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The festival of Chanukah is a stepping-stone to the coming of Mashiach.

Akavya and Akiva

Akavya and Akiva

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Thirty-Two, Section 6b

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Later, as a result of the Chanukah miracle, it reincarnated into Mattathias the Hashmonite, who was actually the High Priest and the King, thus meriting two parts of the Firstborn right.

Here is hinted to the secret of Chanukah. It is the last holiday in history before the coming of Mashiach, who will unite the three heads. As the stepping-stone to this, Chanukah unites two of them.

Hellenism sought to replace the Torah.

The Greeks were not primarily interested in destroying the Jewish body - they were after the soul. Their attack was from chochmah. (Ner Mitzvah, by the Maharal) Hellenism sought to replace the Torah. In order to controvert this, a shining of the step above chochmah was necessary. At the time, the people had great mesirot nefesh [self-sacrifice] to keep the Torah. This warranted the transcendental keter revelation and brought two of its aspects together,1 paving the way for the three that will combine forces in the final redemption.

Then it reincarnated into Akavia ben Mehalelel, as already taught. Cain is hinted to in the secret of the aikev [heel] of Esau, and therefore his name was Akavia. Moreover, since Akavia was also a tikun for the level of Mehalel ben Keinan,2 he was called Akavia ben Mehalelel.

This links with the above. As mentioned, through malchut the upper levels of keter are bound and manifest. Malchut is at the end of the sefirot - and is so the heel. Akavia is from the heel of the Cain shoulder. The Left Shoulder: Root of Cain Those who stand at the end/heel and elevate it merit to hit the jackpot and scale all the way up to the top - keter.

The greatest honor of G‑d is the singing of His praise from this lowest of realms.

‘Mehalel’ means one who makes praise. ‘Mehalelel’ is mehalel-E - L - one who makes praise to the Lord. ‘Hallel’ [praise] equals 65, which equals ADNY, the name of malchut (Zohar, Eitz Chaim ) " And I shall get My praise from pieces of material, from lumps of dust. " (Hagiga) The greatest honor of G‑d is the singing of His praise from this lowest of realms. (Likutei Moharan) This affords the soul keter-connection.3

Cain spoke as if somewhat brazenly to on High.4 "Mehelel the son of Kainan;" Mehalel’s praise fixed it. "KYNN/Kainin" is ‘KYN-N/Cain-N’. By Akavia’s uplifting the heel aspects, he took Mehalel a step further into manifestation of Divinity. This is the mehalel-EL. This fixed the Cain root all the more until it paved the path for Rabbi Akiva to ascend to the very foundations of existence. For the first thought was that creation should be run by din. Even though G‑d saw that the world could not so endure and He paired mercy with it, it remains the ideal. Moreover, Mashiach will lift the whole world to this mode. Rabbi Akiva was extraordinary in that not only did he accomplish this for himself, he also opened the door for Mashiach to eventually do this for the world.

Akavia ben Mehalelel did this. Rabbi Akiva accepted upon himself tremendous din with great joy.5 He built upon Akavia’s achievements and brought the realization of how to praise G‑d for difficulties to the world.

From there, it reincarnated into Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai. Thus, at the time of his death he announced, "Prepare a throne for Hezekiah, King of Judah, who has come to accompany me," (Brachot 28b) since he was a reincarnation of his soul-root. He also merited taking the crown of Priesthood of Cain the Firstborn.

Each person sees all the members of his soul family at the time of death. (Sichot Haran) If one merits, the major hitters that share a mutual root actually come to escort his soul to paradise.

Rabban Yochanan is unique in that he learned from both Hillel and Shammai. (Avot 2:8) Binding together these two opposite approaches elicited a shining of the source of opposites - keter manifestation in him. He so fits into this chain of progressive keter revelation.

After this, it reincarnated into Akiva ben Yosef, whose name also alludes to the aikev of Esau, as in the case of Akavia. With this you can appreciate what is written in Mesechet Rut of the Zohar - "Issachar, he is Rabbi Akiva", (Zohar Chadash 89) as we will explain.6 Issachar is also from the root of Cain.

Gen."First in thought, last in deed." The Akiva/aikev-heel aspect is last in deed. Through it specifically comes manifest first in thought. This is the secret of what it says by Rabbi Akiva, "Silent - so arose in (the original) thought (of creation)". (See The Left Shoulder: Root of Cain)

Rabbi Akiva...captured the stray, high-powered Esau-energy and transformed it into kedusha.

Esau’ comes from ‘asui’ [done]. His doctrine is that things are finished and fine the way they are: "Man is born a mule" and there is no need for him to work on himself to supersede his materialistic nature.7 "And his [Jacob’s] hand held the heel of Esau." (Gen. 25:26) As mentioned, ‘Akiva’ comes from ‘Jacob’. (See The Left Shoulder: Root of Cain) Rabbi Akiva came from converts. (Brachot) He captured the stray, high-powered Esau-energy and transformed it into kedusha.

"Aikev [the heel] of humility is fear of G‑d."8 (Prov. 22:4) As explained, Esau the firstborn, who is from Cain the firstborn, included in himself the choice super-lights of the world of Tohu. When he did not use them for good, Jacob took them away. He was able to do this through his great degree of fearing God. This is the secret of Jacob taking the firstborn right away from Esau. This came to manifestation especially in Rabbi Akiva, who was also extremely G‑d-fearing. He also was fitting for the Torah to be given through him. (Menachot) Even after this honor was given to Moses, Rabbi Akiva is the great pillar upon which stands the Torah of generations after him. By raising up the lowest levels,9 he ricocheted up to keter and drew to the universe its special intense light.

Then it came as an ibur into two Geonim10 whose names were Rav AChAY/Achai and Rav AChA/Acha Shivcha Gaon, to rectify them. For they were from the root of the Nefesh of King Ahab, and through them the three letters AChA of AChAB/Achav were rectified, by way of ibur. However, the B of Ahab was rectified through Rabbi Avraham Galid, as is known from the order of reincarnations of the root of the Nefesh of King Ahab.11

The whole soul is included in its name. (Sichot HaRan) This also includes its actions - for good or otherwise. As the soul is fixed, its letters gain repair. Sometimes the rectification process is divided up and different letters are fixed through different individuals in various lifetimes.

Ahab was one of the wickedest kings. Some say that he has no portion in the world-to-come. He was actually an intense soul of the Cain root that went the wrong way and so was very bad. He worshipped idols and led a whole nation astray after them. He also committed great offences of promiscuity. And it was all to as if anger His Creator. (Sanhedrin) It took specifically an intense positive energy from this source to fix it: Precisely the Nadab/Abihu root. They died to consecrate the Mishkan [Sanctuary], the place where the entire people directly worshipped one God - the place that most nullifies idolatry.12 They were extremely ascetic and never married,13 to fix Achav’s crimes in this area. They served God with tremendous love and fear - the opposite of rebellion.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]

Footnotes
1.
We find a complaint against the Kohanic Chashmonaim dynasty - that they took the kingship, which belongs to Judah! Until all three heads are together, there is backlash and flack from the union of two, because it is such a high level.
2.
One of the ten primordial generation leaders between Adam and Noach (Pirkei Avot)
3.
Therefore, “the doors of the Azarah [courtyard of the Temple] did not close on anyone as great in Torah and fear of Heaven as Akavia.” (Brachot 19a)
4.
This was not a negative thing, but it still required the rectification of being turned into praise. (Brachot)
5.
He was ecstatic for the privilege of dying al kidush Hashem [for the sanctification of God’s name] in spite of suffering an excruciating, torturous death. (Menachot)
6.
Further, in the Thirty-third Introduction. This comes to say that Issacher was also bound up the lower heel-aspects to a level above. He did this by stepping out of the worldly approach of being involved in materialism and devoted himself completely to Torah, just as Rabbi Akiva did.
7.
ASV/Esau equals ShLM/shalom [peace], by way of opposites. “‘There is no peace for the wicked’, says G‑d.” (Hagiga)
8.
Were it not for the fear of malchut (the kingdom).” (Avot 3:2) fear comes from malchut (Likutei Moharan), recognizing G‑d as the King and nullifying oneself to His will. This comes from looking at the heel - this lowest of realms, and seeing the Divine hand controlling and dictating events.
Fear is the backside/heel aspect relative to internal love. It so fixes and reveals Divinity in all of the heel aspects of creation - ‘from the head of all levels to the end of all levels.’ (Hagiga 5b) This is one reason why it is not enough just to love G‑d, even though this is higher quality.
9.
Therefore he was an ignoramus for forty years. (Ketubot) Even after elevating and becoming learned, he raised up the lower levels by accepting upon himself an intense degree of din.
10.
Refers to the leading Rabbis after the sealing of the Talmud. There were two main academies in Babylon, Naharda and Pumibidisa. The heads of these learning centers acquired the official title of ‘gaon’ [outstanding scholar].
11.
See Chayai Moharan for a fascinating story with the Maharasha and the gilgulim and rectification of King Ahab.
12.
This explains the Rambam’s suggestion of understanding the reasons behind the sacrifices, to wean the people off of idolatry (Mishna Torah). At first glance this appears quite astonishing. For there are many great secrets in the Temple service, as explained in the Zohar (III) and many other sources, indicating that the sacrifices are not a post facto practice just meant to save them from something bad. Rather, the Rambam means to say that the sacrifices in the Mishkan are designed to bring the people to attachment above that automatically eradicates from their spiritual psyche any possibility of idolatry. So offerings are called ‘karbonot/sacrifices’ – things that bring close - the soul and the universe to G‑d.
13.
Even though this is counted as one of the reasons they died, it was only because of their great level that this was considered such a serious offence. Because they were totally pure they could have performed the mitzvah in the highest manner and made the greatest rectifications. (Zohar III)
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: webmaster@kabbalaonline.org. 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 www.thirtysevenbooks.com
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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