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The limbs that most affected by the sin of Adam fell deeper into impurity than limbs more distant from the blemish.

Souls Fallen Into Impurity

Souls Fallen Into Impurity

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Three, Section 1


We already know from the Pirkei Rebbi Eliezer in the discussion of chibut hakever [torments of the grave] about the angel that comes to a person’s grave and asks him, "What is your name?" The person then answers, "G‑d knows that I don’t know my name, etc."1

The person then answers, "G‑d knows that I don’t know my name, "

This is strange, for what does asking this question accomplish, and why does he forget his name? How does this help with the administration of punishment?

As we have said before, all souls were included in Adam before the sin, and that after he sinned, limbs 'fell off' him. As a result, the souls that were a part of him fell into the depths of the kelipot, and Adam fell to the level of only 'one hundred amot', as we spoke about elsewhere. (See chapter 7)

Not all the souls were equal, since the defect was not the same for all limbs. The limbs that were most affected by the sin of Adam fell deeper into the kelipot than other limbs more distant from the blemish. As a result, some souls pursue sin more than others.

Adam Bliya'al ['the despicable man'] mirrors Adam d’Kedushah ['the man of holiness']

Thus, the impact of the sin on a limb determined how deep it fell into the kelipot, since God made them correspond to each other. In other words, Adam Bliya'al ['the despicable man'] mirrors Adam d’Kedushah ['the man of holiness'], and also has 248 limbs and 365 tendons.

The limbs used by Adam to commit the sin fell from him to the corresponding level within Adam Bliya’al. There they were enveloped and enclothed by the kelipot on their corresponding level. For all the ways of G‑d are just and straight without confusion (Deut. 32:4), and thus every limb fell to the corresponding level within Adam Bliya'al.

Therefore, all souls that fell from Adam, though enclothed in holiness prior to the sin, lost their crowns and glory after falling into the kelipot and instead donned clothing of kelipot. Hence, all souls have a level of kelipot that acts like clothing attached to it, according to the effect of Adam’s sin on it. That kelipa clothes the soul and encircles it all the days of its life [in the physical world]. Even though the soul is holy and spiritual it is nevertheless garbed in kelipot and dirt.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

The Baal Shem Tov recommended saying after each Amida prayer a verse of Psalms that begins and ends with the same letter that begins and ends one's Hebrew name, as a memory aid for that time--KOL
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: 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
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."
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