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Converts aid the reincarnation and rectification of others' souls.

The Soul of a Convert

The Soul of a Convert

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Four, Section 5

The Soul of a Convert
Converts aid the reincarnation and rectification of others' souls.

When all three NR"N were blemished, then they must return in separate reincarnations, and the Ruach and Neshama will ensconce within the Nefesh of a convert.

If a person merited his Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama, but then blemished them, the three do not return together. Rather, each one returns in a separate reincarnation. But what are the laws governing rectification of each one?

…a blemished Ruach cannot join an already rectified Nefesh

When a Nefesh reincarnates into a body for tikun and becomes rectified, then the Ruach is not able to join with it. As we have already mentioned, a blemished Ruach cannot join an already rectified Nefesh. And certainly a blemished Ruach cannot join the Nefesh before it is rectified because the Ruach can enter only after the Nefesh, which is on a lower level, is completely rectified.

How to escape from this dilemma? How can a blemished Ruach reincarnate at all?

…the Ruach must reincarnate alone with the Nefesh of a convert…

Thus, the Ruach must reincarnate alone with the Nefesh of a convert whose Nefesh is in place of his own, and there it will become rectified. In the same way, the Neshama will come into another body together with the Nefesh of a convert.

The concept of "Nefesh of the convert" has already been mentioned, and it will be mentioned further several more times. A special supplementary section is included at the end of Chapter One, Section 11 and Note 10 there.

This is the secret of what is written in Sabba of Mishpatim (98b): "The Neshamot that encounter the Nefashot of converts … and they merit through them." A Ruach alone, or a Neshama alone, can only enter a body if there is a Nefesh there. Instead (of their own Nefesh) they take the Nefesh of a convert, and through it they achieve rectification.

The blemished Ruchot and Neshamot (plurals of Ruach and Neshama) encounter the Nefesh of the convert, which becomes the vehicle or interface for their entry into reincarnation. "They merit through them" because they achieve rectification through this arrangement. (This entire section from the Sabba was translated and explained in Note 10 to Chapter One.)

Having said this, we can answer an important question. The majority of people only merit their Nefesh. And only a small amount in these later generations ever merit to their Ruach and Neshama. Yet, we know that the son of David will not come until all the Ruchot and Neshamot are rectified (Talmud Yebamot 62a).

The question of the Rabbi is based on the famous statement of the Talmud: "The son of David will not come until all the Neshamot have finished going out from the body." According to Rashi "the body" is the name for the storehouse of the souls. The souls must go out from there to enter into physical bodies in this world in order to become rectified. The Rabbi now relates this teaching specifically to the soul-levels of Ruach and Neshama. If the Ruach and Neshama do not come into physical bodies in these later generations, then how can they become rectified? Mashiach ["the son of David"] would never be able to come, G‑d forbid.

Now we understand that the Ruach and Neshama can reincarnate into other bodies on top of the Nefesh of a convert, and they, too, become rectified.

However, when the original Nefesh eventually achieves rectification, it can receive in place of his own the Ruach of a righteous tzadik whose deeds were similar to his. This will be in place of his own Ruach. …in place of his own Ruach, he will receive the Ruach of a tzadik

The "original Nefesh" is the one that could not become the vehicle for its Ruach and Neshama because the latter were blemished or damaged in the first reincarnation. When this Nefesh becomes rectified in subsequent reincarnations what happens to it? Its Ruach and Neshama have gone to the Nefesh of a convert. Therefore, in place of his own Ruach, he will receive the Ruach of a tzadik.

Similarly, he can achieve the Neshama of a righteous tzadik.

If his Nefesh leaves this world before the original Ruach has finished its tikun, then the Nefesh can, in the meantime, accompany the Ruach of the righteous tzadik to the World-to-Come and through it, receive its fitting reward 1. Once its own Ruach completes its tikun through its own reincarnation in another body, as explained above, then the Nefesh will say, "I will return to my first husband," and it will reunite with its Ruach. Likewise, once the Neshama becomes rectified, his Nefesh and Ruach will return to become one with it.

[Commentary by Shabtai Teicher.]

It might be worthwhile to note that according to the Rabbi's statement, it would seem that the World-to-Come already exists "someplace", even while the pre-messianic process of tikun is still going on!
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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Anonymous June 28, 2017

I'm a single female convert-in-progress. People often ask me what I'm doing here - I could be "better off" / "enjoying" gloriously as a goy. Well, why don't you ask yourself why are YOU Jewish? Why are you shomer? Hashem put souls everywhere, ask Him why he put mine in a goya body! :D Reply

Barbara Martin Toronto, Ontario, Canada via April 12, 2016

The Soul of a Convert Similar to Sarah, I feel I have had previous incarnations as a Jew. For the past year I feel compelled to study the faith of the Jews. Reply

Sarah Lin Oakland January 29, 2015

Following my ancient route No wonder I have an incessant need to stick with Chabad rabbis and families like there is no tomorrow. I have no known Jewish family bloodline or history but feel like I have known them for lifetimes. I just saw them one day and showed up to say, "I'm here." I was asked, "What are you doing here?" I said, "You tell me." Reply

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