Advanced Reincarnation Class 15

Shaarai Gilgulim - Gate of Reincarnations

As taught to Rabbi Chaim Vital by Rabbi Issac Luria and Amended by Rabbi Chaim's Son Shemuel.

Translated from Sha'ar Hagilgulim by Yitzchok bar Chaim; commentary by Shabtai Teicher of Blessed Memory and Completed by Rabbi Perets Aurback.

Published online with commentary by Kabbala

This version will not have all of the commentary.

Please note: The publisher explains that the Study of Kabbalistic Texts usually recommends that one review the material many times until they are familiar with the vocabulary at a minimum.

Also Note: Bold Text represents the translation of the original Text. Regular text represents the commentary and explanation of the translator. Chanoch's comments will be identified separately.

Reincarnation of Bilaam and Others

This week is the Parasha of Balak. The "other nation" Prophet Bilaam makes a significant contribution both to the story and the essence of the Parasha. Since many people have not read this email yet i have included the information exactly as it is written in the email for the Parasha. I am sure even if you have read it, this will reinforce the teachings for you and help to break the Klipot that are keeping you from realizing all aspects of this wisdom.

The ARI teaches in his Sharai Gilgulim - Gates of Reincarnation the following: It is difficult to understand the request to die the death of the righteous when Bilaam was killed according to the midrash in a duel of people who had the knowledge of Mind Over Matter and followed Bilaam by "flying" after him like a bird not like an airplane. This kind of death can not be considered a death of the righteous even though it is a miracle unto itself.

The Zohar tells us that Bilaam's death was a death of impurity; when Pinchas killed Bilaam, he used a sword that had on it the image of a snake, a symbol of idol worship, to ensure that Bilaam did not die the death of the righteous. So why would Bilaam, speaking with words the Creator put in his mouth, ask to die the death of the righteous and then not die the death of the righteous?

The ARI explains that Bilaam did not die the death of the righteous in this incarnation as Bilaam. Yet he eventually died the death of the righteous in another incarnation. The ARI explains the "chain of souls" related to Bilaam as follows:

The Ari himself says that the fact that people can be reincarnated into inanimate objects can be seen with the soul of Bilaam. The soul of Bilaam was first incarnated as Lavan Ha'Arami, the father-in-law of Jacob, who was a negative person. Next came the incarnation as Bilaam the prophet, who had the power to curse the Israelites. Then, the Ari explains, Bilaam's soul was reincarnated as a rock because Bilaam had used his mouth negatively, and as a stone he could not speak. As a stone he could contemplate the why of this incarnation. The soul of Bilaam's next incarnation after that was as Naval HaKarmeli, a wealthy man who lived at the time of King David, and in this incarnation, Bilaam's soul was given an opportunity to complete its tikune, or correction, in this case of evil speech.

According to the Book of Prophets, King David, seemingly out of the blue, sent a group of soldiers to Naval HaKarmeli with a request. King David said, "Tell Naval that when his people were traveling with their herds, I and my soldiers protected him, and because of this protection, I now ask that Naval provide us with food and drink so we can sustain ourselves." The Ari reminds us that there were many other people of whom King David could have made this request, but he sent his messengers to Naval. What did Naval do once he received King David's request? Naval denied his request. Although he knew King David, he said, "Who is David? Who is this son of Ishai? There is no way I'm going to help him." Abigail, Naval's wife, overheard this conversation and realized that her husband was making a terrible mistake. Without telling him, she ran after the soldiers and stopped them, giving them food and drink and promising more to King David. But she was too late. Shortly after denying King David's request, Naval died. According to the phrase in the Book of Prophets, "his heart died within him."

The Ari explains that Naval was an elevated soul whose tikune process had begun much earlier, first in his soul's incarnation as Lavan, and then as Bilaam. When Pinchas killed Bilaam, he was actually assisting in the correction of Bilaam's soul. The Ari says that Bilaam was then reincarnated into a stone, which could not speak, to give Bilaam's soul the opportunity to begin the correction of his evil mouth. This would make it possible for Bilaam's soul to reincarnate as Naval HaKarmeli. His incarnation as Naval HaKarmeli was the first time since incarnating as a stone that Bilaam's soul took human form as part of his process of correction. King David was not simply sending his soldiers to some random person; King David knew that Naval had incarnated to correct the evil speech of Bilaam, so he sent messengers to give Bilaam/Naval a chance to purify his mouth. But unfortunately, Naval still was unable to control his tongue.

But what happened next? The Ari says that Naval had a vision of his spiritual process, in which everything was suddenly revealed to him. Naval realized that he was the incarnation of Lavan and Bilaam. He also realized that because he had used his mouth negatively he had been reincarnated into a stone and that now, with the help of King David, he had been given a chance to correct his evil speech, but he had failed. He was so upset that he had missed the opportunity for his correction that his heart died within him and, as the Book of Prophets says, "He made himself into a stone." When we look at this story literally, Naval does not seem like a very good person, but when we take a step back, we begin to see the greatness of this soul. The Ari tells us he was a great soul in Lavan, and also in Bilaam, as well as in the stone, and then in Naval. After falling spiritually by speaking negatively of King David, Naval realized what he had done and took the next step in his correction. Although Naval had not yet completed that correction, the Ari tells us that Naval died "motye sharim", the death of the righteous, fulfilling the prophecy of Bilaam. The Ari tells us that after Naval, the next incarnation of Bilaam's soul was as Barzilai HaGiladi. As he was dying on his deathbed, King David told his son, King Solomon, "But show kindness to the sons of Barzilai HaGiladi, and let them be of those that eat at your table." Why? Barzilai HaGiladi had sustained King David and his soldiers where Naval had not, but this was not the ultimate reason. The Ari reveals that King David knew that Barzilai HaGiladi was actually the incarnation of the soul of Naval and of Lavan and of Bilaam, and that what this soul did not correct in its incarnation as Naval, it would continue to work on during its incarnation as Barzilai. Barzilai HaGiladi's death was also the death of the righteous, and by the time Bilaam's soul was incarnated into the son of Barzilai HaGiladi, he was completely corrected.

chanoch's Commentary on his own writing

The Torah tells us that King David married the Naval's widow Abigail. Do you think she is the cause of his death? This is not the place to discuss it. An aggressive student will use the techniques described in Shaarai Gilgulim to determine what was her Tikune and how it related to King David. The technique is to take the letters of her name and relate them as an anagram to the names of the women in the Torah that came before her.

A nice wrapping to some simple stories from the Torah? Yet we learn from the stories documented by the student of the ARI - Rabbi Chaim Vital that many times the ARI would tell him things about stones or grass or trees as they walked and talked around Sfat. When Rabbi Chaim would check on the information related to him as to why that person needed to reincarnate into the inanimate object He found that the ARI related information that was true and which the ARI could have no way of knowing since He came from Egypt and only lived in Sfat a short time a before he died. Thus we again learn that the tools of Kabbalah work at a level beyond logic and normal understanding. Yet they work for those people willing to leave their ego and logic behind.

What can we learn from this new insight into the souls of Lavan, Bilaam, and Naval? We learn there are no negative souls - only souls doing actions that need to be corrected - making Tikune. Each cycle of life gives each of us opportunities to grow into a Righteous Person. EACH OF US WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME RIGHTEOUS JUST AS THE "EVIL" LAVAN/BILAAM/NAVAL DID SO. This is a teaching of the Zohar and the Talmud.

chanoch's Commentary on his own writing

The Name Lavan/Bilaam/Naval is hinting at the concept of "the chain of Souls". A complete chain of souls listing would be interesting but not helpful because when someone does not complete their tikune in 3 lifetimes that they then split into 6 different people and start over. Thus there are only three in this chain of souls listing. Also please note this splitting into 6 "sparks" is what accounts for the increase in population of the world.

We also learn that there is no difference between the soul of a Jewish person and the soul of a non Jewish person. Each one will eventually become a Jew either by choosing to convert or by coming into the Jewish Life in order to achieve his correction. We also learn that not all of the lost tribes need convert to Judaism. Some will earn the merit to become Jewish in their next incarnation. Some will just become a spiritual person and as a spiritual person inherit their birthright - THE LAND OF ISRAEL. (Remember the Land of Israel belongs to all 12 Tribes not just the Tribes from the country called Judea - Jews.)

Types of Reincarnation & Ibur

Chapter Five, Section 1

There are two types of gilgulim and two types of ibur.

The first type of gilgul occurs when a single Nefesh enters the body of a person at the time of birth.

The second type is also possible. Two Nefashot may reincarnate together, and this is also at the time of birth. This is called "Double Gilgul" [Gilgul Kaful]. It was explained in the previous chapter, and in other places.

Both these Nefashot [in Double Gilgul] reincarnate and come into the world together when the person's body is born. They do not separate until death. They are called one Nefesh. As one, they suffer the pain and punishments that are inflicted on the body throughout its lifetime, as well as the pain of death.

Ibur, however, does not occur at birth, as we explained earlier, and there are two types. The first occurs for the benefit of the righteous tzadik himself who enters a person to complete himself with something that was missing to him [the tzadik]. The second type is for the sake of the [host] person, to assist him with Torah and mitzvot.

Thus, gilgul takes place at the time of birth, and the two types are:

1) One Nefesh reincarnates into a body.

2) Two Nefashot reincarnate into the body (Double Gilgul).

The two types of ibur are:

1) The soul of a righteous tzadik comes into a person because the tzadik himself is missing some tikun. This ibur is for the benefit of the tzadik.

2) The Ibur is for the benefit of the host person. The soul of the tzadik has only come to help him.

Ibur does not take place at the time of birth, as the Rav will explain now. Then he will go on to further clarify some aspects of ibur.

The soul of the tzadik enters and spreads throughout the entire body, just like the person's own Nefesh

When he [the soul of the tzadik] comes for his own sake, then he does not enter the person until he is thirteen years old and one day. At that time the (host) person becomes obligated in Torah and mitzvot. In this way, he [the tzadik] can also rectify himself through this person, and that is why he does not enter before this time, only after the obligation of mitzvot has taken effect.

At that time, the soul of the tzadik enters and spreads throughout the entire body, just like the person's own Nefesh. The two of them suffer all bodily pain together and equally. It remains there for a set time to rectify and complete that which it needs. Then, it leaves while the person is still alive, and returns to its place Above in Paradise.

This completes the description here of the first type of ibur, where the soul of a tzadik comes for its own benefit to complete some tikun that was missing to it. The Rav has added here that since the soul of the tzadik is coming for itself, even though it is coming as an ibur, it also suffers the pains of bodily existence. It gains the merits of the Torah and mitzvot performed while it resides in that body. It does not suffer the obligations of any sins that may be committed during its residence in the body, as we have learned previously. It only comes when the host is obligated Torah and mitzvot, and it leaves when it has finished with its own tikun.

chanoch's Commentary

What is being hinted to here is a length of time that the Tzadik soul needs to remain in the phsyical world. Why this must be i am not sure. Yet there are many stories of a soul came to be born to a couple who could not have children. Then after many years the child is born and leaves at a young age. Many times the Tzadik / Teacher / Rav for that couple tells them that this soul came for a few years on earth and that they were chosen to be the parents due to their merit.

The second type of ibur… comes in order to help the host perform Torah and mitzvot…

In the second type of ibur, discussed now, the soul of the tzadik comes for the benefit of the host and does also not arrive until the age of thirteen years and a day. It comes in order to help the host perform Torah and mitzvot; thirteen years and a day is the time when that assistance becomes useful.

However, when [the soul of the tzadik] comes for the sake of the person and not for himself, then it comes of its own volition and not by coercion. Therefore, it is not forced to suffer any bodily pain at all, and it does not feel whatsoever the sufferings or afflictions that come upon [the host's body]. Furthermore, if he is pleased with the host person, then he remains; if not, then he leaves him, as it says, "Leave the tents of these evil people…" (Numbers 16:26).

[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]

Four Souls, One Person

Chapter Five, Section 2

Translation from Sha'ar Hagilgulim by Yitzchok bar Chaim;

The Rav will now continue with a discussion of the phenomenon of more than one Nefesh in one body.

We will now further clarify the subject that we began previously. The verse says, "…Visit the sins of the fathers on the children for three and four [generations]" (Ex. 20:5). This means that up to three reincarnating Nefashot can reincarnate with a new Nefesh together in one body at birth. This makes for a total of four Nefashot at one time. This is the secret of "four."

Three have reincarnated from previous reincarnations, and one is a new Nefesh… The verse reads, "…Visit the sins of the fathers on the children for three and four [generations]." The esoteric meaning of the word "four" is that it sets the maximum limit on the number of souls that can inhabit a single body at one time. Of these four, three have reincarnated from previous reincarnations, and one is a new Nefesh that has not been in a body beforehand.

It is also the secret of the verse "…two or three times with a man" (Job 33:29). Three Nefashot are able to reincarnate with one "man", who is this new Nefesh. However, it is not possible for more than this to reincarnate at one time. However, less than this amount is possible.

It is possible that one Nefesh can reincarnate alone in a body; or one reincarnated Nefesh with a new Nefesh. Or, two reincarnated Nefashot by themselves can go into one body; or two reincarnated Nefashot with a new one; or three reincarnated Nefashot by themselves; or three reincarnated souls with a new one. However, more than this is not possible within one body.

Those that are reincarnating together in a single body must all be of a single "root"… Know that those that are reincarnating together in a single body must all be of a single "root". This is the esoteric meaning of the verse "…he shall redeem the property of his brother" (Lev. 25:25).

In other words, for one soul to redeem or help another, it must be his brother, so to speak; they must be related to each other through their roots. As we have learned already (Chapter Three, Section 2), souls come from different parts of Adam's spiritual body, and each particular location is a specific "root" from which a particular group of souls originates. This results in a resonance or connection between some souls which does not exist between souls from different roots.

As a result, even though the first time gilgul has not committed any of the sins of the previous gilgulim, he will still have to cleanse the blemish and stench that resulted from their earlier sins. This will be the case if he is from a more internal [primary] level than the others, such as the sinews of Adam HaRishon, as opposed to the Flesh [which is more "external"].

The physical and spiritual body consists of four aspects. They are listed here in order from the internal to the external, from the higher to the lower, from the primary to the secondary.

The bones with the brain marrow that is within them

The sinews

The flesh

The skin

Concerning this is the verse "You have dressed me with skin and flesh, and with bones and sinews you have covered me." (Job 10:11)

The Rav is using as an example the two middle aspects of the body: the sinews and the flesh. The sinews are more internal and primary than the flesh.

The new soul…will be responsible for the well being of the entire group soul…

In the example, the new soul comes from the aspect of the sinews, whereas the others that have reincarnated with him come from the exterior aspect of flesh. The new soul, although it has not shared in any of the sins of the others, will be responsible for the well being of the entire group soul that has reincarnated together with him. He is responsible because he is from a more primary aspect than they are, and he has the ability to rejuvenate them.

This is in order to draw life to the entire root.

One of the consequences of sin and repeated blemish is that one of the limbs of the spiritual body that has been affected by the sin may become atrophied. The holiness and life force may be removed from the limb in order that the other limbs do not become blemished as a result of the sin. Rectification of the sin, therefore, allows life and energy to return to the limb and rejuvenates it. In the case discussed here, this benefits the entire group of souls of the particular root that has reincarnated together.

chanoch's Commentary

Why does the list of levels of body parts (skin, sinews etc.) not include anything but bones. Why does it not say heart or lungs etc? This is because all the 4 levels come from the same body part. This means if the body part is the spleen as an example. The bone that supports the spleen is the level listed, The sinew that supports the spleen to the bone is listed, the flesh around the spleen, including fat cells etc. And the skin that is outside on the body above the spleen. This is just an example.

[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]

Ibur and Growth

Chapter Five, Section 3

Translation from Sha'ar Hagilgulim by Yitzchok bar Chaim; commentary by Shabtai Teicher

Iburim has similar limitations [as gilgul].

In the previous section we learned that a group of Nefashot from the same root may come together into one body, but there is a quantitative limitation to this possibility. More than four nefashot may not reincarnate together. Of the four, three are reincarnations and one is a new Nefesh. The same quantitative limitation applies to ibur as well.

Up to three Nefashot can come to help a person's Nefesh. The total will then be four. More is not possible, but less is.

However, those who had come in the secret of gilgul only came to help themselves, to rectify their sins, or to fulfill a mitzva they had yet to perform.

The soul of a tzadik may come for its own benefit or only for the benefit of the host

The last section focused on the subject of multiple gilgulim. Now we are beginning the discussion of ibur, and the Rav is reminding us here of the contrast between gilgul and ibur. In gilgul the Nefashot all come at the time of birth, and they all come to benefit themselves, to rectify some sin or perform some mitzva. In contrast, in ibur the soul of a tzadik comes into the host at the age of thirteen and one day, or later. They may come for their own benefit or only for the benefit of the host.

Expanding upon the discussion of ibur, the following is an example.

Consider a person who has reincarnated into a body to rectify himself. He has ten Nefashot in his root that are higher than himself. If he merits it, then the tenth, lowest Nefesh, which is still higher than he is, will enter him as an ibur and help him to achieve tikun. If he increases his merit then he will receive the ninth Nefesh as an ibur, and if he merits more, then the eighth Nefesh will enter. Thus, he will have received three Nefashot, and, including his own, there will be four in total. More than this is not possible.

However, if he further increases his merits, then he can even receive the seventh Nefesh as well, causing the tenth Nefesh to surrender its light to the three higher iburim.

There can only be four Nefashot in the body at one time. One is the host, and three are iburim [plural form of ibur]. If the fourth Nefesh above the host enters, then the lowest of those above the host must leave.

This is the way it continues until he achieves the three highest Nefashot of the ten: the first, second, and third. The light of these three will be revealed in this ibur to assist him. The other seven will lose their light to them; in contrast to the light of the three upper Nefashot, they will seem as if they no longer exist. This is because only three Nefashot, in addition to the Nefesh of the person himself, are possible [in one gilgul].

chanoch's Commentary

Please note that we are discussing only 1 part of the body and 1 part of the soul. There are 613 parts of the soul.

Please note the Nefesh souls always remain unified so the Klipot do not get them. So it is difficult to understand what is being expressed here. Perhaps it will be discussed and clarified later in another chapter.

In one paragraph above it says the lower nefashot will leave. Where does it go? In the next paragraph it says that the Nefashot only looses its light. It does not have to leave or maybe it does. The language is not clear.

[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]

Two Sets of Three, Plus One

Chapter Five, Section 4

Translation from Sha'ar Hagilgulim by Yitzchok bar Chaim;

If the Nefesh is not rectified in the first three gilgulim, then there will be another set of three gilgulim together with the ibur of a tzadik.

The verse says, "All these things G-d does, two or three times with a man" (Job 33:29).

This verse was already mentioned in Section 2 in conjunction with another, "…Visit the sins of the fathers on the children for three and four [generations]." We learned that a maximum of four Nefashot can come into a single body at one time, whether in gilgul or in ibur. One is the main or host Nefesh and the other three are gilgulim or iburim. This verse, "All these things G-d does, two or three times with a man" was also mentioned there, seemingly, as a secondary source to the rule of quantitative limitation. Now, the Rav will give it a new interpretation.

It must come back...but not alone since it lacks the ability to become rectified (on its own)

In the first three gilgulim, the Nefesh of a person reincarnates by itself without any partnership in the body. However, if after these three times his Nefesh is still not rectified, it must come back an additional three times, but not alone since it lacks the ability to become rectified [on its own].

chanoch's Commentary

Please note that the correct translation of the Rav would be "it will come back up to an additional three times with help.

The first three gilgulim have proven, so to speak, that he cannot make it on his own.

Therefore, it returns together "with a man." This is a righteous tzadik who will come as an ibur to help him and direct him in the right direction.

The "man" that is mentioned in the verse refers to the soul of a tzadik who comes as an ibur to assist the host and direct him in the right path.

Therefore, the verse does not say "three times," which would seemingly refer to the first three times, but rather "two or three times…."

The Hebrew phrase that is translated "two or three times" is "pa'amayim shalosh". A literally accurate meaning of these words is "twice three."

This teaches that during a second set of three gilgulim he will have a "man" as a partner with him.

Since he did not succeed in the first set of three gilgulim, he gets a second set of three gilgulim. In this second set, however, he also gets an ibur, the soul of a tzadik, to help him.

[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]

Connected Levels of Soul

Chapter Five, Section 5

Translation from Sha'ar Hagilgulim by Yitzchok bar Chaim;

A fascinating concept is explained in Sabba of Mishpatim regarding the body of someone who has reincarnated many times. In what body does the soul arise in the time of the Resurrection?

"The Secret of Servitude" is a related article from the translations by's writings drawn from the Zohar. This article pasted below will help with our understanding of this section.

The Secret of Servitude - Part 1

From the teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai; translation & commentary by Moshe Miller

The rationale behind reincarnation or transmigration is dealt with in the Zohar in a long passage called Saba d'Mishpatim, a portion of which has been translated below. The central idea is that reincarnation, or gilgul, has two purposes: a) to rectify sin; b) to acquire higher levels of soul. The former types of souls are the "old souls" referred to above, while the latter are "new souls," which do not require rectification as such. The following section is based on the verse, "If you buy a Jewish slave, he shall work for six years and in the seventh year he shall go free, without liability." (Ex. 21:2) A Jewish person can become a slave in one of two ways: a) Due to extreme poverty, he sells himself. (In this case the slave's master is obligated to treat him as a hired laborer rather than as a slave per se, providing for his needs and those of his entire family. (see Lev. 25:39) This is not the type of slave discussed below.) b) he is sold by the court after conviction as a thief, if he does not have the means to repay what he stole. This is the type of slave discussed in this section.

chanoch's Commentary

These terms, old and new souls, are used by people with a totally different definition than these terms are used in the writings of the Zohar and The ARI.

A new soul is a soul that has just split into one of six people due to the inability to achieve his Tikune. His Tikune is easier than it was last lifetime as the more complete "old soul". An "Old Soul is a soul that has blemished his Tikune and taken it to a deeper level of impurity.

In modern language an old soul is someone who is more righteous and wiser in the ways of the world. Do you see how strong and powerful is Satan? Yet you are more powerful. You can defeat him since he just hides behind the veil of the illusion. Once you see it you can start to clarify what is the real truth of a situation. It starts with asking the question what is the cause and what is the effect in this situation.

The soul must be reincarnated either because of sin or because it failed to completely fulfill its obligations in Torah and mitzvot. Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai began his discourse reciting the verse:

"These are the ordinances ('mishpatim') that you shall place before them… (Ex. 21:2) The Targum translates this as "These are the judgments ['mishpatim'] that you shall arrange before them."

This refers to the coordination of gilgulim [reincarnations, sing. gilgul] - the judgments of souls that must be reincarnated and return to this world to receive the punishments to which they have been condemned.

"If you buy a Jewish slave, he shall work for six years and in the seventh year he shall go free, without liability." Rabbi Shimon said to his circle of disciples: Now is the time to reveal a number of closely-guarded secrets concerning gilgul: "If you buy a Jewish slave, he shall work for six years" - this applies when the soul must be reincarnated, either because of sin or because it failed to completely fulfill its obligations in Torah and mitzvot while alive in this world. Now if the person's soul is from the aspect of the angel Meta‑tron, comprising six levels chesed, gevura, tiferet, netzach, hod and yesod of the world of Beriya, then the verse states, "he shall work for six years." The soul is obligated to undergo gilgul only until it completes the rectification of those six levels, in regard to that aspect whence it was taken - the six sefirot of Meta‑tron just mentioned.

However, if the soul is from the aspect of the Shechina - malchut of Atzilut, the seventh of the emotional sefirot, corresponding to Shabbat, the seventh day, what is written? "In the seventh year he shall go free, without liability," because a righteous tzadik who has merited a soul from malchut of Atzilut does not have any work in the sense of rectification. Accordingly, the gilgul for such a soul is not a rectification or punishment of any sort, but for another purpose - for the sake of benefiting the world and providing leadership. Such a soul is comparable to the Sabbath, the seventh day, when all types of work are prohibited. Indeed, elsewhere a Tzadik and a Torah scholar are called "Shabbat." And since he has no obligation to work, he is not enslaved. Regarding such a soul it states, "in the seventh year he shall go free, without liability." "Without liability" - without being enslaved.

Just then an old man [Saba, literally "grandfather" in Hebrew] came down to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, and said: If this is so, Rabbi, what is unique about that soul regarding which it states, "the seventh day is Sabbath to the L-rd your G-d; you shall not do any work - you, your son, your daughter, your slave, your maidservant, your animal?" (Ex. 20:10) Since even "your slave and your maidservant" - souls from the world of Beriya and Yetzira - and your animals - souls from the world of Asiya- are prohibited from doing any work on the Sabbath, just like "you, your son and your daughter" - souls from Atzilut - what difference is there between them?

He [Rebbe Shimon] replied: Saba, Saba! This you are asking? This entire verse is certainly said regarding the soul of a righteous tzadik, which is from Atzilut. Although it is obligated to descend and be reincarnated in all these levels, even as a slave and a maidservant, and in animals, which are the ofanim, or in any beasts into which human souls transmigrate, nevertheless, the verse "you shall not do any work" is written in regard to it. When the soul of a tzadik from the world of Atzilut is obligated to descend into this world, and be reincarnated even into beasts of the forest, it nevertheless does not have to do any work [of rectification]. This is the meaning of "you shall not work him like a slave." (Lev. 25:39) In regard to a tzadik, who is the Sabbath day, "you shall not work him like a slave," who is the weekday.

chanoch's Commentary

Please note the Ofanim is a race of Angels. This Zohar verse is explaining that Tzadikim can be reincarnated into the race of Angels in Olam Yetzirah. This is probably a new idea to most of you. Why would this happen? Because this is the "work of the garden" that souls are given to do. This may be the other 5 levels -the 5 sets of 7000 years of tikune that the ARI speaks will not be necessary.

The Sabbath…is the soul-mate of the tzadik…

But, Saba, Saba! The Sabbath, which is an only daughter, i.e., malchut of Atzilut, called bat (daughter), is the soul-mate of the tzadik , who is also called the Sabbath, as explained above. But since this is so, since she is his soul mate, why is it written in regard to him, "and if he shall take another in addition to her…?" (Ex. 21:10) If he has found his soul mate, why would he need an additional mate? He said: This is without a doubt the difference: "and if he shall take another" refers to the weekday aspect of the Sabbath. The meaning of this phrase will be explained shortly. For there are ordinary weekdays that are not called the weekday aspect of the Sabbath, but rather a spiritually impure slave girl (shifcha).

chanoch's Commentary

Of course you do not understand this teaching since the vocabulary is from the Language of Branches. Let us see if it clarifies.

The old man asked: What is "the weekday aspect of the Sabbath?"

Rabbi Shimon replied: this is the amma [a maidservant] bina of malchut of the world of Beriya who is the body for the only daughter. The only daughter [malchut of the world of Atzilut] is clothed within an amma like the soul is clothed in the body. Regarding her it is said, "and if he shall take another in addition to her."

The explanation of this is as follows:

Come, look! There are souls called 'amma' and there are souls called 'shifcha' (slave-girl), and there are souls called 'the daughter of the king.' Each is named according to the source whence it is drawn, or to where it transmigrates. And in the verse there is also a man - "if a man will sell his daughter as a maidservant…" (Ex. 21:7) regarding whom it is said, "the L-rd is a man of war," (Ex. 15:3) referring to Zeir Anpin of Atzilut, and there is also another man, regarding whom it is said, "and the man Gabriel," (Daniel 9:21) referring to the archangel deriving from gevura of Beriya. This part of the verse is therefore interpreted as: "if a man [the Holy One blessed be He] will sell his daughter [a soul from Atzilut, which is called "an only daughter"] as a maidservant [the soul transmigrates to that level of Beriya called amma]…."

That is, the Jewish people will not leave the exile in the manner of slaves - hastily and in flight Therefore, a soul that must be reincarnated, if she is a daughter of the Holy One blessed be He i.e., if the soul derives from malchut of Atzilut, do not say that she may be sold into the body of a gentile, Heaven forbid, for that is where the yetzer hara [evil inclination] from Sam-kel rules. As it is written, "I am G-d, this [the Tetragrammaton] is My name; I will not give My glory to another" (Isaiah 42:8) - i.e., to the yetzer hara. Thus, if the soul is from Atzilut, even though it transmigrates to the world of Beriya, it is not obligated to do the work of rectification, nor is it subject to the kelipot.

Now regarding the body in which the daughter of the King [the soul from Atzilut] resides - do not say that she can be sold to the lower crowns of impurity, may Heaven have mercy upon us. In this regard the verse states, "the land [malchut] shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is Mine." (Lev.25:23) Now what is the body of the King's daughter? This is the angel Meta‑tron, who is the amma [maidservant] of the Shechina, since the Shechina is clothed within him. Thus the body becomes an amma [maidservant] for the King's daughter who is held captive therein, and it nevertheless transmigrates in gilgul. What is written in this regard? "If a man sells his daughter as an amma [maidservant] she shall not go free like the going free of a slave." (Ex. 21:7)

Furthermore, another interpretation of the verse: "If a man sells" refers to the Holy One blessed be He; "his daughter" refers to the Jewish people, who are the aspect of an only daughter malchut, which is called "daughter." Now if you will say that they will go free in the future, with the advent of the Mashiach, like those enslaved in Egypt, who were from the aspect of a slave, Meta‑tron, and fled from Egypt, the verse states: "you shall not depart in haste, nor in flight." (Isaiah 52:12) That is, the Jewish people will not leave the exile in the manner of slaves - hastily and in flight, in fear of their former slave-masters, because they will not be from the aspect of slaves, but rather like the only daughter of the Holy One blessed be He. Thus, when a person is worthy of the souls from the aspect of "the only daughter", it is said regarding this soul, "she shall not go free like the going free of a slave."

[Translation and commentary by Moshe Miller]

Now we are continuing with section 5

Previously, we learned there that in the time of the Resurrection the body will arise with those parts of the soul that were rectified in the lifetime of each particular body. Is the Rav just repeating himself here, or is he trying to teach something new?

chanoch's Commentary

You students need to speak up here and answer the question?

Does a qualified Kabbalah teacher ever reapeat himself? Does he ever repeat himself for no reason?

Furthermore, it seems at first glance that the end of this chapter consists of four disparate points without any connection to each other or to what came beforehand. However, an attempt will be made to try to present them as a unified idea (or at least the first three of them) and also tie them to the preceding subjects of this chapter.

The souls on this chain are connected to each other…

Previously, where multiple gilgulim and multiple iburim were discussed, we learned that there is a chain of souls, from higher to lower. The higher levels of soul descend as iburim to assist the lower levels to accomplish tikun. As we will see, all the various levels are also interconnected.

We have already explained earlier what the Introduction to Tikunim (pg.1b) says regarding the verse, "…like a bird that wanders from her nest" (Proverbs 27:8).

The Divine Presence goes down among the kelipot into exile. She is joined there by the souls of the tzadikim.

And we have discussed what the Zohar says in parashat Pekudei (258a) with respect to the Shechina. She is exiled among the kelipot until her legs are immersed in impurity.

The lowest sefirot of the Shechina are called her legs. They descend to the deepest place of impurity and exile among the kelipot, as the verse (Proverbs 5:5) says, "Her feet go down to Death…."

We also spoke about how the souls of righteous people are exiled with the Shechina in the kelipot as well.

The souls of the tzadikim, descended from the soul body of Adam, are also exiled into the realm of the kelipot. Each one of them covers a different part of the body of the Shechina, according to the part of the soul body of Adam from which they came.

In earlier times the souls that are exiled with her are the sparks and sections from the levels on which the Shechina stood at that time. It is the same in every generation.

The souls of these generations are from the level of the legs…

In each generation the Shechina descends lower and stands on a less elevated level. The souls of each succeeding generation are the souls associated with her on each subsequent level. As she goes down to the lower levels, it is said that she descends to the feet or legs. Correspondingly, the souls of the later generations are those associated with her feet and legs.

Thus, at this time in history the Shechina has already descended until the legs, and the souls of these generations are from the level of the legs.

Every soul has many parts and sparks…

Since all the souls were exiled among the kelipot together with the Shechina, those earlier souls that were already rectified and elevated, now they descend to direct and correct the lower souls in order to rectify them.

Thus, we find that every soul has many parts and sparks, and they are all called a single soul, and this is true for all the souls.

The main point here seems to be the stress that "they are all called a single soul." Indeed, this terminology was also used in Section 1 in reference to multiple gilgulim. The Rav wrote there, "They are called one Nefesh." The intention there, it seems, was also to stress the unity and interconnectedness of the souls, which enables them to join together in one gilgul and to assist each other to achieve tikun.

Since all the souls were exiled among the kelipot, and since they are all interconnected and intermixed (as will be explained in another place) they are able to join together in gilgulim and iburim to assist and help each other.

When the time for resurrection arrives, each body will take its portion of soul according to the level [that was rectified] in its time.

Because of their interconnectedness they are like one soul

Previously (Chapter Four, Section 3) we learned that parts of one soul that are rectified in different lifetimes will resurrect with the body in whose lifetime that part of the soul was rectified. Here, however, we are learning that many souls can come together into a single body to assist the main soul of that gilgul. Because of their interconnectedness they are like one soul. Nevertheless, in the time of Resurrection each soul will arise with the body in whose lifetime it was rectified.

For example, a soul that originated from a level in close proximity to that of the soul body of Adam, which was rectified and elevated in an earlier generation, can come down into a body together with a soul from the "legs" in order to assist the latter to achieve tikun. In the time of Resurrection, that earlier soul will not be cast down to the level of Legs. It will resurrect together with the body in whose lifetime it was rectified.

[Note: The following is a more specific example: The souls that derive from the Head of the soul body of Adam can be seen as one single partzuf. In other words, if we would look at the Head under a "Lurianic microscope" we would see a partzuf with 248 limbs and 365 sinews. The origin of some of the souls in that partzuf would be designated as the Head of the Head; others would be the Torso of the Head; others would be the Legs of the Head. The souls that come from the Torso of the Head are really connected to all the Torsos throughout the soul body of Adam. Thus, a soul from the Torso of the Head might come to assist a soul from the Torso of the Legs. In the same way, all the Legs are connected, etc. and etc., in such a way that all their details and particulars are interconnected and interchangeable. Nevertheless, in the time of the Resurrection they will all go back to their proper places.]

chanoch's Commentary

This is true of the parts of a soul that came as Iburim. Those parts that were corrected in a double gilgul will still need to resurrect in a body that is separate from other bodies that house the other parts of that soul.

There are teachings of Kabbalah that indicate that during the last 1000 years there will still be some deaths and some births which indicate that tikune is still going on. Either this tikune process will have different rules or there will need to be a way for these soul parts caught separate from the main part of their soul to find their way back to the man part of their soul. How do you think that will be accomplished? Your homework if you choose to accept it is to write an essay explaining how that will work. This is a good exercise for your mental and emotional Kabbalistic training.

[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]