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Causing the soul to ascend, and avoiding perils

To Be Like Moses

To Be Like Moses

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter One, Section 7

To Be Like Moses
Causing the soul to ascend, and avoiding perils

(The subject of this section is an esoteric interpretation to the verse of Samuel II 14:14 according to the principle that was explained in the preceding section about the difference between Asiya and the worlds above it.)

The following is the esoteric meaning of the verse,
G‑d spares [yisa] no one [Nefesh]; He considers thoughts so that no one be banished from him (Samuel II 14:14).

These considerations, that no one be banished, are only for the sake of the Nefesh, since the Nefesh is in Asiya, and thus, because of the kelipot there, in danger of being “banished from him.”

the esoteric understanding of the verse is that it is talking about the nefesh of a person, asking that it not be 'banished'

The "banished one" refers to King David’s son, Absalom, who had fled from his father after having his half-brother, Amnon, killed in revenge for violating Absalom’s sister, Tamar. The verse is addressed to King David, asking him to allow Absalom to return home. However, the sod (the esoteric understanding) of the verse is that it is talking about the Nefesh of a person, asking G‑d that it not be “banished” amongst the kelipot which can latch on to it.

Therefore, because of this concern the remedy for the Nefesh is that “G‑d does spare yisa the Nefesh.”

The word employed by the verse yisa is translated as “spare,” but the more literal translation is “lift up,” which leads to the following esoteric explanation of the verse:

In other words, G‑d does not “lift up” [noseh] and raise a person in order to give him another Nefesh from a higher level than that of his actual root. That would necessitate leaving behind the first one in its place, leaving it vulnerable to the kelipot there.

In other words, as the person moved to a higher level of Nefesh, the lower level of Nefesh that was left behind would no longer be in use, which would render it vulnerable to the kelipot.

Accordingly, He [G‑d] does not give him another Nefesh, more elevated and exalted. Rather the original Nefesh itself ascends upward according to the person’s actions, up until the level of the keter of Asiya. He never possesses any other Nefesh.1

He earns an additional, higher, ruach

However, this is not the case in Yetzira and the other worlds, where his Ruach or his Neshama, etc., remains on the level of its root. Instead, the person earns an additional, higher, Ruach commensurate with the perfection of his deeds, as discussed earlier.

Beyond the World of Asiya the holiness is such that the kelipot can no longer latch on to a vacated soul-level. Therefore, the soul-level from which a person is ascending need not ascend with the person as he goes up from level to level.

This is the esoteric meaning of the well-known statement: Every person can be like our teacher Moses [i.e.] if he is willing to perfect his actions. For [by doing so] he continues to acquire higher levels of Ruach until [he finally attains] the uppermost level of Yetzira. Similarly, [this advancement continues, and a person can ultimately obtain] a Neshama from the uppermost part of Beriya, etc.

[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]

This distinction will also make a difference in the level of spirituality that a person can actually achieve. For example, a person whose root is on the level of the malchut of Asiya cannot relate to the same spiritual level as one whose root is on the level of the keter of Asiya, even if the first one can ascend to the level of keter.
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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