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Reincarnation of a second soul into a living body

Receiving an Ibur

Receiving an Ibur

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Two, Section 3

Receiving an Ibur
Reincarnation of a second soul into a living body

In this section the Arizal will disclose new information concerning the concept of ibur, which he has already discussed in Chapter One (see Section 5). First, however, he will review the important rule that we have been studying in this chapter: namely, if a Nefesh achieves tikun only in a subsequent gilgul and not in its first lifetime, then it cannot receive Ruach in the same gilgul. The person must first die, and then his Nefesh and Ruach will be reincarnated together.

If a Nefesh reincarnates and becomes rectified through its actions to the point that it is ready for its Ruach, he cannot receive his Ruach, as it has been explained. [If it is not his very first gilgul, then] two or three levels of soul cannot become unified in one gilgul without great need, as we will mention later. Rather, each one requires its own gilgul.

Only in the first gilgul can the Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama be rectified within one body

First the Nefesh needs to be rectified, and even when this happens he will not receive his Ruach until after he dies. Then the Nefesh can reincarnate and merit the Ruach. The same is true of the two of them; if they become rectified to the point that they are ready for their Neshama, they cannot receive it until they reincarnate again. Then they can merit their Neshama.

As we have already learned, only in the first gilgul can the Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama be rectified within one body. After that, the person must reincarnate to move from level to level, even if he finishes one level "early."

What happens for the Nefesh that is already rectified but lacks a Ruach?

We are talking about after the first gilgul, when it is not possible to receive another level of his soul without reincarnation. What happens, though, in the meantime until reincarnation, if the Nefesh is already rectified?

This is the sod ["secret"]: From the same level of purity and extent of tikun attained by this Nefesh, there will reincarnate into the body of this person, while he is still alive, the Nefesh of a righteous tzadik that has already completed gilgulim and rectification, and does not need to reincarnate here. By entering here, the Nefesh of this tzadik takes the place of the Ruach of this person.

A regular gilgul involves reincarnation from one lifetime to another.

Thus, from the time that the Nefesh has become rectified, the Nefesh of a righteous person will enter him and fill the role of the Ruach that cannot come down.

Sometimes, it is even possible for the souls of early tzadikim, such as the Nefesh of our patriarch Abraham, or similar souls, to reincarnate. This depends upon the tikun and purification of the Nefesh of the person.

Gilgulim [of this type] which occur during the lifetime of a person are called by the rabbis, "sod ["secret of"] ibur." And this is the basic difference between a regular gilgul and an ibur.

According to what we have learned here, a regular gilgul involves reincarnation from one lifetime to another. Ibur, on the other hand, is the "impregnation" of a person by the soul of a rectified, righteous tzadik because the Nefesh has completed its tikun, but it cannot receive Ruach without reincarnating since the tikun did not take place in its very first gilgul.

[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]

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.
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