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Two types of reincarnations and two types of ibur

Types of Reincarnation & Ibur

Types of Reincarnation & Ibur

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Five, Section 1

Types of Reincarnation & Ibur
Two types of reincarnations and two types of ibur

There are two types of gilgulim and two types of ibur.

The first type of gilgul occurs when a single Nefesh enters the body of a person at the time of birth.

The second type is also possible. Two Nefashot may reincarnate together, and this is also at the time of birth. This is called "Double Gilgul" [Gilgul Kaful]. It was explained in the previous chapter, and in other places.

Both these Nefashot [in Double Gilgul] reincarnate and come into the world together when the person's body is born. They do not separate until death. They are called one Nefesh. As one, they suffer the pain and punishments that are inflicted on the body throughout its lifetime, as well as the pain of death.

Ibur, however, does not occur at birth, as we explained earlier, and there are two types. The first occurs for the benefit of the righteous tzadik himself who enters a person to complete himself with something that was missing to him [the tzadik]. The second type is for the sake of the [host] person, to assist him with Torah and mitzvot.

Thus, gilgul takes place at the time of birth, and the two types are:

1) One Nefesh reincarnates into a body.
2) Two Nefashot reincarnate into the body (Double Gilgul).

The two types of ibur are:

1) The soul of a righteous tzadik comes into a person because the tzadik himself is missing some tikun. This ibur is for the benefit of the tzadik.
2) The Ibur is for the benefit of the host person. The soul of the tzadik has only come to help him.

Ibur does not take place at the time of birth, as the Rav will explain now. Then he will go on to further clarify some aspects of ibur.

the soul of the tzadik enters and spreads throughout the entire body, just like the person's own Nefesh

When he [the soul of the tzadik] comes for his own sake, then he does not enter the person until he is thirteen years old and one day. At that time the (host) person becomes obligated in Torah and mitzvot. In this way, he [the tzadik] can also rectify himself through this person, and that is why he does not enter before this time, only after the obligation of mitzvot has taken effect.

At that time, the soul of the tzadik enters and spreads throughout the entire body, just like the person's own Nefesh. The two of them suffer all bodily pain together and equally. It remains there for a set time to rectify and complete that which it needs. Then, it leaves while the person is still alive, and returns to its place Above in Paradise.

This completes the description here of the first type of ibur, where the soul of a tzadik comes for its own benefit to complete some tikun that was missing to it. The Rav has added here that since the soul of the tzadik is coming for itself, even though it is coming as an ibur, it also suffers the pains of bodily existence. It gains the merits of the Torah and mitzvot performed while it resides in that body. It does not suffer the obligations of any sins that may be committed during its residence in the body, as we learned previously. It only comes when the host is obligated Torah and mitzvot, and it leaves when it has finished with its own tikun.

The second type of ibur… comes in order to help the host perform Torah and mitzvot

In the second type of ibur, discussed now, the soul of the tzadik comes for the benefit of the host and does also not arrive until the age of thirteen years and a day. It comes in order to help the host perform Torah and mitzvot; thirteen years and a day is the time when that assistance becomes useful.

However, when [the soul of the tzadik] comes for the sake of the person and not for himself, then it comes of its own volition and not by coercion. Therefore, it is not forced to suffer any bodily pain at all, and it does not feel whatsoever the sufferings or afflictions that come upon [the host's body]. Furthermore, if he is pleased with the host person, then he remains; if not, then he leaves him, as it says, "Leave the tents of these evil people…" (Numbers 16:26).

[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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