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One's Ruach is primarily rectified via Torah study.

General Rectification and Blemish

General Rectification and Blemish

Gate of Reincarnations: Chapter Eleven, Section 7

General Rectification and Blemish
One's Ruach is primarily rectified via Torah study.

Tikun for the Nefesh is accomplished through the performance of positive mitzvot, and blemish of the Nefesh is caused by transgression, but for the Ruach the emphasis is on occupation with the Torah and its study.

We will now explain rectification and blemish in detail. We will begin with the rectification of Nefesh, that is from the world of Asiya, which is the lowest of all of them and enters into a person first at the time of birth.

You already know that no higher portion can enter until the lower part completes its tikun. First, all the parts of the Nefesh, that is from Asiya, must enter and complete their tikun. Afterwards, the parts of the Ruach, that is from Yetzira, can begin to enter within him. When they are completed, then the Neshama, that is from Beriya, will begin to enter until everything is finished.

However, there are conditions and distinctions concerning all this as will be explained in this, the eighth gate, called the Gate of Reincarnations.

It seems that this general introduction ought to appear at the beginning of the book! However, keep in mind what Reb Shmuel the son of Rabbi Chaim Vital, the editor and redactor of the Eight Gates, wrote in the beginning of this chapter. This chapter is a sort of abridgement of the entire subject of gilgulim. Therefore, it makes sense that this introduction appears here.

Occupation with Torah acquires Ruach….

Nevertheless, it is also worthwhile to keep in mind an important rule concerning all Torah knowledge. Subjects, descriptions and stories of the Torah are not necessarily presented in a chronological order. Events that occur at a later time may very well appear before the presentation of other events or descriptions that precede them. Similarly, sometimes what you need to know first to understand the "beginning" will not appear until later. This is because the Torah is an open or "infinite system" (if such a combination of words is permissible).

The tikun of a person who merits to the Nefesh of Asiya is through the performance of positive mitzvot whose number is 248.

Blemish is a result of [positive mitzvot] that were not fulfilled, or because of transgression of one of the 365 negative mitzvot.

Blemish caused by one of the positive mitzvot that was not fulfilled, applies when both the opportunity and the obligation were present, but he transgressed and did not do what was incumbent upon him to do. In the next section the Ari will discuss mitzvot where the opportunity or obligation were not present.

Occupation with Torah acquires Ruach that is from Yetzira, as will be explained.

This statement is somewhat problematic, and needs to be understood by broadening our conceptual categories. The Benei Aharon (11:31) has also pointed this out. For example, if occupation with Torah alone rectifies Ruach, then a person who is working on his Ruach should be exempt from the active performance of all the other mitzvot!?

To answer this problem consider the following. It is the teaching of the Ari in Etz Chaim 40:2, but the words quoted are those of the Benei Aharon (ibid.).

All practical mitzvot (like tzitzit, tefillin, eating matzah, sukkah, etc.) rectify the External (Partzuf). Mitzvot that are performed through speech, such as prayer and occupation with Torah, rectify the Internal (partzuf).

The External Partzuf is a partzuf just like the Internal Partzuf. It, too, has Vessels and Light, or mochin. The two are equivalent and parallel. The only difference between them is one is external and the other is internal. Relative to each other they are equivalent to Nefesh (External) and Ruach (Internal) relative to each other.

Thus, on every level there are the External and Internal aspects, or what can be called the Nefesh and Ruach of that level. The Nefesh/External partzuf of any level is rectified by the performance of practical mitzvot, whereas the Ruach/Internal partzuf is rectified by the mitzvot pertaining to speech and thought.

[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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