Rabbi Shimon quoted the verse, "And when Pinchas, the son of Elazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand." (Num. 24:7) Why is Pinchas referred to in this verse as "the son of" twice? It comes to show the completion of what had been lost.

Nadab and Abihu, the two sons of Aaron, were burned when making the incense offering in a zealous yet inappropriate way. Their souls were lost or not at peace, until the act of Pinchas. He slew Zimri and Cozbi in a zealous yet appropriate way. The spiritual power generated by his standing in anticipation of this brave deed, led to the lost souls of Nadab and Abihu affixing themselves to his Nefesh. Their souls were then rectified through his deed, and it was as though Aaron had received his two lost sons back to life. This is the inner meaning behind the repetition of the word son. The Nefesh parallels the world of Action/Asiya and it requires actions in the physical world to rectify a blemished Nefesh in the spiritual dimension. Rabbi Shimon expands on this concept in the dissertation that follows.

A person who has not completed himself in his first incarnation will be reincarnated….

Rabbi Shimon said that a person who acquires a reincarnated soul [that he receives in order to rectify that which was blemished in the previous incarnation] and is not worthy enough [in his actions] to fix it, is considered to have betrayed the truthfulness of the King.

Before the soul was born it was sworn to be righteous. By committing wrongful acts the person betrays this oath and thereby blemishes the attribute of truth.

To such a person I relate the verse concerning someone who "has found that which was lost" (Lev. 5:22) [i.e. the reincarnated part of his soul] "and is deceitful concerning it" [by adding wrongful deeds instead of rectifying it], "and swears falsely" [by not behaving righteously as he had promised]. It would have better for such a person not to have been born [since he has made matters worse for both himself and the reincarnated part of his soul].

In order to understand the next part of Rabbi Shimon's discourse, it is useful to preface with a comment by the Mikdash Melech (a commentary on the Zohar). He states that a person who has not completed himself in his first incarnation will be reincarnated to give him the chance to rectify the mistakes he made. Yet we don't know which of the two bodies will be resurrected at the time of the Resurrection of the Dead. According to one opinion, under certain circumstances the body which was the main vessel for the rectification of the soul is the body that will be resurrected, and there will only be a trace of the other.

We have learned that a complete tzadik [can reprimand a sinner and] will not be rejected. An incomplete tzadik will be rejected. Now who can be called a tzadik if he is not completely righteous? How can a person who is incomplete in his deeds [i.e. one who keeps some parts of the Torah but not others] be called a tzadik? Rather a complete tzadik is one who didn't receive a warped reincarnation.

Meaning, his previous life was not warped by misdeeds. His soul needed to be reincarnated only in order to complete unfinished aspects in Torah learning or mitzvot.

He builds an edifice out his inheritance.

In doing all these he completely rectifies his soul….

He rectifies the three levels of his soul, Neshama, Ruach and Nefesh into a complete edifice because the Neshama is in the head and the Ruach is in the heart and the Nefesh is in the liver of a person. These correspond to the three worlds of Beriya, Yetzira and Asiya, which correspond to the names Eh-yeh, Havayah and Ado-nai. The numerical value of these three names (112) is the same as the Hebrew word for "edifice", "binyan".

He builds walls.

Walls for his soul. These are the lights or aura surrounding the body generated by his good deeds.

He digs wells.

This is the Torah he reveals and the connection he makes with the level of malchut, enabling him to bring blessing to others.

He plants trees.

This hints that he unifies the two names Havayah and Ado-nai. The numerical value of these two names is 91 that is the same as the Hebrew word for "tree", "ilan". In doing all these he completely rectifies his soul.

A tzadik who is incomplete builds an edifice from a different inheritance.

He observes Torah and mitzvot with a soul that in its previous incarnation also observed Torah and mitzvot, but had to reincarnate to complete something small.

He dug wells, and sowed his field [fixed the aspects in his soul as required]. He has laid the foundations properly from the beginning, and worked in his current body but he can't be sure that his soul is really connected to it such that it will be with it [at the time of its resurrection.] From the current point of view, this person is good and is called a tzadik. However, from the point of view of his Neshama it may not be so.

This is because the major rectification of the soul was in the previous body and the soul will therefore appear in that form at the resurrection with only a minor spark from the current body being present.

This is like a person who built an edifice that was well proportioned and pleasant to behold, but when he looked at the foundations he noticed that they were sunken and out of line on every side. That building is not complete until it is demolished and reconstructed from the beginning. Now from the point of view of the builder of the first building, everything looked fine, but from the aspect of the foundations it was poorly designed and out of line. That is the reason it is not called a completed work or a completed edifice. That is also the reason why he is called an incomplete tzadik who is rejected [since the soul may return to its previous body where the foundations were properly laid].

This is also why it is stated that the wicked [relatively speaking] swallows up the one more righteous than he, but the consummate tzadik is not swallowed. (Habakkuk 1:13 and Berachot 7b)

Zohar, parshat Pinchas, p. 213a; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

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