When I found out that Barnes and Noble was releasing a new NOOK I knew that that was what I wanted. For the past few occasions that warranted presents I did not know what I wanted and my birthday is coming in two months. Now I know that the new NOOK is what I want with its touch screen and EInk, I do not have the NOOK yet, however I did download the NOOK for PC app along with a few ebooks.
I am one who is interested in Christian culture and the supernatural so I typed "The Book of Revelations" into the B&N search engine. One of the results that came up was a book by that name, but had a picture of a Jewish Star and a Swastika on the cover and it was free. I went to click on the cover to see what it was about, because I knew that this had nothing to do with the biblical book that went by the same name. I read the synopsis to see what it was about, and I found it to be interesting.
The book was about a psychiatrist,Dr. Simon Panalewicz who was sent to jail for attacking a girl for apparently no reason. From his California jail cell the psychiatrist requests that certain clergy visit him despite the fact that he is an atheist. Among the clergy of whom he requests a visit is a prestigious rabbi by the name of, Rabbi Max Gutterman, from New York. At first Rabbi Gutterman is not sure whether he should visit the psychiatrist. In the end the rabbi decides to do so. He enters the jail cell of the psychiatrist who then begins to ask him about whether he believes in past lives. The rabbi says that he does not believe so to which the doctor responds that there have been regressions into past livesdue to hypnosis and that he attacked the girl for who she was in a past life. The rabbi and the doctor continue to their verbal exchange that ends when the psychiatrist asks offers to tell the rabbi who he was in a past life. This offends the rabbi to the point that he storms out of the jail and says that he will not come back to visit him. The rabbi, however does come back only to hear the psychiatrist tell him that he was Adolf Hitler in a past life. You can imagine how a rabbi of any denomination would take that. Obviously, Hitler the leader of the Nazi Part and the Third Reich, and is known to be responsible for the death 6,000,000 is not someone that any Jew, let alone a rabbi would have wanted to have been in a past life.
The rabbi finally hits the boiling point and flies back to New York. He was hoping to deal with the situation on his own. However, that is not what happens. He tells his father and friends who do not believe it. The rabbi then starts finding Swastikas on their door and a threatening letter addressed to him that says that they will kill Hitler. Rabbi Gutterman soon finds out that there are two sides vying for him, the Jurors who want him dead and the Nazis who want to bring out the Hitler in him. The Nazis want Gutterman alive despite the fact that he is a Jew and is not genetically part of "The Master Race" and they think of using him as a double agent among the Jews. The Jurors meanwhile do not go according to what their names imply, instead they kill first and ask questions later, which I find to be extremely ironic. The Jurors end up taking over everything including the government and continue killing people for who they were in past lives.
The question I have is whether Rabbi Gutterman is responsible for the actions of his past life. Rabbi Gutterman was a kind and caring man who was open-minded and gave second chances. One would never expect that the rabbi could have been Hitler in a past life. In fact I believe this shows how a person is molded by his environment, although I do not believe that it excuses Hitler of all that he did. I also think that if the rabbi was Hitler in a past life then I admire him for how he was able to keep the bad characteristics under control and use them for good, which makes me view him as a stronger person than Hitler.
This also brings the question of whether extra-legal activities of vigilantes should be allowed. Like the Death Note manga series, it deals with vigilantes trying to bring "justice" to the world. In Death Note there is a boy who decides to bring justice to the world and kill criminals by writing their name in a notebook which causes them to die. The boy's actions are assumed to be by a death god by the name of Kira. He soon obtains a strong support base and everyone depends on him to kill all the criminals to make the world a better place. However he ends up killing innocent people and everyone who gets in his way. He soon thinks that he is God and can do whatever he wants. The Jurors are similar in that they think that it is up to them to bring "justice" to the world in ways that are not legal and they eventually gain the support of governments to do so.
I view a new life as an escape from a past life to prove who you can be, I mean if there are new lives. Also if there are past lives and we would be judged based on them, something tells me that half of us would be dead.