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The shadowy depths of King David

The Process of Departure

The Process of Departure

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Seven, Section 2


As previously mentioned, as a result of the sin of Adam all of the souls became mixed good and evil, having fallen into the depths of the kelipot, into Adam Bliya’al, where they became hidden. Now, when it comes time for a soul to come into this world, it cannot immediately leave the depths of the kelipot through some merit of a person in this world.

After that, it will reincarnate as many times as it needs to.

Instead, it must first be included in the level of the tselem and Ohr makif three times on the heads of three different people from the same root, one after the other. After that, it can enter a body that is born and become a soul on the level of Ohr pnimi, which is considered to be the first actual reincarnation. After that, it will reincarnate as many times as it needs to.

It can occur that the three previous people for whom he acted as the Ohr makif did not completely rectify themselves. If so, when he finally reincarnates for the first time, they can come with him to finish their own tikun. However, the name of the body will be his, the other three souls being only like guests - even though they remain there until death.

A person who has come into the world for the first time will have a difficult time subjugating his yetzer hara, even if his soul is very high, since it is the beginning of his purification from the kelipot. Even while he was on the level of tselem he still contained kelipot. As a result, this person will be quite sad all of his days and find him himself worrying for no reason. In actuality, it is the kelipot that cause it.

This is the secret of what happened to King David, who was close to G‑d. Amazingly, his yetzer hara [seemed to somewhat] overcome him in the incidents involving BathSheba and Abigail.1 (Kings I) However, as said, it occurred because it was the beginning of his departure from the kelipot, as David wrote, "I am sunk in the mire of the shadowy depths." (Psalms 69:3) There are other verses to this effect.

Thus, the sins of someone who has come into the world for the first time do not count before G‑d as they do for others, since he is still affected by the kelipot, and it takes great effort to leave them. This is the secret of what the Sages say: "Had you not been David and he Saul, I would have destroyed many David’s before Saul." (Moad Katan 16b) Understand this well.

...each person comes from a different place and is so judged.

How each person comes from a different place and is so judged. Therefore, only the One Who is "the place of the world, and the world is not His place" (Breishit Raba 68:10) can judge. For all of the places are by Him, and He alone truly understands them. Unless someone who is so nullified to G‑d as to be included in Him... (Likutei Moharan II 1)

Sometimes, the soul of a new person is very lofty but he [still] cannot overcome his yetzer hara - if he could, he would easily be very pious. This is a powerful lesson, for it explains why sometimes a person may only transgress lightly but receive a serious punishment, while someone else may perform a terrible sin, and yet not get punished for it.

This is the secret of, "The deeds of the Rock are perfect, and all His ways are judgment." (Deut. 32:4) This is enough for those who comprehend, and therefore you cannot question the ways of G‑d, or even of the righteous when they sin.

A rock is an example in the physical world of solid, unchanging, stability.

A rock is an example in the physical world of solid, unchanging, stability. The verse comes to teach that even though Providence may seem to the naked eye as acting partial, in truth, it is totally impartial and just. Just we do not have the whole picture...

Furthermore, for someone who is from the level of Cain, who is a combined good and evil, the good is quite great. However, it is that the evil and zuhama [filth] are also very great and overpowering. This is because the entire root of Cain is from gevura, to which the kelipot and chitzonim [outside forces] adhere strongly.

The left side of gevura works in a motion of constriction and concealment. In its root above in holiness, it is makes holy boundaries that create vessels for the light to dwell in and express out of. As this motion descends from world to world in the seder hahishtalshilus [chained order of cascading, descending realms], it eventually hides Divinity to the point of allowing place for the seemingly opposite to express. And so the side of gevura is the source of the sitra achra. One who comes from this place in holiness might be plagued by unusual tests. Ultimately, this is only to propel him to unusual heights. This is part of what the Arizal mentioned to understand well about David: Those like him who find themselves facing extra tests should be fortified by knowing that they have tremendous potential.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

David really did resist and subjugate his inclination. However, his coming out of the hold of the kelipot caused it not to look so. (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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