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One who wants to marry a woman should first always check on her brother.

Nadab & Abihu

Nadab & Abihu

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Thirty-Three, Section 2a

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Later on, Nadab and Abihu also came from the good side of Cain, and this is the secret of "the firstborn Nadab and Abihu, Elazar." (Num. 3:2) On this, the Zohar in the portion Acharei Mot asks, "It should have said "v’Elazar [and Elazar] - with a V/vav?" It is so an allusion to Cain who was the firstborn of Adam - the firstborn of all history, and he reincarnated into Nadab and Abihu. Elazar and Ithamar however are from a different root. Therefore, it does not use V/vav [meaning 'and'] with Elazar - to separate him from Nadab and Abihu.

However, only Nadab had his ruach from the level of Cain, which is the secret of the verse, "Sustain me with Your ruach NDYVH/nedivah [generous spirit]." (Ps. 51:14) His nefesh came from his elder, AMYNDV/AmiNadab the father of Elisheva his mother, and so he took the last three letters NDV/Nadab.

NDYVH is NDV-YH. YH is the upper unification within the Tetragrammaton and in terms of Nadab implies that he had higher connection - exactly what the Ari'Zl says here about him having the special level of ruach - ruach nidivah/NDV-YH.

The verse that this is learned from is in the special psalm of David’s repentance over the Bat Sheba scenario. (Ps. 51) It involved him falling into what seemed to be adultery. Even though it was not, his nonetheless repenting over what seemed so, fixed a great part of Cain’s taking Abel’s wife. Nadab helped make somewhat of a tikun for this by not getting married at all.

This is the meaning of "Abihu"- he is from Adam, the father of the entire world.

However, with respect to Abihu, both his nefesh and ruach were from Cain, and that is why he is called "Abihu" [lit. 'he is my father'] - to indicate that all of his levels were from Cain, who received the nefesh from Adam himself, the father of the entire world. This is the meaning of "Abihu"- he is from Adam, the father of the entire world.

" Ab ['father'] is in chochmah. " (Zohar) Abihu indicates strong, essential chochmah linkage. AVYHU/Abihu is AV-YHV - chochmah includes the energies of bina and da’at that come from it and are included in YHV.

"Behold I send you the prophet Elijah, before the great, awesome day of G‑d comes. And he shall restore the heart of fathers to their children and the heart of children to their fathers." (Malachi 3:23-24) Atzilut/chochmah/Abba is as the father of B"YA, the children. The prophet Elijah will come and, through his great power of prophecy, unite Above and Below - Atzilut with B"YA. He will do this empowered by the super Nadab/Abihu energy entrusted to him.

In simple terms, the universe will awaken to know that it has a loving father. This will bring everyone close to their Father in Heaven and to each other. Cain, who murdered his brother, will be responsible for the greatest love, unity, and brotherhood known to mankind.

This is the secret of, "We are unclean for the nefesh adam [soul of man]," (Num. 9:7) which were [i.e. adam is referring to] Nadab and Abihu, the nefesh of Adam himself. However, since Nadab did not have the nefesh of Adam, it does not say "nefashot Adam" in the plural, since the main nefesh of Adam was only in Abihu.

This prevented those who carried their bodies out from the Tabernacle from offering the paschal lamb. (Num. 9:6) Their plea elicited the giving of a whole new mitzvah and portion of Torah - the Pesach Shaini [second paschal lamb]. It is brought a month later by all those who are unable to bring it at its fixed time on Pesach [Passover] itself. Included in the criteria of who can bring it are those who were ritually impure by way of impurity of a corpse before Pesach. This impurity comes as a result of the original sin.

The second chance comes to give extra opportunity to fix things. It plants a motion in creation of teshuvah - fixing mistakes. As mentioned, this in general is the theme of the Cain root, and its superiority over the Abel root – mostly brought to fruition through the Nadab/Abihu channel.

Abihu also received from Nachshon, his mother's brother…

The Ari'Zl starts this paragraph by mentioning that Abihu received from Nachshon - his mother's brother . The Rabbis teach that one who wants to marry a woman should always check her brother. It is learned from "And Aaron took Elisheva the daughter of AmiNadab, the sister of Nachshon, to him for a wife." (Ex. 6:23) In other words, this dynamic empowered Abihu to draw from the Nachshon energy.

…because he [Nachshon] was also from the root of Cain...

…because he [Nachshon] was also from the root of Cain called nefesh. Furthermore, since the main attachment of the zuhama of the snake in Adam is on the level of the nefesh of Asiya, he is called NChShN/Nachshon after the NChSh/nachash [snake].

NChShN/Nachshon is ‘NCSh-N/nachash-N/nun’ - the snake of the fiftieth gate. Nachash is gematria Mashiach. There cannot be a hero without a villain. The classic first villain mentioned in the Torah is Pharaoh, who is called a serpent. (Ezekiel 29:3)

A step deeper, Mashiach comes to transform, sublimate, and harness the snake energy to the good side. It comes from the unique messianic place - the fiftieth gate. It is channeled through Nachshon, the prince of the tribe of Judah (Num. 1:7) - the forefather of Mashiach. (Zohar I Vayeishev) The snake tastes not his food, for whatever he eats tastes like dust. He always crawls on his belly. (Gen. 3:14) In the rectified state, this represents one who is completely nullified to and included in the Infinite Light. "Let my soul be to all as dust." (Morning Liturgy)

Mashiach will purify and elevate the entire world to this level - the exalted inclusion of the fiftieth gate in the Infinite One. Nachshon, who was at this level, was the one who jumped into the sea and caused it to split. (Shemot Raba) When one is in extreme danger, the essence surfaces. He demonstrated complete trust in G‑d and nullification to His will. This was the catalyst for the miracle and opened the path for the whole nation to walk through the sea on dry land.

So it is will be with Mashiach by the final redemption. His outstanding faith, trust, and self-sacrifice will push the entire people through the pangs of exile, make miracles sprout left and right, and open the light of the grand fiftieth gate to shine to all.

The supernal snake removed two mochin from Nukvah, which is two times the word OVR-207/ohr, as we discussed on the verse, "VAHVT-414/va’ahavta [and you shall love] G‑d your L-rd." (Deut. 6:5) This is the gematria NChShN/Nachshon, to teach that Nachshon through his good deeds restored them to Nukvah.

Judah is rooted in malchut. (Likutei Moharan 4) The first prince of this tribe has to work to fix Nukvah the malchut/feminine principle. Nukvah is the partzuf that infuses this world. Mind power is light. Nukvah has two mind powers/lights. (Eitz Chayim, Shaar Nukvah) From this comes love and fear of G‑d. Twice ohr [light] equals v’ahavta, from which is learned the mitzvah to love G‑d, for fear and love.Together are two wings that propel the soul above to cleave to G‑d. (Deut. 10:12-13)

The main attack of the snake/evil inclination is to put the soul asleep to Divine connection.

The main attack of the snake/evil inclination is to put the soul asleep to Divine connection. He injects the poison of materialism and causes the soul to forget what it is here for. Nachshon jumped into the sea and jolted the entire people into remembering their purpose. His self-sacrifice stands for generations in the soul-switch board as a battery to enlighten Nukvah and the whole world drawn from it to aspire to on High.

Moreover, when it reincarnated into Yishai, David's father, then the level of Cain called snake was completely rectified. As the verse says, "who consorted with Abigail daughter of Nachash." (Samuel I 17:25) the Sages explain that she was the daughter of the one "who died because of the bite of the nachash [snake]", (Baba Batra 17a) alluding to the fact that Yishai was the end of the rectification of the zuhama of the nachash, having the nefesh of Cain. Nevertheless, he died because of the bite of the snake (Shabbat 55b) - because of the sin of Adam. Thus, more completion was achieved through Yishai than through Nachshon.

Yishai and David are also from Judah. Accordingly they also took a major part in rectifying the snake, who is stationed immediately beneath malchut in the worlds. Coming after Nachshon, they built on and furthered his work.

Yishai was one of the four who never sinned. His death was directly for the original sin and made a great repair for it. His great level of perfection paved the way for David/the Mashiach root to be born to the world.

From these last paragraphs we see clearly that the Nadab/Abihu Cain root is instrumental in fixing the tree of knowledge and bringing the final redemption.

Returning to the discussion of Nadab and Abihu, since they were on the level of the nefesh called Asiya, the zuhama of the snake attached itself to them, and they sinned in the incident of the "unauthorized incense-offering". (Lev. 10:1) As a result, they were punished with death [which has its hold on Asiya].

[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: 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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