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The hierarchy of souls in multiple reincarnation

Ibur and Growth

Ibur and Growth

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Five, Section 3

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Ibur and Growth
The hierarchy of souls in multiple reincarnation

Ibur has similar limitations [as gilgul].

In the previous section we learned that a group of Nefashot from the same root may come together into one body, but there is a quantitative limitation to this possibility. More than four nefashot may not reincarnate together. Of the four, three are reincarnations and one is a new Nefesh. The same quantitative limitation applies to ibur as well.

Up to three Nefashot can come to help a person's Nefesh. The total will then be four. More is not possible, but less is.

However, those who had come in the secret of gilgul only came to help themselves, to rectify their sins, or to fulfill a mitzva they had yet to perform.

The soul of a tzadik may come for its own benefit or only for the benefit of the host

The last section focused on the subject of multiple gilgulim. Now we are beginning the discussion of ibur, and the Rav is reminding us here of the contrast between gilgul and ibur. In gilgul the Nefashot all come at the time of birth, and they all come to benefit themselves, to rectify some sin or perform some mitzva. In contrast, in ibur the soul of a tzadik comes into the host at the age of thirteen and one day, or later. They may come for their own benefit or only for the benefit of the host.

Expanding upon the discussion of ibur, the following is an example.

Consider a person who has reincarnated into a body to rectify himself. He has ten Nefashot in his root that are higher than himself. If he merits it, then the tenth, lowest Nefesh, which is still higher than he is, will enter him as an ibur and help him to achieve tikun. If he increases his merit then he will receive the ninth Nefesh as an ibur, and if he merits more, then the eighth Nefesh will enter. Thus, he will have received three Nefashot, and, including his own, there will be four in total. More than this is not possible.

However, if he further increases his merits, then he can even receive the seventh Nefesh as well, causing the tenth Nefesh to surrender its light to the three higher iburim.

There can only be four Nefashot in the body at one time. One is the host, and three are iburim [plural form of ibur]. If the fourth Nefesh above the host enters, then the lowest of those above the host must leave.

This is the way it continues until he achieves the three highest Nefashot of the ten: the first, second, and third. The light of these three will be revealed in this ibur to assist him. The other seven will lose their light to them; in contrast to the light of the three upper Nefashot, they will seem as if they no longer exist. This is because only three Nefashot, in addition to the Nefesh of the person himself, are possible [in one 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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Anonymous August 12, 2016

Are these souls who enter one's body previous histories of the host? Reply

Anonymous Mesa, Arizona, USA February 12, 2012

Ibur And Growth What does it means that a nefesh enters a body? Does it means that four nefesh (souls?) enter or possess the body of a person? How can this be and how do we know that? Where in Torah does one reads this? And if it does, is this the same soul that lived in another body at another time? How can I get this information in the Kabalah? Reply

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