Reincarnation and Reconciliation - Part 1

From the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria; translated and edited by Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky

The souls of Cain and Abel return to fix "bad blood" between them.

This portion of the Torah opens with the story of how Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came to meet the Jewish people in the desert:

Jethro, the priest of Midian, the father-in-law of Moses, heard all that G‑d had done for Moses and Israel, His people, that G‑d took Israel out of Egypt…. Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, came together with [Moses'] sons and wife, to Moses, to the desert where he was encamped, at the mountain of G‑d. And he said to Moses, "I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you, with your wife and her two sons." (Ex. 18:1, 5-6)

Let us understand: If [Jethro] was talking to [Moses] personally, how could he say [in the present], "I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you"?

Notice, however, that the initials of these words spell the word for "my brother".

The initials of the words for "I, your father-in-law Jethro" [in Hebrew, "ani chotencha Yitro"] are alef-chet-yud, which spell the word for "my brother" [in Hebrew, "achi"].

Jethro was a reincarnation of Cain, while Moses was the principle of Abel….

This is because Jethro was a reincarnation of Cain, while Moses was the principle of Abel. He therefore hinted to him that he was [in a sense] his brother.

chanoch adds: This brothewr relationship is on many levels and the words “in a sense”, in my opinion, is misleading. Here are 3 levels to begin with: 1. Cain and Abel; 2. Yitro as a Priest of many spiritual systems taught these to Moses – teacher student in both directioins; 3. Son in law and father in law is always a potential brother relationship since both men “love” the same women.

Because [when] Cain [slew Abel he] repudiated the principle of justice, saying "there is no justice and no judge" (Bereishit Rabba 26:6). He now [as Jethro] said he was coming [to Abel's reincarnation, Moses] in order to rectify this. And indeed, he is responsible for innovating the institution of the judicial system, as we have explained elsewhere.

The rest of this chapter describes how Jethro, seeing how overburdened Moses was with judging all the disputes the Jewish people brought to him, suggested that - subject to G‑d's approval - Moses appoint a hierarchy of courts and judges to handle the simpler cases.

chanoch adds: : Yitro teaches Moshe face and Palm reading as the first 12 sections in the Zohar on the parasha Yitro relate this information.

Jethro was also called "the priest of Midian", because he was the first contender in history, when he was Cain, as it is written, "and Cain rose up against his brother, Abel." (Gen. 4:8)

The word "Midian" comes from the root meaning "to argue, to contend" [spelled mem-dalet-nun].

He was returned [again] in Korach, who "took a bad portion for himself", meaning that the soul of Cain became vested in him.

The story of Korach begins with the words "And Korach took…" (Num. 16:1), but it is not stated explicitly what he took. Mystically, this is interpreted to mean that he "took" the evil of Cain into him in order to contend with Moses.

It is therefore stated, "[Korach and his associates] arose before Moses," just as "Cain arose against Abel." (Num. 16:2)

And just as [when Cain slew Abel (see Gen. 4:10), G‑d said to him,]"The voice of your brother's blood is calling out to Me from the ground," [when G‑d punished Korach and his associates, (Num. 16:33)]they and all they possessed descended alive into the pit…screaming, "Moses is true and his Torah is true, and we are imposters." (Ref. is to Baba Batra 74a.)

This also rectified [the fact that Cain] had said, "There is no judgment and there is no judge."

Furthermore, we must understand why Jethro did not come to Moses by himself [but instead announced his arrival so Moses would come out to greet him].

The explanation is based on what we have said, that Jethro was a reincarnation of Cain and was now coming to [Abel's reincarnation, Moses] to rectify [what he had damaged].

Our sages disagreed (tractate Zevachim 116a) over whether Jethro came to Moses before the giving of the Torah or after it. They all agree that man's chief rectification is through the Torah, as it is written, All the sayings of G‑d are pure, (Proverbs 30:5) meaning that [the Torah] purifies and refines us. Their argument is that according to those who maintain that Jethro came before the Torah was given, he came in order to be rectified by the Torah. According to those who maintain that he came after the Torah was given, he was only able to come because the Torah had been given.

According to the latter opinion, it was the spirituality of the Torah in the world that inspired Jethro to come, or that gave him the spiritual power to overcome his evil side and join the Jewish people.

This accords with our sages' statement that when the Jewish people stood around Mt. Sinai [and received the Torah], their defilement was removed, for the Torah purifies everything. (Tractate Shabbat 146a)

By accepting the Torah, the Jewish people were cured of this primordial psychospiritual disability…

The defilement referred to here is the defilement of subjective ego that was introduced into the human psyche when the primordial snake raped Eve. By accepting the Torah, the Jewish people were cured of this primordial psychospiritual disability, and remained in this condition until the sin of the golden calf.

Evidently, the Jewish People's acceptance of the Torah affected the world at large as well, enabling Jethro, the arch-idolator (our sages state that he had worshipped every type of idol), to join the Jewish people.

…Jethro, who, as we said, was an aspect of Cain, now came to join [the forces of] holiness. Cain damaged Abel in three ways: he killed him, he took his twin, and shed the blood of his descendants.

Twin sisters were born with Cain and Abel and were intended to be their wives. When Cain killed Abel, he took Abel's twin sister and married her. By killing Abel, Cain also "killed" all his future possible descendants.

He therefore now sought to rectify all three. This is alluded to in the initials of the words for "I, your father-in-law Jethro", which spell the word for "my brother", as mentioned above. [Jethro] meant to hint [to Moses] : "You should have mercy on me like a brother, even though I sinned against you, because I am coming to you and wish to repent. As for how I sinned by taking your twin sister, here I am now bringing you your wife." This is why he called [Zipporah] "your wife" and not "my daughter", as if to say, "This is your original, intended wife." When he said, "…and her two sons," he meant: "Here are the descendants I deprived you of, returned to you. Please accept them."

This is the 1st section of this teaching; Part 2 is below.

Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Sefer HaLikutim, parashat Yitro; subsequently published in "Apples From the Orchard."

Reincarnation and Reconciliation - Part 2

From the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria

The souls of Cain and Abel return to fix "bad blood" between them.

This is the 2nd section of this teaching, Part 1 is above

The Arizal will now discuss the evolution of the primordial sin.

In the beginning, the first damage occurred when the moon accused [G‑d].

G‑d made the two great luminaries - the greater light to rule the day, and the smaller light to rule the night. (Gen. 1:16) The sun and the moon are first called "the two great luminaries," implying that they were originally the same size [i.e. they were both equally "great"]. But, the Sages tell us that the moon immediately protested over having to rule jointly with the sun, so G‑d diminished it, leaving "a greater light to rule the day, and a smaller light to rule the night."

Obviously, the Sages do not mean to tell us that the moon was petty or jealous in the conventional sense. Rather, what we are witnessing here is part of the process through which G‑d established the duality in Creation between male/female (or giver/recipient). He intended from the outset that there be a greater and a smaller luminary, one radiating and one reflective. Since both are necessary components of Creation, there is no intrinsic superiority of one over the other; from G‑d's perspective, they are both "great luminaries". Still, in the context of Creation, there is an implied superiority of the giver over the recipient, and, in order for the creative drama to unfold, Creation's perspective must be allowed to prevail over the Creator's. Thus, as soon as it was created, the moon was immediately diminished. (Cf. Likutei Sichot of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, vol. 30, pp. 8-15.)

This "sin" of the moon and its subsequent banishment from the daytime is seen as the precursor to the sin of Adam and Eve with the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and their subsequent banishment from the Garden of Eden.

Thus, it is written, "Let there be luminaries [in the heavenly sky]," (Gen. 1:15) the word for "luminaries" being written without the expected vav's, so that it may be read "curse", as in "The curse of G‑d is upon the house of the wicked". (Proverbs 3:33) And immediately after this, [the luminaries] are referred to as being "greater" and "lesser".

The Hebrew word for "luminaries", "me'orot", is usually spelled mem-alef-vav-reish-vav-tav. Here, it is spelled mem-alef-reish-vav. It may be read as the construct of the Hebrew word for curse", "me'eirah", spelled mem-alef-reish-hei."

The spelling of the word for "luminaries" thus alludes to the inherent proto-defect of self-awareness implied by the duality of male-female.

This defect could have been easily rectified, since it was not caused by human beings [but rather by G‑d Himself]. And had Adam kept his one commandment, he would indeed have rectified it. But this did not happen; rather, Adam came and made things worse.

Adam's one commandment was not to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil for three hours, i.e. until the Sabbath, when it would have become permitted.

Cain and Abel also damaged [reality]. [Not only Cain but also] Abel "gazed and damaged".

According to the Sages, when Abel offered his sacrifice to G‑d, he gazed upon the Divine Presence and therefore became incurred the death penalty (which is why it was divine providence that Cain killed him). Gazing upon the Divine Presence means experiencing divine consciousness for selfish intentions. The individual considers himself an independent agent who may rightfully pursue his own satisfaction. Having chosen to sunder himself from G‑d, the source of life, he forfeits life - even if the object of his satisfaction is none other than the Divine glory!

This is the mystical meaning of the phrase: And G‑d paid heed to Abel and his offering (Gen. 4:4). We would have expected this phrase to read: "And G‑d paid heed to Abel's offering." The meaning of G‑d turning to Abel here is that He allowed him to gaze [on the Divine Presence].

Abel should have demurred, aware that it doing this would cause him to experience G‑dliness as one separate from it. Indeed, when Moses realized that the burning bush was a revelation of G‑d, he "hid his face, for he was afraid of gazing at G‑d." (Commentary of Rabbi Shalom Sharabi on Ex. 3:6.)

But to Cain and to his offering [G‑d] paid no heed. (Gen. 4:5) G‑d did not accept Cain's sacrifice, and did not allow him to gaze [on His presence].

Just as in the preceding verse, the unexpected phraseology "…to Abel and to his offering" implies that G‑d allowed Abel to gaze, in this verse, the unexpected "…to Cain and to his offering" indicates G‑d's response to Cain's desire to behold His presence.

But in accepting Abel's offering, [G‑d allowed him] to gaze. By [succumbing to] the temptation [to do so, Abel incurred the death penalty and] was killed.

Part 3 is below

Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Sefer HaLikutim, parashat Yitro; subsequently published in "Apples From the Orchard."

Reincarnation and Reconciliation - Part 3

From the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria; translated and edited by Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky

The souls of Cain and Abel return to fix "bad blood" between them

This is the 3rd section of this teaching,

All in that generation were aspects of Abel. The only ones related to Cain were Nadab and Abihu….

Now, [in Moses' generation,] when [Cain] came [to be rectified], all in that generation were aspects of [the soul of] Abel. The only ones related to [the soul of] Cain were Nadab and Abihu.

The soul of Cain looked for a kindred soul to latch onto. But since the leader of the generation was Moses, who was a reincarnation of Abel, all his followers, i.e. the entire Jewish people, were Abel-souls. The only exceptions were the two elder sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu.

This is also the meaning of the verse, "The priests, also, who approach G‑d, must stay pure."

When G‑d was about to give the Torah, He instructed Moses: "Warn the people not to break through [the barrier] to G‑d to gaze, lest many of them perish. The priests also, who approach G‑d, must stay pure, lest G‑d break out against them…. You will ascend, and Aaron with you, but the priests and the people should not break through to ascend the mountain, lest G‑d break out against them." (Ex. 19:21ff) In Rashi's commentary, these verses are understood to mean that during the giving of the Torah, Moses had his own station on the mountain, Aaron had his own further down the mountain, the priests had their own even closer to the foot of the mountain, and the rest of the people did not ascend the mountain at all.

Who exactly are these priests, since Aaron ascended the mountain part way? We must say they were Nadab and Abihu.

They are referred to in the verse, And [Moses] sent the youths of the children of Israel to offer burnt offerings and bulls as sacrifices to G‑d.(Ex. 24:5)

This verse also describes the preparations for the giving of the Torah. These youths were obviously priests, since only priests offer sacrifices.

However, at this stage in Jewish history, the descendants of Aaron had not yet been designated as the priests. The priesthood was at this time the firstborn. Only later, after the sin of the Golden Calf, would the tribe of Levi be designated as the officiants of the Temple and Aaron and his line designated as the priests. Nonetheless, Nadab and Abihu can still be referred to in these verses as "the priests".

For they were both firstborn. [Their souls] were of the same aspect [of spirituality]. After them, Elazar and Itamar, [the other sons of Aaron,] were of another aspect.

chanoch adds: To help explain the above ntwo paragraphs: There is no time, meaning before and after, in the Torah, thus Nadav and vihu will become Priests and therefore nthey are Priests. Also, since Cain was a first born their souls are first born in all lifetimes.

Thus, even though Abihu was born after Nadab, they may both be considered Aaron's firstborn. Thus, they were priests.

Of this, it is written, "The firstborn, Nadab, and Abihu…" - this was one aspect [of soul, then] "…Elazar and Itamar." (Num. 3:2)

This verse is taken from the census of the Jewish people. The simple understanding of the verse connects the word "the firstborn" simply with "Nadab", the word following it. However, since Abihu is joined with Nadab by the conjunction "and," while Elazar is joined with Itamar the same way, we may see Nadab and Abihu as one unit and Elazar and Itamar as another unit.

Of this, it is written, "the building of youths is destruction" (see Megillah 31b), for [Nadab and Abihu] did not succeed at what they tried to do.

When the Tabernacle was dedicated, almost ten months after the giving of the Torah, Nadab and Abihu offered incense on their own initiative and were consumed by a fire that issued from the inner chamber of the Tabernacle. Although they were inspired by holy ecstasy and sought to do something exceptionally holy, they instead caused great tragedy.

They wanted to rotate [the partzufim] to face each other at the level of netzach and hod….

They wanted to rotate [the partzufim] to face each other at the level of netzach and hod - for this was the [spiritual] position of Nadab and Abihu - but [instead] they caused destruction.

We have explained previously that the ideal coupling between the partzufim occurs when they are both facing each other. Then, they can share their innermost essences with each other and achieve true union. (As we know, the word for "face", "panim", is related to the word for "innermost", "penimi", since the face expresses the inner feelings of the heart and mind.) Before they face each other, however, the partzufim are initially situated back to back. This is also a type of relationship, but a very external one, more of a truce than true sharing. "We get along fine: I don't bother her, and she doesn't bother me."

Netzach and hod are the level of the schema of the sefirot from where prophecy originates.

Had they merited, they could have affected this with their incense.

This is similar to what we find in relation to Moses [and Solomon; of Moses] it is written: And there never arose again a prophet in Israel like Moses (Deut. 34:10). But of Solomon it is written: And he was wiser than all men (Kings I 5:11), meaning that he was wiser even than Moses!

Moses' name was missing the lamed of Solomon's…

Similarly, Moses' name was missing the lamed of Solomon's, which [mystically] means that the coupling [of the partzufim] that Moses caused was back-to-back, while that which Solomon caused was face-to-face.

"Moses" in Hebrew is Moshe(h), spelled mem-shin-hei. "Solomon" in Hebrew is "Shelomo", spelled shin-lamed-mem-hei.

chanoch adds: Using letter substitution the hai and vav are interchangeable since they are next to each other in the order of the Alef Bet and their gematria difference is equal to the Colel.

If you say: how could Solomon accomplish what Moses could not accomplish? The answer is that Moses found [reality] sunk in the depths of evil and exile, and with [his] great [spiritual] power brought it out and rectified it [such that the partzufim were positioned in holiness, albeit only] back-to-back. Then, when Solomon came, he found [reality relatively] rectified; all he had to do was rotate [the partzufim] to face each other, and this is done easily.

It is much harder to bring reality from evil into holiness than it is to bring it from holy indifference to holy mindfulness. Thus, Moses' accomplishment was greater; Solomon simply built upon it.

chanoch adds: In my opinion, the above commentary is not significant since Moshe achieved his full tikune while Solomon failed in the one area of Yesod by marrying too mmany women. Ultimately the soul of Solomen will achieve this tikune and then the difficulty will be consideredn equal.

Nadab and Abihu would have accomplished this same coupling [i.e. that of face-to-face] with their incense offerings had they been married….

They themselves were not married even though they were of age. This indicates that they were too self-oriented. If they were not selfless enough to marry, they certainly did not possess the spiritual wherewithal to affect the "marriage" of the partzufim.

Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Sefer HaLikutim, parashat Yitro; subsequently published in "Apples From the Orchard."

Souls, Good and Evil: Part 1

From the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria; translated and edited by Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky

The Ari explains the potential to reincarnate 2000 times.

In this week's Torah reading, G‑d gives the Ten Commandments, the second of which reads:

"You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, nor any likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them and you shall not serve them, for I, Havayah, your G‑d, am a jealous G‑d, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those that hate Me, but doing kindness to the two thousandth generation of those who love Me and keep My commandments." (Ex. 20:3-6)

All souls are composed of good and evil, due to the sin of Adam, as we have explained.

When Adam ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, good and evil became intermingled in his soul (and in reality in general). Prior to this, the difference between good and evil was clear, and man's soul contained no admixture of evil, meaning that his perception was totally clear and unclouded by subjective ego.

chanoch adds: This is a most important teaching: In order for evil to be mixed “in reality in general” it must mean the Adam includes within him all of reality. Ponder the implications of this truth.

There are those whose souls are mostly evil and contain only a little good, and there are those in whom the opposite is the case….

But [this is true for every soul] in accordance with its level. There are those [whose souls] are mostly evil and contain only a little good, and there are those in whom the opposite is the case. There are many gradations within this spectrum, but "there is no righteous person on earth that does good and never sins" (Eccl. 7:20), for everyone is composed of [both] good and evil, as we have said.

One who is mostly evil is termed "wicked", and one who is the opposite is termed "righteous".

Now, regarding a wicked person, every incarnation [his soul] undergoes in order to be refined increases the [proportion of] evil [in his soul] beyond what it was in his previous incarnation. Therefore, the refinement process [of wicked people] is completed [relatively] quickly, i.e. in only four "generations".

Each incarnation is called a "generation". The purpose of reincarnation in this context is to let the wicked person run the course of his wicked path, so the refinement and separation of good from evil can be accomplished.

Thus, the good in them is separated out and is given to one who is worthy of it, becoming part of the root of [this latter person's] soul, as our sages said, "If he merits, he takes both his portion and his fellow's portion in the Garden of Eden" (Chagigah 15a), and [only] the complete evil remains in him, all of which is pure refuse. He [thus] is doomed to destruction, and has no hope whatsoever, since he [no longer] possesses any spark of goodness.

G‑d…lets them be reincarnated up to 2000 times….

But of those who are mostly good, i.e. righteous people, the inverse is true. Each time they are reincarnated, they become purer than they were the previous time. But since perforce, they must commit some new sin in each incarnation, they must be reincarnated [many times] until they fulfill all 613 commandments and correct all the sins they committed in their previous lifetimes. Therefore, the number of incarnations they must undergo gets drawn out, up to 2,000. This is the mystical meaning of the verse, He visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation (Ex. 34:7), meaning that G‑d leads them through up to four incarnations. In the second incarnation they are termed the "children" of the first incarnation, [and so forth]. [By the end of the process] they require no more rectification at all.

This means that the good in them has been totally extracted and given to someone worthy of it.

But all this applies only to "those who hate Me", i.e. to those who are completely wicked. For the righteous,1 even though they sin, G‑d does them this kindness, that he lets them be reincarnated up to 2000 times. It is to this that the verse, "[but doing kindness to the two thousandth generation of] those who love Me and keep My commandments" refers.

The Arizal will now explain the significance of the number 2000 in this context.

Regarding these two thousand [generations], their significance is found in what we explained in Shaar Ruach HaKodesh (and Shaar HaYechudim 3; Shaar HaKavanot, introduction to the discourses on Rosh HaShanah 90b - regarding a specific meditation based on the verse Ex. 34:7 - "preserving kindness unto two thousand generations"). We explained there that "the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19; Psalms 68:23), i.e. the realm of evil, draw sustenance from two divine names that both begin with the letter alef, namely: Ado-nai and Elokim, which are the forces of the sources of judgment.

Ado-nai and Elokim are associated with the sefirot of malchut and bina, respectively.

Bina is the principle of judgment in the intellect, which sifts through the implications, applications, and ramifications of the insight of chochma, evaluating them in terms of the mind's existing mentality and deciding which of them should be accepted or rejected (as illusions), and which aspects of the existing mentality have to be revised or discarded in wake of the new insight.

Malchut is sovereignty, or the power to rule over the lower world that is born out of this sefira. Creating and sustaining a lower world is a process of limitation of the preceding world.

When, because of ego, judgment is taken beyond its useful limit, it becomes intolerance or anger, which produces evil results.

The word "alef", in addition to being the name of the first letter of the alphabet, means "thousand". Thus, the two alef's that begin these two divine names can be seen as two thousands. In the phrase "preserving kindness unto two thousand generations", the word for "two thousand generations" ["alafim"] literally means "thousands". Thus, the two "thousands" alluded to by the two alef's that begin these two names refer to the 2000 generations of which we have spoken.

In holiness, their manifestation is called "the thousands" and is referred to in the phrase "preserving kindness unto two thousand generations". The righteous are judged from these names.

In evil, their manifestation is called "the depths of the sea" or "appallingly [in Hebrew, 'pelaim']". The descent of the completely wicked there [to be destroyed] in evil is referred to in the verse "and she sank appallingly" (Lamentations 1:9), the opposite of "thousands".

"Pelaim" is spelled: pei-lamed-alef-yud-mem.

The word for "thousands" ["alafim"] is spelled alef-lamed-pei-yud-mem.

Most people who choose to defy the Torah's definition of good do so out of ignorance or socially ingrained prejudice….

The yud-mem that ends these two words is a suffix that makes the word the masculine-plural. Thus, the main, first three letters of these two words are the inverse of each other. The opposite of the holy two alef's is the adverb "appallingly", which describes the descent of the completely wicked person into destruction.

It should be noted that the Arizal here has said a few times that what he describes as happening to the wicked happens only to the "completely wicked". That is, the whole four-incarnation process that serves to rid the wicked person of any residual good so that he can be destroyed completely only begins once a person has already exercised his free will and chosen the path of explicit evil. This is the person described in ch. 11 of Tanya as the "completely wicked person", "who never regrets and to whom thoughts of repentence never occur…for the evil in his soul is all that remains, inasmuch as it has so overcome the good that [the good] has departed from within him and only hovers over him from above", so to speak. Having exercised his free choice to do only evil, the wicked person is simply led down the path he has chosen.

In the Final Redemption, no one will be left behind….

So it is clear that such a person is rare, indeed, and it could be argued that such people don't even exist nowadays, since most people who choose to defy the Torah's definition of good do so out of ignorance or socially ingrained prejudice against religiosity. Even in the classic case of a "completely wicked person", however, the situation is not so absolute. The classic case of a person who chose wickedness and was punished by being made to choose more wickedness was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. But even in his case, the Rebbe points out that had he exerted himself to choose good, repent, and overcome G‑d's decree against him, he could have. Even in the extreme case described in the Tanya, the "completely wicked person" still has some connection to goodness that "hovers over him from above" and is therefore in some way accessable to him.

It could be that, since the process the Arizal describes here only takes four incarnations, that such evil people have alreadly all been dealt with and are an extinct species, so to speak. Finally, we are taught that in the Final Redemption, no one will be left behind, as it is written, "…who makes plans so that no one may be kept banished." (Samuel II 14:14)

This article is continued in Part 2 is below.

Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Shaar HaPesukim and Likutei Torah

Souls, Good and Evil: Part 2

Moses' connection to two Divine names, because Moses is both the first and the final redeemer.

From the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria; translated and edited by Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky

[This article is a continuation from Part 1, which is above. You are advised to read first Part 1

[I also heard] from the Rabbi [i.e. the Arizal] a different way [of explaining this,] as follows:

Know that the word for "visiting" in the phrase "visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children" is written without a vav, and its numerical value is thus equal to that of the regressive iteration of the name Ab [= 72], i.e. yud-vav-dalet, yud-vav-dalet hei-yud, yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-yud-vav, yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-yud-vav hei-yud.

The Hebrew word for "visiting", "pokeid" is spelled: pei-kuf-Dalet = 80 + 100 + 4 = 184.

The regressive iteration of the name Ab is:

step 1 – yud: = yud-vav-dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20

step 2 – yud: = yud-vav-dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20 – hei: = hei-yud = 5 + 10 = 15

step 3 – yud: = yud-vav-dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20 – hei: = hei-yud = 5 + 10 = 15 – vav: = vav-yud-vav = 6 + 10 + 6 = 22

step 4 – yud: = yud-vav-dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20 – hei: = hei-yud = 5 + 10 = 15 – vav: = vav-yud-vav = 6 + 10 + 6 = 22 - hei: = hei-yud = 5 + 10 = 15

total = 184

This is also alluded to in the verse "the voice of my Beloved knocks." (Songs 5:2)

The Hebrew word for "knocks", "dofek", is spelled dalet-pei-kuf, and is thus a permutation of the word "pokeid".

If you add this name to the regressive iteration of the name Sag [= 63], i.e. yud-vav-dalet, yud-vav-dalet hei-yud, yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-alef-vav, yud-vav-dalet hei-yud vav-alef-vav hei yud, whose numerical value is 166, their combined numerical value will be the numerical value of the word "My Name" [= 350]. This is the mystical meaning of the verse, "I will raise him up, for he has known My Name.", (Psalms 91:14)

The regressive iteration of the name Sag is:

step 1 – yud: = yud-vav-dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20

step 2 – yud: = yud-vav-dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20 – hei: = hei-yud = 5 + 10 = 15

step 3 – yud: = yud-vav-dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20 – hei: = hei-yud = 5 + 10 = 15 – vav: - vav-alef-vav = 6 + 1 + 6 = 13

step 4 – yud: = yud-vav-dalet = 10 + 6 + 4 = 20 – hei: = hei-yud = 5 + 10 = 15 – vav: = vav-alef-vav = 6 + 1 + 6 = 13 - hei: = hei-yud = 5 + 10 = 15

total = 166

"My Name", in Hebrew, "shemi" is spelled: shin-mem-yud = 300 + 40 + 10 = 350.

On the other hand, if you add the regressive iteration of Ab, which equals 184, to the spelling out of the name Eh-yeh using yud's, i.e. alef-lamed-pei hei-yud yud-vav-dalet hei-yud, which equals 161, the sum will be the numerical value of the name Moses [in Hebrew, "Moshe" = 345], or with the kolel, the numerical value of the word "His Name" [in Hebrew, "shemo" = 346].

This spelling-out of the name Eh-yeh is as follows:

alef = alef-lamed-pei = 1 + 30 + 80 = 111

hei = hei-yud = 5 + 10 = 15

yud = yud-vav-dalet =10 + 6 + 4 = 20

hei = hei-yud =5 + 10 = 15

total =111 + 15 + 20 + 15 = 161

"Moshe" is spelled: mem-shin-hei = 40 + 300 + 5 = 345.

"Shemo" = “His Name” is spelled: shin-mem-vav = 300 + 40 + 6 = 346.

When we look at G‑dliness as something outside of us, we must pursue our return to G‑d consciously….

As Rabbi Chaim Vital's son, Rabbi Shmuel Vital, explains, the name "Moshe" and the word for "His Name" are alluded to in the verse, "What is His Name, and what is His son's Name?" (Proverbs 30:4) The word for "His Name" is mentioned explicitly. Moses is alluded to by the word "what" [in Hebrew, "mah"], for we are taught that the name "Moses" [in Hebrew, "Moshe", spelled mem-shin-hei] can be seen as an abbreviation for the first three words in the verse (Ecclesiastes 1:9) "What was is what will be" [in Hebrew, "mah she-hayah hu"], alluding to the teaching that Moses is both the first and the final redeemer. So Moses is somehow intimately connected to these two names of G‑d [Ab and Eh-yeh], alluded to by the numerical value of the word "His Name".

This connection is as follows: The numerical value of "His Name" is also that of the word for "goodwill" [in Hebrew, "ratzon", spelled reish-tzadik-vav-nun = 200 + 90 + 6 + 50 = 346], which is allied with the concept of forgiveness, both thematically and because the word "ratzon" permutes into the word for "preserving" ["notzer"] in the phrase "preserving kindness for two thousand generations" (Ex. 34:7). Kindness [chesed] is associated with the 72-Name of G‑d [Ab], since the numerical value of chesed is 72 [chet-samech-dalet = 8 + 60 + 4 = 72]. The numerical value of the spelling out of Eh-yeh with yuds [= 161] is also the numerical value of the word "alafim" ["thousands"]: alef-lamed-pei-yud-mem = 1 + 30 + 80 + 10 + 40 = 161.

The significance of combining the regressive iterations of Ab and Sag to equal "My Name" is not fully explained here, however.

Perhaps the point here is the contrast between "My Name" and "His Name", i.e. looking at G‑d's Name from His perspective vs. from our perspective. In the former perspective, G‑d initiates the return of the fallen person ["I will raise him up, for he has known My Name"], while from the latter perspective, we must initiate our repentance, albeit relying on G‑d's Thirteen Attributes of Mercy (from which the verse "preserving kindness unto two thousand generations" is taken). Chasidut might say that when the Jew identifies with his Divine Soul (such that he looks at G‑d's Name from G‑d's perspective, since he identifies with his own inner G‑dliness), his return occurs spontaneously, by itself, without conscious effort on our part. However, when we look at G‑dliness as something outside of us (His Name), we pursue our return to G‑d consciously.

Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Shaar HaPesukim and Likutei Torah.