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 online.com
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
Chapter 35 Section 4
I will now explain a little of the souls from this second level of Cain, for the entire shoulder and wing is the root of Cain.
...the entire shoulder and wing is the root of Cain.
The level of the tendons, which are in the left shoulder limb of the four worlds of ABY"A, also have a root in the left wing in malchut of Atzilut, which as said is also the level of wing. It reaches to the feather that has the number AZR/277 - Alef Zion Raish from the one thousand grand sparks.
There are 150 soul-sparks in this feather, and each of these 150 sparks is a unique root on the level of the wing, aside from its level in the tendons of the shoulder itself. The aperture of this feather is Abaya, and the blood within it is Rami bar Chama.
Rami bar Chama appears in the Talmud in many places. i do not have the time to evaluate these sections of the Talmud as to ascertain how the opinions of Rami bar Chama relate to the above. I found it interesting that in Ketubot 94A it indicated that the mother of Rami bar Chama and his brother Mar Ukva bar Chama left all her things to both brothers at different times on the same day. They each went to different Pasken (authorities) to help them decide what to do. The Gemara explains the interesting process that was gone through to determine what to do?
A little of the tube that is implanted there divides into two, for the drop of blood within this end divides into two, unlike the part of the tube that leaves the aperture, which is all one level. The left side at the end of the tube is Samuel the Prophet; my teacher did not tell me who the right side is.
The rest of the protruding tube, where there is a place lacking hair, is Hezekiah King of Judah. The rest of the tube that goes out between the hairs divides into many sections; between every two hairs on the right and the left there is a platform of tube to which they adhere. The level of one such platform on this feather is Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef.
Yehudah and Chizkiah, the sons of Rabbi Chiya, are from another of the thousand large feathers, which is larger than the feather whose number is 277. Rebbi Yehudah bar Elai was from a small feather from number 277, and so he is a student of Rabbi Akiva.
The nefesh-spark of the Rashba, and that of Rabbi Yosef Karo, the author of the Beit Yosef and the Shulchan Aruch of the previous generation, were from the feather of Rabbi Yehudah bar Elai.
...Cain was completely evil while Abel was completely righteous.
We will now explain what Cain has more than Abel, which is quite significant. Do not be surprised that the Zohar says that Cain was completely evil while Abel was completely righteous. (Zohar, Bereishit) For you should know that it is imperative that the firstborn be more than a simple person, as it says in Tikunim, (Tikunei Zohar 69) on the verse, "If you do good..." (Gen. 4:7) Not only this, but we find that he spoke to G-d alone and was a prophet, as it says, "G-d said to Cain". (Gen. 4:9)
However, he was the son and firstborn of Adam, the work of G‑d’s hands. And if Adam the work of G‑d’s hands could sin, as the Sages say in the Talmud, (Sanhedrin 38b) then we should not be surprised that his son born of woman could sin.
The principle is: Both Cain and Abel contain good and evil, good from the side of Adam and evil from the zuhama [dirt] of the snake that went to Eve. However, since Cain is from the side of gevura, evil adhered to him more than to Abel, who is from the side of chesed.
The nature of gevura is to constrict and hide. In its root Above, it is a holy concealment that prevents too much light from being revealed. As it travels down levels in the seder hahishtalshilut (the 'chaining order') it hides more and more until eventually it leaves place for the Sitra Achra to come into play. It so being, the Cain root from the left side has to concentrate more on repelling negativity than Abel.
As is known, Imma Ila’a comes from the gevurot of Atik Yomin, which are enclothed within Arich Anpin. (Zohar III Naso Idra Raba) They were revealed a long time prior to that of the chasadim. Furthermore, the gevurot are always revealed. Thus, anyone who is from the second level of Cain can rise from level to level - from gevura to gevura, until the gevurot of Atik Yomin, and draw from there.
This is not the case with Abel, who is from the chasadim that were revealed later, and which are usually closed off with very little revelation. This is the reason for what is written in Bamidbar Rabba: (19:6) "Rebbi Chonya said, ‘His eye saw every precious thing’ (Job 28:10) - This is Rabbi Akiva, and things that were not revealed to Moses were revealed to Rabbi Akiva."
This is also what is written in Otiyot d’Rebbi Akiva, "Moses said to G‑d regarding Rabbi Akiva, ‘You have someone like this and You want to give the Torah through me?’" Moses was very disturbed when he saw the mazel of Rabbi Akiva, that he would learn something from every point (of the letter-crowns). Something similar to this is mentioned in Mesechet Menachot . (39a)
...when Moses went up, he found The Holy One blessed be He tying crowns to the letters.
The reason is because Rabbi Akiva was able to grasp more than Moses, since he was from Cain, whereas Moses was from Abel. This is also the reason for what is mentioned in Mesechet Menachot, where it says that when Moses went up, he found The Holy One blessed be He tying crowns to the letters. "He said to Him, ‘Who is causing You to do this?’ Lit. “Who is holding Your hand back?” He answered him, ‘In the future a righteous person will live, and Akiva ben Yosef is his name. And he will learn mounds and mounds of paths from each crown’."
This is because someone who is from Abel can only understand until the crowns of the letters, which are the tagin - and no more. This may hint to the revelation at the beginning of the Eitz Chaim where the Ari.Zl. tells that only until the secrets of the tagin of Adam Kadmon is permission given to speak. This is what it means that he found Him tying crowns to the letters. (Tying and bringing in the levels that Moses was able to perceive.) However, someone who comes from the root of the second level of Cain can grasp even the ta’amim [Torah cantillations] or more. After that, Moses was able to understand everything, as a result of his awesome deeds. (Even the level of ta’amim.)
He acquired the levels of Rabbi Akiva through his righteousness. This teaches that a person can through merits ascend to attain things that are intrinsically above his soul root. Also, we learn out that G‑d shows to a person things that He wants him to reach in order to spark the soul to yearn and strive for them.
This section is clear yet has many concealed aspects of wisdom. The most important aspect, in my opinion is to understand how the statement that something is a mixture of good and evil and yet is defined as wholly negative or wholly positive. The way to connect to this spiritually is to bring the concept our sages teach to imagine that we are at the point of the fulcrum on the scale of justice. Our action determines whether the whole world goes positive or negative. This is the meaning of something being a mixture of good and evil while the perception is which is the more prevalent aspect of their actions. This applies as one climbs the Tree of Life. One starts out "wholly" negative and proceeds to cleanse themselves through the performance of both positive and negative Mitzvot. As they cleanse themselves meaning removing the negative aspects one becomes more "good" until ultimately they are "all" good. As they reach that mid point and swing to the positive side the world starts to call them a Tzadik. Yet they remain in the world continuing to become more and more righteous. i hope this is clear.
[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]
Chapter 36 Section 1A
There is another reason for the advantage of those who come from the side of Imma, which is Cain, over those who come from the chesed and gevura of Abba.
It is known that the N"HY [netsach, hod, yesod] of Imma, which are enclothed within Zeir Anpin until the chest, and within which are the mochin of Imma, are covered only once. Therefore, the ‘lights’ that emanate from there are large and give off much light, and the light of the souls that come from there is very great and revealed. This theme is used to explain the greatness of Nadav and Avihu above as well.
However, the light of the souls that come from Abba is small, since the mochin of Abba in Zeir Anpin are encased in two coverings until the chest of Zeir Anpin, one being the NH"Y of Abba itself, and one being the NH"Y of Imma which overlaps the NH"Y of Abba. Therefore, from the chest of Zeir Anpin and downward, the mochin of Imma are completely revealed, while the mochin of Abba still have one covering (from yesod Abba).
...souls that are from the revealed chasadim or revealed gevurot are greater...
Thus, souls that are from the revealed chasadim or revealed gevurot are greater than souls that are from a covered place, even though the latter may be in a higher position. This is the secret of what the Talmud writes, "You saw an upside down world - where up is down and down is up". The story behind this quote is of one of the astute Rabbis who was lying on his death bed. His colleagues came to pay their last respects. He went into a coma, and then miraculously recovered. His peers understood that he had had one foot in the next world and they asked him what he saw there. He replied “An Upside down world...” (Pesachim 50a) Our world is called “the world of falsehood”. (Zohar) It conceals the truth from manifesting the way it is. In order to see it here and now, one must “close his eyes from the appearance of this world” (Zohar) and gaze deeply into the true reality. This involves primarily focusing on how all is one.
Another reason is that Abba only emanates light through the chesed and gevurah of Imma, for that is the path it goes. Therefore, they are greater and emanate more. Another reason: The gevurot are first to go out through yesod, which is why Cain was the firstborn, in the secret of, "A valorous woman is a crown for her husband" (Prov. 12:4) - gevura is feminine and chesed is masculine.
The ARIzal does not explain why the gevurot go out first. We know that for the the twins of Esau and Jacob this is true. Also for Ismael and Isaac this is true yet we do not have the reason why as of yet? One more physical explanation is gevurah translates sometimes as strong or power and so they would push their way to the front of the Yesod channel. Yet we do not know why is the attribute of strength in gevurah and not in chesed. I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter students.
Know that in the future the root of Cain will be Kohanim, and the root of Abel which, until now has been Kohanim, will then be Levi’im. For the level of Levi from the side of gevurot until now, for example, Korach the Levi who was from the root of Cain, has had the kehuna [priesthood (which is part of)] the portion of the firstborn, as it is known from the Targum [Onkelos] on the verse, "Reuven, you are my first born". See above at Length (Gen. 49:3)
This is the secret of the verse, "The Kohanim-Levi’im, children of Tzadok". (Ezekiel 44:15) No other prophet called them "Kohanim-Levi’im" except for Ezekiel, and this was because he was from the root of Cain, the firstborn. Therefore he prophesized in this manner, since in the future-to-come, those who until now were Kohanim will then be Levi’im, and those who have been Levi’im will then be "Kohanim children of Tsadok". The entire root of Abel who are now Kohanim will then be Levi’im. So there will also be a ‘Levy Gadol’ [High Levy].
The ARIzal is speaking about when all things are revealed. Then what is lower will be higher and vice versa. Why is that? When sparks of light fall they do so according to the level of Klipah that attaches to it. The stronger the light the more shells can be fed and the darker the perception outside of that structure of light and shell becomes. Since the Levi'im are more concealed now that is an indication that in this case they have fallen further than the right column souls known as the Cohenim. Please remember the Cohenim are Levi'im that have become revealed already - first. That would indicate there is less klipa to break which would indicate that the light within them is a smaller amount. Of course this is just conjecture on my part. What do you think?
This whole piece revolves around the key verse that seemed to be brought only in passing, "A woman of valor is the crown of her husband". The underlying theme relates to the very foundations of genesis. As the Rabbis teach, "At first thought, creation was to come with the quality of din. He saw that the world could not so endure. He (therefore) attached it to the quality of mercy". (Midrash)
As mentioned, even though the world was made for the sake of G-d wanting to give love and goodness, the highest expression comes about through din - when people live up to the highest standard. However, G-d saw that too intense a degree of din would be counter-productive and accordingly, He made the world and runs it from a combo of the two. However, an underlying movement towards the original thought of din is programmed into the system of the universe and things will eventually get there. This is why there are always a handful of individuals who embody the original din plateau in every generation. Rabbi Akiva is their archetype role model.
Just as din is subservient to chesed, so does the Levy serve the kohen.chanoch's commentary needs to begin here
Cain is from the left side of din. He therefore specifically has the ability to raise up all the worlds to the original thought. Those from his source are entrusted step by step with this job. On the outside, the quality of din is lower than chesed. As mentioned, in root it is higher, for this reason it is the first thought. As mentioned, the world could not start from a place of such din. However, after having gone through din mixed with chesed, it is possible for it to ascend and bear the state of original din alone.
One of the ways this plays out is through Kohanim/chesed and Levi’im/din. Presently, the predominance of chesed is the inner dynamic that causes kohanim to be on top. Just as din is subservient to chesed, so does the Levy serve the kohen. (Num. 18:2) In time to come, when the din catapults above chesed, Levy will rise above kohen. This is the source of Korach’s mistake. He had the right idea - at the wrong time.
All of these ideas included in the concept here allude to the final redemption depending upon the full expression of the Cain root in supremacy. It is further understood from the concept of what the Torah what have been like if they had not eaten from the tree. In truth, the Torah is eternal and unchanging. But it does don varied garb on each level it finds itself on. In the seder hahishtalshilut [chained, cascading, descending order of realms] (Tanya) If they had not eaten from the tree, the world would not have fallen to the base state it is presently on. Its seemingly simple stories would express in their root form above. (Zohar III Beha’alotecha) "Cain repented." (Midrash) Killing his brother Abel would mean the triumph of the ba’al teshuvah [penitent] over the tzadik [perfectly righteous]. (Berachot) For "this issue (the final redemption) depends upon nothing but teshuvah." (Zohar) "The stone (the soul) despised (for its mistakes) by the builders (angels in the supernal realms) became the cornerstone (upon his merit existence stands)". (Ps. 118) "From the garbage heaps He elevated the destitute, to sit him with noblemen, the noblemen of his people" (ibid.)
"This is from God - it is wondrous in our eyes" (ibid.)
"A woman of valor is the crown of her husband."
[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]
Chapter 36 Section 1B
It then reincarnated into Yochanan High Priest Kohen Gadol the Chashmonite, What requires investigation is why he ended up going off the way. (Midrash) then into Akavia the son of Mehalelel, and after that into Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai Hakohen. From there it reincarnated into Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef, and this is the secret of what is written, "Three lived until 120 years of age: Moses, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, and Rabbi Akiva". (Rosh Hashanah 31b)It needs to be understood why Hillel, who also lived to 120, is not mentioned. Perhaps because Hillel, who is from the side of chesed, has less Cain/gevura connection. Later, Moshe and Hillel are equated in their lifespan and humility. And Raban Yochanan and Rabbi Akiva are mentioned close by. There we explain that there are two categories.
Rabbi Akiva was a simpleton for forty years.
Moses spent forty years in the house of Pharaoh, forty years in Midian, and forty years leading the Jewish people. Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai spent forty years in business, forty years learning, and forty years teaching. Rabbi Akiva was a simpleton for forty years. Then he learned for forty years, and then he taught for forty years.
This relates to the secret of the three heads of keter. See above at length. From the lowest head of keter comes the first forty years of being in the house of Pharaoh/business/simpleton. From the middle head comes the next forty of Midian/learning. From the last comes the forty of leading/teaching. There are other ways to align. "The days of our years are seventy". (Ps. 90) They come from the seven lower sefirot, each one inclusive of ten. The elite ascend in life to draw from bina and its fifty gates - hence the common blessing to live to a hundred and twenty.
Since the days of life is based on the lower Sefirot - Ten within each - there are 70 basic years of life. To that is added the 50 years representing Binah. Thus the Torah tells us that life is 120 years after the giving of the Torah and before the final days. The modern Sage-Kabbalists tell us that during the birthpangs of Mashiach we add an additional 70 years, that brings the total to 190 years. As this gets closer to the actual manifest of Mashiach we can add an additional 500 years which brings the total to 690 potential years. This mimics the 69 members of Jacob's family that entered Egypt. The last sentence is my opinion.
Keter and bina are intrinsically related. The name of keter is EHYH AShR EHYH, bina is EHYH (Zohar) It could almost be said that binah is just a lower, toned down expression of keter. “pnimiyut Imma, pnimiyut Atik [the internal point of Imma (links to) the internal point of Atik]”. (Ket.) (Likutei Torah Baal HaTanya) "Age forty for bina." (Pirkei Avot) The three heads of keter manifest through three aspects of binah - thrice forty. This is a related dynamic cause of the hundred and twenty years.
With respect to Binah there is Binah, Israel Saba, and Tevunah. There is also the concept of the First Three - the Gimmel Reshinot. In this discussion the Gimmel Reshinot says that Keter Chochmah and Binah are all one level. There is no true difference between the three. They are all one.
"And You made him (man) me’ot [a little bit less] than Divine". (Ps.) MAT/m’ot equals 119, the level just underneath 120, which draws from the infinite fiftieth gate and is thereby superhuman and heavenly. One who merits to attain this sweetens all dinim across the board: The 120 permutations of ELHYM, the name of din.
This is by virtue of the transcendental 120 connection. These tzadikim assured the human race the ability to reach for supernal linkage. Moses was in Heaven thrice for forty days and forty nights (Deut. 9:11,18) (which itself comes from the three heads of keter in bina). Rabban Yochanan was an expert in the workings of the Supernal Chariot (Chagigah, Sukkah), the foundation of kabbalah. Rabbi Akiva ascended into the Pardes [spiritual orchid] (Chagigah)
Rabbi Ashlag teaches that there are 125 spiritual levels. To reconcile we need to understand that there are these 120 plus the 5 worlds of the Malchut level which is the idea of the Pardes - the Garden of Torah - Pshat Remez Drush and Sod. This is my opinion.
Cain, the firstborn, has intense keter/firstborn of the sefirot connection. These three souls from his root ascended to this place and drew the perfect archetype expression of keter through bina. They each have the three heads expressing in themselves, and they each assume one of them relative to each other. Moses comes from the highest. Raban Yochanan from the next head, Rabbi Akiva his grand disciple (Pirkei Avot) from the next.
...these souls had a strong connection to Moses...
Thus, these souls had a strong connection to Moses, for all souls were included in his, but particularly those of these tzadikim. As mentioned presently, that they are from the arms-level of Moses. Just as the arms actualize thoughts in the mind, so do these tzadikim bring to fruition the teachings of Moses. This is in line with what is known simply about them that they were great pillars who saved the Torah from going lost and greatly furthered the Torah’s splendor. Rabban Yochanan stood by the destruction of the Temple and salvaged Yavneh, a city of sages from obliteration. From it he rebuilt Torah at one of its lowest times (Gittin). Rabbi Akiva channeled Torah for succeeding generations through his five massive disciples. (Yebamot 62b) However, as explained elsewhere, it was only the level of the nefesh that reincarnated into them - their level of ruach and neshama did not come from this root.
As taught by the Baal Shem Tov Moshe and Bilaam are polar opposites of the Children of Israel and the Idol Worshipers. Each of them represents the sum total of the desires to receive of their respective groups of souls. Souls are in a hierarchy of energy. These three mentioned above are the higher levels of the hierarchy in my opinion.
After that, it reincarnated into Rav Yaiba Saba, mentioned in the Zohar in the portion Mishpatim, and later into Abaye. This is the secret of what the Sages say, "Rabbi Yochanan did not overlook any verse, mishnah, etc., or question of Abaye and Rava". (Succah 28a) In terms of this discussion, Rava is included in Abaye, because they are like two sides of one coin. (See above.)
Then, it came into Rav Achai, one of the Rabanan Savorai, in ibur The Rabbis who came immediately after the sealing of the Talmud and who made some slight additions to it.. It is to him that the Talmud refers when it says, "Rav Achai asked..." From there it went in ibur into Rav Acha from Shivcha Gaon, the author of Sha’eltot. My teacher told me that Rav Achai himself was Rav Acha from Shivcha.
After that, it reincarnated into Rav Dustai Gaon, Rabbi Aharon Halevi grandson of Rabeinu Zarchei Halevi author of Sefer HaMeorot and teacher of the Magid Mishnah, Don Vidal dei Telusa, author of the Magid Mishnah; then to Shaul Trishtai, and Rabbi Yehoshua Suriano. Then it went to a young man whose name was Avraham. The Magid Mishnah was connected to the Rambam and this is why he wrote the Magid Mishnah to explain the Mishna Torah of the Rambam. In general, those who wrote commentaries are related to the authors that they wrote on. In some cases such as here the connection is very great.
chanoch adds: This is also true today when one reads the various commentaries that are written. This is why the Sulam Commentary indicates the chain of souls from Rabbi Shimon through the Arizal to Rabbi Ashlag.
“If you would give me a Torah scholar I would bite him like a donkey”.
Both Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiva were simpletons for the first forty years of their lives because the nefesh of each was from the same level of drop from the ten that went out from Joseph the Righteous between his fingers. Explained Above. Therefore, they were simpletons for the first forty years and susceptible to the kelipot for part of that time. This was especially true of Rabbi Akiva, who used to say, "If you would give me a Torah scholar I would bite him like a donkey". (Pesachim 49b) Because his soul is so high, the kelipot tried to get the most hold they could on him before his awakening.
Donkey is chamor, which comes from chomer [raw material]. A true Torah scholar sees everything from its spiritual root-form. (“Who is wise? One who sees [the place from which things are] born” (Pirkei Avot).) An earthy person sees only the external material aspect. “One who is blemished only disqualifies others through his blemish” (Kidushin 70a). This is why he wanted to bite them like a donkey, who breaks the bones (essence) through his bite. “Descent is for the sake of ascent” (Likutei Moharan). Rabbi Akiva had to pass through this state of being a physically based ignoramus in order for it to be the springboard for him to ascend to the opposite - the highest conceptual levels. And so he was the only one of the four who ‘entered the orchid’ of lofty perception who ‘entered and left in peace’ (Chagiga). He alone of the Sages saw deep enough into Bar Kochva to recognize his true messianic potential. When the Sages saw the Temple plowed over in ruins they cried. He alone laughed, because he saw a step deeper - that this would lead to its rebuilding (Makot). And so Mashiach comes riding on a white (refined) chamor (state of materialism) (Hagiga)
This explains much, for even though the Talmud says that the daughter of Kalba Savua She is thus known for her father’s merit drew her lofty soul down. ‘Kalba Savua’ means ‘satisfied dog’: Anyone who entered his home hungry as a dog left full and satiated (Gittin) saw he was very modest and special even as a simpleton, still Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiva must have sinned while young. For this reason, they had to reincarnate several times as we wrote earlier. This requires clarification, for they were from the greatest Torah masters of all time. “Anyone who is busy with Torah needs not...sacrifices (for the Torah cleanses and atones for him” (Menachot 110a). Also, for this reason a holy and special nefesh entered Rabbi Akiva as the son of converts and not from the seed of a Jew, for it was a wasted drop that had gone out from Joseph when he was seduced by the wife of his master, a non-Jewess.
There are a number of places where the Torah teaches and / or hints to the idea that someone who needs additional work to complete their tikune MUST reincarnate since Gehinom is not an option. That is the Torah does not allow that soul to go to Gehinom to cleanse. The only place where the Torah will allow that soul to cleanse is in the physical world where it can reveal additional Torah secrets.
...it needed to enter the world at the time of intimacy into the body of a convert.
In truth, the nefesh of Rabbi Akiva is not like the rest of the souls that are created by the zivug [pairing] of tzadikim in the Garden of Eden, as mentioned in the Zohar. (Zohar III Shelach) It is a very great and holy nefesh, but because of the sin of Adam and his son Cain, it fell down into the depths of the kelipot, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” The higher light, the lower it descends. Through repentance this is turned into a positive quality and the teacher can go lower to raise up fallen souls (Likutei Moharan 56) and later caused the incident when the seed left Joseph. Therefore, it needed to enter the world at the time of intimacy into the body of a convert.
The note in the small print above is hinting to the teaching that everyone goes to Gehinom including the Tzadikim for at least an instant. When that soul of the Tzadik goes to Gehinom he lifts up the souls that are ready to leave Gehinom.
The domino theory. "One sin leads to another sin." (Pirkei Avot) Adam did not wait for Shabbat to be with Eve. (See above.) This set off a tremor of impatience in creation that led to many mistakes. Cain saw that Abel’s extra wife was really his. He didn’t wait for her to come to him in a subsequent lifetime. Instead, he jumped the gun and took her prematurely, causing much damage. This in turn led to some small lack of perfection by Joseph. Potifar’s wife wanted him. Besides this, she also actually saw spiritually some deep connection between them. She did not know that this was to be expressed through her daughter. (Midrash) She so went ahead of time and tried to be with him. For the most part he waited and refused. (Gen. 39:6-13) The aspect of the energies that left his fingers was some category of coming too soon and needed tikune. It comes through the scenario of the grand-soul of Rabbi Akiva.
All this is in line with previous teachings about Samuel the prophet having the Mashiach ben Yosef spark. (See above.) He also had the Nadab/Abihu channel. They came back a few times and Rabbi Akiva was one of their main pit stops. From here we see that he also had the related Mashiach ben Yosef link. For this reason, just as Samuel anointed King David Thus coupling of the two Mashiach’s pairs, yesod and malchut, together - the root unification necessary for the redemption. and furthered the Mashiach ben Dovid spark, so did Rabbi Akiva sanction its expression in his generation in Bar Kochva. Even though Bar Kochva fell, this does not detract from the fact that he did carry the messianic root. He and/or the generation were not then worthy for its final actualization. But Rabbi Akiva did not make a mistake. (Midrash)
It is recommended to reread the previous two paragraphs. IMPATIENCE is still a problem in this tikune process. Look to the generation that essentially asks for immediate gratification. That is the generational tikune for the various final generations. We must learn patience. We must laugh like Rabbi Akiva when confronted with a delay in our personal desires for fulfillment.
Here we see a prime example of the great theme found in the Cain root - the coming back of lost kedusha from the lowest places. This is what Mashiach is all about. "And a redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who return from sin in Jacob". (Isaiah 59:20)
We already explained in earlier chapters that the nefesh which enters the body of a convert after conversion is enclothed within another nefesh, [which comes as] the result of the zivug of tzadikim in the Garden of Eden. It is really the first true nefesh of the convert, as mentioned in Saba of Mishpatim (Zohar II Mishpatim 98b) and it is what caused him to be a simpleton for the first forty years, in the secret of what the Sages say, "Converts are difficult for Israel like thorns". (Yebamot 47b)
...intercourse that does not result in conception causes the birth of souls.
Even intercourse that does not result in conception causes the birth of souls. (See above.) They come down from the world of potential into the ethereal realms and serve as positive energies that aid the parents and the universe as well. They may at some later point even end up descending further and entering a body. Moreover, after departing from this world, tzadikim pair in soul above and give birth to even higher souls.
In respect to converts, they are lofty souls made from such supernal unions. But there is in them a negative element, for the sparks of their souls are elevated by the supernal coupling out of the kelipot. This causes the thorn difficulty.
What comes out is that they are both very high and very low, which, as mentioned, is in line with the central theme of the whole Cain root. This is the inner meaning of the two explanations of Tosfot on the mentioned ‘thorn passage’. Either they cause problems because they are mixed with kelipot causing them to do bad, or they act so highly that they cause an accusation on the rest of the people for not living up to their level. According to both ways of looking at it, they cause some amount of trouble. Too much good is also hard to handle in this world as it is in its unrectified state.
But the world is not meant to so remain. "Death or mundanity." Things must progress to a level where good is super-mega at its best. The convert tikun is one of the prime mechanics that helps get the world to eventually receive the extraordinary degrees of greatness it was meant for. Rabbi Akiva is a main leader of this motion.
Furthermore, since Rabbi Akiva is the son of a convert whose name was Yosef, he was subject to what the Sages say, "Do not disgrace the ancestry before him for three generations because it is difficult for him" - the zuhama does not leave him for three generations. (Sanhedrin 94a) Thus it is clear that he was susceptible to kelipot and chitzonim for the first forty years while he was a simpleton.
They are also from the root of Cain, for Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Akiva are the level of the arms of Moses, mixed in with the root of Cain. Therefore, Moses, Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai, and Rabbi Akiva all lived to the same age of 120 years. This is why Moses asked God to give the Torah through Rabbi Akiva, as it says in the Talmud (Shabbat 55a) and Otiot d’Rabbi Akiva [The Letters of Rabbi Akiva].
...the angels claimed that [the Torah] should be left in Heaven.
When the time came to give the Torah to the world, the angels claimed that it should be left in Heaven. (Shabbat) This parallels their accusation by the very making of man. Indeed, even after creation, the whole world was hanging until the Torah was accepted below. (Midrash Yalkut Shimoni Bamidbar 687)
As mentioned, Rabbi Akiva ascended to the original thought of creation - the state of intense din. He so disproved the angels and demonstrated that man is worthy of being made. This leads to man being worthy to accept the Torah. This explains Moses’ exclamation about Rabbi Akiva being the one to bring down the Torah.
This all links with the idea of Rabbi Akiva corresponding to the Shechinah/malchut - the source of din, in the order of the ten martyrs. (Likutei Torah) His direct connection afforded him the ability to attain the highest heights and be worthy of bringing the Shechinah fully into the world.
It also says that Moses killed Oig king of Bashan, who had a spark of the soul of Rabbi Shimon ben Nesanel in him, who feared sin. (Seder HaDorot) Thus his name has the head-letters of BShN/Bashan. And since this holy spark called fear of sin was mixed together in Oig, Moses was afraid to kill him - until God told him, "Do not fear". (Deut. 3:2) Subsequently, this spark became one of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai’s students.
Back in the days, Oig was from the house of Abraham, (Gen. 14:13, Rashi) whose quality is the right side of chesed. Even though Oig was primarily wicked, he did have some connection to this aspect which is close to kedusha. It aided him to live for generations - all the way to the time of the redemption from Egypt. The Zohar tells that Moses was concerned that this might give him some merit to be saved. Here the Ari.Zl. seems to say the opposite: That Moses was worried over an aspect of fear in Oig, which comes from din/the left side?!
In truth it was both. And this itself was all the more reason for apprehension. G-d Himself had to tell him not to be afraid - what is not found in other places. This shows what a real threat it was.
Moses is the da’at of the Jewish nation. (See above.) Da’at includes chesed and gevura. He is so empowered to war with Oig. Therefore, he himself was the one to defeat him.
The Ari.Zl says that Moses was afraid to kill him - not that he was afraid of losing the battle. As mentioned, he saw the latent kedusha in Oig and was so concerned about damaging it. God told him not to be concerned about this, for on the contrary, killing him would subjugate the negative energy around the spark of good, allowing it to surface in a later lifetime.
[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]
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