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A soul is divided into roots and sparks depending on the quality of its imperfections.

Roots and Sparks

Roots and Sparks

"Gate of Reincarnations": Chapter Eleven, Section 2

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Roots and Sparks
A soul is divided into roots and sparks depending on the quality of its imperfections.

This section describes the divisions of souls into Roots and Sparks, and the minimum and maximum number of roots and sparks that must go through gilgul to achieve tikun.

All these levels of Soul that were mentioned [in the previous section] were included within Adam. Adam was composed of 248 limbs and 365 sinews, even in the aspect of Souls, and every particular that was mentioned was divided in this way.

Each particular partzuf that was mentioned in the last section is a soul body of Adam. It has already been discussed in Gate of Reincarnations 3:2 that each partzuf divides into 248 limbs and 365 sinews (613).

The Yechida of Atzilut divides into 613 limbs and sinews. Each limb or sinew is called a "Root". Similarly, each one of the aspects of Chaya, or Neshama, or Ruach, or Nefesh of Atzilut divides into 613 roots.

Similarly, each one of the five partzufim of Beriya divide into 613 roots, and they are all called the Neshama of Beriya. It is the same with each of the five partzufim of Yetzira, and each of the five partzufim of Asiya.

The 613 roots of each partzuf are the major Roots.

Furthermore, it is possible that each one of these divisions divides into a greater number of particulars as a result of the sin of Adam and other creatures. It is impossible for any partzuf to have less than 613 major roots...

All of these major roots together fragment into as many as 600,000 minor roots, as we have already learned in Gate or Reincarnations 10:1, and which the Ari will explain momentarily. The result of Adam's sin was that it became more difficult for people to achieve tikun. Therefore, more gilgulim became necessary in order to complete tikun.

In order to clarify this subject we will begin with the example of Nukva of Asiya, and you will be able to infer from there all the others.

Nukva of Asiya is divided into 613 limbs and sinews. They are classified as 613 major roots. It is impossible to have less.

Each one of these roots is never less than 613 sparks, and each one of them is one whole soul. They are called "613 Major Sparks".

It is impossible for any partzuf to have less than 613 major roots. It is also impossible that any root will have less than 613 major sparks. Thus, the minimum number of souls that must go through the process of gilgul to achieve tikun is 613 x 613 in each and every partzuf of the soul-body of Adam. The larger the defect that strikes the major root, the greater will be the number of minor roots that it divides into...

Now, because of blemish they fragment into a greater number of particulars. The 613 major roots may fragment into as many as 600,000 minor roots. They cannot be more than that, but less than that is possible.

It is also not necessary that every major root divide into the same number like each other. This is because everything depends upon the blemish.

The larger the defect that strikes the major root, the greater will be the number of minor roots that it divides into.

There are some major roots that divide into a thousand minor roots, and some into a hundred, etc. However, all the 613 major roots together cannot divide into more than 600,000 minor roots.

There is a maximum number of 600,000 minor roots that are grouped in sets of various sizes. Each one of these sets is called a major root, and there are 613 major roots.

It is the same way with each of the 613 Sparks in each and every one of the 613 major roots. Each Spark divides into a number of Sparks. There is a Major Spark that divides into a thousand Minor Sparks, and there are those that divide into a hundred, and so on. However, all the 613 Major Sparks, in their entirety, do not divide into more than 600,000 Minor Sparks.

There are 600,000 minor sparks, and they are also grouped in sets of various sizes. Each one of these sets is called a major spark, and there are 613 major sparks in each one of the major roots.

Each of the 613 major roots contains 613 major sparks, but these major sparks, as we have seen, fragment into as many as 600,000 minor sparks. Thus, the maximum number of sparks in each and every partzuf is 613 x 600,000.


613 major roots → 600,000 minor roots
↓ expands into
613 major sparks → 600,000 minor sparks

[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: webmaster@kabbalaonline.org. 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 www.thirtysevenbooks.com
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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B Martin Toronto, ON, Canada via kabbalaonline.org November 1, 2016

ROOTS AND SPARKS I have always believed in being a "G-d Spark" and this very nicely explains the levels behind one's life and journey. Thank you. Reply

B Martin Toronto via kabbalaonline.org November 15, 2014

Roots and Sparks Interesting material, thank you. Reply

Anonymous Los Angeles, CA November 15, 2011

THANK YOU! B"H I've been searching for this in English...it's been out of print for awhile and hard to find. Thank you for posting it online - very grateful. Much continued success. Reply

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