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The angel Michael travels the world in one flight, Gabriel in two, Elijah in four.

The Effect of Sin on Adam’s Soul

The Effect of Sin on Adam’s Soul

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Thirty-two, Section 1


In this chapter we will explain the statement of the Sages which says, "It was taught: "Michael [travels the world] in one [flight], Gabriel in two, Eliyahu in four, etc." (Berachot 4b) We have already explained the matter of Elijah’s four flights in earlier discussions.

Before the sin, Adam had nefesh/ruach/neshama from Yetzira, Asiya and Beriya. On top of this, he had nefesh/ruach/neshama from malchut, tiferet, and bina of Atzilut.1 Moreover, as we have also explained previously, all the souls were included in Adam except for the completely new souls, since he had yet to merit them. Therefore, they were not included in him.

After [Adam] sinned with the tree of knowledge, limbs fell off him everywhere he went...

After he sinned with the tree of knowledge, limbs fell off him everywhere he went, as the Sages say. (Midrash) It happened to him as it happened to Jephtah from Gilad because of the sin of his daughter, as it says, "They buried him in the cities [pl.] of Gilad." (Judges 12:7) It does not say "the city [singular] of Gilad."

Thus, all the souls that were included in the limbs of the soul of Adam fell off him once he sinned into the depths of the kelipot, each one to its appropriate level. However, the nefesh/ruach/neshama of Atzilut, called zehira ila’a [supernal glow] by the Zohar, did not heaven forbid fall into the kelipot. (Zohar III Kedoshim) However, the level of Ruach and Neshama were removed from Adam once he sinned and flew upward. The Nefesh of Atzilut flew above him, but it did not completely leave him, as mentioned before.

Enoch, after he merited his [Adam’s] Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama [of Beriya, Yetzira, and Asiya], also merited the level of Neshama of Atzilut which was removed from Adam when he sinned. Now we will discuss the Nefesh of Adam from the World of Atzilut, which remained and hovered above him.

When Cain and Abel, Adam’s sons, were born, they received the level of nefesh/ruach/neshama of Asiya, Yetzira, and Beriya, as well as the level of Nefesh of Atzilut which was previously their father’s. As is known, every soul has levels called ohr makif [surrounding light] and ohr penimi [internal light].

Part of these souls were left in Adam, part went to his sons. The details will be elaborated.

When Jethro the father-in-law of Moses converted, he merited the Nefesh of Atzilut that had been given to Cain, but just on the level of ohr penimi. So it is written, "Heber the Kenite separated from Kenites [hinting to Cain."2] (Judges 4:11) We will explain this in its proper place. Nadab and Abihu took the ohr makif of the Nefesh of Atzilut of Adam, which had been given to his son Cain.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

But later he states that he also had chochma of Atzilut? Here it shows that the nefesh/ruach/neshama of Adam correspond to Asiya/Yetsira/Beriya, and that they themselves are rooted in Atzilut. Accordingly, by doing root work in Atzilut, one can rectify all the levels below, without having to focus on them.
Spiritually, this means that Jethro separated the negative energy in the portion of the Cain-root allotted to him. This idea is in line with the story that this verse is a part of. G‑d told Saul to destroy the evil nation of Amalek. This is a great step to eradicating the evil of the original sin from the world, as the worst of that bad energy embodied in Amalek. Saul sent message to the descendents of Jethro to split away from them so that they would not be destroyed when he waged war with Amalek. Since Jethro set his offspring on the path of negating evil, they deserved to be saved.
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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