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As many as four souls can reincarnate into one body

Four Souls, One Person

Four Souls, One Person

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Five, Section 2

Four Souls, One Person
As many as four souls can reincarnate into one body

The Rav will now continue with a discussion of the phenomenon of more than one Nefesh in one body.

We will now further clarify the subject that we began previously. The verse says, "…Visit the sins of the fathers on the children for three and four [generations]" (Ex. 20:5). This means that up to three reincarnating Nefashot can reincarnate with a new Nefesh together in one body at birth. This makes for a total of four Nefashot at one time. This is the secret of "four."

Three have reincarnated from previous reincarnations, and one is a new Nefesh

The verse reads, "…Visit the sins of the fathers on the children for three and four [generations]." The esoteric meaning of the word "four" is that it sets the maximum limit on the number of souls that can inhabit a single body at one time. Of these four, three have reincarnated from previous reincarnations, and one is a new Nefesh that has not been in a body beforehand.

It is also the secret of the verse "…two or three times with a man" (Job 33:29). Three Nefashot are able to reincarnate with one "man", who is this new Nefesh. However, it is not possible for more than this to reincarnate at one time. However, less than this amount is possible.

It is possible that one Nefesh can reincarnate alone in a body; or one reincarnated Nefesh with a new Nefesh. Or, two reincarnated Nefashot by themselves can go into one body; or two reincarnated Nefashot with a new one; or three reincarnated Nefashot by themselves; or three reincarnated souls with a new one. However, more than this is not possible within one body.

Those that are reincarnating together in a single body must all be of a single "root"…

Know that those that are reincarnating together in a single body must all be of a single "root". This is the esoteric meaning of the verse "…he shall redeem the property of his brother" (Lev. 25:25).

In other words, for one soul to redeem or help another, it must be his brother, so to speak; they must be related to each other through their roots. As we have learned already (Chapter Three, Section 2), souls come from different parts of Adam's spiritual body, and each particular location is a specific "root" from which a particular group of souls originates. This results in a resonance or connection between some souls which does not exist between souls from different roots.

As a result, even though the first time gilgul has not committed any of the sins of the previous gilgulim, he will still have to cleanse the blemish and stench that resulted from their earlier sins. This will be the case if he is from a more internal [primary] level than the others, such as the sinews of Adam HaRishon, as opposed to the Flesh [which is more "external"].

The physical and spiritual body consists of four aspects. They are listed here in order from the internal to the external, from the higher to the lower, from the primary to the secondary.

  • The bones with the brain marrow that is within them
  • The sinews
  • The flesh
  • The skin

Concerning this is the verse "You have dressed me with skin and flesh, and with bones and sinews you have covered me." (Job 10:11)

The Rav is using as an example the two middle aspects of the body: the sinews and the flesh. The sinews are more internal and primary than the flesh.

The new soul…will be responsible for the well being of the entire group soul…

In the example, the new soul comes from the aspect of the sinews, whereas the others that have reincarnated with him come from the exterior aspect of flesh. The new soul, although it has not shared in any of the sins of the others, will be responsible for the well being of the entire group soul that has reincarnated together with him. He is responsible because he is from a more primary aspect than they are, and he has the ability to rejuvenate them.

This is in order to draw life to the entire root.

One of the consequences of sin and repeated blemish is that one of the limbs of the spiritual body that has been affected by the sin may become atrophied. The holiness and life force may be removed from the limb in order that the other limbs do not become blemished as a result of the sin. Rectification of the sin, therefore, allows life and energy to return to the limb and rejuvenates it. In the case discussed here, this benefits the entire group of souls of the particular root that has reincarnated together.

[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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EarthAngel August 18, 2017

I believe with valid expermintation with others in paranormal research on this subject that there can definatly be more than just four "souls" in one body or "vessel" Dose any one else get constant glimpses of there past lives while awake not just in your meditation state?.. Reply

Anonymous Brazil October 12, 2015

So have us. We also have more than four souls living in a body coexisting peacefully as well and helping each other in this long journey. Reply

Luna August 11, 2015

My body has more than one soul 4 souls? Try 9. I'm ome of 9 in this body, coexieting peacfully as a family. Reply

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