Printed from kabbalaonline.org
A person’s soul can divide into an unlimited amount of roots.

Soul Splits

Soul Splits

Gate of Reincarnations - Chapter Fourteen

 Email

When we speak of a certain person reincarnating into other people, we must not make the mistake of thinking that this refers to the "original soul." Rather, a person’s soul can divide into an unlimited amount of roots…

The spiritual realm is … boundless

The spiritual realm is by nature boundless.

From each root comes out a different potential. One should therefore never limit one’s abilities. Even though in this incarnation you come from a specific root which can manifest certain abilities, and others not, that root is connected to a grand soul central that branches into other roots that possess other abilities. When a person lives a spiritual life, he is close to the grand root, and is therefore able to access the abilities of the other roots that share his mutual grand source. Never underestimate yourself and what you might be capable of doing. Rather strive to always be more spiritual, so that your potentials will open and flow.

…and within a single root there is an unlimited amount of sparks…

How then does anyone ever become fully rectified?

Firstly, for this reason many people share the same one of these soul roots. But still, even if a thousand people share one source, how can they, or even a million people, possibly deal with an unlimited, infinite amount of sparks?!

The answer is that the soul comes from endless, boundless, immeasurable places. Even after it enters the finite plane, it does not lose connection with those places. In fact, its entirety does not descend, and part of it actually still remains there. This is expressed by the aforementioned piece of Zohar about every righteous person having two souls, one above, one below.

What comes out of this is that a person comes from a root of countless sparks because his actions have infinite proportions and can really deal with and fix an unlimited amount of sparks!

The sparks that are not yet rectified … return, while those that are rectified ascend to their fitting level

…and each gilgul rectifies some of those sparks. Thus, it is the sparks that are not yet rectified that return, while those that are rectified ascend to their fitting level, where they will remain

It has to be like this, otherwise people would never become rectified, because they would constantly destroy what they fixed up, and no one would ever get anywhere.

"It does not rest upon you to finish the work, yet you are not free to be exempt from it". (Pirkei Avot) Based on the above, it means that you don’t have to finish fixing all of your soul’s sparks in one lifetime. Simply do diligently what’s in front of you at the moment, and, step by step, everything will be rectified.

This, in fact, is the matter of Nadab and Abihu who reincarnated many times, as was explained on the posuk, "Let there be double of your spirit for me". (Kings II 2:9) For, in the beginning Nadab and Abihu were in Elijah, and after that in Elisha, aside from the other gilgulim.

In other words, the "double spirit" was Nadab and Abihu, which Elisha wanted to inherit from Elijah.

This is not just a random example. As will be seen from later in this work, the entire world depends upon the rectification of these special souls. The example of Nadab and Abihu is used here to hint to us that knowing about them aids in comprehending how to bring Mashiach.

Elisha was a combination of two levels.

After all, Nadab and Abihu came from the same root and many sparks were affected by them. Thus, as a result of each gilgul, many sparks and portions of their root were rectified. However, the sparks that were not rectified were the ones that Elisha asked of Elijah; those that were already rectified ascended to their fitting place. Therefore, Elisha was a combination of two levels. The main spark of his soul came from Joseph, as is known and he also possessed part of the root of Nadab and Abihu, from the level of Cain.

As Rabbi Nachman taught, G‑d never does the same thing twice. (Sichot Rabbi Nachman) Even when He sends a soul again to the world, it comes back with different parts. Here a new combination is made; Joseph is merged with Nadab and his brother.

This type of fusion is usually made between souls that are close in root. Most of the souls branch out of either Cain or Abel. The Cain root comes from the world of Tohu [chaos]. The Abel root comes from the world of Tikun [rectification].

Nadab and Abihu come from netzach and hod. These sefirot are as a pair.

Nadab and Abihu come from netzach and hod. These sefirot are as a pair, that are 'one that is two', and they are the root of the firstborn's double portion. Thus netzach and hod are called two parts of one body (Zohar), and they always identify as two halves of a unit that cannot function without each other - the blades of a scissors, the lips, wings… Therefore Joseph, who always associates with doubledness, (see Gen. 41:32,43) and who reclaimed his double right, became hooked to Nadab and Abihu, who are rooted in the source of the firstborn's double share. This relationship connection is hinted to in the Torah when it describes their lineage, "And these are the names of the children of Aaron: the firstborn is Nadab…." (Num. 3:2) Elsewhere, when the Torah relates a family tree, it does not go out of its way to say that so and so is the firstborn, because it is automatically understood by the order of the names mentioned who has this privilege. Here this is emphasized to hint to the fact that this is a classic, archetype case per se, par excellence of firstbornhood.

The Zohar reveals that Pinchas merited great longevity. He lived for generations and eventually became the illustrious prophet Elijah. (Kings 1-19:10,14) When his time came to leave the world, he was told by G‑d to anoint Elisha in his place. As part of the deal of taking the position, Elisha asked for an inheritance. "Let there "na" [please] be a double portion of your spirit to me." (Kings 2-2:9)

The Ari explains that he was asking for Elijah's bi-soul portion of Nadab and Abihu. This is hinted to in the polite wording of his request. "NA" [please] is the first letters of their names. (Likutei Torah)

"Revival comes through Elijah, of good memory." (Avoda Zara) This is a result of his special power to unify and harmonize above and below. Therefore is the gematria of his name fifty-two, which equals twice the tetragrammaton, representing the union that is brought about through him between the Divinity that is found above and below. For this reason, Elijah himself, whose soul was in perfect union with his body, did not have to die. (Kings II 2:11)

The main Messianic light is in the Cain root, played out through Mashiach the son of Joseph, and Mashiach the son of David

The main Messianic light is in the Cain root. In the grand redemption process, it plays out through Mashiach the son of Joseph, and Mashiach the son of David, who come primarily from this root. Therefore did this process have to express through their children. The souls of Nadab and Abihu, from netzach and hod, share the same source as the two Messianic roots. Moreover, they actually energize them and channel to them their light. Also, part of the secret of netzoch and hod's unity is that each is included within the other. Therefore, even though intrinsically Mashiach the son of David is rooted in Nadab/netzoch, and Mashiach the son of Joseph comes from Abihu/hod, nonetheless they each contain each other.

Elisha the prophet was a major, milestone stage in this unfolding soul procession from its Mashiach the son of Joseph aspect. This is the real, intrinsic reason why Joseph teamed with him, to help it along all the more. From the mutual inclusion aspect, he possessed Nadab and Abihu. (Thus they are "two that are four" (Shabbat 1:1, Shavuot 1:1), which itself comes from the two names subnames YH and VH, of four letters, within the tetragrammaton, YHVH, itself. This teaches that the two Messiahs each inclusive of two souls, will reveal all aspects of Divinity, on all levels...)

Another reason why these souls were wielded together: The special upper, premium, deluxe part of Cain comes from the "zihara eilah" - the supernal effulgence of Adam. It is the brilliant, higher section of his soul, which he inherited to his sons. Nadab and Abihu, and also Joseph, drew from this level. Together they granted to the world a special connection to this higher light and the expanded consciousness it brings, which leads to redemption and the revival that follows.

The prophet Samuel was also a major step of this process. He received the souls of Nadab and Abihu before Elisha. The Rabbis teach that Samuel was in some sense equal to Moses and Aaron together (Psalms 99:6). The Ari explains that Moses and Aaron are from netzoch and hod. Harboring the souls of Nadab and Abihu, who are also from this level, accordingly makes him like them.

Empowered by [the souls of Nadab and Abihu], Samuel anointed King David, thus opening a channel for the Mashiach the son of David aspect to flow to the world.

Empowered by these souls, Samuel anointed King David, thus opening a channel for the Mashiach the son of David aspect to flow to the world.

His name "Elisha" indicated this, for with respect to Cain it says, "To Cain and his offering God did not pay favorable attention [in Hebrew, "lo sha’ah"]" (Gen. 4:5), because of his sin. However, Elisha rectified the sin of Cain, and thus is called "Elisha," since G‑d heeded and accepted him. The letters of "lo sha’ah" (lamed-aleph, shin-ayin-heh) can be turned into "Eli Sha’ah" (aleph-lamed-yud, shin, ayin-heh), [meaning "to me (G‑d) paid favorable attention."]

The root word for attentive favor is "sha'ah". Its gematria is three hundred and seventy. [shin-300 + ayin-70 = 370] It refers to the three hundred and seventy 'lights of the face' that shine from Arich, the highest partzuf, through which G‑d as if smiles upon His creatures (Zohar Idra Raba Zutra, Eitz Chayim Shaar Tlot Rashin). One way of describing the goal and point of the entire Torah is to seek and strive for a Divine smile. Cain, who must attain special closeness to G‑d, is especially in need of favor and smile. To him, it is not a luxury, but an absolute necessity. Because of the "husk must precede the fruit principle", he must to some degree go through the opposite. He cares so much about having G‑d's goodwill and favor that he is hypersensitive to anything that might look as if he is being pushed away and not accepted. Thus he requires constant validation and is easily discouraged. Rejection is his greatest crisis, acceptance is his greatest joy.

King David's entire essence is to always look for G‑d and seek His favor. This comes from his messianic root in Cain. He had the lower part of the Mashiach soul, which will return (with the upper part) and lead the whole world to thirst for G‑d and perpetually seek His goodwill

Elisha paved the way for the individual to turn deep rooted feelings of rejection and discouragement into a thirst to enthusiastically quest for the Divine favor by successfully balancing and integrating the awesome energies of Joseph and Nadab and Abihu,

Thus, since he originated from the spark of the Cain root, he also wanted the sparks of Nadab and Abihu to join him, as it says, "Let there be double your spirit for me." He merited them because of the spark of Cain that he already possessed.

In spiritual space, closeness is determined by similarity (Derech Hashem, Sulam intro). The likeness of these bits of Cain brought them close until they fused into one incarnation. Nonetheless, each of the souls retains its qualities. Sometimes they can be contradictory. This is significant for us to know.

A person should not be fazed if he sees diverse tendencies and traits in his personality.

A person should not be fazed if he sees diverse tendencies and traits in his personality. When G‑d puts things together, He knows every single detail of what it will mean. Thus He has some special reasons why He sometimes merges souls that have different perspectives into one human being. Somehow, the dynamic of the inner conflict helps the self grow into something much greater than otherwise. Nadab and Abihu were extremely ascetic creatures who never cared to get married (Zohar parashat Acharei Mot) or have much to do with worldliness, in any shape or form. Joseph was a ladies' man. The Midrash tells that he was so handsome that the women who were in his presence lost hold of what they were doing, to the point of cutting their hands instead of the bread. The Zohar explains that Joseph is rooted in yesod, the sefira that connects male and female in procreation. This manifested below in him having tremendous beauty and charisma (Gen. 39:4,6,21), causing him to be very attractive and desirable.

It's not problematic that they both come from Cain. It is an expansive soul source that includes many things.

From this you can make the necessary connections and understand all reinincarnations throughout history. Hence, it is never the rectified sparks that reincarnate, but rather those sparks that have yet to be rectified.

And so we are never spiritually unemployed. This is wonderful –"Man was born to work" (Chagiga).

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Rabbi Yitzchak Luria […Ashkenazi ben Shlomo] (5294-5332 = 1534-1572 c.e.); Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death): 5th of Av. Buried in the Old Cemetery of Tzfat. Commonly known as the Ari, an acronym standing for Elohi Rabbi Yitzchak, the
G-dly Rabbi Isaac. No other master or sage ever had this extra letter Aleph, standing for Elohi [G-dly], prefaced to his name. This was a sign of what his contemporaries thought of him. Later generations, fearful that this appellation might be misunderstood, said that this Aleph stood for Ashkenazi, indicating that his family had originated in Germany, as indeed it had. But the original meaning is the correct one, and to this day among Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria is only referred to as Rabbenu HaAri, HaAri HaKadosh [the holy Ari] or Arizal [the Ari of blessed memory].
Yitzchok bar Chaim is the pseudonym of the translator, an American-born Jerusalem scholar who has studied and taught Kabbala for many years. He may be contacted through: webmaster@kabbalaonline.org. He translated the Ari's work, "Shaar HaGilgulim;" his translation into English (but with much less extensive commentary than offered here). Information about his translation in book form may be obtained through www.thirtysevenbooks.com
Rabbi Chaim Vital c. 5303-5380 (c. 1543-1620 CE), major disciple of R. Isaac (Yitzchak) Luria, and responsible for publication of most of his works.
Rabbi Peretz Auerbach, originally from New York, has been living and learning Torah and kabbala in Jerusalem for 18 years. He teaches at Shvu Ami beit medrash, lectures in Kabbalah and chassidut at the Jerusalem Connection and Heritage House and to private groups. Rabbi Auerbach is also a talented musician. He is currently working on an all new translation of the Zohar into English with extensive commentary as well as a disc entitled "Music, Meditation and Mysticism."
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1 Comment
1000 characters remaining
Anonymous July 26, 2016

Terrible misunderstanding of the spirit. The "individual" spirit is absolutely indivisible and when a spirit incarnates again (and again), it is unequivocally, the indivisible, original spirit. Reply

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.