disappeared and the Rabbi, pondering, went on to his home. Shortly after, a son was born to his wife. The child became Rabbi Wolf, who was an extremely humble man.
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