Advanced Reincarnation Class 82

Shaarai Gilgulim - Gate of Reincarnations

As taught to Rabbi Chaim Vital by Rabbi Isaac 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.

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

Moshe Our Teacher

Chapter 34 Section 1

Abel is [drawn from] the right shoulder of Adam, which is the level of itra d’chesed [the crown of chesed] - which remained in Zeir Anpin. So we find that he is from the in the secret of da’at, which, as we have explained before resolves between chochmah and bina. Therefore, da’at itself has to incorporate the three levels of chochmah, bina, and da’at.

chanoch's Commentary

In most other central column essences there is both right and left energies and the central column resolves between these two energies. So why does Daat required to have a third energy which is difficult to comprehend? It is because Daat is a reflection of the Keter energy which has three levels - right left and central. Otherwise there would be no such thing as a central column energy. It must be included in potential in the Keter.

At first, Moses was Abel, who was the son of Adam. Later, he reincarnated into Seth, then Noah, and after that, into Shem, Noah's son. This is the secret of, "You have said, ‘I shall know you by shem [literally meaning 'name']’" (Ex. 33:12) - an allusion to the reincarnation into Shem. "And you found favor ChN/cheit-nun [favor] in My eyes" hints at the reincarnation into Noah, the father, since Noah also contains the letters ChN/cheit-nun. In the secret of, "Noah found favor CN/cheit-nun [favor](Gen. 6:8)

chanoch's Commentary

Another meaning of Chet and Nun is an acronym for Chochmah Nestar - Hidden Wisdom. Using the Atbash System of letter substitution the Chet becomes a Somech and the Nun becomes a Caf. The meaning of Samech Caf is "Your Support". This alludes to the understanding that "Concealed Wisdom" is a protection shield and especially one who struggles to understand and reveal this wisdom. Using that same method of Atbash the word Name - Shin Mem becomes Bet Yood which hints that the purpose of the Names is to deal with the 12 Tribes of Israel.

I mentioned elsewhere that these gilgulim are in the secret of NR"N, and therefore, you need not be surprised about how Noah and Shem could live at the same time if they are from the same level

chanoch's Commentary

Please note this teaching. It is a question many people ask as they see many similarities between children and and parents in both character traits and personality traits. Sometimes they are sharing soul parts at the same moment.

since they can take different soul-sections from one person who had them altogether.

Shem, Noah, and Moses are all from the same root, the level of chesed...

Thus MSh/mem-shin, the first letters of MShH/mem-shin-hey/Moshe (Moses) allude to ShM/shin-mem/Shem. And so we learn that Shem, Noah, and Moses are all from the same root, the level of chesed, which is that of Abel the son of Adam. This is the secret of [what it says regarding Moses], "for from the water he was drawn" (Ex. 2:10) - that is [from] the waters of chesed.

Water spreads out wherever it is put. It gives life. It is formless, colorless, tasteless - boundless by nature. These are all chesed-oriented qualities.

chanoch's Commentary

The Kabbalah teaches that water is the highest physical manifestation of chesed in the physical world. It is also why we go from the Creation of Light to separating the waters in the first chapter of Genesis since they both relate to the same essences of sharing.

"The world is built from chesed". Even though it originally arose in thought to create the world with din (Bereisit Raba), this was only intended as means of eventually bringing about the greatest chesed. (Ps. 103:2) After they ate from the tree, the original chesed - directive of creation became hidden. The giving of the Torah restored the revelation of this directive. Even though the world was at first sustained from ‘free-chesed’, which is a higher level than ‘general-chesed’ (Likutei Moharan II), this itself was only because the world was not ready to have direct relation to its Maker. G-d put it on a freebie in order to allow it to develop and reach a state of direct relation to Him. After this, there is much less freebie, but the connection is real - specifically because it is earned. Moses brought the Torah to the world. He was chosen for this because of his root in chesed.

Water is formless, whereas Moses gives purpose, structure, and form to the world.

Pharaoh decreed that all males should be thrown into the Nile. This was because his astrologers saw that the people's savior would be smitten by water. (Shemot Raba) The Maharal explains that there is an opposite dynamic between Moses and water. Water is formless, whereas Moses gives purpose, structure, and form to the world. (Gur Aryeh Shemot)

This does not contradict the above. The greatness of Moses is that he takes the raw spreading, giving chesed energy and draws it into the vessels of actualization. He transferred the Torah from its free, water-like form in the worlds above into a concrete, down to earth doctrine. He did this through triumphing over the angels, who claimed that the Torah would be better left in heaven by them. “Is there any theft among you, for which it says thou shalt not steal?...” He pointed out that the purpose of the Torah is not to hover over creation. Rather to deal with an imperfect world and perfect it. This explains the concept brought presently about the Torah being given from the aspect of fiery gevura. Moses ended up suffering from the water element when he brought forth water from the rock by hitting it, in place of speaking to it. (Num. 20:11) This was only because the people had not done their job of concretizing the Torah by fulfilling it. That so being, the nebulous nature of water/unrealized potential then becomes antagonistic to Moses and he suffers from it.

When Moses received the Torah from Sinai, all three levels were incorporated and ascended in the secret da’at machriyah [resolving knowledge], from which comes the level of the written Torah. This is the secret of "From His right hand a fiery doctrine (Torah, was presented) to them," (Deut. 33:2) for the Torah is given from the side of gevurot - which is the side of gevura of da’at, as mentioned.

Torah is ‘moreh derech’ - shows the way. It is given to give a way for each person to connect to G-d. It must then include all diverse paths and present means for each individual to decide between them and know for himself what to do. Da’at includes the extremities of chochmah-right/bina-left. It incorporates them into itself and decides between them. Accordingly, the Torah was given from da’at. It was given on Sinai, which equals sulam [ladder] - a means to ascend and connect above…

As said, the soul of Moses is sourced in da’at. This facilitates him to be the one to bring Torah to the world. Although the Ari'Zl just told us that Moses is from chesed, a soul can come from varied roots. Especially the general, all-inclusive soul of Moses that all draw from must be a fusion of many dynamics.chanoch adds: a person can actually have 613 different roots. Although this is not a usual situation it can happen and will require a significant help from the higher levels of this soul.

I already explained that until the vision of the bush, Moses had yet to rectify the letters of Abel and Seth, except for the Sh of ShS/Shais/Seth and the H of HVL/Hevel/Abel, hinted to in the name MShH/Moshe/Moses. The three letters HVL of Hevel/Abel had yet to be rectified.

As mentioned, the soul is included in the name. Each letter is a different aspect of the soul. Each one receives attention and rectification at different stages.

"Do whatever is in your power!" (Eccl. 9:10) At any given chapter of life, there are special things/letters to repair and enjoy. " If only today you would head His voice!" (Ps. 96:5) Wherever an individual may find himself, he is advised to take advantage of those special things and do his best to fix them. They can provide a unique connection to G-d that no other letters/things can.

"Moses equaled the entire children of Israel."

This is the reason that Gershom and Manasseh [Shmuel says: I don’t know why Manasseh is mentioned here, since no sons other than Gershom and Eliezer were born to Moses before the vision of the bush (Ex. 3)] and were not that righteous. There is also another reason, and that is: The entire Jewish people were like his children and sparks from his soul. This is the secret of what the Sages say: "Moses equaled the entire children of Israel." (Shir Hashirim Raba 1:4) Thus he was like Adam who incorporated all souls. Hence, one should not be perplexed if Gershom and Manasseh were not so righteous, since the entire Jewish people were already his children. It is impossible that out of all the people some of them would not be outstanding.

chanoch's Commentary

The Arizal teaches that the consciousness of the children come from the union of the parents at the time of conception. In my opinion the relationship of Moshe and Tziporah were not actually soul mates since Tzipporah was the soul mate of Cain in that first lifetime. Tziporah was the twin sister of Abel as a test for both Moshe and Cain. Now when Cain / Yitro gave Tzipporah away her consciousness would not be in full unity with Moshe since at the soul level she knew who her soul mate is. Her correction for this lack of unity, was the incident with the snake and the circumcision of Gershon, in my opinion. Personally i have always strugglede with understainding that story within the Parasha of Exodus / Shot, until this occurred to me when reading the above.

There are seventy faces to the Torah. On the level of each face, things are said in a way that is pertinent to that level. The above applies to the simple perspective. A rung deeper, the children of Moses were actually much higher than the rest of the people. “’And the sons of Moses increased above’ - above six hundred thousand.” They were so lofty as not to be considered from the rest. (Likutei Moharan) They seemed to be lower because they were so outstanding that they were aloof. This itself is the idea behind the simple explanation that they weren’t so righteous.

chanoch's Commentary

On a truly higher level they would be consious of the discomfort of other people and conceal their soul loftiness. If one is conscious of the other people around them they will control these normal ego related reactions of "feeling superior".

Returning to the matter, the bush rectified the letters HVL as well. Thus it says, "The angel of God appeared to him in a LVT [flame] of fire," (Ex. 3:2) to hint that in the beginning the letters LVT were not yet rectified. As mentioned, the H was already somewhat fixed. Therefore, it says "in a flame of fire," - from the side of judgment, since they were not yet rectified.

"in a flame of fire," - from the side of judgment, since they were not yet rectified.

G-d first revealed Himself to Moses on Mt. Sinai by the burning bush. Moses was then commanded to redeem the people. The Ari.Zl. calls this scene, "the bush". Why is it so referred to?

"Behold the bush burns - but it is not consumed." Despite the flames of persecution and exile throughout generations, the people are never destroyed. At first, Moses did not want to redeem them because he knew that they would end up in exile again. (Gen. 4:13, Rashi) G-d pre-empted his concern by attracting his attention through the burning bush, guaranteeing their survival - and eventual final redemption. This is the sweetening of all judgments. And so the din letters of Abel were fixed.

However, at the bush they became rectified, and this is indicated by the repetition of Moses’ name [as it says there, "Moses, Moses "]. The first refers to before the bush when he wasn’t rectified, the second to his newly rectified state. Nevertheless, even in the beginning the blemish wasn’t that bad, as it says in the Idra. (Zohar Naso 138a)

The Zohar points out that by other tzadikim who God doubled in calling their name, an interrupting line is written in the text between the names - except by Moses. (Zohar III Idra) This comes to demonstrate his unique greatness. There is no interruption between Moses above and Moses below. This is part of what is behind this teaching that the beginning blemish was not so bad.

chanoch's Commentary

It also helps to explain the midrash that indicates Moshe was born with Light that is mother Yochebed and his sister Miriam were able to see. Also the midrash that Moshe was born circumcized. He was almost complete in his Tikune when born and also almost complete in his Tikune when he as concealed from the Nation on the 7th of Adar - his Hilula, in my opinion.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Hillel and Shammai

Chapter 34 Section 2

Later came Hillel and Shammai, both of whom were from the root of Abel. However, Hillel was from the side of chesed of Abel, and Shammai was from the side of gevura of Abel. Therefore G-d says to Moses, "You need to help me", (Shabbat 89a) the head-letters of which spell Hillel. Indeed, both Moses and Hillel were known for their humility,Numbers 12:3 and Shabbat: “One should always be a humble person like Hillel." since they were both from the side of chesed of Abel.

chanoch's Commentary

In the last few hand outs i have been putting the footnotes in the location of the source that needs this comment. In this particular example there is an agenda being revealed by the translator. Where is it? And What is it? The verse in Numbers mentioned does not say anything about Hillel. So why did the translator not tell us to be like Moshe yet tells us to be like Hillel. The agenda is a personal cry for help from the translator since the Arizal tells us that the name Hillel is a personal cry to be helped. This is how the Kabbalists teach us to read the books of Kabbalah - looking for the concealed aspects of the author which is reaching out to us so that we see the message for each one of us.

...both Moses and Hillel were known for their humility...

As well, they are both alluded to in the seventy-two letter name that comes from the verses "And he traveled," "And He went," and "And he set up". The Zohar reveals that this is the source of the seventy-two letter name. (Zohar II Beshalach) (Ex. 14:19-21) The two names within it, when close together, are the letters MHSh and LLH, which are the letters MShH-HLL/Moses-Hillel.

chanoch's Commentary

We again learn that it is important to learn to utilize each Name along with the other Names. The Name Mem Hey Shin is the fifth Name of the 72 Names. Right next to it is the name Lamed Lamed Hey which is the 6th Name. Hey Lamed Lamed spells the Hebrew word for Praise as well as the personal Name Hillel. The fifth name deals with the energy of healing. When we look at the fifth and sixth Names of the Tzadikim we find the energy of Mankind from the gematria of the sixth Name as well as the essence of "Passion" and "Power". This relationship is why the ARIzal put both Names together. So we dig a little deeper and realize more of the unity of all things.

Also, Moses and Hillel were both kings. (Deut. 33:5 and Pirkei Avot) Each lived to the ripe old age of a hundred and twenty, and their life-spans were divided into three forty year periods. Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiva also lived a hundred and twenty years of three forty year periods and likewise link with this secret.(Deut. 34:7, Mid.R.Shem., Rosh HaShanah)

"A forty year old for bina." (Pirkei Avot) Each sefirah has its own right/left/middle aspect. In bina they each are forty by nature. One who draws from there merits the three forty year sections. From this comes the concept of the ideal of living to a hundred and twenty.

In order to step above the world, one must step out of himself. The quality of humility is so central to achieving these levels. This all links with the secret of the seventy-two letter name, a means to do sublime miracles with. It was engraved on Moses’ staff that he spread out over the sea to split it. Accordingly, Moses brought the Torah - the connection to above, to the world. Hillel was the central giver over of the Torah for generations. The law is decided according to his students, who are the majority. (Baba Metziya) They are both inscribed in the seventy-letter names, empowering their souls to do such tasks.

chanoch's Commentary

One may think that the law is based on the "majority rule". Yet this is both true and not true. The majority rule is based on knowledgeable people NOT just people. How does one determine who is knowledgable? It depends on the spiritual level of a person. If they are intuitive they know if they are capable of being the voter on this issue. If they are not then they truly must study the issues involved. Only after they study the issue may they determine for themselves. This is why the Halacha was written down so that people would be able to study the process that the Sages used to arrive at the Halacha in each specific instant. The problem with this use of the written Halacha, it does not allow for the relativity of Halacha or the determination of the hierarchy of the various Halachot.

...Shammai...was from the side of gevura of Abel.

However, Shammai, as mentioned, was from the side of gevura of Abel. So the gematria of Hillel is the same as ADNY/Adona"i, which is considered to be the panim [face/front (chesed-oriented aspect)] of malchut. Shammai was the achorayim [back (din-oriented aspect)] - which is why he was so strict, since he was from the side of gevura.

Thus, ShMAY/Shammai has two letters ShM from MShH/Moshe/Moses, which are also from ShM/Shem son of Noah. The two letters AY (of ShMAY) are the secret of (what God said to Cain) "AY [where is] Abel your brother." (Gen. 4:9) Since Shammai is from the gevurot of Abel, there is an allusion to the sin of Abel in his name. For he (Abel) transgressed with respect to the two letters AY from ADNY/Adona " i - hinted to by "AY [where] is Abel your brother," as mentioned in Tikunim, Tikun 69.

This can only properly be understood in light of the step before. After they ate from the tree, G-d said to Adam, "AYKH/Ayeka [where are you]?! " (Gen. 3:9) The Zohar explains this to be, ‘AY-KH/ayeh-ko [where is ko]. 'Ko' is malchut. The prophets prophesized from malchut (‘isplaklaria she’aina m’eira’ [i.e. the unshining looking-glass] (Zohar) and always introduced their revelation with “Ko (thus) says God...” There are KV/ko/25 letters in the primary unification of malchut (Shaar HaKChan.‘Yichud Nair’) Meaning to say, "To where have you caused malchut to fall through your sin, and where are you as a result of it?"

chanoch's Commentary

Abel also sinned that created a futher lowering of Malchut. Kabbalah teaches that no one dies without first having a spiritual judgment decree issued. Abel's sin was his connection to the sin of idol worship in his unwillingness to give up the pleasures of living in the physical world.

Cain came from the evil that was injected into them by the snake. (Zohar) G-d said to him only AY/ai [where], for the letters KV/ko were already gone. Instead of fixing his father’s mistake, he made it worse. Like Cain, Shammai is from the left side. He was therefore given these letters of Cain to repair.

The secret is just the depths of the simple explanation. (Vilna Ga’on on Birkat Hatorah) Cain was apathetic to his brother’s existence. Even after murdering him he said, "Am I my brother’s keeper?" (Gen. 4:9) G-d hinted to him his mistake, and therefore his pipeline of repentance, by starting the conversation with, "Where is Abel your brother". As if to say, "Shouldn’t you care enough to know?"

...part of Shammai’s tikun was to care about those that came to him seeking the truth.

From this piece we see that apparently part of Shammai’s tikun was to care about those that came to him seeking the truth.

AY are the first and last letters of ADNY, the Divine name for malchut. As mentioned, Hillel comes from there. It is called the asplecraria she’aina m’ira [i.e. unshining looking-glass] - through which all of the prophets prophesized. “In addition, Moses also prophesized from asplaklaira ham’ira..” (Yevamot) One of the central ways to merit it is through caring about others. And so Hillel was known to say, "Don’t do to others what is hateful to you". (Shabbat)

A/aleph is the first letter of the alphabet and it includes them all. Y/yud is but a dot, and it is the only letter that does not reach the bottom of the line. In the official writing of the ashurit script that the Torah was given, a scribe starts to write any letter from the point of yud. Thus yud is also a letter of beginning.

This is the idea behind the AY, first and last letter of ADNY the name of malchut: The potential to connect finish to start. Together they equal eleven - the amount of spices in the ketoret [incense offered in the Temple]. The Zohar tells that there is nothing that raises the fallen sparks out of the kelipot like ketoret. Hillel the prince, who fished souls out of the sitra achra and brought them close to their Maker, As he said, “Be from the students of Aaron: Loving of peace, pursuing peace - loving people, and bringing them close to Torah.” (Pirkei Avot) He was publicized for saying this because he fulfilled it. rectified these letters.

chanoch's Commentary

In the story of the potential student who wanted to study Torah while standing on one leg Shammai did not do it correctly and thus missed the opportunity to correct the Alef and the Yood while Hillel was able to do so. There is much to learn from this.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Making of Converts

Chapter 34 Section 3A

Shammai the Elder sinned through his strictness - many potential converts came to him and he did not convert them, as the Sages write. (Shabbat 31a) As a result, he reincarnated into Shimon ben Azzai, who did not marry (Ketubot 63a) but created many souls of proselytes through his Torah learning, just as Abraham ‘the man of chesed ’ did. As it says in the portion Lech Lecha: "And the souls he made in Charan." The simple meaning is that he brought people to know G-d and this is counted as if ‘making’ them. A step deeper, it also includes that his spiritual acts actually created souls. Therefore does it say “And the souls he made”. This was done both through his Torah learning and through being with Sarah. (Zohar I Lech Lecha) (Gen. 12:5)

For all who arouse souls of converts are from the side of chesed, which was Abraham while separated from his wife, This needs to be understood, for the Zohar states that before Sarah gave birth, they gave birth above to the souls of gairim - through their relations? since she was barren. Also Moses created souls for converts while he was away from his wife, since he is in the secret of the chesed of Abel.

Abraham himself is the first of converts.

Abraham himself is the first of converts. He left his land, the place of his birth, and the house of his father. (Gen. 12:1) Those he influenced to convert are called "the pledged people of Abraham." (Hagiga) "You gave...chesed to Abraham." (Hagiga) "Pledged" implies something donated out of one’s own volition, from a motion of chesed. So those not born into a family and situation of knowing G-d awaken to leave their surroundings and pledge their life to truth.

Through this, the gevurot of Shammai were sweetened and changed to chesed. Therefore, the letters (of Shimon/ShMAVN) are the ShM from Shammai and AVN/avon [transgression] - alluding that Shimon ben Azzai was the tikun for Shammai who pushed away converts.

‘Ben Azzai’ means ‘son of the brazen one’. "Why was the Torah given to Israel? Because they are brazen." (Beitza 25b) "You are standing here today...those that are here today, and those that are not here today." (Deut. 29:9-14) Anyone who converts, it is known that his soul did stand on Mt. Sinai, and that he does have holy brazenness. Shimon ben Azzai brought down souls that are truly connected to the Torah and are worthy of conversion.

Ben Azzai was known for his remarkable attachment to Torah.

Ben Azzai was known for his remarkable attachment to Torah. It was so much that he could not get married. He ascended into the aspect of Moses, who left his wife below to remain totally above - as if married to the supernal heights. This state is called the relation to the ‘upper Shechinah’. This way of doing things is another form of rectifying the lights of Tohu: When their individual, singular quality of not bearing to remain in the vessel and departing above is used to scale attachment to a very high level that is in truth too great to come down. The primary place of this is Atik [the Ancient One], the internal aspect of keter. It also means aloof, just as an elder is aloof by means of his outstanding experience and knowledge. “There is no feminine aspect in Atik.” (Zohar III Naso Idra Raba) And so one who ascends there remains as if aloof and celibate.

The average person is earth bound, and so bound to rectify things in an earthly way. The major part of the soul--birur process is made through marriage and the couple’s relations. (Likutei Halachot Pirya Virivya) However, the select individuals who are more connected to above than below make the birur through almost solely through celestial means...

Ben Azzai operated this way. The other tzadikim mentioned here were also in this category at least during the period that they were separate from their wives. Moreover, the Zohar teaches that everyone married has some connection to this aspect at the time that they are away from home. Coming from the same place as the two fallen angels Aza and Azael, whose names also come from the root az [brazen], and harnessing that energy in the right manner, he subjugated that negative flow from the world. This negated the dark influences that surrounded the fallen sparks and left them free to be magnetized to the holiness - as proselytes.

The word for converts is gairim, which is also used in the sense of sojourner. (Ex. 18:4) Gairim, who leave their background and established lifestyle for higher pursuits, are as lifetime sojourners. For this reason the Torah warns about them in many places: Both to refrain from hurting them and to actively take care of them. (Deut. 26:12) The intense, boundless lights of Tohu are also as sojourners that don’t fit into a world of limitations. “Saichel [consciousness] is a gair in this world.” (Maharal) The self-sacrifice of gairim grants them ready access to these lights. Ben Azzai was busy with these types of tikunim.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

chanoch's Commentary

There are various commentaries that teach that the Children of Noach are responsible to move the light laterally while the Children of Israel are responsible for elevating the Lights and sparks vertically - moving the lights to higher worlds. This is consistent with the idea of a Garim having attached to a spark of light which then they move laterally in the world to attach to the Children of Israel in order to elevate these sparks.

Rabbi Akiva

Chapter 34 Section 3B

However, Rabbi Akiva was from the root of Cain, as explained, from the aspect of the crown of gevura. (Through his learning) he sweetened the gevura and changed it to chesed, and (thereby) created souls for converts As mentioned, that it depends upon the quality of chesed. Especially since he turned gevurot, the source above of the kelipot, into chesed. (see Likutei Moharan II 8) during the twenty-four years he was away from his wife, the daughter of Kalba. He had gone to learn Torah, and brought back with him twenty-four thousand students. They correspond to the twenty-four permutations of ADNY, the name of malchut. As mentioned by Hillel, Rabbi Akiva fixed malchut .and merited to manifest its energies. This is the reason the Ari.Zl mentions his students here. (Ketubot) - Rabbi Akiva was unlearned the first forty years of his life. Rachel saw the awesome potential of his soul. She asked him to marry her, on condition that he go away and be fully devoted to learning Torah. Her high connection and good will energized him while he was away from her/the lower Shechinah to jet to the upper Shechinah. In the mean time, he rocketed and went from a simple learner to a teacher. The tikun of malchut made through all this manifested in twenty-four thousand students. He told them, “Mine and your (Torah acquirements) are hers”. This is why the Ari.Zl mentions that she is the daughter of Kalba, who was a wealthy man. When he heard that she wanted to marry a simple shepherd, he disowned her and they wed in poverty. Her tremendous self-sacrifice augmented the tikun to the staggering proportions of sustaining the Torah of generations.

chanoch's Commentary

i have never heard that Rachel Bat Kalba knew that she was helping sustain Torah for generations. She knew she was helping her husband. We learn from this that our tikunim has impacts on other people as well as other worlds. This type of Tikune - a general tikune of an individual person will help others and it is important for us to realize this potential as it may help us to accept the difficult choices of our own tikunim.

The root of Rabbi Akiva’s own soul was from the penimiut of holiness.

The root of Rabbi Akiva’s own soul was from the penimiut [internality] of holiness. However, through earlier sin (in a past lifetime), it went to the kelipot, and subsequently returned to holiness. Even though he was called convert, he was not really a full convert. This requires clarification, for the Talmud calls him, “son of converts”? (Berachot)

chanoch's Commentary

The Talmud and the Arizal are hesitant to disparage Rabbi Akiva or any person. In the common parlance a convert is sometimes thought of as less than a true Jew. This is wrong and requires tikune for those who perceive this. In the physical world no soul can convert to become a Jew whose soul is not a child of Israel. This means the soul was present at Mt Sinai and received the additional "desire to receive" that allows the Child of Israel to expand their consciousess and reach the higher worlds to draw down the light of God into the physical world.

However, it is not that way for the rest of the souls of converts, which are mainly from the level of kelipa called kelipat noga [‘the twilight husk’]. Sometimes they can go in the direction of spiritual impurity, and other times they can return to holiness, as the Zohar says. (Zohar II Vayakhel)

Twilight is neither fully day nor night - it is a little of both; (Shabbat Ch. 2) there are souls mixed into this mixed state. They can go in either direction. Great is the merit of one whom through his mitzvahs draws such souls to the side of holiness. All of their accomplishments are accredited to him.

This is the secret of, "Converts are hard for Israel like thorns." (Yevamot 47b) (For at times they go to the wrong side.) For when a gentile comes to convert, a generation of souls from those righteous people in Paradise of the earth enters him, as mentioned in the portion Shelach. (Zohar III Shelach) After that, an actual soul from the children of Israel enters him, and he is then called a gair tsedek [righteous convert], since he now has a holy soul from malchut which is called tzedek. (See Likutei Moharan)

A gair who accepts the laws of the Torah out of his own volition draws this energy.

There are many expressions of malchut. "The law of malchut is law." (Baba Kama 113b) From it come the rules and regulations necessary to implement any given idea. Tzedek means righteousness - in the sense of one who follows the rules. So it is a malchut quality. A gair who accepts the laws of the Torah out of his own volition draws this energy.

The Rabbis call a gair ‘one who comes to take refuge underneath the wings of the Shechinah’. (Vayikra Raba 2:9) The Shechinah expresses through malchut. Propelled by the motion of coming from darkness to light, the gair soars to great heights - hence he is protected and graced by the wings.

The soul that he had while being a non-Jew is called the ‘soul of a convert’. Which actually stood at Mt. Sinai, as mentioned However, even after the conversion and its return to good, still the kelipot have somewhat of a hold on it, They - the Klipot - do not so easily relinquish grip on the energy of a soul. and it can cause the other holy soul to sin. This is what it means, "like thorns to Israel", for it (sometimes) causes the other soul, which is called "Israel", to sin.

chanoch's Commentary

This issue of a convert is confusing and difficult for a Child of Israel to deal with. Is the convert someone who is pure and manifest righteousness and goodness or is it someone who will return to the Klipot? This is best left to your intuition and always treat the convert with human dignity and never embarrass them by asking about what they did prior to their conversion. Unfortunately this is something that many people actually do and it may cause the soul to remember those actions with fondness and cause it to return to its negative path and the Klipot. Who do you think receives the "merit" - the effect for this?

With this, you can understand the secret of Rabbi Akiva, who was originally a complete simpleton and who for forty years hated Torah scholars. He would say, "If someone would give me a Torah scholar I would bite him like a donkey!" Donkey in Hebrew is 'chamor', which comes from 'chomer' - physical substance, a primal state of ignorance devoid of all spirituality. (Pesachim 49b) This was because of (the hold of the kelipot on) his original convert-soul, while his true soul from the side of holiness only acted righteously. Enough on this point.

chanoch's Commentary

We have all heard the comment that the Mashiach will come riding on a white donkey - chamor to the gates of Jerusalem. The meaning of this code phrase is the Mashiach will control - ride upon - physicality. He will manifest this control in purity - the meaning of white. Right now the physical world is not pure and the Mashiach will manifest this purity. He needs our help to achieve this since if the world is pure when he arrives - by our efforts - there will be no need for the Armageddon War and the Mashiach will manifest all the beauty and peace as described in the Prophecies.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Ben Azzai and the Souls of Converts

Chapter 34 Section 4

Returning to the matter, Ben Azzai and Rabbi Akiva were creators of souls for converts, while he (Rabbi Akiva) was away from his wife. Both of them were holy, this one from the side of gevura of Abel, and this one from the side of gevura of Cain. To come closer, Ben Azzai married the daughter of Rabbi Akiva. This was part of the tikun process of Cain killing Abel. (Ketuvot 63a)

chanoch's Commentary

We learn from here that there can be two people participating in the tikune. In this case it was Yitro giving Moshe Tzipporah as one person and the other is Rabbi Akiva giving his daughter to Ben Azzai. Understand that these tikunim are probably different soul parts from Cain and Abel. An an example the left arm of Cain would need to give a wife to the person of Abel in these other reincarnations. Then the right arm of Cain might also need to give a wife to the person of Abel to achieve the tikune.

...Ben Azzai and Rabbi Akiva were creators of souls for converts...

Even though he did not consummate the marriage and he divorced her, nevertheless, he still performed the mitzvah of marriage. For through kidushin [the marriage ceremony] a man gives his wife an ohr makif [surrounding light] from his ruach. Ben Azzai, when he married Rabbi Akiva’s daughter, gave her this ruach in the secret of an ohr makif, and it remained with her forever. In this respect, Ben Azzai created an eternal bond with Rabbi Akiva. Even though the divorce removes it from the woman, some small aspect of it remains.

chanoch's Commentary

There are a few secrets in this paragraph. A husband transfers Light to his wife. He creates the vessel during the marriage ceremony and then she converts the Ohr Makif to Ohr Pennimut during her lifetime - even if there is a divorce there is no disappearance in spirituality. Ohr Makif is surrounding light and Ohr Pennimut is inner light. When a women or man is married as a mixed marriage - Jew and Gentile this does not take place and that is why the orthodox rabbis are instructed to deal with that marriage event as if nothing had happened.

This is the secret of what Ben Azzai used to say to Rabbi Akiva, "All the Sages of Israel compared to me are like the peel of a garlic, except for this bald one". (Bechorot 58a) Without doubt, Ben Azzai was not, heaven forbid, putting himself above the wise of Israel in speaking this way or by referring to Rabbi Akiva disrespectfully as the "bald one".

Rather, the secret of the matter is that either all or most of the Sages were creating souls for converts through their Torah-learning. (Likutei Moharan) However, there is a difference, for there were among them those who could only bring souls from the kelipa called noga. However, Rabbi Akiva and Ben Azzai, after they brought them from there could also bring them to holiness, rectify them, and then give them to converts. This level was above that of all of the rest of the Sages of the generation, and this is what Ben Azzai referred to when he said that they are "as the peel of a garlic husk before me, except for this bald one".

chanoch's Commentary

In my opinion the language is still strange and concerning to me to speak to a Sage like this. i do not understand it. i think there is something deeper.

The secret is this: In the limb of the sign of the brit milah [holy covenant of circumcision] there are two openings, the right one to produce a holy seed and the left one for dirty urine, the food of the kelipot. Between the two is a thin layer like the peel of garlic, and it is called kelipat nogah. Now, all the wise men of the generation could only bring souls from the kelipot hashum [garlic husk], and then bring them to the holy opening on the side of holiness. In this way, they brought them to holiness after which they drew them out of their bodies into the bodies of converts.

Why did Rabbi Akiva have this ability too? This is why he called him korach [the bald one], because Korach the son of Yitzhar also comes from the root of Cain. He was called Korach because all the Levites had been completely shaven bald, because of the strong din that was in them.

Music itself takes the psyche out of din/depression and brings it into chesed/joy.

Hair is din/judgment. The inauguration of the Levites involved cutting off all of their hair. This sweetened any negative form of judgment from them and initiated them into their service of singing in the Temple. Music itself takes the psyche out of din/depression and brings it into chesed/joy. The Levites made music while the offerings were brought. The service in the Temple affected the whole world. In order to facilitate it, the Levites themselves had to be in a state of completely ameliorated din.

Rabbi Akiva was also from the root of Cain, which is the crown of gevura, and as a result of his piousness, all the hairs of his body were shaven which sweetened the strength of his din. Thus was he called Korach and was he able to bring convert souls from the actual place of holiness, as Ben Azzai did from the side of chesed, for it is there that the souls of converts are aroused.

This is also the secret of why Rabbi Akiva is called chasid [pious], though he was the crown of gevura. So the Talmud says: "They left Rabbi Akiva to his piousness". (Sanhedrin 110b) The Zohar also calls him the pious elder.

chanoch's Commentary

i have noticed that older men sometimes and quite frequently lose the hair on their legs. There usually is a physical reason of poor circulation, yet the spiritual reason is the din in their lives has been converted to Chesed. [A female student commented that older women also lose the hair on their legs]

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Abaye and the Souls of Converts

Chapter 34 Section 5A

Abaye was also strong in this ability like Ben Azzai to draw souls to converts through the learning of Torah, even though he did not separate from his wife. This is the secret of what it says, "Abaye said, ‘Behold I am as Ben Azzai in the Tiberian market’." He would only say this when he was very happy.

Such a state of mind makes great unifications above (Likutei Moharan) and opens doors for new innovation and creation.

The word for market is shuk, which also means thigh. Thighs are figuratively outside the body proper (Tikunei Zohar, Intro.) just as the market is outside of the house. They embody netzach and hod, which are called as if outside of the sefirot proper. The high light of keter finds expression specifically through these levels. Netzach and hod extend to the entire feet, which are called raglayim. It comes from hergal - things that one is used to - things that are done naturally and unconsciously. So they come from keter - the super-conscious above the mind.

Being outside of the sefirot, netzach and hod descend to enliven the low places. The market is a place outside, with many vendors, open to all. It represents the sitra achra, which is outside of holiness, which presents many deities, and is open to all types of energies that conceal G-d. So the negative forces are also called ‘chitzonim’ - the outsiders.

Joy is special in that it goes out and fixes all the outside places. The sparks in the outside places are very powerful. (Likutei Moharan 56) Abaye was able to elevate them and harness their great energy to attain expanded consciousness.

Tiberius is an ancient holy city in the north. His does not at all imply that Abaye was in Tiberius at the time. In fact, he was mostly in Babylonia. But he was graced to ascend at special times to the choice heights of Ben Azzai’s expanded state. There are many teachings from the Rabbis around it. Someone collected them and wrote a whole book. Tiberius/Tiberia forms tibor-YH - the navel of YH. The navel is the center of the body. It divides between the upper and lower - representing a vortex between the spiritual and physical. YH enlivens the upper realms. Tibor-YH represents a unifying force that leaves the spiritual on top. Abaya also tapped into this dynamic and used it for mind-expansion and to draw the deepest revelations. The common denominator of existence. All are equal before the intrinsic absolute Essence. “Like small like large, as darkness as light, (Ps. 145) equates and equating”. (Likutei Torah of Baal HaTanya) All levels are the same when in comparison to what is always infinitely beyond them. Abaye channeled hasagot [‘graspings of Divinity’] from this exalted place into this limited realm. This is the key to his outstanding greatness. The Ari.Zl. reveals that this comes from his exalted, superior soul source in the good of Cain.

Abaye is one of the special souls in the redemption process. And so he relates closely to R. Yaiva the elder (Shaar HaGilgulim), who had one of the highest hasagos of all time (Shaar Ruach HaKodesh). And so, as mentioned, Rabbi Chaim Vital is very closely related to him. He first began to draw Divine inspiration by the grave of Abaye.

The reason is because Abaye is also from the root of Cain, the crown of gevura, and when he sweetened the gevura he transformed it to chesed. This is when gevura is called simcha/ joy, in the secret of 'the rejoicing wine'. Then he was like Ben Azzai creating souls for converts from the side of chesed, which is where they are aroused.

The opposite of rejoicing wine is drunken wine. Intoxication can be used for good or for bad, just as raw energy can be used either way. Wine that intoxicates comes from gevura/power.

The rejoicing wine is used to refer to bina. Like gevura, it is positioned at the left side of the sefirot, but a notch up. It is so in a state of sweetened judgment. Wine is from din, the original sin caused a surge of din, setting gevura out of balance. Tzadikim draw bina energy to liberate gevura from negative din and ameliorate it. This makes gevura like bina become the rejoicing wine.

In simple terms this can express in such ways as a problem becoming a plus. Anytime one merits to make such a transformation, negative energies in the universe are also transformed. This 'converts’ them to good.

Of all those whom we have said are from the root of Cain, only Abaye had his nefesh, ruach, and neshama from Cain, which is very important. His soul was not a mixture, but rather all three parts were from Cain, the secret of the souls of converts. Thus, Abaye had great ability to produce convert souls, without even having to separate from his wife.

His intense Cain connection energized his soul with intense Tohu lights that were powerful enough to elevate souls into kedusha/holiness, without having to separate below in order to attain higher connection.

However, Rabbi Akiva only had a nefesh from Cain, while his ruach and neshama came from elsewhere. Therefore, he needed to separate from his wife. Ben Azzai, since he came from the gevura of Abel, needed to not marry at all.

All qualities and traits come from the sefirot. One of the expressions of gevura is introspection and being alone. A hermit is one such expression. It can also come out as celibacy.

Now you will be able to understand what Abaye meant when he said, "I am like Ben Azzai in the Tiberian market". Really, he should have compared himself to Rabbi Akiva, since they were both from the root of Cain. However, Ben Azzai’s ability to produce souls of converts was greater than that of Rabbi Akiva, since Ben Azzai never married. Moreover, since Abaye’s nefesh, ruach, and neshama came from Cain, he was literally like Ben Azzai, even though he remained with his wife.

Now, since all parts of Abaye were from Cain, when he argued with Rava, who was from Abel, the law was not according to his opinion.

As a general spiritual rule, the law is as the Abel-root in a halachic [code of law] dispute. The reason for this is based on the aforementioned idea that Cain is an expression of the world of Tohu, Abel of the world of Tikun. Tohu underwent destruction and devastation, Tikun followed and through it the world endures. Just as there are natural laws so are there spiritual laws. They come to us through the rules of the Torah. Just as nature’s laws need to go according to the Tikun format in order to endure, so it is with the Torah’s laws. This is said from our perspective, from below to above. In reality, all of nature’s laws come from the Torah and are actually an expression of them incognito (Likutei Moharan 33).

Nonetheless, the universe still needs Tohu energy, even now before it is ready to fully deal with it. This is brought to expression through opinions in halachah [Torah rules] that are not the final word. Abaye needs to state his view even though it is not to be practiced. Moreover, in all of the disputes between Abaye and Rava, there are six (YAL K’GM) in which the law is decided like him. (Baba Kama) I.e., some minute expression of Tohu within Tikun that is necessary for the now. Just as the halachah is like Beit Hillel, who is from chesed, the Tikun aspect, against Beit Shammai, who is from gevura (Above), the Tohu aspect. Yet there are instances that it goes according to Beit Shammai (Aduyot).

In any case, Tohu and Tikun must combine to bring the universe to its goal. Those who learn Torah are called "builders" - of the world. (Berochot 64) The center of Torah learning revolves around the Babylonian Talmud. It centers around the discussions of Abaye and Rava. It is called "The havayot [debates] of Abaye and Rava." "Havayot" can be understood to mean YHVH’s. - the central name and its permutations. The truth of YHVH is unearthed through questions and answers. Also, Abaya and Rava equal 234 in gematria. It is the same gematria as A”B/S”G/M”H/B”N - the primary permutations of YHVH, from which all yichudim [Divine name unifications] come. As seen from this whole compilation, the Cain/Ben Azzai/Abaya/R.Chaim Vital etc. root is the main one for yichudim - upon which the redemption depends. They are all perfected and brought to expression through the joint effort of the Cain and Abel roots. This fixes Cain’s having murdered Abel.

chanoch's Commentary

These main permutations of Havaya are Chochmah - 72, Binah - 63, Zeir Anpin - 45, and Malchut - 52. Also chotem - Nose - 58. Some people do not find any positive effect from doing unifications. This is just an indication of the root of your soul does not have these kind of tikunim. Other people find doing unifications produce a positive effect. Remember the feeling of good that comes from Torah study is not the reason for doing these Mitzvot. The reason to do unification - Torah Study - or any Mitzvah is to give pleasure to the Creator not to receive pleasure from the Creator.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Abaye the Orphans

Chapter 34 Section 5B

This is the reason why Abaye was an orphan who never saw his mother or father, (Kidushin 31b) hinted to in the verse, "Asher bicha yerucham yatom/for it is with You that an orphan finds mercy" (Hosea 14:4) - the head-letters spell ABYY/Abaye. This is because his nefesh, ruach, and neshama are from Cain, the entire root of which is the level of nefesh only. Since he is from malchut, (which is) the level of nefesh, in the secret of nefesh Adam. As Nadab and Abihu, mentioned above. Therefore he is called orphan, since he is only from the level of nefesh which is called orphan.

chanoch's Commentary

These comments about Nefesh only from Cain is confusing. To clear this up - remember when a soul does not complete the whole tikune - all parts during its first incarnation but has completed its whole nefesh during this first incarnation the ruach and nefesh may not return with its completed Nefesh. Thus it returns with the Nefesh of a convert which is called an "orphan". As the Torah stresses to treat the Orphan well. This is referring to both concepts a physical orphan and the Nefesh of the Convert Orphan.

As mentioned, the Tohu lights departed and ascended above. This creates a quality of separateness in those who are from it. One of the ways this comes out is through being an orphan.

In many places, the Torah groups the Levite, the gair, the orphan, and the widow together. (Deut. 14:29 & 26:12) Above, the concept of the gair was explained, how he leaves family ties, etc. The orphan is similar in that he is devoid of family connection. The Levite has no portion in the land. A widow also is left without primary family relationship.

...children’s primary conceptual springboard to relate to G-d.

The Maharal explains that parents are children’s primary conceptual springboard to relate to G-d. One who has no parents lacks an intermediary and as of necessity ends up having a more direct connection. Abaya’s intense Cain root afforded him intense direct connection to the One above.

"The supernal family." (Zohar) The soul levels are also as a family to each other. Nefesh, the lowest level, looks to the ones on top for support and guidance.

A lack creates desire and a need to be fulfilled. (Likutei Moharan) One who comes from nefesh alone is as a spiritual orphan. Again, this may be set up by Providence to spur him on to achieve special direct attachment to G-d.

chanoch's Commentary

The above three paragraphs are trying to explain the code words of widow - stranger / gair - Levite. Orphan is also a code word as described above in my commentary.

This is similar to what it says in Sefer HaTikunim, (Tikun 11) regarding the matter of repayment from the property of orphans: "When the neshama is removed, what remains behind is the nefesh and ruach of orphans, etc." Since Abaye was an orphan, because all of his sections were from Cain, he was able to produce souls for converts without separation from his wife, because they too [having left their family] are like orphans without a mother and a father, as the law says. (Choshen Mishpat)

This is the matter: All mixtures of Cain with the rest of the soul-sparks that happen without the involvement of a mother or father are called orphans. Thus converts are called orphans, since they lack a Jewish mother and father at the time their souls are born.

[Translation and commentary by Perets

Rabbi Yishmayel the High Priest

Chapter 34 Section 5C

It might come as a surprise that there was no one in the entire generation of Ben Azzai who could create souls of converts. After all, what about Rebbi Yishmael ben Elisha Kohen Gadol, who we said was a spark from the soul of Joseph Hatsadik/Joseph - why did he not possess such an ability?

...the punishment of Rebbi Yishmael was the most difficult of all...

The answer has to do with what we spoke about earlier regarding the ten martyrs, that they were the ten seed-drops that left Joseph. Since Joseph himself sinned (and came back as) Rebbi Yishmael, for those seeds went to the depths of the kelipot. Therefore he lacked the ability to make souls of converts. Hence we find that the punishment of Rebbi Yishmael was the most difficult of all the ten martyrs, since he was the cause of their deaths, through the seed that was emitted.

Thus, that which is written with respect to Joseph, "they removed Joseph’s coat from him" (Gen. 37:23) is similar to what it says about Rebbi Yishmael, that the skin of his face was removed. Also, Rebbi Yishmael is compared to Joseph, in as much as they were both very handsome (Gen. 39:6) as it says in Pirkei Heichalot.

In addition, just as Joseph was held captive among the Egyptians, so too was Rebbi Yishmael held captive. It says that when Rebbi Yehoshua ben Chananyah asked, "Who gave Jacob up for spoil?" (Isaiah 42:24) he (Rebbi Yishmael) answered him, "Was it not God, against lo [He] Whom we sinned?" (Ibid, Gittin 58a)

...the sparks of the seed-drops of Joseph which fell down to the kelipot in the place of the legs...

In saying "lo" [he], he was making an allusion: Because of the sin of the sparks of the seed-drops of Joseph which fell down to the kelipot in the place of the legs, The yesod organ rests between the legs. When used improperly, its energies fall a step down the kelipot, in captivity. Measure for measure, the one who caused this is himself exiled. He himself was exiled among the gentiles. This is what he meant by, "Who gave Ya’akov up for spoil" - that is the drops. He answered him, "Was it not God, against He Whom we sinned?" (including himself).

"Lo"/LV is gematria 36, which is 6 squared. Yesod is the sefira of the covenant. From it comes male/female connection. It is the soul root of Joseph, therefore was he tested in such issues. Primarily he withstood the test and is so called ‘tsadik’ par excellance because of it. Nonetheless, there still was as if some slight defect that happened at the time of his test with the wife of Potifar. (Gen. 39:7-13) Because of his colossal spiritual plateau, it had to undergo rectification.

Yesod is the sixth sefira. It binds the six directions/days and reveals them as one unified arena through which Divinity to manifest. Six squared represents the spreading out of yesod in all glory to all of its facets. Joseph, the king of yesod, was required to fix it to the fullest. Hence Rebbe Yishmael, Joseph was a king (Zohar I, Vayigash), Rebbe Yishmael was the Kohen Gadol. A unification happened in Rebbi Yishmael between kingship and priesthood. (See above at length.) This empowered him to awaken and make a unification above for all generations to draw from. The one through whom the repair took place, voiced this through "lo"/36.

chanoch's Commentary

The above comment that one who wastes seed needs to be exiled as tikune does not specify what exile is referring to. Perhaps it is a spiritual exile from HaShem which might then be the secular Jews. Or it might be exiled from family and friends as certain people who are kidnapped and then put up for ransom. Open your minds to the various possibilities. It may also be an exile from the Garden of Eden or reincarnation alone.

Midrash Ezkanah teaches about the horrible deaths of the 10 Martyrs - of which Rabbi Yishmael Ben Zakai HaCohen HaGadol was one. According to the midrash it was he who went to heaven and learned the cause of the heavenly decree of their deaths. It was this reason that none of the 10 tried to avoid these horrible deaths. Some traditions read this midrash on Yom Kippur and others on Tisha B'Av.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Levels of Souls

Chapter 35 Section 1

We have already explained that Cain and Abel took the nefesh of Atzilut that had been in Adam. The following is the explanation:

As is known, all the worlds are connected to each other. Thus, after man rectifies the world of Asiya, he can ascend to the world of Yetzira, and keep ascending even to Atzilut, as it says in the Zohar at the beginning of the portion Mishpatim. "If he merits more, they give it to him." This is, as already explained in previous discussions, only true of a ‘new soul’, which can ascend from world to world [in one lifetime], as mentioned there.

The worlds were made by G-d, from the Torah, for the souls.

The worlds were made by G-d, from the Torah, for the souls. "The Holy One blessed be He and the Torah and Israel are one." (Zohar II) The worlds follow the order of the Divine name outlined in the Torah and according to the soul roots. Just as the letters of the name are one and inter-connected, so are all souls and all worlds. It follows that the souls are able to ascend from rung to rung. Each time someone ascends, it is a new stage in revealing the oneness.

Thus we find that all the worlds are connected, and the lower one serves as a throne for the higher one. Each level is a springboard to reach to one above it. Just as wheels propel a vehicle to where it wants to go, so does each level lead what is above it to the place it wants to go. A king sits on his throne and relates to his subjects, so is the world beneath a medium for the one above it to express and give its flow to the places that receive from it. There are levels of souls that are only able to rectify the level of the nefesh of Asiya while some can reach Yetzira, others Beriya, and some can even reach as high as Atzilut. However, they are a small minority among all the soul-roots.

This ability exists, though, only among the soul-roots of Cain and Abel, since they are new souls in some respects as explained, and they therefore can merit to rectify and receive even the nefesh of Atzilut, but no more. However, the rest of the souls are called ‘old souls’, and they cannot receive the nefesh of Atzilut - if only they would merit to receive the neshama of Beriya!

chanoch's Commentary

This is a hint to how difficult it is to achieve one's tikune.

The soul-roots of Cain and Abel have two levels.

The soul-roots of Cain and Abel have two levels. The first is the level of the souls of Cain and Abel themselves, souls that fell off and remain in the worlds of BY"A [Beriya-Yetzira-Asiya] only. There is a second and higher level, the portion of Adam himself which he gave to his sons Cain and Abel as an inheritance. It seems to me that it is a spark from the father himself put into the nefesh of the son to guide them.

This is part of why the child must honor the parent. The honor fuels that spark to manifest in the person and help him fully. This is the main inheritance. Other aspects of inheritance such as finances and objects are actually branches of this.

The second level is drawn from all worlds, that is, from the nefesh of Asiya to the nefesh of Atzilut. Thus, any person whose soul is from this second level is on a great level, because he can rectify from the nefesh of Asiya until the nefesh of Atzilut the first time he enters the world. Through this he can merit to receive the nefesh of Atzilut. Not, however, the ruach or the neshama of Atzilut, since they are not completely new souls, as mentioned.

I have already explained in previous discussions that regarding this second rung which Adam gave to Cain and Abel as an inheritance, there are two levels, ohr makif and ohr penimi. All the souls of this level, as already explained, for example, Issachar, Rabbi Akiva, and Hezekiah - all of them are from the ohr hapenimi of this level. So too was Elijah the Prophet z"l from the ohr hapenimi of this level. Later, Nadab and Abihu, who were from the ohr makif of the nefesh of Atzilut of this second level, came to him as an ibur [an added soul] .

chanoch adds: this section truly does not need any clarification since it is a repetition of earlier teachings with some additions. If a student has difficulty with this section it is usually due to their lack of truly understanding vocabulary. If one has questions please ask or send me an email or a text.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

The Root of Cain and Abel

Chapter 35 Section 2A

Know that Cain is the level of the left arm of every partzuf in every world, whether in Arich Anpin, Abba and Imma, or Zeir Anpin and Nukvah in Atzilut , or in BY"A [Beriya-Yetzira-Asiya]. Abel is just the opposite, the level of the right arm of every partzuf in every world.

The three lower worlds of BY"A are called ‘arms’, whereas the world of Atzilut is called ‘wings’. Thus, Cain is the left wing of Atzilut and Abel is the right wing of Atzilut. These levels of wings and arms have both ohr makif and ohr penimi as well.

chanoch's Commentary

Why is there a difference between Atzilut - Emanation and the additional three worlds of Beriah, Yetzirah, and Asiya - Creation, Formation, and Action? Atzilut - Emanation is the only truly, in essence, true world. As such the nomenclature wing is appropriate to differentiate between the real and partial illusion. Do not make the mistake of trying to bypass the worlds of Yetzirah and Briah - Formation and Creation. They must be connected with prior to reaching Atzilut.

Thought flies, Atzilut linkage provides wings.

Arms are vessels of action and doing. So are the lower worlds B"YA vessels through the designs of Atzilut, the world of thought, to act out. Thought flies, Atzilut linkage provides wings.

Atzilut is the realm of all Divinity. Connection there propels the soul to boundless levels - represented by flying. The lower realms do not ascend in the aspect of wings and connection there is only as arms.

All the souls that come from the second level that Cain and Abel inherited from their father Adam only merit to reach in this world the wings of malchut of Atzilut, called the nefesh of Atzilut - the first time. Higher than this they cannot reach the first time, only after they come back another time.

chanoch's Commentary

You may have heard the midrashim and teaching that after someone completes their tikune and has reached the level of Malchut of Atzilut they are asked if they want to return in incarnation to ascend higher. This only occurs to souls who originate in the higher aspects of Atzilut. Remember there is never any change in the Endless World and that is reflected in the world of Atzilut. If one starts at a location in the endless world one needs to return to the location having lost/removed the illusion of "bread of shame".

Since those from this level can reach the nefesh of Atzilut the first time, these righteous people are called ‘angels’. Any time you find the term angel used for a righteous individual they will be from this root.

"‘Bless God, ye his angels...’ (Ps. 103:19) - these are tzadikim." (Zohar) All tzadikim are angelic. Still, amongst them themselves, some are more in this category. Such as R. Avraham the Angel (son of the Maggid of Mezritch). He was known to be so sublime that people could not bear to be in his presence.

Atzilut linkage lifts the soul above normal human parameters and grants it angelic status. Such individuals have aerial abilities. This manifests as super-human alacrity, especially in understanding. Also, they are able to circumvent and as if ‘fly above’ complications and get things done.

Phinehas did not need to be hidden since he was an angel...

Therefore, it says regarding Phinehas in the matter of Rahab the innkeeper Some explain the text to mean “the prostitute”. (Sota) This itself is her praise - coming from a low level and ascending to recognize G-d and His hand in events., "The woman took the two men and hid him", (Joshua 2:4) that is, in the singular. For she only had to hide one person - Phinehas did not need to be hidden since he was an angel He was actually able to make himself invisible. And he was called that because he was from the root of Cain. Therefore Elijah is called ‘angel’ As in, “Elijah angel of the brit [covenant]”, because he is from the root of Cain. He could have mentioned that Elijah himself comes from Phinehas (Above)? Here it is referring to the other part of Elijah that does not stem from Phinehas, yet deserves the title on its merit of coming from Cain.

The wording implies that being angelic has particularly to do with the Cain root. Even though there are corresponding levels to found in the Abel root? This demonstrates the principle that Cain, the first born, has extra good. Therefore, the likelihood of a soul reaching this plateau tends to come from this source.

chanoch's Commentary

When i first heard about Rahab from my teacher i was told that Rahab married Joshua. This was amazing to me on the physical level. A soul of his level would marry a woman from her level? Now it makes sense since Rahab was truly amazing - from this low level of a prostitute she realized the truth of HaShem and the Torah. This is an amazing rise of holiness. Now it makes sense to me that the woman Rahab rose to the level of Nadav and Avihu.

Rabbi Yehudah Bar Ilai and the Sons of Rabbi Chiya

Chapter 35 Section 2B

chanoch's Commentary

Who is Rabbi Yehuda Bar Illai?

Many of our greatest Sages were sustained at spiritual "tables" richly laden with the greatest delicacies, while their physical tables were almost bare. One such Sage was Rabbi Yehuda bar (meaning 'son of') Ilai, who lived in the time of the Nasi (prince) Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel. It was of no importance to him that he ate only the simplest fare or even that he lacked proper clothing. His Torah learning sufficed to nourish him even to the extent that he glowed with happiness and good health.

Once he was studying with his teacher Rabbi Tarfon, when his teacher remarked in surprise, "Why is your face shining today like gold?" Rabbi Yehuda replied, "Yesterday your servants bought teradim (an inexpensive type of beet) for us to eat and they were very delicious and healthful, and although we ate them without salt since we had no money to buy it, they were good. Had we been able to afford the salt, the teradim would have been even tastier, and our appearance would be even better."

Rabbi Yehuda never dressed in the noble manner befitting a person of his stature. In fact, he didn't even own any warm clothing at all. One day his wife managed to purchase some inexpensive wool yarn. She spun it and wove it into cloth. From this material she fashioned a loose robe worn as a cloak. She even decorated it with beautiful embroidery to give it a finer appearance, as was fitting for her distinguished husband.

Now, this type of garment was worn at that time by men and women alike, so Rabbi Yehuda and his wife shared it. When she needed to do errands in the marketplace she wore it; when Rabbi Yehuda went to the study hall he would wear the new cloak. He was, in fact, so pleased to own this warm coat that he composed a special blessing to be recited before putting it on: "Blessed is G-d who has enwrapped me in a cloak." Never mind that his coat was made of coarse homespun wool or that others had cloaks of far superior quality -- Rabbi Yehuda was completely satisfied with his and never even noticed the others.

Once Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel declared a day of public fast and prayer because of a problem which beset the Jewish community. On such a day it was customary for all the Sages to gather together at the residence of the Nasi to pray as a group. This time as well, they all came, with the exception of Rabbi Yehuda bar Ilai. It so happened that when the fast day was proclaimed, Rabbi Yehuda's wife was wearing the shared cape. Rabbi Yehuda, lacking a coat, was unable to join his colleagues. Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel noted his absence with surprise, and questioned the other Sages to discover the reason he had failed to come. They explained to the Nasi that Rabbi Yehuda was unable to come because he had no coat to wear.

When the Nasi heard this he was quick to dispatch a messenger to Rabbi Yehuda bearing a beautiful new cloak. When the messenger arrived, Rabbi Yehuda was seated on a mat on the floor engaged in the study of Torah. "The Nasi has sent this coat to the Rabbi as a gift," said the messenger. "He asks that Rabbi Yehuda wear it and come to pray with the other Sages." Rabbi Yehuda answered: "I have no need for a gift, as I already have a coat, thank G-d. My wife will return soon and bring it, and then I will come to the Nasi's house. I lack nothing; as you can see I am very wealthy." And with those words he lifted a corner of the mat on which he sat. There, sparkling like fire, were hundreds of gold dinars. The messenger was left speechless by the sight of such an enormous fortune.

Rabbi Yehuda explained: "You see, I have enormous wealth if I want it, but I do not desire to benefit from this world any more than necessary." As he spoke, the golden coins disappeared, fulfilling his spoken desire. Rabbi Yehuda lived as always, in poverty. But he was satisfied with what he had, and he exemplified the words of the Sages: "Who is a rich man? He who is happy with his lot.

Also, Rabbi Yehudah bar Ilai z"l was from this second level of Cain. Our Sages hinted to this in the Talmud by writing that every Friday he used to wash his face and feet in honor of Shabbat and was similar to an angel of the legions of God. (Shabbat 25b)

chanoch's Commentary

Man is supposed to rise above the level of Angels. Yet while in the physical world the highest a man can reach is that of the level of an angel of the world of Briah.

Friday is the special time for Shabbat preparation. (Orach Chaim Shabbat) On Shabbat the worlds ascend. They start to fly up on Friday afternoon. There are special mitzvot that are then done which help propel the ascent. One of them is washing in hot water the face, hands, and feet, the face representing the relationship to the worlds Above.

Shabbat is the time of complete peace, love, and unity - Above and in the world below. (Zohar II Yitro) Before Shabbat, all the lines of connection need to be cleansed in order to allow them to rise to the coming new level. The kelipot see that the holiness is on the go and ready to go up; they also want to take part and hop on the flight, but a chashmal fire descends and prevents them from entering. Washing in this world with hot water is an embodiment of the spiritual process and greatly empowers it to vanquish the kelipot. (Shaar HaKedusha Erev Shabbat)

The three places to be washed are learned from the angels, showing that when they are polished, a person becomes pure and angelic. This is all learned from seraphim - fiery angels, signifying the fire that comes down to destroy any hold of the kelipot. One subjugates the hold of kelipot on the heart by means of the fire of love and fear of G-d. (Likutei Moharan 59) This elevates him to be in the Shabbat aspect the entire week.

The six wings of the seraphim correspond to the six sefirot of Zeir Anpin, from which come the six days of the week. Friday, the sixth day, includes them all. On Shabbat, the days ascend to their source Above and are, as if, stored in the heavenly archives. (Likutei Torah, Baal HaTanya) One should therefore repent on Friday for the whole week; the physical washing should be accompanied by a soul-wash.

chanoch's Commentary

Friday includes them all since Friday is connected to the Sefirah of Yesod which is a "gathering channel". It gathers all of the Chassadim and Gevurot from the sefirot above it and transfers it to Malchut - the Shabbat. Also the Sefardic minhag is to do a mini Teshuvah - Return to HaShem by saying a particular prayer each Friday morning after their Shachrit Prayer and before Mincha. Some follow the Minhag of listening to the Shir HaShirim scroll for this purpose.

The Talmud calls Rabbi Yehudah "an angel of the G-d of Legions". (Berachot) This title was first used by Hannah, the mother of Samuel the Prophet. It means the revelation of omniscience and oneness in the world of separation itself. The week is marked by diversity. Shabbat is all oneness. (Zohar II Yitro) Friday, the bridge between, is the opportunity to draw from ‘the simple unity and manifest in diverse actions’. (See Likutei Moharan II 2)

This whole dynamic especially manifested in Rabbi Yehudah bar Ilai, who was always super-angelic and so he serves as an archetype role-model. Some of how he reached this level can be understood by the Talmud’s story of him and his disciples’ great self-sacrifice to learn Torah, as six students of his would cover themselves with one garment. Whatever this meant in the finite realm, it comes to allude to the covering of the garment of surrounding Shabbat light that manifested on them because they were all together as one in the unified Shabbat aspect in the midst of the six days of diversity.

Materialism fragments the spirit. Compromising it for spirituality pays off in the real sense of affording extra levels to the soul.

Yehudah and Chizkiah, the sons of Rebbi Chiya, are also called angels, also being from the root of the second level of Cain. Our Sages alluded to this when they taught, "In Heaven two angels, Gabriel and Michael argued - and some say two Amoraim in the west. Who were they? Yehudah and Chizkiah, the sons of Chiya." (Baba Batra 75a)

Yehudah and Chizkiah were as angels while in this world. The right and left sides of Gabriel and Michael manifest in them. Their father Rabbi Chiyah is an expression of the unifying tiferet aspect. Together, they were as the Patriarchs in their generation. Therefore, when they prayed together, it could have brought the redemption. (Baba Metziya)

However Enoch, who received the zihara ila’a of Adam as high as the neshama of Atzilut, was a greater angel than Elijah. Therefore, we find that one who is from the world of Atzilut is called an angel, and can rise to the level of an angel. Remember this.

The Left Arm and Wing

Chapter 35 Section 3

Now we will explain the left arm and wing in which is the root of Cain, from which you can understand the right of Abel.

Cain is (from) the left wing limb of Adam

As said, Cain is [from] the left wing limb of Adam, in which there are three levels - flesh, tendons, and bones. In all five parzufim of BY"A [Beriya-Yetzira-Asiya], there is a root of Cain in the left arm and left shoulder. But there is no level of wing. However, in the five partzufim of Atzilut there is the level of shoulder, [comprised of] flesh, tendons, and bones, and the level of wing.

Thus we find that all roots from this second level of Cain have the level of shoulder with flesh, tendons, and bones, as well as the level of wing which comes out from them. For they are [as] the ‘feathers’ that emanate out of the shoulder limb. This is only in Atzilut and not BY"A, which only has the shoulder. We explained the left shoulder previously.

The left wing...has three thousand feathers...

Now, we will explain the wing. The left wing in which the roots of the soul of Cain reach has three thousand feathers - a thousand large, a thousand medium-size, and a thousand small ones. Within each feather there are 150 hairs, which are the level of soul-sparks. For each feather, there is one hole in the shoulder limb in which the feather is wedged and from which it grows.

As well, every feather has at its upper end that is stuck into the hole - a level of blood that is absorbed within it. At the other end, above the head there is a small section of tube that has no hair. Beyond this, hairs sprout from both sides until the end of the feather, of which there are large long hairs, and small short hairs.

The small hairs are the soul-sparks of the small children who died young. There are many levels among them, for none of the small hairs are the same length, as is understandable. Likewise, there are many levels among the large hairs, and the length of the hair determines the number of years of a particular soul in this world.

Know that the feather itself is a much higher level than the hole from which it sprouts, and the blood that is absorbed within it and the beginning of the tubing that is stuck in the hole. It is also a much higher level than the hairs that grow from both sides, and the long hairs that come out from the small ones.

...each feather has K"N [150] soul-sparks...

Also know that each feather has K"N - Kuf Nun - which has the meaning of "cell" as well as - [150] soul-sparks, which is the gematria of ChNF/kanaf [wing] - Caf Nun Pey. This number is based upon the name KYN/Cain - Koof Yood Nun which contains KN - Koof Nun. The Y/yud of KYN/Kayin is the surrounding light of this aspect. However, the right wing is the level of Abel, and it divides in another way based upon his name, as follows.

Each feather divides into Hei [five] sections, and each section incorporates Lamed Beit [thirty-two] sparks, which is HBL/Hevel/Abel: H times LB. There are also 150 sparks, just as is the case with the sparks of Cain, except that the 150 sparks of Cain in each feather itself subdivide into 150. However, in the case of the sparks of Abel, which divide into five sections, each section contains [only] thirty-two sparks. This is the only difference between Cain and Abel [in regards to the configuration of the energies in the wing-level].

Even though five times thirty-two equals a hundred and sixty? Just as KYN/Cain with the Y/yud equals a hundred and sixty?! Here also, as said, Y is the makif aspect that is not included...

Cain comes from the left-gevura side whose nature is to constrict and divide. (Tefilas Keriyas HaShema u'Shemone Esrei) Therefore, they separate again into 150.