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One name from the side of holiness and one from the side of impurity

Two Names For Each Person

Two Names For Each Person

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Three, Section 4


I heard from my teacher that all who are buried on Friday from the fifth hour onward do not have to undergo chibut hakever [torments of the grave]. This is because the holiness of Shabbat itself separates the kelipa from these people without any pain. This is the secret of 'something extra' on the sixth day (Ex. 16:22) - for from the fifth hour onward the holiness of Shabbat begins to shine.

All the worlds rise on Shabbat to a higher station in the spiritual structure. They start this ascent on Friday from the fifth hour. This is why G‑d made Adam at that time (Sanhedrin). For the goal is that man should ascend to the perfect Shabbat state.

In order to prepare for the additional Sabbath sanctity, there is a custom to immerse in purifying mikveh water on Friday. This can be done from the fifth hour. (Shaar HaKedushat Shabbat)

This is why the evil forget their name, as mentioned above [in section 1]. As we have already explained, every soul in the world is clothed in kelipa i.e., the zuhama of the snake. That kelipa is the secret of the yetzer hara with which a man is born. For as a result of Adam’s sin, the yetzer hara became ingrained in him - they became mixed together like dough.1 This is the secret of why the yetzer hara has such ability to cause a person to sin - he is a complete 'master of the house' in the body of man. (Talmud)

We have already explained that not all kelipot are the same, since every kelipa is an evil spark from the sitra achra, a specific aspect of the 248 limbs of Adam Bliya’al of impurity, like the limbs of Adam d’Kedushah. And, just like every soul has a specific name based upon its level within the limb from which it was hewn, as The Sages the Sages say regarding the verse, "'Who has wrought shammot [devastation] in the land' (Psalms 46:9): Don’t read 'shammot' but rather 'shaimot'" [meaning names]".2 Likewise, each spark from the side of the kelipot has its own name. And so the yetzer hara of one person is not like the yetzer hara of another person.

After someone is born and named by his father and mother, it is not by chance [which name is given], for G‑d places in the mouth [of the parent] the name that suits that soul. As it says, "names in the land," based upon the limb within the upper man from which it was taken. This name itself is imprinted above on the holy throne,3 as is known. This is why the Sages say what they do regarding the names of converts,4 and why Rebbe Yehoshua ben Korchah and Rebbe Meir used to check names.5

God created a corresponding reality with respect to this as well. Therefore just as there is for a person a pre-determined name from the side of holiness, given to him by his father and mother at the time of his brit milah [ritual circumcision], likewise there is an established name from the side of the kelipot - the yetzer hara that enters the person at birth.6

Hence, every person possesses two names, one from the side of holiness and one from the side of kelipa. If a person while living in this world is able to ascertain and know the name of the kelipa within him, he can thereby know from which level within Adam Bliya’al it was taken. In this way, he can understand his defect and the tikun [rectification process] he requires. This would then make rectification simpler and separation from the kelipa possible during his lifetime, as opposed to after death through chibut hakever.

Therefore, when a righteous person dies, there is no need to ask him his name from the sitra achra, since during his lifetime he worked hard and withstood suffering to separate the kelipa from himself. This makes the separation through chibut hakever easier.

However, an evil person does just the opposite, instead causing the kelipa to bond with him. This necessitates much beating and great punishment to carry out separation through chibut hakever. If he had come to know the name from the sitra achra during his lifetime, he could have easily rectified it then. Instead, he must receive intense beatings for not having come to know the name during his lifetime - for not bothering to investigate what it was. He didn’t care to work hard as the righteous person did.

The point is that one must constantly take spiritual inventory, examining and taking stock of thoughts/words/actions. God reciprocates to one who shows such interest by granting him self-knowledge. The more he examines and tries to fix himself, the more that is revealed to him. This will lead to one knowing exactly what they need to repair, and then how to repair it.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

The evil inclination is especially identified with the leavening in the dough. (Brachot)
The traditional words of the Scriptures are given within two traditions: one as to the letters of the words and one as to which vowel signs the letters have (Sukkot). There are places where the oral tradition reveals that certain words also bear vowels different than the strict tradition. This opens place for the one verse to convey multi-meanings/interpretations. (Brachot 7b)
For all of the souls are as if hewn out of the Divine throne (Midrash). Accordingly, their names are there with them.
The souls of proselytes were at Sinai (Midrash). Therefore, God also set their names on His throne. Their names are retrieved and revealed at the time of the conversion. (Brachot 7b.)
The essence of the person is included in his name. Even though many people share the same name, each name has varied aspects. Each one draws and relates to the aspects pertinent to his soul root (Besht). These sages that checked names and made inferences knew the secret of how a person is connected to his given name. (Talmud)
The yetzer hara name comes first at birth, while the holy name comes on the eighth day at the brit. Just as in general the yetzer hara itself comes at birth, and the yetzer tov [good inclination] does not fully enter until maturity, at the bar mitzvah. G‑d created darkness before light and set the drama theme in creation. (Shabbat)
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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