Now Aaron was from the root of Abel,1 the son of Adam. The root of Abel divided into many levels of roots, principally two soul-roots: The roots of Haran and Nahor, the brothers of Abram.

Nahor reincarnated into Hur the son of Miriam (Moses' sister), while Haran reincarnated into Aaron. ChVR/(C)hur took the three letters of NChVR/Na(c)hor, while the N/nun from Nahor remained for the root of Ahab king of Israel, as we will explain. However, AHRN/Aaron has the three letters of HRN/Haran (hei-reish-nun), plus an additional A/aleph.

Lot the son of Haran was also from the root of Abel. Therefore the head-letters of LVT BN HRN/Lot ben [son of] Haran spell HVL/Abel in reverse - since both Lot and Haran were from the Abel-root. From Lot later came King Rehoboam, [King Solomon's son] as we will explain. Thus we find that Moses, his brother Aaron, Hur ben Miriam (their nephew), Lot, and Ahab are all from the root of Abel the son of Adam - different branches but all from Abel.

Haran himself came to rectify the sin of Adam who had performed idol-worship.

As said, Aaron was Haran the brother of Abram. Now, Haran himself came to rectify the sin of Adam who had performed idol-worship. However, not only did he not rectify, but he didn’t even believe in G‑d until after Abraham came out of the fiery furnace, as the Sages say.2 Therefore Haran was burned in Ur Kasdim [the furnace in Kasdim].

"Whatever is in your power to do - do!" (Eccl. 9:10) The fact that Haran died for the sake of faith started the process and paved the way for his soul to continue to undergo stages of tikun. A person should never say that since he wasn’t able to do everything that it seem he should do - therefore he won’t do anything.

After that, he reincarnated into Aaron to rectify the sin - but in the end he did just the opposite by making the [Golden] Calf. Really he should have instead sacrificed himself when the Mixed Multitude came to him and said, "Arise and make a god for us." (Ex. 32:1) However he erred, thinking that it was enough that they had already killed Hur, who was also from the root of Abel.

The intention of Aaron was totally good. He knew that if he would not listen to the people they would kill him. This alone was not an issue for him. However, he was concerned that because of this, G‑d would destroy the people, in accordance with the principle that G‑d is more exacting about the honor of tzadikim than of His own. (Zohar III)

Nonetheless, there was some aspect of this that was considered a lack on the part of Aaron. Adam's original mistake planted in events a strange scenario that, at times, no matter what a person might do, things cannot be completely good. Moreover, he might have to suffer consequences. This seems unfair, but life is not meant to be fair. We are here to fix things. A repair man who is sent to fix a stove does not question why the stove broke or why he is sent to fix it - he knows that his purpose is simply to do his job and make the repair. Each soul is a repairman of some part of existence and is sent in certain places/situations to rectify sparks of the original sin - according to their soul-root and according part in it. This is the ultimate cause of all seemingly impossible circumstances.

...he built an altar as a result of the one slaughtered before him...

This is the secret of, "And he built an altar before him," (Ex. 32:5) which the Sages interpret to mean that he built an altar as a result of the one slaughtered before him - that is Hur. Thus, he didn’t stop them and sacrifice himself instead - and sinned as a result. This was not rectified until Uriah the Priest, as we will explain later.

However, prior to this he reincarnated into Ya’abetz the Judge. He sinned then as well, constantly making vows, as the Sages say on the verse, "Ya’abetz called out to the G‑d of Israel, saying, ‘If you will bless me’." (Chron. I 4:10) Therefore, he reincarnated into Tola the son of Pu’ah the Judge. He was called ‘Tola’ after ‘tola’a[worm], whose strength is in its mouth,3 to hint that he had come to rectify the vows that came forth from his mouth.

He sinned in another way as well, as the Sages explain on the verse, "He dwelt in Shamir, in Mount Ephraim." (Judges 10:1) For, he remained in a single location in one city, rather than traveling from place to place to judge Israel. This prevented the people from coming to him for judgment because of the need to travel. Therefore he reincarnated into Samuel the Prophet, who rectified this sin by traveling from place to place to judge the people, as the verse says.

Nadab and Abihu, who are called ‘limbs of truth’, came to him in ibur. From there (netzach and hod, which they represent) comes prophecy, and therefore he merited prophecy through them. When he fathered Abijah, his own son, Abihu reincarnated into him4 - so their names are similar. Nadab however remained in Samuel, which is the secret of, "his second [born son] Abijah." (Samuel I 8:2) For Nadab remained in Samuel, but from his second, that is Abihu, came the reincarnation into his son called Abijah.

The limbs represent the sefirot. They are all truthful. Nonetheless netzach and hod are special, for although they are in some aspect considered outside of the body of holiness and are thus susceptible to the kelipot, which are called sheker [falsehood] - they remain truthful. Linking to this special degree of truth afforded Samuel the merit of prophecy. A person can merit divine inspiration through simply thinking of G‑d and connecting his everyday business to Him.

...that good was Mashiach ben Yosef, who was destined to come from him...

After that, Samuel died and reincarnated into Abijah, the son of Jeroboam. Thus it says by Samuel, "All of Israel eulogized him" (Samuel I 28:3) and with respect to Abijah, the son of Jeroboam it says, "All of Israel eulogized him." (Kings I 14:18) For they saw something good within him. According to Midrash Eichah in the Zohar, that good was Mashiach ben Yosef, who was destined to come from him - the reason being because he was the reincarnation of Samuel.

"‘And G‑d saw the light that it was good’ (Gen. 1:3) - that it is good to hide."5 He hid it in yesod - the sefira of Joseph/Yosef. It is thus to be revealed by Mashiach ben Yosef. Yesod is the sefira of connection - between above and below. A new level of this connection is revealed at the time of death, when the soul departs above. It is thus a powerful time of yesod energy. People sensed this and saw through it some of the special good of the hidden light.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]