Printed from
The soul with the 'Ruach' may acquire the good of that with the 'Nefesh'

Dangers of Nefilat Apayim

Dangers of Nefilat Apayim

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Seven, Section 9

Dangers of Nefilat Apayim
The soul with the 'Ruach' may acquire the good of that with the 'Nefesh'

When the Ruach is drawn down during the Nefilat Apayim meditation while the Nefesh is still completing its tikun, then there are dangers for the one who has the Nefesh. During Resurrection of the Dead the Nefesh and the Ruach will both arise within him…

There is yet another thing to be clarified regarding this matter of the Ruach and the Nefesh that was just discussed. Since they can both come into the world in separate bodies, they are judged against each other in terms of who finishes his tikun first. If the person who received the Ruach completes his tikun prior to the person with the Nefesh, then he becomes the "main one." Therefore, during Resurrection of the Dead the Nefesh and the Ruach will both arise within him.

However, if the one who possessed the Nefesh finished his tikun first, then I [Rabbi Chaim Vital] do not recall what was said. However, it seems to me that I heard that during Resurrection of the Dead they arise into the body that possessed the Nefesh, since he became the main one.

There is another important distinction regarding the person who took Ruach during Nefilat Apayim before the final tikun of the Nefesh.

We have learned that if he completes the tikun of Ruach before the one who has Nefesh completes its tikun, then it may be that he will arise in the time of the Resurrection of the Dead with both the Ruach and the Nefesh. In such a case there exists a very serious danger for the one who had Nefesh.

In such a case, if the person merits through his actions, he can draw all the good of the Ruach to himself and leave the other evil. The Nefesh will lose all his merits to the one who is completing Ruach

In other words, the one who had the Nefesh will lose all his merits to the one who is completing Ruach. The first will be left with evil only. Therefore, he will not arise in the time of Resurrection, and all his good and merits will go to the second one who has rectified Ruach.

This is the secret of the verse "Let the evil of the wicked finish them, but You will establish the righteous…" (Psalms 7:10) One whose deeds make him evil - he will finish by taking all the evil to himself. This is what it says, "Let the evil of the wicked finish them", while all the good is taken by the righteous person whose actions have purified him. Thus, he is finished and totally established, as it says, "…You will establish the righteous."

It is known that a person is a combination of good and evil, purity within kelipa. Sometimes the evil is greater than the good, and the evil that is within him must be purified until all that remains is complete good.

There are several mechanisms to accomplish this purification. What the Rav is having us contemplate here, since the evil is greater than the good, seems to be one of the more unpleasant possibilities.

Thus have I heard from my teacher, may his memory be blessed, though I did not merit to understand this well. However, it seems to me that it is possible for the evil of the Nefesh and the Ruach to come together into one person whose actions are evil, and for the good of the Nefesh and the Ruach to come to someone who has purified his actions, as mentioned before.

Knowing this you will be able to understand in the next section the danger faced by King David.

[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.
Start a Discussion
1000 characters remaining

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.