As taught to Rabbi Chaim Vital by Rabbi Isaac Luria and Amended by Rabbi Chaim's Son Shemuel.
Translated by Rabbi Shabtai Teicher of Blessed Memory and Completed by Rabbi Perets Aurback.
Published online with commentary by Kabbalaonline.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.
Chapter 2 Section 1
Entry of Nefesh, Ruach & Neshama throughout Life
The entry of the various level of soul through out one's life is a process where the effect is dependant on the cause. The cause is the Tikune or correction of the lower level along with a certain amount of process of time, as we will learn, The Nefesh enters at birth having passed through the Negative system that waits at every opening (even Cesarean Sections are an opening). The Ruach enters at the age of 13 for a boy and 12 for a girl (actually the beginning at end of the 13th year). The Neshama at the age of 20. All of this providing the lower level has corrected itself. Except of course for the Nefesh which is the minimum life force needed to be considered alive.
When a person is born, his Nefesh enters him. If he is adequately rectified through his actions, his Ruach will enter him at the end of his thirteenth year when he becomes a "completed person." His Neshama will enter him only when he completes his twentieth year, as it says in the Zohar (Mishpatim 94b).
This is talking about the ideal situation during a person's first gilgul, as we will soon see.
However, if he does not completely rectify his Ruach, then the Neshama will not enter him and he will remain with only his Nefesh and Ruach. Likewise, if he doesn't completely rectify his Nefesh, then he will remain with only his Nefesh, lacking both his Ruach and Neshama. The Ruach and Neshama will remain in a place known to The Holy One, Blessed is He, and there a place will be prepared for each one.
In other words, until a person is able to receive all parts of his soul, the parts he has yet to receive remain hidden away by G-d until the person is ready for them.
Now, if a person does not completely rectify his Nefesh the first time and dies, then his Nefesh will have to reincarnate, perhaps even many times, until it is sufficiently rectified. However, since he only achieved tikune through a gilgul, even after complete rectification is achieved his Ruach will not enter [unless there is a pressing need, as will be explained, G-d willing].
Had it been his first gilgul, then he could have received his Ruach while still alive in his original body. This is not the case if the rectification of the Nefesh is completed during subsequent gilgulim.
He will have to die and return in order to receive the Ruach. Furthermore, once the Ruach is sufficiently rectified, then he will also have to reincarnate before receiving a Neshama, as was the case with the Ruach.
After he finally rectifies his Nefesh and dies, in the next reincarnation he will return with a Nefesh and a Ruach. Once the Ruach is rectified as well, then he will die and come back in another gilgul with a Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama.
If the Ruach is not sufficiently rectified, then the Nefesh and the Ruach will have to come back again, perhaps many times, until the Ruach is rectified. Once rectification is achieved, then the person will die and his Nefesh and Ruach will come back with the proper Neshama until all three are rectified. Once this is done, there is no need for any further gilgulim. When his Neshama is completed, he has become a "complete person."
The above is true in a normal situation. The ARI – Rabbi Issac Luria teaches elsewhere that a student of Kabbalah does not have to die in order to receive the Ruach on a corrected Nefesh or a Neshamah on a corrected Nefesh and Ruach. There is a shortening of the process associated with the study of Kabbalah. This shortening is included within the ten steps of the Night Time Shema. We will teach you the important steps in the Shema below.
Please note that the Night Time Shema is taught to all orthodox Jews. Yet this shortening of the way does not happen to all of these people who say the Night Time Shema. It requires two steps. One that the specific soul level complete its Tikune during that day and two that the person has been informed about this shortening process prior to the saying of that particular night time Shema. This information does not have to be immediately before but anytime during their life time prior to the completion of the soul part's tikune.
Step 1 is the Leshem Yichud. This prayer is recommended to be said before every Mitzvah. It sets the Kavenah for the Mitzvah. Each Mitzvah has its own Leshem Yichud. The meaning of Leshem Yichud is "Unification of the Name". You can find the Leshem Yichud for the Night Time Shema in a Artscroll Sefardic Prayer Book or any Sefardic Prayer Book.
Step 2 is called Heshbon HaNefesh - Calculation of the Soul. It is to reflect on the actions of the day. To realize that we have been the cause of our own pain and suffering from earlier actions. To apologize for being a cause of any pain or suffering to someone else. To decide to be a better person tomorrow than i was today. If i continue to harbor ill will or resentment or anger towards another soul this feeling will cause both he and me to be unable to rise to the upper world and become revitalized.
After our own Heshbon HaNefesh we say the prayer which starts Ribono Shel Olam which means "Master of the Universe" in Aramaic. In this prayer we ask for forgiveness from others for any wrong or harm we have done to them in this lifetime or any previous lifetime (see discussion below). We also forgive all of the people who have harmed us.
It is important to Never tell a lie. If you are not able to forgive someone then it is worse to say the Night Time Shema and commit the sin of lying then to not say the Night Time Shema. I am not teaching you to not say the Night Time Shema, i am teaching you to do the Heshbon HaNefesh in order for you to be able to forgive and be forgiven.
Most orthodox people ask the question about previous lifetimes to their Rabbi as young children. They usually are told that this is rote words and to just say it. This is harmful to the people. If you do not suspect that reincarnation might be real than again you would be telling a lie. This is not recommended.
Step 3 is the saying of the Blessing Hamapil. This blessing insures that your soul will arise to HaShem for the purposes of cleansing and rejuvenation and becoming recharged. It is the lifeline between the soul and the body which guarantees the return of the soul to the body upon awakening.
Step 4 is the saying of the 248 Words of the Shema. This is done with eyes closed and covered. it is recommended that the covering be the right hand displaying the Name of God Shadai as follows: The middle Three fingers rest on the forehead and form the Shin of Shadai. The thumb is bend and rests on the right eye forming the shape of the Dalet and the Yood is the small finger on the left eye. Each word connects to one part of the body and therefore one part of the soul. This causes the Light of healing to be drawn into your body and soul.
Step 5 is a statement of 12 words that remove any negative angels that we created during the day. Each negative act we do creates a negative angel. These angels become the channel for harmful things to happen to us. These 12 words help cleanse that possibility from our lives.
Step 6 is a 20 word paragraph that includes the Name Shelomo. The shoresh of Shelomo is Shalem which means complete. If our lives are complete we die. Our sages teach that sleep is 1/60th of death. We say these 20 words 3 times in order to protect ourselves from this truth of potentially dying while we sleep.
Step 7 is saying the 60 words of the Blessing fo the Kohanim. This allows us to be elevated without the process of death. This is followed by sixty words that start Yoshev Besetter Elyon - "Sit in Order up High"..
Step 7a is the saying of the confession called Vidui. The information about this aspect of the prayer can be found on the Yeshshem website at the Revealed Wisdom page matrix. It is important to confess as the beginning of the process of Teshuvah. This is followed by the prayer "Yehi Ratzon" - "I desire to create a parallel world". Both Vidue and Yehi Ratzon are not said on Shabbat, Holidays, or days when there are important Sages Death Anniversary. This is why it is considered as not its own step.
Step 8 is saying the Ana Bekoach
Step 9 we say 15 words that start Nafshi Iviticha. This verse comes from Isaiah Chapter 26 Verse 9.
This verse is what shortens our process and lets us avoid dying when a Nefesh or Ruach reaches and completes its Tikune.
Here is the verse in Hebrew
נפשי אויתיך בלילה אף-רוחי בקרבי אשחרך כי כאשר משפטיך לארץ צדק למדו ישבי תבל
Nafshi Iveeticha BahLahI'lah Af Ruchee V'keerBee AhshachaRehka kee KaAsher Mishpatecha LaAretz Tzedek Lamdu Yoshvay Tevel.
With my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me have I sought Thee earnestly; for when Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
Step 10 is to say 26 verses starting with Psalm Chapter 51 consisting of 21 verses. This is followed by: Proverbs Chapter 3 Verse 24; followed by Psalm Chapter 32 Verse 7; followed by Psalm Chapter 16 Verse 11; followed by Psalm Chapter 102 Verse 14; followed by Psalm Chapter 31 Verse 6.
Chapter 2 Section 2
If a person rectified his Nefesh, and came back to receive and complete his Ruach, but during that gilgul he sinned, then his Nefesh will not be affected in such a way that it would be forced to come back by itself to become rectified once again.
Once the Nefesh has been completely rectified and he has returned to work on Ruach, the Nefesh is protected against any further damage. Otherwise, the rectification process could conceivably go on forever.
Rather, because he now has a Ruach, the sin will only damage the Ruach, and only this will need rectification.
Therefore, if an additional reincarnation is necessary to rectify the Ruach, then both the [rectified) Nefesh and the [blemished] Ruach will come back again together. This will continue until the Ruach is rectified, after which he will have to die in order for the rectified Nefesh and Ruach to reincarnate with the Neshama. If he has accomplished this and then sins, then it will only damage the Neshama, just as we explained with respect to the tikune of Ruach.
However, there are different levels of rectification, and the above-mentioned procedure would be altered accordingly:
It can also happen that the Nefesh becomes rectified and purified to such a great extent that it need not come back again with the Ruach for the rectification of the Ruach. Rather, the Nefesh remains Above in a place fitting for it, "bound up with the Bundle of Life."
One of the different levels of rectification is so complete that the level of soul that has been rectified does not need to ever come back again.
In such a case, the Ruach would have to come back alone to rectify itself. However, this is not possible.
The Ruach cannot come down into a body without the presence of a Nefesh. In this case, however, the Nefesh that has undergone such a complete tikune will not return to reincarnate.
Therefore, it reincarnates with the Nefesh of a convert, as it says in Sabba d'Mishpatim [in the Zohar]. They will reincarnate together until the Ruach is rectified.
This Ruach, therefore, will come down to join the Nefesh of a convert, and they will reincarnate together until the Ruach is completely rectified.
once that is achieved, then the person dies and the first Nefesh comes back to join with it [the Ruach] in order to receive and rectify the Neshama.
Or, the Ruach may come back by itself with the Neshama until the Neshama is rectified, after which time the three of them no longer need to return and are instead "bound up with the Bundle of Life," as is fitting for them.
Once all three levels of soul Nefesh,Ruach, Neshama are rectified, there is no longer any need for gilgul It was said previously that the Ruach does not enter a body without the presence of a Nefesh. In this case, however, where the Ruach was completed when it was together with the Nefesh of the convert, then the rectified Ruach may serve as the vehicle and base for the entry of its Neshama, as if it were both Nefesh and Ruach. In this case, therefore, the presence of a Nefesh is not absolutely necessary.
In any case, once all three levels of soul: Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama are rectified, there is no longer any need for gilgul, and all three may remain "bound up with the Bundle of Life," as is fitting for them.
It is necessary to ask the question as to why the blemished Ruach or Neshama always reincarnates with the same corrected Nefesh of a Ger? This is best understood with a parable.
There was a landowner who owned an orchard that was growing a crop of oranges. He knew he needed to protect the crop 24 / 7. There were only two applicants for the job. One was blind and one was a cripple. He hired both men and told them to guard the orchard together.
After three months he returned to the Orchard and found the crop destroyed. He brought the two men in front of him and asked what happened. The blind man said he could not see and did not know what happened. The crippled man said he could not walk to the other side of the Orchard and did not know anything was remiss.
The landowner accepted these statements and then went to meditate while the two men awaited his return.
When he returned he told them he was docking their pay since he knew that they were the ones who destroyed his crop by eating it. He said he knew that the two of them worked together. The blind man carred the crippled man while the crippled man told the blind man where to go. In this way they ate their way through the orchard.
The landowner said he could not punish one without the other. The same thing is true for the Blemished Ruach or Neshama along with the perfected Nefesh. They work together and must redo the mistakes together. Even when the mistake does not cause the Ger Nefesh to blemish he is still supporting and carrying the Ruach in his mistake and so they must correct the action together.
The Arizal now returns to consider the fate of the Nefesh of the convert that has been the vehicle for the Ruach that came into the world without its Nefesh because the latter had undergone such a complete tikune.
The Nefesh of the convert that was joined to the Ruach has helped it to perform good deeds in this world, and has been a vehicle for it in this world; through their union the Ruach was able to achieve its tikun. This Nefesh of the convert will also become elevated with the original Nefesh of this particular Ruach. The two of them will be on the same level in the World to Come, like "neighbors," and they will never part from one another.
Chapter 2 Section 3
In this section the Arizal will disclose new information concerning the concept of ibur, which he has already discussed in Chapter One (see Section 5). First, however, he will review the important rule that we have been studying in this chapter: namely, if a Nefesh achieves tikune only in a subsequent gilgul and not in its first lifetime, then it cannot receive Ruach in the same gilgul. The person must first die, and then his Nefesh and Ruach will be reincarnated together.
If a Nefesh reincarnates and becomes rectified through its actions to the point that it is ready for its Ruach, he cannot receive his Ruach, as it has been explained. [If it is not his very first gilgul, then] two or three levels of soul cannot become unified in one gilgul without great need, as we will mention later. Rather, each one requires its own gilgul.
Only in the first gilgul can the Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama be rectified within one body. Remember this rule of Reincarnation.
Also remember the idea of the corrected Nefesh of the Ger and how it stays with the blemished Ruach even after death when it settles into the Garden of Eden as a "Neighbor". What is hinted to but not said explicitly is the corrected Nefesh of the Ger does not have a Ruach of its own. This is what took place on Mount Sinai when the Jewish Nation of Souls was injected with a larger desire to receive. They received the level of Neshama by receiving this additional desire to receive. This desire to receive came from the soul root of the Ger. At least in my opinion. This is why that particular correctred Nefesh has the necessary affinity to the blemished ruach.
First the Nefesh needs to be rectified, and even when this happens he will not receive his Ruach until after he dies. Then the Nefesh can reincarnate and merit the Ruach. The same is true of the two of them; if they become rectified to the point that they are ready for their Neshama, they cannot receive it until they reincarnate again. Then they can merit their Neshama.
As we have already learned, only in the first gilgul can the Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama be rectified within one body. After that, the person must reincarnate to move from level to level, even if he finishes one level "early."
What happens for the Nefesh that is already rectified but lacks a Ruach?
We are talking about after the first gilgul, when it is not possible to receive another level of his soul without reincarnation. What happens, though, in the meantime until reincarnation, if the Nefesh is already rectified?
This is the sod ["secret"]: From the same level of purity and extent of tikun attained by this Nefesh, there will reincarnate into the body of this person, while he is still alive, the Nefesh of a righteous tzadik that has already completed gilgulim and rectification, and does not need to reincarnate here. By entering here, the Nefesh of this tzadik takes the place of the Ruach of this person.
A regular gilgul involves reincarnation from one lifetime to another.
Thus, from the time that the Nefesh has become rectified, the Nefesh of a righteous person will enter him and fill the role of the Ruach that cannot come down.
Sometimes, it is even possible for the souls of early tzadikim, such as the Nefesh of our patriarch Abraham, or similar souls, to reincarnate. This depends upon the tikune and purification of the Nefesh of the person.
Gilgulim [of this type] which occur during the lifetime of a person are called by the rabbis, "sod ["secret of"] ibur." And this is the basic difference between a regular gilgul and an ibur.
According to what we have learned here, a regular gilgul involves reincarnation from one lifetime to another. Ibur, on the other hand, is the "impregnation" of a person by the soul of a rectified, righteous tzadik because the Nefesh has completed its tikun, but it cannot receive Ruach without reincarnating since the tikun did not take place in its very first gilgul.
There is another type of Ibur when a Tzadik has been reincarnated into a lower level of consciousness like the material level (a Rock or River), or a plant, or animal. Then this soul needs to move up the chain to reincarnate into a human. Sometimes this happens by the process of ingestion. the plant taking in nutrients from the dissolved rock or river water which includes the incarnated soul. Then this plant is eaten by an animal who elevates the incarnated soul to the next level. Finally the soul moves on to the level of the human by being eaten by a human. This usually happens by the soul of a righeous person being in a fish that comes to a Shabbat table. This can also happen when a kosher animal comes to a Shabbat Table , only then the incarnated soul is not a righeous person yet.
You should also realize that these elevations can only happen during certain months of the year for certain actions. A incarnated soul in a rock or river can only elevate during Nissan, Iyar, Sivan, or Tammuz. During Av, Elul, Tishrai, and Cheshvan the soul can move from the plant level to the animal level. During Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, and Adar the soul can move to the human level.
While in the human level the soul assists the human in achieving a particular correction associated with a particular Mitzvah. Until that Mitzvah is done and the correction achieved the soul is an Ibur for that human.
Chapter 2 Section 4
Sometimes it is possible, even in this late period of history, for the Ruach of a righteous tzadik, even from one of the Forefathers, to come as an ibur. It will all depend upon the level of the mitzvot being performed by the person. Some mitzvot have the power to draw down the Nefesh of a righteous tzadik into ibur, whereas others can draw down the Ruach of the tzadik.
The Tzadik, if it comes to a person, will be from the same root as that persons soul. Since all Jewish souls stem from the Patriarchs each person including a physical convert has the same possibility of receiving the help of the Patriarchs.
It is also possible for a person to receive the Nefesh of one righteous person, and after that merit another Nefesh from another righteous person, even greater than the first. In such a case, he will have his own Nefesh, the Nefesh of the first righteous person as his Ruach, and the second, higher Nefesh, acting in the place of his Neshama.
Thus, in one lifetime he can merit a Ruach and Neshama, though not his own.
Or, perhaps, the Nefesh will be perfected to the point that after already receiving the Nefesh of a righteous person, he will merit the Ruach of a second righteous person, even possibly the Ruach of Abraham the Patriarch! There is no generation in which there is not someone like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel.
In this case, the Ruach of the second tzadik will act as his Neshama, and the Nefesh of the first tzadik will act as his Ruach.
This is the inner meaning of what they wrote in the Midrashim, in particular Midrash Shmuel: There is no generation in which there is not someone like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, etc. (Bereishit Rabba 56).
In other words, there are people in every generation who may actually have the Nefesh or Ruach of these great people from the past.
There is no pen that will prove sufficient to record all the details in a book. Nevertheless, an understanding person will comprehend and make the necessary inferences on his own.
In summary, based upon the tikun and purification of a particular Nefesh, it can even merit a Neshama from the earliest generations, including the most elevated of all; and it can happen even in this generation of ours.
Furthermore, it is exactly the same when a Nefesh and Ruach reincarnate together and become rectified, but are unable to acquire their Neshama without first dying and reincarnating. They can receive the Nefesh, Ruach, or Neshama of a righteous tzadik as an ibur, and it will act as their Neshama. All the details that were described in the case of the Nefesh alone that has completed its tikun will apply here also.
On occasion, it can happen that all three levels of soul will reincarnate together and become rectified. Then the Nefesh or Ruach of a righteous tzadik may impregnate him [as an ibur]. When he leaves this world he will ascend to the same level as the righteous tzadik that came to him as an ibur. In the World to Come they will actually be on the same level.
Although his own soul was not originally on the same level as that of the righteous tzadik, he has now merited ascending to that level forever.
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai …said that in "that world" [the World to Come], both he and Rav Hamnuna Sabba would be shining together. This is the inner meaning of what is written in the introduction to Zohar Bereishit (7a): Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai fell on his face and he saw Rav Hamnuna Sabba. He said that in "that world" [the World to Come], both he and Rav Hamnuna Sabba would be shining together.
Since the soul of Rav Hamnuna Sabba was within Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai as an ibur, they would be on the same level in the World to Come.
This is enough.
Do you think it is enough?
Why does a Righteous Soul come as an Ibur and do to this effect cause the rising of the soul of a person to reach a level higher than originally merited? Is there no bread of shame associated with this?
Yet as was said above one who has reached the appropriate level will know.
Are there any questions?
© 2020 www.yeshshem.com All rights reserved. Site development by Eltitude