Bringing the divine soul down into the physical world to invest itself within a human body, derives from the internal aspect, the source, of speech. This is the "breath" of the Supreme One, indicated in the latter hai mentioned above. "He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul." Whoever breathes with force ...

Let us return to a verse cited earlier. "For part of G‑d is His people; Jacob is the cord of His possession." Jacob is compared to a rope, the upper end bound above and the lower end below.

The simple meaning of the verse "He breathed" is to show us that just as, for example, if one blows in some direction, and there is any separation or obstruction there, then the exhaled breath will not reach that place at all — so precisely, if anything separates and obstructs between man's body and the "breath" of the Supreme One.

The truth is though that nothing material or spiritual is a barrier before Him— "Do I not fill heaven and earth !" "All the world is full of His glory." "There is no place devoid of Him." "In the heavens above and on the earth below there is none else." "He fills all worlds..."

But Isaiah declares, "Only your sins separate you from your G‑d." The reason is that sins oppose the Supreme Will Who gives life to all, as in the verse, "Whatever G‑d wills He did in heaven and earth." (It has been noted above, that the Supreme Will is the source of the benevolence issuing from His Name, the Tetragramma-ton, and is represented in the "thorn" atop the letter yud.)

This is the significance of excision, the consequence of certain grave sins. The "cord," the soul— or as the verse has it— Jacob, drawn from the final hai in G‑d's Name, the Tetragrammaton, is severed, cut off. "That soul shall be cut off from before Me, I am the Lord." The soul is cut off from before Me.

Other sins that do not incur excision do cause at least a defect in the soul, a "defect" being similar to the "defect" or nick that invalidates a blade for ritual slaughter.

Returning to the analogy of the cord— a thick rope woven of 613 thin strands parallels the Scriptual "cord," the downward flow from G‑d mentioned above, comprising 613 mitzvot. When man violates one of them, G‑d forbid, a thin strand is severed ...

But even if one has incurred excision or death, there yet remains an impression within him of his divine soul, and through this he may live until fifty or sixty years and no more. (The statement attributed to the Ari, that the Encompassing enters him ... is irrelevant to the life of the physical body, and applies until fifty years, or to the contemporary period, as will be noted.)