Now we will explain the left shoulder of Adam, which is called the Cain-root. It is considered only one limb, but as with all limbs, it incorporates flesh, tendons, and bones. The tendons in each of these limbs are not included in the 365 tendons of the 248 Limbs, but are small arteries in each limb.

The three levels of each limb, from head to heels - flesh, tendons, and bones - divide into 600,000 soul-sparks - making up one [complete] partzuf. The left heel of this partzuf divides into more than the 613 soul-sparks from which come the souls of Hezekiah the King of Judah, Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef, and Akavia ben Mehalelel. There is a link joining the souls of this root. However, the seed-drop from this heel that goes to the yesod can be called Yaakov, and sometimes Akavia ben Mehalelel, and sometimes Akiva - and the like.

The entire level of the heel is the malchut of that parzuf...

The entire level of the heel is the malchut of that parzuf, and there is therefore an ability for all the souls of this heel to ascend until the secret of 'machshava', [thought - the chochma of Arich] - in the secret of "The woman [malchut] will court the man [chochma]." (Jeremiah 31:21)

"The woman" symbolizes the awakening from below. When she is the catalyst for the relationship, she then as if "courts the man" - ascends to unite with and assume the male aspect. This is also called "a woman of valor is the crown of her husband." (Prov. 12:4, Likutei Torah)

From the external perspective, this is a lower level. Inside, it is really higher. The bina/feminine aspect ricochets above chochma to keter. This is the secret of this soul root being so essential to the final redemption, which is incumbent upon drawing keter flow. " And those redeemed by G‑d shall return...eternal joy upon their heads [the place of keter/crown]." (Isaiah 35:10)

For this reason, Rebbi Akiva ascended to the level of machshava. As the Sages indicate when they wrote about him, "Quiet! This is what went up to machshava". (Menachot 29b) Understand this.

Upon seeing a vision of Rabbi Akiva being ruthlessly executed, Moses questioned G‑d, and was answered, "Quiet!..." It seems as if G‑d was telling Moses that the answer to the question is beyond comprehension. On a deeper level, the answer was that Rabbi Akiva reached the perfect inclusion in the level of machshava, the very foundations of creation, (See Likutei Moharan II-7) as the Rabbis teach, "At first machshava [thought], G‑d wanted to create the world with din [judgment]. He saw that the world could not endure [like that], so He attached to it the quality of mercy." (Breishit Raba 12 )

Rabbi Akiva lived his life in extreme piety...

Rabbi Akiva lived his life in extreme piety, fulfilling the mitzvahs to a super-human degree of exactingness.1 In the grand finale of his death at the stake, he connected to judgment, the initial motion of creation. His students asked him then how he could bear such torture; he explained that his entire life he was waiting for this moment.

But, could judgment be the starting point of genesis? Doesn't it say, "The world is built for lovingkindness"? (Psalms 103:2)

The sacred works are filled with elaboration on the theme that everything was made for good. But because G‑d wanted to give man the greatest good possible, He originally thought to set existence on the strictest standard; the higher the standard man lives up to, the more good he is able to receive. However, when He saw that the world could not bear it, he toned down the din and paired it with lovingkindness. However, there are extremely rare individuals who ascend to the plane of the originally intended standard and merit a place in the world-to-come that no one else can access. (Zohar II Pekudei)

Here, the Ari explains that Rabbi Akiva was especially geared to reach such a plateau since his soul is a major hitter in the left/din Cain-root. This equipped him with the ability to bear and live with harsh judgment on a daily basis, reaching crescendo in death.

One of the major underlying themes of this Sha'ar Hagilgulim is that the Mashiach process primarily involves the rectification and revelation of the Cain root. Since Rabbi Akiva is one of the greatest of this root, there came a spark of messianic energy in his generation, embodied in Bar Kochva. Rabbi Akiva did not make a mistake. On the contrary, because of his special level, he alone recognized that Bar Kochva actually had a part of the messianic soul, and that it was on the verge of being actualized. The fact that it wasn't successful does not take away from this truth - it was another major step to the final redemption.

Regarding these two shoulders: When a defect results from a certain sin in one of the shoulders, or if the defect is in the left shoulder, such as when it became blemished through the sin of Cain whose place it is, then the right shoulder also becomes blemished. Therefore, even though someone whose root is the left shoulder will have long hairs from both his shoulders. There will be more hair on his left shoulder than on his right shoulder, since that is his main place. However, if the right shoulder becomes defected, which is the root of Abel, then the sign will only be in the right shoulder.

The left level of din always includes the right side within itself. So, it affects the right side together with itself, whereas the right side can as if be alone at times.2

Hairs are constrictions of the mental energies.

Hairs are constrictions of the mental energies. (Likutei Moharan 11) They come from din and accordingly is a vehicle of expression for the side of din.

So we find that the hair of the left shoulder of one who is from the left shoulder will be more than on the rest of his body, to indicate that is the place from which he is connected to Adam.3

In Sha’ar Ruach HaKodesh [The Gate of Divine Inspiration], in the chapter 'Hakaras Hapartzuf' [Recognizing Faces], a little about the letters NR"N, etc., is explained.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]