Our parsha begins “and these are the judgments that you shall set before them”. Concerning this R. Shimon in the Holy Zohar begins to reveal the secrets of “gilgulim” (reincarnation). Most of this parsha in the Zohar concerns “gilgulim”. Evidently this is a good time to delve into “gilgulim” so let us learn. R. Shimon begins by informing us that the “judgments” referred to in the above verse referred to the punishments involved in one’s incarnation in this world. In general its better not to have to come down here, its better “upstairs”. We learn from Safer Bahir the souls of the wicked can’t leave from here but must “gilgul”.1 The Ar”i teaches that Torah is the source and root of the essence of light of the Nefesh, Ruach, Nashama, Chayah and Yachida. It spreads out in every parzuf. It is light of the Ayn Sof. A man occupied in the Torah gives delight to his creator when he does it for its own sake, and guards the commandments. This man when he leaves this world his soul will find rest and not require “gilgul” (reincarnation).2 In commentary on Zohar on proverbs its taught Man will be forced into ”gilgul” (reincarnation) if he does not learn Kaballah. Not every man has a ”segulah” (help from above) to learn the Kaballah of the Ar”i. One can loose their reward over this. But there is no danger in learning the Kaballah of Rama”k. Every one is obligated to this.3 The Zohar explains that actions of Holiness produce a breath for the soul that is an intercessor for him above. The Holy breath after the body is disposed of becomes a breath giving life. It becomes his ”Yesod”, the gateway to the quality and quantity of the light which his soul lives by and delights. Like a seed sown it guides the departed soul to be bound in the supernal glory of the bundle of life. A secular profane action causes the soul to be cast as a ”stone in a sling” when it leaves this world. (it becomes a ghost) Preventing its accent to Gan Aden. This soul cast as a ”stone in a sling” has no rest. This is the worst punishment. There is a Nefesh that is cut off with its body. There is also a Nefesh that is cut off, but not its body. A Nefesh that has “corait” (cut off) cannot return to its place above that it would of had if it would have been a worthy person in this “gilgul” (incarnation). Its Ruach also has no rest. Its Nefesh also has no Divine pleasure. Its only as any animal.4A “Nefesh” is given 3 ”gilgulim” to begin ”teshuva” if it is not successful it is then destroyed from our people and descends to one of the 7 dwelling places of Gehenom to be forgotten for all generations.5 Rav Nachunyah ben Hakana teaches By facing away, ignoring the commandments while in exile one can be “gilgul” as an unclean animal6
The Aor Yakar teaches that the names of men show concerning their eternal qualities. It also shows concerning one’s magidim (angelic teachers). From names it possible to determine the number of ones gilgulim. By arousal there is raised mym nukvin (lower arousal) and there descends mym duchrin (upper arousal) and accordingly is their magid . It was like this Rebbe Shimon saw Rav Hamnuna. He came down to teach R. Shimon secrets of gilgulim in our parsha.7
Many books have been written explaining the teachings on the subject of ”reincarnation” or gilgul (גִלְגוּל). These books explain when and how reincarnation takes place and give details regarding many soul-roots and how we find them reincarnated in the Bible and afterwards in the time of the sages, and even in latter generations. The purpose of “gilgul” is to rectify blemishes of previous lifetimes and each successive incarnation manifests and rectifys new, different dimensions of the same soul. Know, that if a person merits obtaining his Nefesh (Animal soul), Ruach (Divine emotional soul), and Neshama (Soul of Divine intellect), and then blemishes them through sin, he will have to be reincarnated to rectify the damage. When he returns in a gilgul with his Nefesh and he rectifies it, his Ruach will not join him. This is because his Ruach remains blemished, and it cannot rest upon a rectified Nefesh. Therefore, his [blemished] Ruach will be reincarnated into another person, joining up with the Nefesh of a convert. The Neshama will likewise do the same. And the Nefesh that was rectified will receive a rectified Ruach of a righteous person who was similar to him in some of the particular good deeds that he performed. It will actually take the place of his own Ruach. Similarly, if he rectifies his [blemished] Ruach completely, then he will receive a Neshama from some righteous person, which will act in place of his own Neshama. This is the esoteric meaning of what the sages say: “Righteous people are greater in death than during their lifetimes (Sanhedrin 47a).” Now, after this person dies, his [own rectified] Nefesh will go together with this Ruach [of a righteous person] and through it [i.e. the Ruach] receive the blessing fitting for itself. It works in the same way for the Neshama with respect to the Ruach. After a person dies, they return in a gilgul and achieve tikun together.
According to the teachings of the Holy Ar”i, Adam becomes David who will finally be reincarnated as the Messiah, as indicated by the fact that the initial letters of Adam David Messiah (alef, dalet, mem) spell Adam (אָדָם). All were contained within the soul of Adam.
May we merit to see such revelation soon with the coming of mashiach and building the Holy temple quickly in our days in rachamim.
1. 1Safer Bahir p.78
1. 2safer lecutim-ar’i p.427
1. 3Midrash on Zohar Mishley p.138
1. 4zohar smot 59a, Trumah p.142b
1. 5Midrash on Zohar Mishle p.137
1. 6safer ha paliyah
1. 7Aor Yakar Barashit p.78