I will now explain a little of the souls from this second level of Cain, for the entire shoulder and wing is the root of Cain.

...the entire shoulder and wing is the root of Cain.

The level of the tendons, which are in the left shoulder limb of the four worlds of ABY"A, also have a root in the left wing in malchut of Atzilut, which as said is also the level of wing. It reaches to the feather that has the number AZR/277 from the one thousand grand sparks.

There are 150 soul-sparks in this feather, and each of these 150 sparks is a unique root on the level of the wing, aside from its level in the tendons of the shoulder itself. The aperture of this feather is Abaya, and the blood within it is Rami bar Chama.

A little of the tube that is implanted there divides into two, for the drop of blood within this end divides into two, unlike the part of the tube that leaves the aperture, which is all one level. The left side at the end of the tube is Samuel the Prophet; my teacher did not tell me who the right side is.

The rest of the protruding tube, where there is a place lacking hair, is Hezekiah King of Judah. The rest of the tube that goes out between the hairs divides into many sections; between every two hairs on the right and the left there is a platform of tube to which they adhere. The level of one such platform on this feather is Rabbi Akiva ben Yosef.

Yehudah and Chizkiah, the sons of Rabbi Chiya, are from another of the thousand large feathers, which is larger than the feather whose number is 277. Rebbi Yehudah bar Elai was from a small feather from number 277, and so he is a student of Rabbi Akiva.

The nefesh-spark of the Rashba, and that of Rabbi Yosef Karo, the author of the Beit Yosef and the Shulchan Aruch of the previous generation, were from the feather of Rabbi Yehudah bar Elai.

...Cain was completely evil while Abel was completely righteous.

We will now explain what Cain has more than Abel, which is quite significant. Do not be surprised that the Zohar says that Cain was completely evil while Abel was completely righteous. (Zohar, Bereishit) For you should know that it is imperative that the firstborn be more than a simple person, as it says in Tikunim, (Tikunei Zohar 69) on the verse, "If you do good..." (Gen. 4:7) Not only this, but we find that he spoke to G‑d alone and was a prophet, as it says, "G‑d said to Cain". (Gen. 4:9)

However, he was the son and firstborn of Adam, the work of G‑d’s hands. And if Adam the work of G‑d’s hands could sin, as the Sages say in the Talmud, (Sanhedrin 38b) then we should not be surprised that his son born of woman could sin.

The principle is: Both Cain and Abel contain good and evil, good from the side of Adam and evil from the zuhama [dirt] of the snake that went to Eve. However, since Cain is from the side of gevura, evil adhered to him more than to Abel, who is from the side of chesed.

The nature of gevura is to constrict and hide. In its root Above, it is a holy concealment that prevents too much light from being revealed. As it travels down levels in the seder hahishtalshilut (the 'chaining order') it hides more and more until eventually it leaves place for the Sitra Achra to come into play. It so being, the Cain root from the left side has to concentrate more on repelling negativity than Abel.

As is known, Imma Ila’a comes from the gevurot of Atik Yomin, which are enclothed within Arich Anpin. (Zohar III Naso Idra Raba) They were revealed a long time prior to that of the chasadim. Furthermore, the gevurot are always revealed. Thus, anyone who is from the second level of Cain can rise from level to level - from gevura to gevura, until the gevurot of Atik Yomin, and draw from there.

This is not the case with Abel, who is from the chasadim that were revealed later, and which are usually closed off with very little revelation. This is the reason for what is written in Bamidbar Rabba: (19:6) "Rebbi Chonya said, ‘His eye saw every precious thing(Job 28:10) - This is Rabbi Akiva, and things that were not revealed to Moses were revealed to Rabbi Akiva."

This is also what is written in Otiyot d’Rebbi Akiva, "Moses said to G‑d regarding Rabbi Akiva, ‘You have someone like this and You want to give the Torah through me?’" Moses was very disturbed when he saw the mazel of Rabbi Akiva, that he would learn something from every point (of the letter-crowns). Something similar to this is mentioned in Mesechet Menachot . (39a)

...when Moses went up, he found The Holy One blessed be He tying crowns to the letters.

The reason is because Rabbi Akiva was able to grasp more than Moses, since he was from Cain, whereas Moses was from Abel. This is also the reason for what is mentioned in Mesechet Menachot, where it says that when Moses went up, he found The Holy One blessed be He tying crowns to the letters. "He said to Him, ‘Who is causing You to do this?’1 He answered him, ‘In the future a righteous person will live, and Akiva ben Yosef is his name. And he will learn mounds and mounds of paths from each crown’."

This is because someone who is from Abel can only understand until the crowns of the letters, which are the tagin - and no more.2 This is what it means that he found Him tying crowns to the letters. (Tying and bringing in the levels that Moses was able to perceive.) However, someone who comes from the root of the second level of Cain can grasp even the ta’amim [Torah cantillations] or more. After that, Moses was able to understand everything, as a result of his awesome deeds. (Even the level of ta’amim.)

He acquired the levels of Rabbi Akiva through his righteousness. This teaches that a person can through merits ascend to attain things that are intrinsically above his soul root. Also, we learn out that G‑d shows to a person things that He wants him to reach in order to spark the soul to yearn and strive for them.

[Translation and commentary by Perets Auerbach.]