Contact Us
Intro to "ibur" – the soul of a tzadik coming to “impregnate” souls of normal people

Help from Heaven

Help from Heaven

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter One, Section 8

Advanced Advanced
Help from Heaven
Intro to "ibur" – the soul of a tzadik coming to “impregnate” souls of normal people

According to this, you can also understand another well known concept of our rabbis: ruchot or neshamot of the righteous are infused into a person, in accord with the esoteric principle called “ibur,” to assist a person in his service of G‑d.

The concept of ibur here is not the same concept that was mentioned earlier in Section Five, although the nomenclature is the same. Literally, ibur refers to the embryo during the state of pregnancy. In this case, it refers to the “impregnation” of a person with the soul of a tzadik, which descends into the soul of a living person to assist the latter in his spiritual devotions.

The Talmud informs us that someone who comes to purify himself is assisted from On High

As is written in Midrash Ne’elam, [still] in handwritten manuscript [form], concerning the statement that “Someone who comes to purify himself, they help him.”

The Midrash Ne’elam is one of the books included in the holy Zohar. The Talmud (Shabbat 104a) informs us that someone who comes to purify himself is assisted from On High. The Midrash Ne’elam now explains this statement according to Rebbe Nathan.

Rebbe Nathan said: The souls of the righteous come and help him.

This is the type of heavenly assistance that may be granted. The soul of a tzadik will descend and become impregnated within the soul of a person who sets out to purify himself. [It is, also, a form of Divine inspiration - Ed.] Similar sources are found elsewhere in the holy writings.

The soul of Rav Hamnuna Sabba appeared in the form of simple workman transporting merchandise on a donkey

The same is found in the Introduction to the Zohar, on Genesis, where Rav Hamnuna Sabba came to Rebbe Elazar and Rebbe Abba in the appearance of a donkey loader, etc.

That is, the soul of Rav Hamnuna Sabba appeared to Rebbe Elazar and Rebbe Aba in the form of simple workman who transports merchandise on a donkey, in order to reveal to them secrets of the Zohar.

Undoubtedly, the ruchot and neshamot of tzadikim are “hidden away” and “bound up” with the “Bundle of Life”, each in his respective root, and G‑d does not cause them to descend at all. However, what descends are the ruchot that remained behind at each level of Yetzira, and which did not ascend, as we have spoken about.

As the righteous person ascended from level to level in the World of Yetzira, he left behind previous levels of ruach as he received new ones in their place. The levels of ruach that were no longer used became available to descend to help others in need of Divine assistance in their service of G‑d.

It is these that descend and enter other people to help them. However, the highest level of ruach that the righteous person acquired as a result of his deeds is bound up forever with the “Bundle of Life” [after he dies], and it does not move from there. This is true concerning the [levels of] neshama, chaya, and yechida as well.

Asiya is the lowest of the worlds, in proximity to the kelipot, and in constant danger of attack by them.


When each level of Asiya was completed, the perfected level of nefesh (from Asiya) itself ascended to the next level (i.e., to the same aspect of the soul-root on the next level). In this way all the completed levels of Asiya ascend to the highest place in Asiya, the keter of Asiya (albeit, in accord with the aspect of the original soul-root).

In the higher worlds of Yetzira, Beriya, etc., the situation is different. There, each completed level of soul remains in its place.

The reason for this difference was also explained. Asiya is the lowest of the worlds. Consequently, it is in proximity to the kelipot, and in constant danger of attack by them. Therefore, each completed level of soul ascends to a higher level in order to distance it as much as possible from the kelipot. In the higher worlds, however, there is no such danger. Therefore, each completed level of soul may remain in its place.

Based on this difference between Asiya and the higher worlds, we digressed in this section to learn something about the concept of ibur. Since there was an ascent from level to level in the world of Yetzira, the lower levels of soul that were completed there and remained in place, are now available to descend to impregnate the souls of other people. This infusion, or ibur, takes place in order to assist these people in their divine service.

The text now returns to discuss another difference between Asiya and the higher worlds of Yetzira, Beria, etc.

[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]

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.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with's copyright policy.
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
1000 characters remaining
superpilot/babykabbalist March 26, 2016

dear american indian friend, yes yes you are forgiven, for the only thing real in the universe is consciousness. your story is one with a "good consciousness" for the given circumstances. and no you are not Jewish but you might have a Jewish spirit. follow the footsteps that G-d provides and you will fall on the right path Reply

Cherish O'Connor Sturgis, Ky U.S.A. via February 14, 2016

I'm an American Indian, am I a jew? Does God consider Native American people to be one of his people? I love God and I know he's more than a way of the world curse or a spirit and I know he's The Almighty God who owns and rules everything and everybody. But does he forgive poor people who have made mistakes killing animals and devil worshipping if us native americans had to do it to survive or atleast were put in the situation where it felt alright to do. I don't kill anything or anybody anymore and I'm sorry. Reply

Yitzchak Chaim June 23, 2015

And so they come to help the soul
A pregnancy that makes it whole
Hashem commands events to unfurl
Tzadikim, impregnate the entire world! Reply

Related Topics

The larger, bold text is the direct translation of the classic text source.

The smaller, plain text is the explanation of the translator/editor.
Text with broken underline will provide a popup explanation when rolled over with a mouse.