Rebbe Shimon opened his discourse with the verse: "And these are the laws which you shall set before them. If you buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve; and in the seventh he shall go out free, for no payment." (Ex. 21:1-2) The Aramaic translation of the phrase "And these are the laws" is "these are the judgements that you shall set in order before them"; this implies the explanation of the reincarnation of souls and the judgements and punishments relating to them. Each and every one is given his punishment through reincarnation.

This is in order to become refined and purified of sins or omissions that require rectification in a physical body.

Six lifetimes…are the maximum allowed…

Friends, this is the time to reveal some of the secrets associated with reincarnation as hinted at by these verses. "If you buy a Hebrew slave, six years he shall serve" refers to the soul which is required to come down to the physical world to work, or rectify its blemishes.

Now if the soul is from the side of spiritual force known as "the Hebrew Slave" - the angel Metatron - [as it serves the sefira of malchut of Atzilut] which includes six sides, then "...six years he shall serve" - it is given six lifetimes to rectify itself.

These are the maximum allowed for it to complete all six levels from the place from which it was hewn. This soul has its source in one of the six sefirot in the world of Beriya - chesed, gevura, tiferet, netzach, hod and yesod. All the mitzvot have their source in these sefirot. The positive commandments are sourced in chesed. The negative commandments (such as not to steal) are sourced in gevura. Tiferet is the learning of all the Torah, while netzach, hod and yesod relate to learning Torah, Prophets and Writings. The verse is relating from the level of the body: "If you" - the body - "acquire a Hebrew servant" - a Jewish soul - "it shall serve you six years" - up to six reincarnations to rectify its blemishes, and needs to work and suffer problems and sickness, poverty and confusion until rectified.

A soul conceived during the weekdays has its source in lower level than that conceived on Shabbat….

However, this is not so if the soul is from the side of the Shechinah, which is the seventh level [malchut].

This soul is drawn down through the holy union of its parent's on the seventh day - Shabbat - which is the day associated with the sefira of malchut of Atzilut.

Certainly this soul will "go out free" of servitude because it is a righteous soul, free of any servitude [to the kelipot].

The Torah it learns, and the mitzvot it performs, rectifies such a soul. The Zohar here repeats a theme as yet untested by modern science, namely that the intentions and meditative state of the parents and the time of their union has a lifetime effect on their progeny. A soul conceived during the weekdays has its source in a lower level than that conceived on Shabbat.

Zohar, Mishpatim, page 94a; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

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