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Akiva is spelled with the same letters as Ya'akov, for he came from him.

Root of Rabbi Akiva’s Soul

Root of Rabbi Akiva’s Soul

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Eight, Section 2


You should know that all the souls mentioned, like that of Rabbi Akiva and others like him, are from the root of Cain, which is from gevurot of hod of daat - the fifth gevura. Also, all the souls from gevurot of hod in the daat of Leah are related to the root of Rabbi Akiva - they are considered one root. You can draw a parallel from this to the root of Abel, which is from the chasadim of daat.

[This is] the issue of the Cain-root, and from it you can extrapolate and apply to the Abel-root.

The choicest special ones fell further down than all of the rest.

All the sparks of souls from the Cain-root were dependent upon Cain. When he sinned, all of them became mixed in the kelipot. The choicest special ones fell further down than all of the rest. Because the sin of Cain blemished the [level of] machshava elyona [i.e. supernal thought], as mentioned in Sefer HaTikunim, Tikun 69. The place of the soul-root Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef was the hands. In the secret of, "And his hand was holding the heel of Esau." (Gen. 25:26)

This verse is said about Jacob. Akiva shares the same letters of Jacob, for he came from him. Therefore was he so outstanding in Torah - the quality of Jacob.

The hands have the ability to go down as far as the heel or as high up as the head, unlike the rest of the limbs. Therefore, these limbs fell to the depths of the kelipot, until the heel. When Rabbi Akiva was killed, he ascended to the machshava helyona.

"The bigger they are - the harder they fall."

This is the secret of what G‑d told Moses [when Moses saw a vision of] the death of Rabbi Akiva, "Quiet! This is what arose in machshava [i.e. thought]" (Menachot 29b) - that is to fix the defect.

So we find that all souls that are from the hand, through good deeds, are able to ascend to a very high level without limit, more than many other people who preceded them from earlier generations. Remember this.

Furthermore, even if a soul from the root of Cain comes into the world for the first time as a new soul, still he must rectify the blemish that occurred to his nefesh, ruach, and neshama from the sin of Cain - on the level of the portion of the root of which he is part.

Earlier we explained how positive and negative mitzvahs are dependent upon the 248 limbs of Adam’s soul, and how every limb includes flesh, tendons, and bones. The bones, the highest level, are on the level of the moach [bone-marrow] within them, and not on that of the bones themselves.

The...[tendons]...tie together all the limbs making them a single unit.

The next level down is the tendons, since a person's life-force runs through them, the blood moving through the arteries of the body. They also tie together all the limbs making them a single unit. The least of the three levels is the flesh.

On all three levels, flesh, tendons, and bones, there are souls which are considered to be the root of the level. They are the talmidei chachamim [Torah Scholars], ba’alei battim [householders], ba’alei ma’ase [doers of good deeds], and amei ha’Aretz" [simpletons]. This is true of all three levels in every limb.

There are long limbs, like the arms and thighs, within which there are large gaps between the souls. However, talmidei chachamim from the shoulder-limb and the like are very closely knit.

[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: 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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mike london April 10, 2016

soul/spirit I cannot find any writings by Rabbi Akiva or Yehuda Hanassi on souls. Surely by Rabbi Akiva knowing of 3 other Messiahs he should have written something. Perhaps his great mistake changed the meaning of Messiah? Reply

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