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One who fails to perform the mitzva of procreation must reincarnate with a partner

Return Due to Lack of Procreation

Return Due to Lack of Procreation

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Five, Section 8

Return Due to Lack of Procreation
One who fails to perform the mitzva of procreation must reincarnate with a partner

There is a difference between someone who reincarnates because he was childless and did not perform the mitzva of procreation, and someone who reincarnates because of any other transgressions that he may have committed. Someone who reincarnates for not having procreated will not be able to return alone, but only in partnership with another.

This will [also] be the case even if he is like Shimon ben Azzai who did not need to reincarnate to have children.

Rabbi Shimon ben Azzai is a special case in Jewish history and law. He was married to the daughter of Rabbi Akiva, but he divorced her. His love of Torah was so great and consuming that he could not share it with anyone else. Since he had accomplished the mitzvah of procreation in a previous gilgul, it was not necessary for him to reincarnate specifically to do that mitzva.

The extension of his own physical existence achieved through procreation is missing

Nevertheless, when he reincarnates at birth because of a different sin, or to assist someone else, or to come as an ibur during lifetime, it will not be possible to return alone, but only in partnership with another.

Since he is "half of a body"; he cannot come alone.

The extension of his own physical existence that would have been achieved through procreation is missing. It is as if he is only half a body. The compensation for this deficiency is that he will be born together with another soul.

It could be that this is also called a "Double Gilgul," as we have discussed in previous chapters. This gilgul is not because of yibum. So it seems to the humble opinion of Chaim.

The secret of yibum was discussed in Sections 6 and 7 of Chapter Three, and the last section of Chapter Two. The secret of yibum is a special type of gilgul that takes place when there is a lack of procreation. In yibum it is considered as if the first gilgul almost never existed. This is not the case here. Therefore, the writer, Rav Chaim Vital, may his memory be a blessing, considers that this case is not yibum but Double 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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