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If Adam and Eve had waited until Shabbat night to procreate, the worlds would have become rectified right then.

The Effect of Sin on Cain

The Effect of Sin on Cain

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Nine, Section 1


As it is known, had Adam, who was created on day six, waited until Shabbat night to procreate with Eve, the worlds would have become rectified. However, since he did not wait, Cain was born with a mixture of good and evil, as will be explained. Furthermore, had Cain the firstborn not sinned, then he and his twin [sister] would have been like chochma and bina, and Abel and his twin [sister] like tiferet and malchut.

Originally, there was no negative energy within man - only outside of him. Its vehicle was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam's job was to rectify it. He was to do this by refraining from partaking of it until Shabbat . Hand and hand with this is that he was also to wait to cohabit until Shabbat .

Shabbat is the day of all good and perfection. A great light shines on it that subjugates all negativity and augments shining revelation. (Zohar) Just waiting for the Shabbat process to take effect was all that was necessary to perfect the universe. Because they didn't wait, reality has to take a small six millennium detour! In truth, 6,000 years is still as nothing compared to eternity. The bliss to come when everything reaches completion will be forever...

We see how important the quality of patience is. One who examines his life will see that a great part of the tests involve waiting. Growing up in a society that bombards the mind with constant messages that life is about instant gratification, may make it hard to implement this. One can reflect on the lesson of this teaching to help: According to how well a person masters his desire for instant gratification, he fixes a major part of his portion in the original sin.

Cain was born first, so most of the negativity injected into Eve from eating from the tree came out in him. (Zohar) This produced his murderous tendencies, among other things.

Had he not sinned, he would have assumed the full spiritual stature that his soul was rooted in: Cain and his mate embodied chochma and bina. After he defected, these levels did not fully express in him.1

These levels are intrinsically above the world as we know it, which is run primarily from the Abel aspects of Zeir Anpin and Nukva. Providence wants the universe to ascend and assume these higher aspects. However, once he killed Abel, it was not possible anymore for this to happen right away. First Shet had to be born - the one to assume and revive the Abel aspect; Cain had to wander. This is the beginning of the tikun. This entire Sha’ar Hagilgulim is focused on the Cain tikun - how to bring the super-energies into fruition in this world.

Later in history, Esau and Jacob were like Cain and Abel - had Esau been righteous, he would have surpassed Jacob. Because the firstborn is from chochma, and Jacob [who was born after], is from tiferet.2 However, since Esau sinned, the right of the firstborn was taken from him and Jacob received a double-portion, his own and that of his brother. Therefore, [in his aspect of] Jacob, [he] corresponds to tiferet, whereas [in his aspect of] Israel, [he] corresponds to chochma. This is the meaning of, "Isaac loved Esau, for his trappings were in his mouth." (Gen. 25:28)

He understood Esau’s phenomenal potential and wanted to bring it out. "Trappings" refer to the wealth of super energized sparks that he saw lying in the Esau root. They are as if trapped in the hands of the sitra achra and they need to be ‘retrapped’. This is the secret of why Isaac wanted to give the blessings to Esau: he hoped through the power of the blessings to magnetize the sparks to his side of holiness. G‑d saw that that was not going to happen. He therefore influenced Rebecca to prompt Jacob to take the blessings...

"Everything [below] is as above." (Zohar) Root-themes above were programmed into reality in the creation process in order that they should play out in man below.

Before the order of this universe came out, there was the world of Tohu [chaos], so called because of the chaotic state prevalent there. Too much light was poured into the vessels and they shattered. The lights departed and flew above. The shards fell down and from them came the sitra achra.

Immediately, a repair process started. The lights were toned down and drawn into the vessels. This became the world of Tikun [rectification].

Cain and Abel are embodiment of Tohu and Tikun. The world endures in the Tikun/Abel mode. But it was not meant to stay this way. Providence directs things in such a way to eventually bring the superior Cain energy out.

A major step in the process comes out through Jacob /Abel /Tikun and Esau /Cain/Tohu. This is the idea here behind Esau being greater than Jacob. In the words of Rabbi Avigdor Miller Z"l, if Esau had done teshuvah, we would be saying "Lord of Esau " in the Amida prayer!

As said, because Adam sinned on Friday, the snake was able to impart zuhama [spiritual contamination] to Eve, and this resulted in Cain and Abel being born with good and evil combined within them. However, there was a difference between them - Cain was mostly evil, whereas Abel was mostly good.

This means that the NR"N of Cain was from BY"A of holiness, and that these three became mixed together with the NR"N of the kelipot. However Abel , although like Cain in that his NR"N was also from BY"A of holiness, only his nefesh and ruach became intermingled with the kelipot. Thus his neshama remained completely good, without a trace of evil.

This is what it means to be mostly good and partially evil. The three components of both sides are not equal. In the case of Cain, all three on both sides were mixed together. At this point, we will no longer discuss Cain’s gilgulim and we will instead explain the gilgulim of Abel, his brother.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

The name Cain, or Kayin in Hebrew, is related to the word ‘kinah’ - jealousy. He was jealous of Abel. One of the things he was jealous of was that Abel was given an extra wife (Midrash). From here we see that Cain and his wife were an expression of chochma and bina. Abel and his mate were from Zeir Anpin, who has two wives, Rachel and Leah. Therefore Abel had two.
Chochma and bina are much higher than Zeir Anpin and both its feminine aspects. Often one sees what someone else has and desires it - without realizing that they have something much greater.
The Zohar calls tiferet the son of chochma.
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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