Fourth Talk : The Structure of the Soul
When a person begins to study Kabbalah, it seems to him that he is moving
backwards or standing in place. But in fact, this is a major sign that he is
moving forward. The reason for this is that he evaluates his states in his
Each consequent correction brings a student closer to acquiring the intention
“for the sake of bestowal”. However, in order to do this, a person has to go
through dozens of kinds of changes. He has to find out who he is and what
exactly he wants, what the desire to receive means, what the material of
creation is, and the meaning of “life” and “death”. A person comes to the
conclusion that life means to feel the light, and death is the perception of
the darkness, or the Creator’s absence from his perceptions. Before a person
comes to the genuine understanding of what is good and what is bad, he first
goes through many different states.
The Machsom is the barrier that blocks the light from entering our
world. How is the Machsom different from the Masach (the
screen)? The Masach is characterized by an attribute that is totally
different than the Machsom. In front of the Machsom, there
is the light in its entirety, and nothing conceals it. There, the person
himself pushes the light away with the force of his desire to not receive the
light for the sake of self-gratification.
The barrier-Machsom is outside of me and blocks all of the upper
light from me. On the other hand, the Masach is something that a
person places inside of himself by way of his inner realization and by his
desire to not allow the light to enter him egoistically, but rather to accept
it only for the sake of the Creator. When a person has the Masach,
then the barrier is no longer necessary, because the person is able to oppose
the light himself.
How is our path divided along the 125 levels?
We know that there are 125 levels of attainment between us and the world of
Ein Sof. However, we only need to reach the world of Atzilut
in order to become corrected, that is, we have to go through the worlds of
Assiya, Yetzira and Beria. Each of them is counted as 2000
years, so there are 6000 years altogether. After that there is the correction
above Tzimtzum Bet, or a correction in a different dimension called
Our soul consists of five parts: Keter, Hochma, Bina, Zeir Anpin (Z”A)
and Malchut. They differ due to an increasingly greater desire to feel
pleasure. They are divided into two parts: Galgalta ve Eynaim
(Keter and Hochma) and AHP (Bina, Z’A and
Malchut). In other words, Keter is called Gulgolet,
Hochma is called Eynaim, Bina is called Ozen, ZA is
called Hotem and Malchut is called Peh. The first
part of the soul experiences pleasure from bestowing, and the second - from
receiving. This is how every soul is constructed.
The only thing we have to correct is Galgalta ve Eynaim, or
Kelim de-Ashpaa, meaning the bestowing desires. Our spiritual path
begins when we ascend from our world. To ascend means to gradually correct
GE. By ascending through the worlds of BYA to the world of
Atzilut, we are affirming that our Kelim de-Ashpaa are
corrected. We are not able to correct the Kelim de-Kabbalah or the
What are we able to do, in this case? We are able to gradually elevate our
Kelim de-Kabbalah or AHP from the worlds of BYA
into the world of Atzilut. This begins with elevating the least
egoistic AHPs from the world of Beria, and then elevating
the more egoistic AHPs from the world of Yetzira. This work
concludes when the most egoistic Kelim from the world of
Assiya have ascended. We do not correct the Kelim-desires
themselves. Rather, we simply attach them to the Galgalta ve-Eynaim
that corresponds to them, that is, we plug them into the bestowing desires.
Every time we ascend, we receive a specific additional amount of the light.
Therefore, this action is called “ascent”. There are three ascents altogether.
To be more precise, an ascent from three different places takes place: from
the worlds of Beria, Yetzira and Assiya. The AHPs
that ascend into the world of Atzilut are not the genuine desires to
receive (Kelim de-Kabbalah), meaning, they are not a person’s “I” or
the “Lev ha Even”. This is the part which a person cannot correct
himself. The only thing that becomes corrected is a small part called
“AHP de-Aliyah”. However, a person does not have to perform a huge
correction. As soon as the above correction will be completed, the Creator
Himself will correct the Lev ha Even.
In order for a person to know what he needs to correct, he has to see and feel
what it is that needs to be corrected. This is the reason for the existence of
the ascents that do not depend on a person, which are called “stimulation from
above”. There are the Shabbaths, holidays and new months. This is given to a
person only because he has already corrected his Kelim de-Ashpaa,
that is, he does not want anything for himself and he is located in the world
The first action or the first ascent will be the attachment of AHP
de-Aliyah of the world of Beria. The second ascent takes place
when the AHP of the world of Yetzira becomes attached. The
third, with the attaching of AHP of the world of Assiya.
When a person has ascended these three levels, then the correction of
“Lev ha Even” takes place, and this is known as “Gmar
Tikkun” or “the end of correction”.
There are two kinds of desires to feel pleasure. These are desires to feel
pleasure from receiving, or from bestowing. The pleasure from bestowing is
perceived in Kelim de-Ashpaa, and the pleasure from receiving is
perceived in Kelim de-Kabbalah. Both of them are un-corrected in us.
The easiest thing to correct is Kelim de-Ashpaa in such a way that I
will give everything for the sake of the person to whom I am giving, rather
than for my own pleasure. This is easier to correct because the action
(bestowal) and the direction (for the sake of another person) have the same
Kelim de-Kabbalah (AHP) allow a person to feel pleasure only when he
receives. It is much more difficult to correct them. In order to correct them,
a person has to give pleasure to another by receiving, and to receive only for
this sake. To do this, a stronger connection with the Creator is necessary,
because this correction passes through the very essence of the human “I”.
Therefore the AHP becomes corrected after G”E, and it becomes
corrected gradually. In other words, it is not as difficult to ascend to the
world of Atzilut with the corrected Kelim of G”E,
as it is to attach the AHP afterwards. The reason for this is that
the latter action is opposite to the intention.
All of the five worlds serve as barriers for the Creator’s light. The lower a
world is, the more light it conceals. The worlds or barriers end at the
Machsom, which positively conceals the light from our world, and only
a small spark penetrates into it, which is necessary to support life in our
world. This spark is called “Ner Dakik”. The Creator did this in
order for us to be able to live without the Masach. The
Masach is not necessary when there is no light but there is Ner
This weak light or Ner Dakik is divided into a great multitude of
parts. It “spins” the atoms, moves the molecules, and compels all of matter to
exist, moving it towards development and giving life on all of the levels: the
still, vegetative, animal and our level – the human level.
If, with the help of study, a teacher, and the group, a person nevertheless
acquires a screen on his tiny egoism or on Aviut Shoresh, then this
means that he is already able to withstand the smallest light, Nefesh,
which is greater than Ner Dakik. That is, in this case a person is
able to be in this light and not to receive it for his own sake. The
Masach or screen is doing that which the Machsom did before.
This is the passage from this world into the spiritual worlds, and the
Machsom is no longer necessary. However, the Masach is
blocking only the smallest light, Nefesh.
This is analogous to an example from our life. Suppose a person was brought
up “not to steal”, and if we place $100 in front of him then he will not steal
this money. However, if the amount of money that appears before him is greater
than that which he was brought up “not to steal”, then he will not be able to
withstand the temptation and his upbringing will be insufficient to prevent
him from not stealing.
The same thing transpires in the spiritual. Wherever there is Ohr
Nefesh, a person easily acts for the Creator's sake, easily perceives
Him, has contact with the light and receives pleasure for the sake of bestowal.
He is able to do this because he has a Masach for that level, which
prevents him from receiving for his own sake. This state is called the world
After that, with the help of studying and additional efforts, a person then
acquires a Masach on a stronger egoism or on Aviut Alef, and
now he is already able to receive the light Ruach for the sake of
bestowal. Correspondingly, in our previous example, a person has acquired the
shield to “not steal” up to $1000, for example. In this case, a person can go
from the world of Assiya into the world of Yetzira.
Analogously, when a person acquires the Masach of Aviut Bet,
then he is able to pass to the world of Beria.
This way, the barrier is eliminated during the passage from one world into the
next. This means that a Masach becomes acquired in place of the
barrier, which corresponds to the Aviut of the given world. The
barrier goes inside of the person because he no longer needs it. A person
becomes capable of carrying out the law of the given world on his own, that
is, the law is simply not necessary for him because the person is above it, he
is higher than the law, and he fulfills it or carries it out by way of his
Since our soul consists of five parts, we therefore have to acquire
Masachs of five different levels and strengths, in accordance to the
-When a person acquires Masach with Aviut Shoresh, he
crosses the Machsom and enters the spiritual level of the world of
-Masach de-Aviut Alef gives a person the opportunity to ascend to the
level of the world of Beria;
-Masach of Aviut Bet elevates a soul to the level of the world of
-Masach with Aviut Gimel elevates the soul’s level from the
world of Beria to the world of Atzilut;
-and finally, Masah Dalet Aviut elevates a person (that is, it
elevates a person’s soul, since a person is considered a soul in Kabbalah) to
the world of Adam Kadmon.
After that, the soul ascends to the world of Ein Sof from the world
of Adam Kadmon.
Since each world contains five Partzufim, and each Partzuf
consists of five Sefirot, a person acquires a new level with every
five Sefirot. For example, in the world of Assiya, the first
five Sefirot allow a person to reach Malchut of the world of
Assiya; the second five Sefirot elevate him to Z”A
of the world of Assiya; five more elevate him to Bina of the
world of Assiya, and the next five - to Hochma of the world
of Assiya. The final five Sefirot allow the soul to reach
Keter of the world of Assiya.
When the soul moves along the path, it gradually acquires Masach from
Aviut de-Shoresh until Aviut de-Alef of the world of
Yetzira. This continues each time, until the soul goes through all
125 levels by going through all of the worlds.
When a person is in the world of Assiya with Aviut
de-Shoresh, it is considered that his soul is going through the process
of conception (Ubar) in the mother's womb (Bina), and this
period lasts for "nine months”. That is, the soul goes through the
corresponding number of levels of development, called “intra-uteral”, which
corresponds to the amount of time a woman is pregnant in our world.
The passage into Aviut Alef and, correspondingly, into the world of
Yetzira, is called the birth of the soul, which corresponds to a
person’s birth in our world. Presence in the world of Beria
corresponds to growth and feeding over the course of two years, when the soul
has to receive the light that gradually grows the Masach in it.
There, the soul is still in the state of Katnut (Kelim G”E).
On the other hand, passage into the world of Atzilut already
symbolizes the beginning of the gradual Gadlut of the soul (the
acquisition of Kelim AHP). This continues until 13 years (adulthood
or Bar Mitzvah), when the soul becomes independent in the world of
Atzilut. That is, it already has the Machsom that allows it
to begin to receive for the sake of bestowal (or to attach Kelim
de-Kabbalah with the help of AHP de-Aliya).
The world of Atzilut contains Zachar (Z”A) and Nekiva
(Nukva). Relative to each other, they are in various positions, depending
on the soul’s state (Katnut or Gadlut); various
Zivugim transpire between them, and so on.
In the spiritual world, there is a notion called “Eretz” or earth.
This is the place where you are located or where you are going. Eretz
comes from the word “Ratzon” or desire. Our entire soul consists of
one huge desire (Eretz), which contains various small desires
(Artznot or Retzanot) as well as desires of the “nations of
the world”, which are called other nations.
Eretz is closer to the Creator than the spiritual “other nations”,
which are Ever ha Yarden (Jordan), Mitzraim (Egypt) and Suria
(Syria). These are our neighbors and they want our earth, or
Eretz Israel, because this is where the Creator is located, or this
is the desire closest to Him.
All of correction must begin with us, or from the purer desires. On one hand,
they are the closest to Eretz Israel; on the other hand, they are the
farthest away from it, because there exists a reverse dependency between the
light and the desires.
In order to return to the Creator, a person must be at his most egoistic
state, that is, he has to feel that something is missing from his life. On one
hand, he is an egoist according to his Kelim, meaning that he is far
from the Creator according to his egoistic desires. On the other hand, when he
alters his Kelim or intentions with the entire force of his desire to
come closer to the Creator, then he is closest to Him.
When a person begins to study, he gradually learns to separate his desires
into their various components according to the degree of their Aviut,
and he begins to evaluate which of his desires he should begin working with
and correct. In addition, when he works with his desires he also understands
where he located, according to his internal spiritual map.