Behold, when a person fortifies his divine soul and wages war against his animal soul to such an extent that he expels and eradicates its evil from the left part— as is written, "And thou shalt root out the evil from within you"— yet the evil is not actually converted to goodness, he is called "Incompletely righteous," or "A righteous man who suffers." That is to say, there still lingers an him a fragment of wickedness in the left part, except that it is subjugated and nullified by the good, because of the former's minuteness. Hence he imagines that he has driven it out and it has quite disappeared. In truth, however, had all the evil in him entirely departed and disappeared, it would have been converted into actual goodness.

The explanation of the matter is that "A completely righteous man," in whom the evil has been converted to goodness, and who is consequently called "A righteous man who prospers," has completely divested himself of the filthy garments of evil. That is to say, he utterly despises the pleasures of this world, finding no enjoyment in human pleasures of merely gratifying the physical appetites, instead of [seeking] the service of G‑d, inasmuch as they are derived from and originate in the kelipah and sitra achra; for whatever is of the sitra achra is hated by the perfectly righteous man with an absolute hatred, by reason of his great love of G‑d and of His Holiness with profuse affection and delight and superlative devotion, as is stated above. For they are antithetical one to the other. Thus it is written, "I hate them with absolute hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, [O G‑d,] and know my heart... ." Hence, according to the abundance of the love toward G‑d, so is the extent of the hatred towards the sitra achra, and the utter contempt of evil, for contempt is as much the opposite of real love as is hatred.

The "Incompletely righteous" is he who does not hate the sitra achra with an absolute hatred; therefore he does not also absolutely abhor evil. And as long as the hatred and scorn of evil are not absolute, there must remain some vestige of love and pleasure in it, and the fouled garments have not entirely and absolutely been shed; therefore the evil has not actually been converted to goodness, since it still has some hold in the filthy garments, except that it is nullified because of its minute quantity and is accounted as nothing. Therefore such a person is called a righteous man, in whom the evil is subjugated and surrendered to him. Accordingly, his love of G‑d is also not perfect, with the result that he is called "incompletely righteous."

Now, this grade is subdivided into myriads of degrees in respect of the quality of the minute evil remaining [in him] from any of the four evil elements, as well as in relation to its proportionate abnegation by reason of its minuteness, such as, by way of example, one in sixty, or in a thousand, or in ten thousand, and the like. Such are the gradations of the numerous righteous men who are to be found in every generation, as mentioned in the Gemara, viz., "Eighteen thousand righteous men stand before the Holy One, blessed be He."

However, it is with regard to the superior quality of the "completely righteous," that Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai said: "I have seen superior men (benei aliyah), and their numbers are few... ." The reason for their title of "superior men" is that they convert evil and make it ascend to holiness, as is written in the Zohar, in the Introduction, that when Rabbi Chiyya wished to ascend to the hechal (heavenly shrine) of Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai, he heard a voice come out and say, "Which of you, before coming here, has converted darkness into light and bitter taste into sweetness? [Otherwise] do not approach here," and so forth.

A further explanation of the title "superior men" is that their service in the category of "do good," in the fulfillment of the Torah and its commandments, is for the sake of the Above, the ultimate of the highest degrees, and not merely in order to attach themselves to G‑d so as to quench the thirst of their [own] soul, which thirsts for G‑d, as is written, "Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters," as is explained elsewhere. Rather [is their service] as explained in Tikunei Zohar: "Who is kind?— He who conducts himself with benevolence towards his Creator— towards His nest, uniting the Holy One, blessed be He, and His Shechinah within those who dwell in the nethermost worlds." As also explained in Raaya Mehemna on Parshat Tetze: "In the manner of a son who ingratiates himself with his father and mother, whom he loves more than his own body and soul... and is prepared to sacrifice his own life for them, to redeem them,. . ." and as is explained elsewhere.

(And both interpretations are complementary, for through acts of refinement of the good out of the nogah, one elevates the "feminine waters" causing "supernal unions" to bring down the "masculine waters" which are the flow of [Divine] kindness contained in each of the 248 positive precepts, all of which are in the nature of kindness and "masculine waters," that is to say, the flow of holiness of His blessed Divinity from above downward, to be clothed in those who live in the lower worlds, as explained elsewhere.)