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Even evil that has been separated from good must of necessity contain an element of holy sparks.

The Incarnations of Abel

The Incarnations of Abel

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Twenty-Nine, Section 2a


As we already know, a ruach cannot reincarnate until the nefesh has [first] done so and been rectified. (Chapter One, Section 2) When the ruach itself has been repaired, the neshama will then undergo rectification. In Abel’s case, though the nefesh and ruach were damaged and mixed together with evil, his neshama remained completely good.

Thus, when his nefesh reincarnated, it first went to Seth the son of Adam. This caused the evil to be separated out, which was later given to Balaam the wicked. In both of these levels, the good and the evil of the nefesh was previously included in Abel. As alluded to in his name - the hei of Abel hinting to the good which was given to Seth. This is the secret of the verse, "Everything You shattah/ShT [placed] under his feet," (Psalms 8:7) which has the letters ShT/Seth, plus the hei.

We already explained that this psalm is about Moses, about whom it says, "You made him only slightly less than the angels" (Psalms 8:6) - he is Seth himself, as we will soon explain. The evil of Abel’s nefesh is represented by the letters beit-lamed, which is the secret of the verse, "They know bal [not] such judgments." (Psalms 147:20) For these two letters refer to the kelipot and the beit-lamed of Balaam.

"Elokim made this (the sitra achra) opposite that (the side of holiness)." (Eccl. 7:14) Balaam stands opposite Moses, on the wrong side of the fence. Therefore does the Ari. put them together in this paragraph. This is seen in Balaam's name: BL (beit-lamed) are the beginning and end letters of the Torah, A (ayin)= 70, faces of the Torah. M (mem)= 40 - days on Mt. Sinai. (Likutei Moharan)

LB is also laiv, meaning "heart";. "the Merciful One wants the heart. (Sanhedrin 106) The Torah was given for the heart and it associates with bina. "Bina, dinim awaken from it (Zohar) Therefore, these same letters are explained here to refer to the hold of the sitra achra. Balaam was a very great soul. Soon we will we see that Providence brought him back many times and was busy in his tikun. His problem was an impure heart (Avot 5:19) as seen from his reincarnation in Nabal, whose heart died in him. Therefore, these heart letters are the ones through which the negative energies nurtured from Balaam.

We mentioned previously that even the level of evil that was separated from the good must of necessity contain an element of holy sparks. This is the secret of Balaam the prophet and what the Sages mean when they say that "he was equal to Moses" (Bamidbar Raba 20) who was from the good of Seth, as we shall explain.

The little amount of good that was in Balaam reincarnated into Nabal the Carmelite, which was the beginning of the tikun. Balaam’s only power was in his mouth, by speaking loshon hara [slander] and cursing. Therefore, after Pinchas killed him he reincarnated into a rock that could not speak, to rectify the loshon hara that came from his mouth; as we stated, a person can reincarnate into domaim [inanimate], tsomai’och [vegetation], chaya [living], or medabeir [speaking].

However, when Nabal followed in his ways and spoke loshon hara about King David saying, "Who is David and who is Ben Yishai?" (Samuel I 25:10), he reversed the tikun. Not only did he not rectify the previous sin but he added to the damage. Therefore it says, "and he was a rock," (Samuel I 25:37) since his mazel saw how previously he had reincarnated into a silent stone, and then "His heart died within him."

King David was the expression of Moses in his generation. Therefore was Nabal/Balaam against him.

[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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