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The soul of a living tzadik can also incarnate into another person.

Ibur While Alive

Ibur While Alive

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Three, Section 1

Ibur While Alive
The soul of a living tzadik can also incarnate into another person.

Ibur takes place during a person's lifetime, as we have already mentioned.

In Chapter 2, Section 3 it was written: "…There will reincarnate into the body of this person, while he is still alive, the Nefesh of a righteous tzadik." This is called ibur, and more specifically, "ibur while alive." The difference between this type of ibur and gilgul was also explained there.

Normally, ibur takes place during a person's lifetime; it involves parts of soul that come to a person years after he is born. Gilgul, on the other hand, involves parts of soul that a person is born with. They reincarnate from the time he is born, and they stay with him until the end of his lifetime.

(Later on in this chapter, there will be introduced a new concept of "ibur from birth," and it will be explained there, God-willing, when we come to it. The subject of this section, however, is the normal type of ibur.)

Sometimes a certain mitzvah may come before a person, and he performs the mitzvah as it should be done. At that point the Nefesh of an earlier righteous person who had performed this same mitzvah correctly will join the person as an ibur, since they are alike with respect to this mitzvah.

Thus, the actual mitzvah to be performed affects which righteous soul will join a person as an ibur.

Now we are learning that the ibur can even come from a living righteous individual

Not only this, but it is also possible that the righteous person is alive during his lifetime, and still ibur can occur.

The one who performed the mitzvah and the righteous person are alive at the same time, and still ibur can occur.

Thus, if a person performs a particular mitzvah or mitzvot relevant to a righteous individual who also performed correctly, then the Nefesh of that righteous tzadik can enter the person, even while they are both alive at the same time.

Up until now we knew that ibur occurred in a living body after birth, but with the soul of a righteous person who has already died. Now we are learning that the ibur can even come from a living righteous individual.

This is the secret meaning of the verse, "The Nefesh of Jonathan became attached to the Nefesh of David" (I Samuel 18:1). In other words, even while they were both alive, the Nefesh of David was joined with Jonathan as an ibur.

This accounts for the strong soul bond they had while they were alive.

(Rabbi Chaim Vital, who recorded these works, says: It appears that one mitzvah performed correctly is enough to initiate the ibur. It is not required that he have performed all mitzvot to this point).

[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.
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