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A little bit of good in an evil person can be passed to the righteous.

Transferring Merit

Transferring Merit

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Seven, Section 11

Transferring Merit
A little bit of good in an evil person can be passed to the righteous.

One can lose his portion in the Resurrection of the Dead by transference of all the good to one soul partner and transference of all the evil to the other one.

There is another explanation to the verse mentioned above, "Let the evil of the wicked finish them, but You will establish the righteous…" (Psalms 7:10) It can sometimes happen that a person's Nefesh will not enter him wholly and completely. Some of the good with most of the evil that is within it will go into the body of another person. The one who is mostly good will have the ability to draw all of the good to himself…

These two will then be friends. The one who is mostly good will have the ability to draw all of the good to himself. The entire portion of evil will be banished to the mostly-evil person. Regarding the second person it says, "Let the evil of the wicked finish them…." Concerning the first person it says, "…You will establish the righteous", along the lines of what was said in the first explanation.

It might also be that both of them are equally balanced. If one of them commits a sin, and definitely if the second one also performs a mitzvah, then he will overcome his friend. He will begin to draw the good to himself little by little until the good is completely by him, and the evil is completely by the other one.

The Rav will now provide an explanation for a difficult passage in the Talmud, which will also describe how the good was completely taken from a person, who was then left with only evil.

With this you can understand what the sages meant when they wrote, "Ahab was balanced," (Sanhedrin 102b) and when it says, "All the hosts of Heaven stood by his right and his left" (Kings I, 22), which was said regarding King Ahab. Although the evil sometimes overpowered him…still the Nefesh itself was half good and half bad…

The Talmud teaches that the heavenly tribunal met to decide what to do with King Ahab. The angels that stood on the left were prosecutors demanding punishment. The angels that stood on the right were defenders recalling merit. The Rav brings the teaching of the Talmud that Ahab was balanced and that he had the ability to repent and rectify all his sins until he murdered Nevot (Kings I, 21). It was the spirit of Nevot that decided the judgment against Ahab and led him to destruction. (Ibid. 22)

Is this not amazing? It says that the lightest sin of Ahab was like the worst sin of Jeroboam.

The prophet many times writes that not only was King Jeroboam a sinner, but he also caused the entire nation to sin. It was he who built the golden calves in Bet El and Dan, which eventually caused the exile and disappearance of the Ten Tribes of Israel.

In one place the Talmud states that the lightest sins of Ahab were equal to the worst sins of Jeroboam. Yet, on the same page the Talmud teaches, as we have read, that Ahab was equally balanced! The Talmud seems to contradict itself.

How could they call him "balanced"?! Rather, it is like this. His actions were not balanced, but rather they leaned in the direction of guilt. However, his Nefesh was balanced - half good and half bad. Although the evil sometimes overpowered him and he worshipped idols, still the Nefesh itself was half good and half bad.

Thus, it could be that at the same time that a person's actions are terrible and horribly sinful, his Nefesh could still retain a large repository of good, and the balance sheet of his gilgul could still finish in tikun. This is very encouraging.

Therefore, G‑d did not reject him completely, but rather wanted him to repent. He might do good. And that is why Elijah the Prophet chased after him, in order to bring him back in teshuva until the incident of Nevot from the Jezreel Valley.

[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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