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Sometimes individual souls may interchange

Switched Souls

Switched Souls

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Five, Section 6

Switched Souls
Sometimes individual souls may interchange

It can be that even though a person has a single, pure, and elevated Nefesh, he may become angry and it will leave him. A lesser Nefesh will then replace it. Or, he may contract a terrible sickness, and an exchange of souls may occur. Or, he may contract a debilitating illness, and his Nefesh may be exchanged and go to another person, while he receives a different Nefesh. This is the secret of what is said, "A righteous person all of his life, only to become evil in the end" (Berachot 29a).

Differences consequent upon the variant levels of soul can be tremendous. Look what can happen when a person becomes angry or seriously ill. His soul can be switched from a higher one to a lower one.

…the roots of their souls are from much lower places in the soul body of the human race…

Then his behavior may change accordingly from moral to immoral, and to such an extent that it would be said about him, "A righteous person all of his life, only to become evil in the end."

This is also true in a more general way concerning the earlier and later generations. The spiritual levels of the later generations are much lower than the earlier generations, and their behavior is much less righteous. This is because the roots of their souls are from much lower places in the soul body of the human race than those of the earlier generations. Thus, if the soul body of Adam is considered one partzuf and one lifetime, then it could also be said of it, "A righteous person all his life, only to become evil in the end."

Or, just the opposite may occur.

In the lifetime of individuals something may happen to cause the soul of a wicked person to be exchanged for one of a higher grade. He will then finish his life as a righteous person.

Having said this, it is also possible for a woman who was originally meant to be the wife of a particular person, but his soul gets switched and she becomes the wife of the other person [into whom his soul migrated].

Several times in the Gate of Reincarnations, the relationship of man and wife has been compared to that of the soul and the body. Accordingly, it may be that the Rav is implying that souls which are switched because of some sin or sickness may be switched more or less permanently like where a wife who goes to another person.

[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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