On the other hand, the vitalising animal soul in the Jew, that which is derived from the aspect of the kelipah, which is clothed in the human blood, as stated above, and the "souls" of the animals, beasts, birds and fishes that are clean and fit for [Jewish] consumption, as also the existence and vitality of the entire inanimate and entire vegetable world which are permissible for consumption, as well as the existence and Vitality of every act, utterance and thought in mundane matters that contain no forbidden aspect— being neither root nor branch of the 365 prohibitive precepts and their offshoots, either on the explicit authority of the Torah, or by Rabbinic enactment— yet are not performed for the sake of Heaven but only by the will, desire and lust of the body; and even where it is a need of the body, or its very preservation and life, but his intention is not for the sake of Heaven, that is, to serve G‑d thereby — all these acts, utterances and thoughts are no better than the vitalising animal soul itself; and everything in this totality of things flows and is drawn from the second gradation [to be found] in the kelipot and sitra achra, namely, a fourth kelipah, called kelipat nogah. For in this world, called the "World of Asiyah (Action)," most, indeed almost all, of it [the kelipat nogah] is bad, and only a little good has been intermingled within it (from which come the good qualities contained in the animal soul of the Jew, as is explained above. )

This [kelipat nogah] is an intermediate category between the three completely unclean kelipot and the category and order of Holiness. Hence it is sometimes absorbed within the three unclean kelipot (as is explained in Etz Chayim, Portal 49, beginning of ch. 4, on the authority of the Zohar), and sometimes it is absorbed and elevated to the category and level of Holiness, as when the good that is intermingled in it is extracted from the bad, and prevails and ascends until it is absorbed in Holiness. Such is the case, for example, of he who eats fat beef and drinks spiced wine in order to broaden his mind for the service of G‑d and His Torah; as Ravah said: "Wine and fragrance [make a man's mind more receptive]," or in order to fulfil the command concerning enjoyment of the Sabbath and Festivals/In such a case the vitality of the meat and wine, originating in the kelipat nogah, is distilled and ascends to G‑d like a burnt offering and sacrifice.

So, too, when a man utters a pleasantry in order to. sharpen his wit and rejoice his heart in G‑d, in His Torah and service, which should be practised joyfully, as Ravah was wont to do with his pupils, prefacing his discourse with some witty remark, to enliven the students thereby.

On the other hand, he who belongs to those who gluttonously guzzle meat and quaff wine in order to satisfy their bodily appetites and animal nature, derived from the so-called element of water of the four evil elements contained therein, from which comes the vice of lust— in such case the energy of the meat and wine consumed by him is degraded and absorbed temporarily in the utter evil of the three unclean kelipot, and his body temporarily becomes a garment and vehicle for them, until the person repents and returns to the service of G‑d and His Torah. For, inasmuch as the meat and wine were kosher, they have the power to revert and ascend with him when he returns to the service of G‑d. This is implied in the terms "permissibility" and "permitted" (mutar), that is to say, that which is not tied and bound by the power of the "extraneous forces" preventing it from returning and ascending to G‑d. Nevertheless, a trace [of the evil] remains in the body. Therefore the body must undergo the "Purgatory of the grave," as will be explained later.

So, too, with regard to the vitality of the drops of semen emitted from the body with animal lust, by him who has not conducted himself in a saintly manner during intimacy with his wife in her state of purity.

Such is not the case, however, with forbidden foods and coition, which derive from the three kelipot that are entirely unclean. These are tied and bound by the Extraneous Forces for ever, and are not released until the day comes when death will be swallowed up for ever, as is written: "And I will cause the unclean spirit to pass from the land;" or until the sinner repents to such an extent that his premeditated sins become transmuted into veritable merits, which is achieved through "repentance out of love," coming from the depths of the heart, with great love and fervour, and from a soul passionately desiring to cleave to the blessed G‑d, and thirsting for G‑d like a parched desert soil. For inasmuch as his soul had been in a barren wilderness, and in the shadow of death, which is the sitra achra, and infinitely removed from the light of the Divine Countenance, his soul now thirsts [for G‑d] even more than the souls of the righteous, as our Sages say: "In the place where penitents stand, not even the perfectly righteous can stand." It is concerning the repentance out of such great love that they have said: "The penitent's premeditated sins become, in his case, like virtues," since thereby he has attained to this great love.

However, repentance that does not come from such love, even though it be true repentance, and G‑d will pardon him, nevertheless his sins are not transformed into merits, and they are not completely released from the kelipah, until the end of time, when death will be swallowed up forever.

Yet the vitality which is in the drops of semen that issue wastefully, even though it has been degraded and incorporated in the three unclean kelipot, nevertheless it can ascend from there by means of true repentance and intense kavanah during the recital of the Shema at bedtime, as is known from our master, Rabbi Isaac Luria, of blessed memory, and is implied in the Talrriudic saying: "He who recites the Shema at bedtime is as if he held a double-edged sword,.. ," wherewith to slay the bodies of the Extraneous Forces that have become garments for the vitality which is in the drops [of semen], so that this vitality may ascend, as is known to those who are familiar with the Esoteric Wisdom. Therefore the sin of wasteful emission of semen is not mentioned in the Torah among the list of forbidden coitions, although it is even more heinous than they; and mis sin is greater because of the enormity and abundance of the un-cleanness and of the kelipot which he begets and multiplies to an exceedingly great extent through wasteful emission of semen, even more than through forbidden coitions. Except that in the case of forbidden coitions he contributes strength and vitality to a most unclean kelipah, from which he is powerless to bring up the vitality by means of repentance,

Note: The reason being that this vitality has been absorbed by the "female" element of the kelipah, which receives and absorbs the vitality from the holiness. Not so with wasteful emission of semen, where there is obviously no female element of kelipah, and only its powers and forces provide the garments for the vitality of the [wasteful] semen, as is known to those familiar with the Esoteric Wisdom.

unless he repents with such great love, that his wilful wrongs are transformed into merits.

From the above, one may understand the comment of our Sages: "Which is 'a fault that cannot be rectified?'— Having incestuous intercourse and giving birth to a bastard." For in such a case, even though the sinner undertakes such great repentance, he cannot cause the [newly created] vitality to ascend to Holiness, since it has already descended into this world and has been clothed in a body of flesh and blood.