"And if a priest's daughter will become widowed or divorced, she may return to her father's house as when she was a girl, and she may eat her father's food. Any non-priest must not eat sacred things." (Lev. 22:13)

In this verse, the Torah speaks of the person who had achieved the most spiritually advanced level of neshama of the neshama. We have explained that as a result of such an ascent this kind of person is separated from sin almost absolutely, his whole lifestyle being one of avoiding even the proximity of sin. The Torah hints at this by describing such a daughter of a priest as "married", i.e. closely attached to her holy roots. This is the kind of soul of which King Solomon had spoken (Proverbs 12:21) when he described it as not becoming the victim of any mishap, i.e. sin.

When such an elevated soul somehow commits a sin, the result is that it will lose its status of being "married" to her holy roots and will become "widowed or divorced", as the case may be, in either case forfeiting the source of its sustenance, the most holy domain, the world of Atzilut.

...the punishment is "only" that she will...eat of the food dished out at the table of her father….

The example "divorced" refers to the nature of its misdemeanor having been more serious than the one in which it is described as "widowed". When the Torah adds that she (the neshama of the neshama) did not have any seed, this is a simile for such a soul (person) not having performed the kind of good deeds in this world that are known as "fruits", or progeny. Nonetheless, the punishment is "only" that "she will return to her father's house", to eat of the food dished out at the table of her father such as she did before her soul had begun to ascend to spiritual heights.

The fact that she has to eat once more the kind of food she used to eat when she had been only on the level of nefesh or ruach is a very painful experience for such a soul. It is equivalent to a person who had sinned and who had never ascended beyond the nefesh level of existence, having to die as a punishment for his sin. If the person who had attained the spiritual level of being a neshama of the neshama had also performed the kind of good deeds on earth known as "fruits", its punishment for having committed a trespass would be "only" that she is considered as eating at her own table.

Any non-priest must not eat sacred things.

Here the Torah provides a rationale why G‑d does not display His mercy to such a soul, permitting her to eat sacred things if not as a matter of right then at least as a matter of G‑d's grace. When a soul which had once ascended to lofty spiritual heights had allowed herself to backslide and make common cause with spiritually negative forces known as "alien", she can no longer qualify for partaking from sacred foodstuffs - "G‑d's table", as it were.

[Selected with permission from the five-volume English edition of "Ohr HaChaim: the Torah Commentary of Rabbi Chaim Ben Attar" by Eliyahu Munk.]