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Noah, Moses and Balaam are all reincarnations of the soul of Abel.

Abel's Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama

Abel's Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama

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


The Nefesh of Abel

...the good nefesh of Abel was given to Seth...

Thus, the good nefesh of Abel was given to Seth, who completely rectified it. The evil part of the nefesh of Abel which still had some holy sparks in it, reincarnated into Balaam, and then into Nabal. So the letters beit-lamed are in nun-beit-lamed/Nabal as well.

After the nefesh was completely rectified, it was then possible to rectify the ruach. The ruach is from the six extremities of chesed, gevura, tiferet, netzach, hod, and yesod, which are included in the three lines - right, left, and middle.

The Ruach of Abel

The ruach reincarnated into Noah the tzadik, who was the level of the emanation of the six extremities of [the ten inter-included sefirot of] tiferet.

When he fathered three sons, the ruach, which incorporates the mentioned three lines, reincarnated into them: Yefet corresponds to chesed, Ham to gevura, and Shem to tiferet. The level of tiferet within Shem is the level of the sefira of tiferet itself, which also includes [in itself] all six extremities.

The flood was an expression of its supernal predecessor Tohu...

Tiferet is the sefira of harmony and balance. The flood was an expression of its supernal predecessor Tohu, and so wrought chaos and havoc in the universe. Noah and his sons rebuilt existence, drawing from the Tikun dynamic, whose theme is balance. (Eitz Chayim) This happened especially through Shem. Abraham came from him and fathered the people who were to accept responsibility for the full tikun of the world through the Torah, whose intrinsic quality is tiferet.

The world comes from the partzuf of Zeir Anpin. (Eitz Chayim) Accordingly, its central energy is tiferet.

However, the ruach was not rectified since the evil within it was not being completely separated out, as was the case with the nefesh through Balaam. Since there remained a combination of good and evil, Tevi the servant of Rabban Gamliel was born into Ham, Noah's son [who was cursed to be a slave]. (Gen. 9:25) This is why he is called 'tet-veit-yud/Tevi', because he was from the level of good [in Hebrew, 'tov' - spelled tet--vav--veit] that was still mixed together with evil, and it was given to him.

Starting from a negative place, the letters tet-veit of goodness was not enough to help him out of it, so he has an additional Y, the only letter whose form does not touch the bottom of the line. Its transcending energy lifts off the ground elevating above the hold of the negative forces. Accordingly, tet-veit-yud equals 21, the gematria of EHY"H, the name of bina, the transcending eighth level. The Talmud tells about him in terms of the mitzvah of Sukkah, which draws from bina.

We can learn from his example. Every soul comes to the world with some of the ‘non-blessing’ baggage of the original sin, according to their root in it. It is what causes all problems in life. It is possible for each one to elevate above the complications through connecting to bina - the blessed source of sweetening. And so too, they were freed from Egypt through the power of bina. (Zohar II)

...the neshama reincarnated into Moses...

The Neshama of Abel

Later, the neshama reincarnated into Moses, since it never contained an element of evil. So it says regarding it, "She saw that it [Moses' neshama] was [completely] good" (Ex. 2:2) - unlike the nefesh and ruach which were mixed with evil.

We have already taught that the ruach cannot come until the nefesh has been completely rectified, and likewise the neshama until the ruach has achieved tikun. Once the ruach has been rectified, then the nefesh can return with it; once the neshama has been rectified, the nefesh and ruach can come and return with it.

Since the neshama of Moses was already rectified, the nefesh and the ruach, which had already achieved tikun, were able to come back in him. This is hinted to in his name, with the shin of SheT/Balaam being part of Moses [in Hebrew, Mosheh], as well as the two letters of shin-mem/Shem. There is also [in Moses' name] the H/hei of Abel.

The Zohar points out that shin and tet are the last letters of the alphabet. After Adam sinned, the world went way off base. There was still hope for fixing through his sons Cain and Abel. The former murdering the latter made things fall to the end of the line. Seth started the reversal process which would eventually result in everything being returning to proper order. "Seth/Shet [means] 'that from whom the world was established [in Hebrew, ‘hushtat’]'." (Tikunei Zohar, 469, 110b) shinprecedes tet in his name, just as it does in the alphabet, signifying that the reverse order of the letters (See Likutei Moharan II) caused by destructive behavior was reset into place.

Shin-mem/Shem has the shin of order. In his name it proceeds to take a step further to couple with mem, forming the concept of ‘name’. "That He placed Names in the land." (Psalms 46:9) Everything gets its existence-force from the Divine Names within creation. The original sin shrouded this. The good deeds of Shem greatly fixed and began to reveal this again.

Moses has the shin-mem of Shem, plus the hei of Abel...

Moses has the shin-mem of Shem, plus the hei of Abel - the source that Seth and Shem come to fix. The reconnecting to the source of Moses demonstrates a special degree of tikun to the whole scenario. heiis the letter of malchut. Moses liberated from Egypt, split the sea, brought down the Torah, etc. These tremendous accomplishments greatly elevated malchut and repaired the broken Abel root.

This is the meaning of the verse, "Look You say to me... and You said, ‘I shall know you by shem [name]’..." (Ex. 33:12) [How could he say this?] We don’t find this conversation mentioned anywhere in a verse. Rather, it is an allusion to the fact that Shem reincarnated into Moses, from the words, "I shall know you by shem [name]." Noah as well reincarnated into Moses, alluded to in the words, "and you have found favor [in Hebrew, chein , spelled chet-nun] in My eyes" (ibid.), which is the reverse spelling of NCh/Noach.

Moses incorporated both roots and used them to help the universe. Noach means both grace and rest. It is used to refer to the graceful Shabbat peace. Through it Moses received the Torah on Shabbat and brought grace and rest to the world. Through the Shem-force he extended the grace to reveal how "He calls them all by name" (Psalms 46:9) - how precious each name and each individual is above.

Since Shem is revealed in the letters of Moses, the term of knowing is employed. As it says, "know you by name," - since it is known and revealed. However, since Noah is not hinted to in the name Moses, "knowing" is not mentioned, but "finding" instead: and you have found favor - as if something hidden was found.1

This is why Moses responds, "If I have indeed found favor in Your eyes, then make Your ways known to me" (Ex. 33:13), but not, "If You have come to know me by name, if I have found favor," since the level of Shem was already known to him - already revealed in his name.

However, [Moses was really saying:] I didn’t know that the level of Noah was in me since it was not included in my name. Accordingly, if [the] Noah [aspect] is also included in me and as a result, "I have found favor in Your eyes," in exchange for Noah, "make Your way known to me, that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your eyes." For, also with respect to Noah it is now clearly known, since "I found favor in Your eyes" - in order that his [aspect] should be included in me [and made manifest].

After this, God gave a great revelation to Moses. "‘And you shall see My back - and My face You shall not see.’ (Ex. 33:23) He showed him the tefilin knot." (Brachot 7a) The Ari"Zl explains that Abigail referred to this level when she said to David, "And the soul of my master shall be bound up in the bundle of life – G‑d your L-rd." (Samuel I 25:29)

Tefilin awareness is like the "back"...

The level of Divine awareness brought to the consciousness on Shabbat is higher than that of tefilin, which are worn during the week. Tefilin awareness is like the "back", relative to Shabbat. As mentioned, Noah hints to the Shabbat state. It is a state of the world-to-come. (Brachot 57b) On Shabbat, a taste is given to everyone - but it remains mostly hidden. It could not even be fully revealed to Moses. He was given the backside-tefilin light. Thus, it is like Noah [in Hebrew, noach , spelled nun-chet] backwards - "for you have found favor [in Hebrew, chein , spelled chet-nun ] in My eyes".

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

The hidden aspect of the soul of Noah within Moses became manifest here. The reason for this can be understood based on the Zohar. It compares Noah, Abraham, and Moses: Noah did not pray for his generation; Abraham prayed for Sodom, but did not put his life on the line; Moses prayed and offered his life on behalf of the people. Our verse at hand was said after G‑d answered Moses and forgave the sin of the golden calf. Rashi says that Moses saw that it was a time of good favor, so he used it to ask for special things.
Putting his life on the line to atone for the golden calf was a tikun for the Noah aspect within him, which is chain [grace]. Accordingly, when it was improved, through it the gate of grace was opened to ask for special things. This is the secret of the Ari"Zl.'s revelation here.
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.
Shabtai Teicher, a descendant of the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Rebbe Reshab, was born in Brooklyn in 1946 and settled in Jerusalem in 1970. He studied for over 7 years with one of the outstanding and renowned kabbalists of our generation, Rabbi Mordechai Attieh, and also studied deeply in various other fields of Jewish scholarship. He was a specialist in Lurianic Kabbala, edited and annotated the first eleven chapters of our English rendition of "Shaar HaGilgulim," and completed his manuscripts for "Zohar: Old Man in the Sea," in both Hebrew and English, shortly before his unfortunate passing in November 2009.
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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