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the holy city of Safed in Israel

** Shaarei Kedusha/Gates of Holiness **

by Rabbi Chaim Vital
translated by Rabbi Yosef Sebag
© All Rights Reserved
Level: Advanced

on how to become a hidden tzadik

  • Important Foreword
  • About Rabbi Chaim Vital
  • Rabbi Chaim Vital's Introduction
  • PART 1
    • Gate 1: To reveal damage done in man's sins with regard to the mitzvot
    • Gate 2: On the damage done through bad middot (character traits)
  • PART 2
    • Note: Part 2 was not included in the translation as it deals mostly with detailing the mitzvot and middot (character traits) and is not essential for understanding the matter of Ruach HaKodesh (holy spirit).
  • PART 3
    • Gate 1: Introduction to the Mystical Worlds
    • Gate 2: On what is man
    • Gate 3: Barriers to Prophecy
    • Gate 4: Conditions for Prophecy
    • Gate 5: On the types of Prophecy
    • Gate 6: on the levels of prophecy and the matter of prophecy in the early generations, and what is the matter of attaining Ruach HaKodesh (holy spirit) which is possible to acquire in our times.
    • Gate 7: on attaining Ruach Hakodesh (holy spirit) in our times
    • Gate 8: to clarify the attainment of Ruach Hakodesh (holy spirit) in our times with great conciseness
  • PART 4 - actions to accelerate attainment
    • Gate 1: Practical actions for (accelerating) attainment.
    • Gate 2: on the manner of attainment
    • Gate 3: on the condition for attainment

Important Foreword:
   The Chazon Ish (leader of Torah Jewry in Israel during WWII era) wrote
"If a man is a baal nefesh (virtuous and reverent person), and the time is a quiet time, free from the hunger of desires, and his eye opens wide to the glorious vision of the heights of the heaven, and to the depths of the earth, he becomes aroused and aghast. For the world appears to him like an impossible riddle, hidden and wondrous. And this riddle encircles his heart and mind and he becomes faint-hearted. There is no spirit left in him except for this riddle which occupies all his desire and his aspirations. And the understanding of its answer captures his soul, until he is willing to go through fire and through water for it. Because for what is life worth to him, if this life is hidden from him with absolute concealment, and his soul is dizzy, mourning and yearning to understand its secret and to know its root. But the gates are locked..." (Emuna U'Bitachon Chapter 1)

   For those "Baalei Nefesh" who would like torah answers as to the mysterious riddle of life, the book Shaarei Kedusha by Rav Chaim Vital unlocks the gates and provides the Torah perspective. It is not a presented in a philosophical way, with vague ideas. Rather it is written in a systematic layout, with a clear and surprisingly well-organized Theory of Everything.
Rabbi Chaim received his teachings from the Arizal who in turn received them from Eliyahu HaNavi and Eliyahu from the heavenly academy.

   Although the realm of Kabala is for great torah scholars, nevertheless there is no other way to get a glimpse and picture of man and his role in the creation without it. One who studies well these wondrous and awesome introductions will emerge as a different person. He will have a new appreciation of the awesome potential that lies within himself and will surely become more motivated to work on improving himself.
   The book cannot be properly understood without a solid torah background (ideally, talmud study in a traditional yeshiva). I have tried as much as possible to translate the hebrew text literally and to add comments in (parentheses) or [brackets] rather than giving my own interpretive translation. The translator has studied in numerous torah institutions including the Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He also completed degrees at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in physics and electrical engineering and was a research associate in nuclear physics for some years before heading off to yeshiva.(For questions and clarifications on the book, email webmaster [at] dafyomireview.com)

Disclaimer: Proficiency in the Kabala without proficiency in the Talmud first is like a child reading an advanced physics books. Talmud study teaches one to think clearly and discern the absolute truth in a matter which is the foundation of a man. It also has a unique spiritual power to clean a person's eyes and teach him to discern good from evil. Without the spiritual light from Talmud study one is totally unable to do this. The kabala is written in hidden, allegoric form. Only one who has developed and purified his intellect through years of in-depth Talmud study can even begin to decipher the meaning from the allegory. One who has not reached this level will take the allegories too literally and will get at best, nowhere.

About Rabbi Chaim Vital z'l:
   Rabbi Chaim Vital was unquestionably the leading disciple of the Holy Arizal, Rabbi Isaac Luria, and his foremost interpreter. The Ari himself wrote very little and what is commonly known as the "Ari's writings", were in fact transcribed by Rabbi Chaim.

   The Divine flow experienced by the Ari was so overwhelming that he was unable to commit it to writing. As he himself expressed it: "When I begin to reveal a Torah secret to you the flow of knowledge becomes like a mighty stream and I look for ways to open a small channel that you will be capable of absorbing". Rabbi Chaim Volozhin bears witness to the fact that when he mentioned the Ari to the Vilna Gaon the Gaon's whole body trembled (hakdama l'sefer dtzinuata).

   Rabbi Chaim Vital was born in Israel, probably in Safed. He studied nigleh (the revealed Torah) under Rabbi Moshe Alshech and Kabbalah under Rabbi Moshe Cordevero. However, when the Ari arrived in Safed from Egypt in 1570 Rabbi Chaim soon became totally devoted to him. The Ari is reported to have said that his sole reason for departing Egypt for Safed was to transmit his Torah to Rabbi Chaim. It is an amazing fact that the Ari who died in 1572 (at the age of 38) studied with Rabbi Chaim for less than two years and that the extensive body of writings transcribed by Rabbi Chaim came from that short period.

   Rabbi Chaim describes his initiation into the Arizal's new approach to Kabbala as follows: "When I [first] came to my teacher of saintly memory [the Arizal] to study this wisdom under him, he was about to leave for Tiberias. He took me with him. We boarded a boat, and as we were sailing [across the Kinneret] at a point opposite the arches of the Old Synagogue of Tiberias, my teacher dipped a cup into the water and gave it to me to drink. He told me that now I would be able to grasp this wisdom [the teachings of Kabbala] for I had just drunk water from the well of Miriam [which is buried in the lake Tiberias]. From that time on I began to enter the depth of this wisdom." (from Pri Etz Chaim - Shaar Hanhaga Halimud) (click here for more on the Arizal)
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Abbreviation used in this translation:
Tr = Translator's comment

Rav Chaim Vital's Introduction:
   Says the small one, Chaim the son of his honor Rebbi Yosef Vital of blessed memory. I've seen men of aliyah (spiritual ascent) and they are few. They yearn to rise but the ladder is concealed from their eyes. And they contemplate in the books of the early Sages to search and find the path of life, the road which to travel and the actions to do to ascend their souls to its root above, and to cling to Him, blessed be He. For this is the eternal perfection, similar to the Prophets, who all their days clinged to their Creator. And through this clinging, the Ruach HaKodesh (holy spirit) settled on them, to teach them which path leads to light in order to enlighten their eyes in the secrets of the torah, as King David prayed for: "open my eyes and I will gaze at the wonders of Your torah" (Tehilim 119:18). They would be led along a straight path, prepared by the men of aliyah, so that they should reach their goal.

   After them came the Chassidim Rishonim (early pious ones), which were called "perushim" (ascetics). They sought to go out in the footsteps of the prophets, and to become like them, in going out to stone caves and to deserts. And they separated themselves from the ways of men. Some of them would become ascetics in their homes, like the travellers of deserts, and all day and all night, always, they would praise their Creator with toil in the torah and with the songs of king David which bring joy to the heart, until their thoughts would cling with tremendous force and yearning to the upper lights. And they continued diligently like this all of their days until they would ascend to the level of Ruach HaKodesh (holy spirit), and they would attain prophecy and never return, as the [commentator] Onkelos translated [the verse] "lo pasaku" (non-stop).    If so, where are we to find their ways and techniques, how these holy people served G-d, may He be blessed so that we may also do the same ourselves.

   And therefore, the hearts have diminished, and also the knowledge of the generations that came after them. And the Masters of Ruach HaKodesh are (apparently) no more. They departed to their eternal abodes and abandoned us to despair, thirsty and starving, until there sprouted forth hopelessness in the hearts of men for touring this awesome wisdom. And if we find two or three kernels on the treetop, one in a city or two in a family who seek out water but don't find. Because all visions have been blocked due to the methods and actions have not been written in a book, on how to approach the inner holiness.

   And there are those among them which would swear in angels using the powers in holy names, and they would hope for light but behold it is darkness. For they were very low angels, appointed on the matters of this world, and they are mixed with good and evil. So they themselves did not attain the truth and the supernal lights. And they (the angels) would reveal to them mixed words, good and evil, truth and falsehood, superfluous words such as words of healing, and the wisdom of alchemy, and actions of talismans (kameahs) and hashbaot (swearing in using names). And also these, in wine they stumbled and in beer they erred. Would that it were, that their hearts would bring them to toil in the torah and mitzvot and they would make a Kal V'Chomer (major to minor logical inference) from the four Gedolei Yisrael (great sages of Israel) who entered the Pardes (paradise) and not one of them returned intact except the pious elder, Rebbi Akiva, and even him, the ministering angels desired to cast him down, if it were not that G-d helped him and he entered in peace and exited in peace. (Talmud Chagiga 14b: The Holy One said, "Leave this elder alone, for he is worthy of making use of My glory")

   And the truth is that they desired lofty levels, close to prophecy, and therefore they put themselves in some danger. And for us, halevai (would that it were) that we would merit a little Ruach HaKodesh such as a revelation of Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the prophet), which many merited to see him as is well known, or for a revelation from the soul of tzadikim (righteous people who died), as mentioned many times in the book of tikunim. And not only that but even in our times I have seen holy men who merited all these things. And there are some whose own soul after becoming very, very, pure, reveals itself to him and guides him in all his ways. And all these are close ways, that one can merit even in our times if he is worthy. But, however, it requires great training and great experience to stand on the truth, because perhaps it is another spirit that came to him which is not pure. And all this will be explained in part 3 gate 8.

   Therefore my spirit has pressed me to unlock for the perushim (seekers), and to support their right hand, to teach them the path to travel. And therefore, I have put together this book. It is small in quantity but great in quality. For the wise, it will shine, and I have called it "Shaarei Kedusha" (the Gates of Holiness). In it I will clarify hidden things which the early [generations] before us did not fathom, because I have received them from the mouth of the holy man, the angel of G-d, my teacher, the man of G-d, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria z'l (the Arizal). And in their being secrets of the universe and concealed hidden things, I will reveal a handsbreadth and conceal 2000 footsteps (amot). And I will open reluctantly the gates of holiness like the crack of a needle and he who is worthy will merit to enter inside the inner chamber, and G-d who is good will not refrain good for those who walk wholeheartedly (b'tamim).

I have divided it into 4 parts. The first part on the practice of piety and separation which brings one to Ruach HaKodesh (holy spirit). It also sub-divides to 6 gates. The second part - the rebukes, and the clarification of reward and punishment on the positive and negative commandments. It sub-divides to 8 gates. The third part, on the practice for attaining Ruach HaKodesh itself. It sub-divides to 8 gates. The fourth part on the practice of yichudim (unifying holy names) through which one will attain Ruach HaKodesh as I have personally tried, tested and verified the truth of them. (except for one, these were not included in the translation due to the dangers involved.)
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clarification of the damage through man's sin with regard to the mitzvot

   I will make known to you and enlighten you on the greatness of the evil in doing one of the negative commandments of G-d, the 365 negative commandments, which we should not do, or in refraining from fulfilling one of the 248 positive commandments which we are commanded to do.

It is known to men of understanding, the body of a man is not the man himself. Rather the body is called the "flesh" of the man, as it is written: "Skin and flesh You have clothed me, and with bones and sinews You have covered me" (Job 10:11) (which implies the flesh, etc. is just a garment - Tr). It is also written "on the flesh of a man, do not anoint" (Shemot/Ex. 30:32) (which implies the body is just the "flesh of a man", but not the man himself - Tr).
So, the man is the inner part. But the body is a kind of garment which the intellectual soul wears (this will be explained later - TR), and it is the man himself. After death, the intellectual soul sheds the garment of the body and wears a different spiritual garment in its place, It is thus written, "Remove the soiled garments... and you shall be clothed in fine robes" (Zachariah 3:4), [these "fine robes"] are called the "Rabbinical cloak" ("chaluka d'rabbanan" in Arameic).

Just like for the garment of a person's body, the tailor will make it in the form of the body, so too the Holy One blessed-be-He made the body, which is the garment of the soul, in the form of the soul - with 248 limbs and 365 "gidim" (arteries/sinews/veins) the latter serve to hold together the body and to circulate the blood and the life-force from limb to limb in the form of tubes.

After the formation of the [physical] body, He blew into it, the soul of life which includes 248 spiritual limbs and 365 spiritual gidim which wear the corresponding 248 limbs and 365 gidim of the body. In this way, the soul's limbs perform their work through the tools, which are the body's limbs, like a hammer in the hand of a craftsman. The proof of this is that the limbs of the body can perform deeds only as long as the soul is inside it, the eye sees, and the ears hear, etc. but when the [intellectual] soul leaves the body (such as during sleep. This is why dreams are mostly nonsense - Tr), the eye sight stops and all the other senses of the 248 limbs become annulled (i.e. the person is not properly aware of touch, etc. in his limbs - Tr).

In a similar manner, the 365 spiritual gidim of the soul wear the 365 physical gidim of the body which circulate the food of the body, namely the blood, along with the inner spiritual food inside it to sustain the 248 spiritual limbs of the soul (i.e. the physical blood carries both the physical food for the body and the spiritual food for the soul. - Tr). After death, there is no more life force [to the body] and the body's gidim dismantle, decay and disappear just like its 248 limbs and it is as if they never existed.
Hence, the man himself is only the "intellectual soul" which enters and wears the body, which is considered its garment in this world.

And know that after the sin of Adam harishon (the first man), which was eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, his soul and body also (along with all the worlds - Tr) became mixed, each one with good and evil. This is the zuhamat hanachash (the impurity the snake) injected in Chava (Eve) and in Adam, and through the evil and the impurity which he injected in them, he caused them sicknesses, afflictions, and death for their soul and body. And this is what is written "on the day you will eat from it, die you will die" (Bereishis 2:17) (the hebrew word for death is repeated to indicate - Tr) death of the soul and death of the body.

We will clarify what is this matter of good and evil which was mixed in them. Examine what we wrote later on in Part 3 Gates 2 and 3 and you will understand what we are writing in this gate.
Behold, when he sinned with the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he caused this mixing in all of the worlds and there is nothing which does not contain good and evil.

Therefore, the body of a man which is formed from the 4 lower foundations, behold they contain good and evil. And the body of a man is formed from the good of the 4 foundations - earth, water, wind, and fire.

(Translator: according to R.David Bitton, these are representatives of the 4 energy states: solid, liquid, gas, and raw energy - R.David Bitton. Modern science uses a different system, but as we'll see the different spiritual powers require them to be separately categorized. It is fascinating that the number four shows up again and again in the structure of our universe (see "Signature of G-d" by Yosef Sebag for much more).

Note that the underlying reality is not atoms and subatomic particles, but life. Life is the underlying reality. It is manifest to different degrees in this world, namely, four degrees as will be explained.
However from the evil of them (the physical of the 4 elements - Tr) were formed [in the body] 4 Marot (bitter substances, biles,) which are - white, black, red, and green. And when in any one of these [Marot], the evil in it strengthens over the good in it, sicknesses and afflictions come on a man (weakness, disease through deterioration of the immune system, cancer or the like, G-d forbid - Tr). And if it strengthens itself greatly it will kill the body of the man.

We have explained that in all the worlds there was a mixing of good and evil. Therefore in the soul of man also is so since it was hewn from the 4 spiritual foundations from which were formed all the supernal and they are the 4 letters of the name YHVH (the Tetragramaton), blessed be He. On this it is written "Come from the four directions, O Spirit,..." (Yechezkel 37:9) (in the resurrection of the dead prophecy there - Tr) And this is the soul of man itself from the side of good. And behold "also this corresponding to this G-d made" (Kohelet/Eccl. 7:14), (i.e. there is a corresponding opposing soul of evil - Tr) and it is called "Adam beliyal" (evil, corrupt man), which is composed of the 4 fathers of damages, and the 4 types of negaim (afflictions), from the 4 foundations of evil. And from there is drawn the evil soul of man which is called the "yetzer hara" (evil inclination). And when this soul becomes stronger than the good soul, there will come on it damages, and afflictions, and sicknesses of the soul (ex:bad character traits - Tr). And if it strengthens greatly, it will kill him (the good soul - Tr).

Behold, the holy soul which is [akin to] the "fruit" and is composed of 613 limbs and gidim (248 limbs+365 gidim=613), wears the 613 limbs and gidim of the evil soul which is called the "shell of the fruit", and both of them together wear the 613 limbs and gidim of the body. Hence, the limbs of the holy soul are inside the limbs of the evil soul, and the limbs of the evil soul are inside the limbs of the body. And behold, each of these 2 spiritual souls need spiritual food to exist. However the food for the holy soul is drawn to it through fulfilling the torah which includes 613 mitzvot similar to the 613 limbs/gidim of the soul, and the torah is called "bread" as is written "come and eat of my bread" (Mishlei 9:5). And each limb of the 248 get its food from a specific mitzva which corresponds to that limb. And when a man lacks the fulfillment of a mitzva, then this specific limb which corresponds to that mitzva will lack its food which is drawn from the 4 letter name of G-d, as is written "and You give life to all of them" (Nechemia 9:6), and in them depend all the mitzvot as our Sages said, "Yud-Heh Im Shemi=365, Vuv-Heh Im Zichri=248" (from Hakdamat Hatikunim - Tr).

And likewise from them (the 4 letter name of G-d) are drawn the 4 roots of the foundations of the holy soul as mentioned earlier. We find therefore that this specific limb dies completely. And when the holiness leaves it, then it will wear inside it the impure spirit from the 4 foundations of the evil soul as hinted by our Sages: "Tzur did not become full except from the destruction of Jerusalem", therefore this limb now feeds on impure, abominable bread from there.

And this is the matter of the saying "the wicked during their lives are called dead" (Talmud Berachot 18b) because the holy soul from the Living G-d has left them and the impure spirit of death which is called "the father of fathers of impurity" has settled on it (then, the person's being will enjoy and lust for evil things and will despise good - Tr). And likewise when a man fulfills the 365 negative commandments by refraining from transgressing them, as our Sages said "if a man sat and did not transgress a sin, he is rewarded as if he did a mitzva", then there is the power and capacity for the spiritual food mentioned above when he fulfills a positive commandment to be pulled down through these tubes which are the 365 gidim of the soul to give life to its 248 limbs. And if he transgresses a specific negative commandment, then the specific pipe which corresponds to that negative commandment becomes blocked through the impurity of the evil food which becomes attached there (some kind of spiritual "cholesterol" blockage - Tr). And when the tube dries up, then also that limb dries up. But [the holiness] does not leave it completely as would have been the case for one who lacks fulfilling [the limb's corresponding] positive mitzva, nevertheless, the limb will become blemished.

Therefore a man should seek out with all his strength to fulfill all the 613 commandments, and when he fulfills a positive commandment, he should have kavana (mental intent) to remove from that specific limb of his soul which corresponds to that mitzva the impurity of that klipa. And then the limb of that holy mitzva will settle on him after the impurity has been removed, as in "and their sins were on their bones" (Yechezkel 32:27), because when this one rises, this one falls. And likewise when a sin comes one's way, he should refrain from doing it, and he should have kavana (intent) that through this the impurity in the specific gid (pipe) of the soul which corresponds to that sin shall be removed. And then he will be able to pass the spiritual energy which is drawn through the spiritual pipe, and through this his soul will be a chair and a chariot for G-d's holiness, blessed be He, and this is the Sod (secret meaning) of "the forefathers, they are the chariot" (Midrash Raba - Bereisheit/Gen.47:6, Zohar 1 Daf 173).

(Translator: the Ramchal explains more:
Ramchal - Sefer HaKlalim (Klalot Sharshei HaChachma)
The Wisdom of Truth (real Kabala) is no more than the wisdom which explains the order of the acts of G-d, through which He acted and acts on His creations.

I will now well explain the matter to you. Behold, G-d's intent in creation was to create a creation (man) capable of receiving good from Him by meriting it. In order for merit to be possible, it was necessary for there to exist a matter which this creature can choose to do, so that when it does the matter, it will merit the good. Therefore, in accord with this purpose, He arranged the entire order of His act [of creation] so that the resulting creation will follow this choice [of man] also in an orderly way.

Then, He willed and conceived a type of creation (man) built from many synthesized parts, whereby the acts which perpetuate His creations would follow the matter and order of these parts, and such that the constitution [of man] would be in the manner necessary for the existence of free will, namely, that he (man) be subject to a good inclination and an evil inclination. [And that this would be] in the way necessary in order for him to merit to receive the reward through the degrees of his acts.

Then according to this design, G-d started to order His acts. And each spreading out of His simple light to act is called "one luminary" or "one sefira". The amount of these luminaries which He illuminated was according to the details of the parts of this created, planned building. The totality of these luminaries are all [reflected] in the secret of the form of man, and the manner in which they are assembled and synthesized in the body of man - this is the way they are assembled to conduct [the creation].

Hence, of all these luminaries, there is not one which does not have a part in the body of man, and there is no limb in man which is not in the luminaries. And all the [other] creations of the world also come out and emerge from the luminaries, whereby there is no creature/creation in the world which is not in the luminaries and there is no luminary which is not in the world. Therefore, there is no creature/creation which is not in man and there is no limb in man which is not in the world. And there is no act in man which is not in the luminaries nor an act in the luminaries which is not in the acts of man.

The root of this order is the order of inner (spiritual) inner and (physical) outer, which is the root of the soul and the body. On this it is written "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Bereisheit/Gen. 1:26)...(skipping..)

Behold every luminary has agents which are the angels, one level after another, all of which are minions of this specific level, and they manifest the act until below (in the physical realm). And likewise, each luminary brings forth one specific physical creature/creation. Therefore, man, in his body, and in his soul, receives all the parts of the luminaries.

All this is in the acts of G-d, which is called a root in that it is the root of all creations, and the totality of all that comes out from them is man, and the service is charged to him in all of the luminaries, because all of their influence (to the physical or spiritual realm) must pass through man. And corresponding to this, the details of the spiritual creations, namely, the angels, correspond to his soul and all the myriad physical creations, correspond to his body....
The secret of the service is as follows: for all of what G-d has ordered regarding His governance, He enacted mitzvot (commandments), so that when human beings perform them, these acts will run properly. Its matter is to connect, through this act, the part of the soul which receives from that luminary for which He commanded that act, to that corresponding luminary. Then, the Hashpa'ah (spiritual direction) is drawn from that luminary to that part, and it is called that one "tube" of Hashpa'ah has been opened. When all of them are opened, each one in all the derivate parts, through all of the souls of Yisrael - then the world will be completely rectified.
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on the damage done from bad middot (character traits)

Behold, on the matter of middot, they are fixed in the lower soul which is called "foundation [soul]", which includes the 4 levels - domem (silent/inanimate-as in rocks and metals - Tr), tzomachat (growing-as in plants - Tr), behemit (animal), and the medaberet (speaking-as in humans - Tr). Because they (the levels) also are mixed with good and evil. And behold in this soul the good and bad middot depend. And they (the middot) are a chair, and foundation, and root to the higher "intellectual soul" in which depends the 613 mitzvot of the torah as mentioned earlier in Gate 1. Therefore the middot are not included in the 613 mitzvot. However, they are crucial preparations to the 613 mitzvot in their fulfillment or annulment because the higher "intellectual soul" does not have the power to fulfill the mitzvot using the 613 limbs [and gidim] of the body except through the intermediary of the foundation soul which is attached to the body itself in the Sod (secret meaning of) "for the soul of all flesh, the blood is in the soul" (Vayikra/Lev. 17:14). Therefore the bad middot (character traits) are much, much worse than the sins [of the 613 mitzvot] themselves.

And through this, you will understand what our Sages have said (Talmud Shabbat 105b) "whoever gets angry it is as if he has worshipped idols" - literally, which weighs like all the 613 mitzvot. And likewise they said (Talmud Sotah 71) "whoever has arrogance it is as if he is a Kofer b'ikar (heretic), and it is fitting to chop him down like an idol tree and his dust does not budge [in the resurrection]...", and many more like these. And understand this very well because in their being crucial and fundamental, they were not counted as part of the 613 mitzvot which depend on the "intellectual soul". Therefore we find that one should be more careful of bad middot than in fulfilling the positive and negative mitzvot. For in his being a possessor of good middot, he will easily fulfill [all] the mitzvot.

And through this, you will also understand astonishing words which our Sages have said on the matter of middot, [such as] that "humility and lowliness brings to Ruach HaKodesh (holy spirit) and the Shechina (Divine presence) rests on him" and Eliyahu [the prophet] said "the torah is not explained except to he who is not a kapdan (impatient, irritable person), so too I will reveal myself only to one who is not a kapdan." and likewise our Sages said "who is a ben Olam Haba (a person destined for life in the World to Come) - whoever is lowly and humble, etc." and many more like this. They did not mention the fulfillment of mitzvot but only good middot. And put your eyes to these things and you will be successful in your ways without doubt.

Now, just like the bodies of the 4 foundations (i.e. the purely physical forms of earth, water, wind, and fire. See Part 3 Gate 1&2 to understand this properly - Tr) are roots, that through them were formed the 613 limbs [and gidim] of the [physical] body, so too the "souls" of the 4 foundations (earth, water, etc. - Tr) are foundations for all good and bad middot through which [the intellectual soul] must go through in fulfilling or transgressing the torah and the commandments which are 613 from the 4 letters of G-d's name YHVH as mentioned earlier. And the fulfillment of them is the intellectual soul which includes the four spiritual foundations from which were hewn the 613 limbs [and gidim] of that soul (the intellectual soul). And understand this very well - how the foundation of fulfillment of the mitzvot is through the good middot and likewise the opposite.

And here is the matter [of the middot]. We have already explained that everything that G-d made includes good and evil which are opposite each other. And behold, just like the four bodies of the foundations (i.e. physical earth, water, etc. - Tr) which is called the "chomer" (physical, material) of the foundations is mixed with good and evil, and from them come the powers of sustaining the body or its ailments which are the four "Marot" (biles) - white, green, black, and red. Likewise, in the souls which are called "tzurot" (i.e. the spiritual powers in these four foundations - Tr), are in this way - good and evil. And from them come the health of the foundation soul in a man which are the good middot or its ailments which are the bad middot who are drawn from the 4 impure klipos of that [foundation] soul. And when he removes them from himself, the 4 letters of G-d's name, which are light that gives life to the foundation soul, will [enter] and wear him. Then it (the foundation soul) and its body (i.e. the man's body - Tr) will become a chariot for His holiness, blessed be He, in the world of Asiyah (the first of the 5 worlds, see Part 3 Gate 1 - Tr), as we explained [earlier] for the intellectual soul in fulfilling the mitzvot.

(Translator: note that "light" is used as an analogy since our "light" is the least physical of everything that exists in our universe, therefore it is used to attempt to explain spiritual phenomena.)

And remember and don't forget that also through toil in the torah in the four levels whose acronym is PaRDeS - pshat (basic meaning), remez (alluded meaning), drash (homiletical or interpretive meaning), sod (secret - mystical meaning), his intellectual Ruach will become a chair to G-d's name in the world of Yetzira.

(Translator: if a person merits to purify all the levels of the foundation soul by purifying all the middot and, in the intellectual soul, through fulfilling the 613 commandments, he is given a 2nd level soul called "Ruach" from the 2nd world of "Yetzira". Rabbi Chaim Vital says in Shaar HaGilgulim 18:18b, "the soul of a person without the ruach is like one who sits in darkness, he has no light nor (supernatural) intellect". Similarly Rabbi Vital wrote in his book Etz Chaim (hakdama daf 13): "And not only that but man was created only to delve into the depths of the torah. But this requires that his body (and lower soul) be clean first, through the action of the mitzvot whose entire purpose is for this and are therefore necessary. Then the neshama (higher soul) which is called the candle of G-d (as in 'the candle of G-d is the soul (neshama) of man' Mishlei/Proverbs 20:27), will be capable of illuminating this body, like a candle inside a glass container, which shines through, and it gives him the power to understand secrets of the torah and it reveals depths from within the darkness.) (The 4th level of torah, called "Sod" (secret) is the inner and primary meaning. The other lower meanings, are also true, but serve primarily for the purpose of straightening a man - see Vilna Gaon, Chemda Genuza commentary on Mishlei 1:6)
And likewise through "Machshava" and "kavana" (thoughts and special intents), his intellectual neshama will be a chair for G-d's Name in the world of Beriah ( i.e. after completing these he will merit a 3rd level soul called 'neshama' from the 3rd world of "Beriah" - Tr).

Let us return to the clarification of the foundations which there are in acquiring middot. Know that all the bad middot are rooted in the 4 levels of the foundation soul - from the side of evil and the klipa of them. Therefore all the bad middot are divided into 4 types, and here is their details.

  1. The foundation of Fire - from it is drawn arrogance which is called "Gasut HaRuach" (inflated spirit) - in being the lightest and highest of all the foundations. And included in it is anger, since it is because of arrogance that a man becomes angry when "his will is not being done". And if he were a "shefal ruach" (lowly of spirit), and he recognized his lacking, he would not at all become angry. It comes out that anger and arrogance are one trait. And their derivatives are 3:
    kapdanus (being irritable) in his heart. Because without the arrogance, he would not be irritable in his heart, similar to what we explained for anger.
    Seeking power and honor to show off to others.
    Hatred of others because they are greater than him. And this is also a branch of arrogance.
  2. The foundation of Wind - from it is drawn speech which is called "sicha betela" (useless chatter), for things which have no need at all, whether for the soul or the body. And its derivatives are 4:
    They are to speak flattery, lies, lashon hara (negative speech about others), and to reveal his praises to others in order to become great in front of them.
  3. The foundation of Water - from it comes craving for indulgence - for it is so that water causes all kinds of pleasurable things to grow. And its derivatives are two:
    Chemda (coveting) to steal the money of his friend, or his wife, and all that he has in order to indulge in them.
    And jealousy, he will be jealous of his friend who has a lot of money or the like in order to indulge in them.
  4. The foundation of Earth - from it comes the trait of sadness in all its details. And its derivatives are one - which is laziness in fulfilling the torah and the mitzvot because of his sadness in attaining acquisitions in the vanities of this world (such as money, honor, approval, etc. - Tr), or on sufferings (yisurim-troubles) which come on him. And he is not happy with his portion in any matter. Also "[yet is there no end of all his labor], neither is his eye satisfied with riches" (Kohelet/Eccl. 4:8).
(Translator: the "Sefer HaBrit" comments that all the bad character traits damage only their level, with the exception of sadness. The foundation of earth is the lowest and outermost of all the levels therefore it is the "body" of everything. So the corruption of earth, which is sadness, damages all the levels together. So it's probably a good place to start. However, it's important to keep in mind the words of the Duties of the Heart Gate 9 ch.5: "It is proper for you, my brother, to know that it will not be possible for you to fulfill any of these things, unless you do all of them and you don't leave over even one of them, because they are like a string of pearls, if you cut off one of them, the string will break and all of the others will scatter and their unity will be destroyed.")
We find therefore that the fathers (roots) of all bad middot (traits) are four. Arrogance and anger which is included and attached to it, useless speech, lust for indulgences, and sadness. The four of them are drawn from the four klipot of the yetzer hara (evil inclination) of the foundation soul. And their opposites are the four good middot which are drawn from the four good foundations of the foundation soul. They are:[1] Humbleness - which is absolute lowliness and distancing oneself from all forms of anger which come through arrogance. [2] Silence - "like a mute he should not open his mouth", except torah and mitzvot or what is necessary for maintenance of the body and also for honoring the public. [3] And revulsion from all indulgences of the body which are beyond the necessary. [4] A constant simcha (joy) in his portion, because "everything that is done from heaven is for the good". And also to motivate oneself to be with absolute joy in doing the service of his Creator as it is written "I am joyful in Your commandments like one who finds a great treasure" (Tehilim/Ps. 119:162). And like our Sages said "Make your torah study fixed (primary) and your work temporary (secondary)" (Avot 1:15).

Therefore we find that when the bad middot are established in a man, he refrains from fulfilling the torah and mitzvot. And even if he does fulfill them, it won't be for the sake of Heaven (i.e. he'll have selfish motives - Tr) and also with great effort and hassle. On him it is written "like a gold ring on a pig's snout..." (Mishlei/Prov. 11:22) Because his impurity is still in him and he is clothed in the klipot. And also like our Sages have said "if he merits, his torah will become an elixir of life, but if he doesn't merit, it will become a death potion" (Yoma 75b). But if he empowers himself over his inclination and wages war with it and removes from himself the bad middot through efforts and fulfills the torah and mitzvot - he is called a tzadik gamur (totally righteous), G-d fearing, a mighty person, who conquers his inclination. And when he habituates himself more and more on this until he removes from himself all the bad middot completely and his [foundation] soul is not tempted by them at all and he acquires the good middot until they become second nature and he does not need to fight with the evil inclination at all because his body and soul have become clean from all impurities of physicality, as it says by Moshe "remove your shoe from your foot" (Shemot/Ex. 3:5), as mentioned in the book of tikunim (Tikun 31 and 48) (i.e. the shoe is the garment of the lowest part of the body, namely the heel. So too the physical body is the garment for the lowest part of the soul and is therefore referred to as the "shoe" - Tr), then the four letters of G-d's name will [rest and] enclothe in him and he will become a holy throne for His chariot, blessed be He. And this man is called "loves G-d through love", and [he is also] called a total "Chasid" (pious), perfect with all forms of perfection.

(Translator: - this apparently contradicts the talmud that the greater one's spiritual level, the greater his yetzer hara (evil inclination). The Rambam resolves this as follows (Hakdama L'Avot perek 6):
The philosophers are unanimous in that he who does not desire evil is on a higher spiritual level than he who desires evil but refrains from it, because the desire for evil stems from evil in the soul of the person. And King Shlomo already wrote on this (Mishlei 21:10) "the soul of the wicked desires evil", and "the joy of the pious in doing good"...

On examining the words of the sages, it appears the opposite, that the higher one's spiritual level, the greater is his desire to sin...as the Sages wrote explicitly "Whoever is greater than his fellow, so too is his evil inclination greater"...And also they said...And Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel said - "a man should not say 'I don't like milk and meat, I don't like to wear shatnez, arayot, etc.' rather he should say 'I want to but what can I do, my Father in heaven decreed on me.'" But really there is no contradiction. Both are true. The "evil" the philosophers are referring to are those things which are well known to be evil such as murder, theft, oppression, damaging others for nothing, disrespect of parents, etc. There are things which the Sages wrote, "if the torah did not write them, it would have been fitting to write them", they are "mitzvot of the intellect", (i.e. one can figure out on his own that these things are wrong) and certainly one whose soul desires these things is deficient and on a lower level than one who does not desire these things at all. But that which the Sages said "one who has a higher inclination is greater etc., - this refers to mitzvot without reason, that without the torah they would not be evil at all...and this is why Rabbi Shimon ben Gamliel used the example of "milk and meat", and "shatnez", "arayot", etc. (and not theft, hurting others, etc.) These things are called "decrees" (chukim)...(Rambam - Hakdama L'Avot perek 6)
(Translator: - the rest of Part 1 deals mostly with details of the general principles mentioned above. Rav Chaim Vital summarizes the purifications in Part 1 Gate 5):
1. to acquire the good middot in the foundation soul until 2nd nature.
2. to turn away from evil - the 365 negative commandments in the intellectual soul. (in order to unblock the 365 spiritual "arteries" and allow the spiritual "life-force" to flow to the 248 spiritual limbs.)
3. to fulfill the 248 positive commandments, which are called "do good" (to bring down the spiritual energy to the 248 spiritual limbs. Once a person completes this, he is capable of being a receptacle for receiving the spiritual energy. Before this, he is like a giant supercomputer with short circuited wires which prevents the whole machine from powering on).
(The rest of part 1 deals mostly with detailing the mitzvot. Skipping forward near the end of Part 1:)

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Part 1 Gate 6
The Following are what One Needs to go to the Opposite Extreme.

Be careful of all forms of anger, irritation, and arrogance, even for members of your household. And if a man is insolent with you don't answer him. Be of those that are insulted but who don't insult back. Because of this it is written "but they that love Him shall be as the sun when it goes forth in its might" (Shoftim 5:31). And "haaver al midotecha" (overlook and forgive) to all who sin against you and don't feel any pain even in your heart because it is good for you since "whoever overlooks over others' wronging, they (upstairs) overlook his sins (measure for measure, Talmud Rosh Hashana 17a)". And if you had an intelligent eye, you would seek out people who would bother you - because it is like seeking life.

And receive every man with simcha (joy) even if he is your enemy because through this he will switch to becoming a friend and the merit will be yours. And all your words should be calm and in a low voice, lest you enter in the boundary of anger. And remove sadness and worry from your heart and you will thereby remove evil from your flesh. Because it is a trap for you to remove the holy spirit from you. And run away from Rabanut (being a Rabbi/Leader) which shortens a man's years. And distance yourself from unnecessary speech and from lies, flattery, frivolity, and lashon hara (evil speech), because they are the groups which do not receive the Divine presence in the World to Come. And hold on to humbleness which brings to Ruach HaKodesh. And be like the doorstep which everyone treads (very humble) for big [people] or small [people]. And block your ears from hearing slander and evil speech. And be like a mute who does not open his mouth except for torah and mitzvot, and for the necessary business dealings, and for receiving every person with a pleasant face and pleasant talk. And do not praise your good actions to others because you will lose your reward and furthermore you will receive punishment for it.

There are other things which I wrote in gate 5, see there, and for love of conciseness, I didn't repeat them here.

(Translator: - quote from Gate 5: "be joyful, even during times of suffering, love all people even gentiles, don't be jealous for anything because like the shadow of the day is our time on the land, hate and call vanity all matters of this world, and eat bread with salt, etc. (a reference to Pirkei Avot 6:4), don't desire anything of the vanities of this world, and run away with all your strength from serara (dominion over others) which buries its possessor")
And now, we will establish a general medicine to save oneself from all the sicknesses of the soul. And they are 3 things, because the principle faults of a man and the causes of his damages are 3 things.
  1. The physical [side of man] causes him to forgot the good for him to make him sin.
    (i.e. Basically, G-d took an animal and an angel and POOOF! combined them together. The animal part just wants to be a lazy, good-for-nothing, gorilla. - Tr)
  2. Because it (the animal side) gives in his heart that there is a continuum to a good day that it will continue to be good (i.e. just like such and such indulgence is good, so too will it continue like this forever. And so he doesn't prepare for the afterlife. - Tr)
  3. Even if he puts to heart to remember, behold he will be even more at fault because he will say in his heart, "what will I eat when I'm 70 years old." And this is harder than the first two.
Therefore please do my son and save yourself from these 3 sinners of Israel. Because corresponding to the first, put your eyes always, do not let your spirit be hasty to do any action and to speak any [even] small word until you will be patient, patient in your thought whether or not you should do or speak. Because the fruit of hastiness is regret and there is no more repair to return it as before.

Corresponding to the second, put the fear of G-d on your face. Do not remove from your face the fear of the day of death and placing in the grave until rotting [of the flesh] while the flesh becomes food for the worms, and the judgment of "chibut hakever" (the beating of the grave), and the judgment of Gehinom, and the great day of judgment for all who came to the world. Because even Shmuel who was considered as great as Moshe and Aharon was afraid of it (Talmud Chagiga 4b).

Corresponding to the third, he should acquire the trait of bitachon (trust in G-d) in truth, because His eyes are on all the ways of man to give to him like his ways (what he deserves). And man's actions and also his strategies do not increase or decrease at all [the money that he earns], because "the race is not for the swift". And he should throw his needs on Him (G-d), like they said "fortunate is the man who does not forget You, and the man who strengthens himself in You, because those who seek You will never fall, and those who trust in You will not be shamed forever."
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--------END OF PART 1--------

(skipping forward to Shaarei Kedusha 3:1. Part 2 deals mostly with detailing the mitzvot and middot (character traits) and is not essential for understanding the matter of Ruach HaKodesh. - Tr)

(Translator: a common pitfall in kabala from Talmud Eser Sefirot chapter 1, Ohr Pnimi:)
"One must remember that all of the wisdom of kabala is based on spiritual matters which do not occupy neither space nor time. The concept of lack or change does not at all apply to them. Rather all the "changes" that are discussing in this wisdom, does not mean that the previous existence is gone and a different form takes its place, rather the change that is stated refers to an additional form only, and the original form does not move from its place. Because lack and change are physical concepts, and this is the entire difficulty for beginners. Because they grasp the concepts from a physical viewpoint, with boundaries of time, space, and change, which the authors (kabalists) used these terms only as pointers (simanim) on their spiritual roots.
introduction to the mystical worlds

   Behold, the supernal Creator which created all the worlds is referred to as "Ein Sof" (Infinite One). And He does not have any representation whatsoever - not by name, not by letter, not even by a crown of a letter. Therefore even contemplating Him is forbidden. (since contemplating what is impossible to comprehend can damage a person - Michtav M'Eliyahu)

He created 5 worlds - this one is a soul to the next, and the next to the next.
They are (1) "Adam Kadmon" (primordial man), which is mentioned in the book of tikunim (rectifications), and in the wording of the masters it is called "tzach-tzachut". (2) The second is the world of Atzilut (emanation). (3) Third is the world of Beriah (creation).(4) Fourth is the world of Yetzira (formation).(5) Fifth is the world of Asiyah (action).

These five worlds [together] are called one name of G-d (Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh), because the crown on the Yud is Adam Kadmon (in a torah scroll, the Yud has a tiny spike which is called a crown - Tr), the Yud is Atzilut, the first Heh is Beriah, the Vuv is Yetzira, and the last Heh is Asiyah. And since Adam Kadmon in its great concealment does not have a [full] letter but rather just a crown on the Yud, because the Ein Sof does not even have a crown, therefore we only mention the four worlds - Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzira, Asiyah. Because they are complete letters and the four of them together are called one name of G-d, Y-H-V-H.
( note that really even the "Ein Sof" is a creation. For G-d Himself is completely beyond any words or concepts whatsoever - Tr)

These four are also divided into 9 levels. They are (1)Chachma, (2)Bina, (3-8), the 6 sides of Tiferet, and (9th) Malchut. So, these 4 are called the "4 upper foundations" which are the four worlds, Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzira, and Asiyah, which are divided to 9 "Sefirot". However the "crown of the Yud" which is Adam Kadmon, the fifth and highest world includes all of them and in it alone is the root of all the 4 [upper] foundations, which are the 4 worlds - Atzilut, Briah, Yetzira, and Asiyah. Therefore we find that always there is no more than 4 foundations only. [Another] general principle is that the "Ein Sof" is never included in any calculation at all.

(Translator: note, G-d could have created the worlds in a totally incomprehensible, infinite way, but instead decided to create the worlds in a humanly comprehensible and structured manner. On this the Ramchal writes (Daat Tevunot siman 40): "certainly G-d could have established the world through His omnipotent system, in such a way that everything would be totally incomprehensible to us, not before not after, without cause and effect. If He had done so, no one would be able to open their mouths for we would not be able to understand anything whatsoever... but because He wanted us to understand a bit of His ways and attributes - on the contrary He very much wants us to exert ourselves on this...")
And after [the Ein Sof] are the worlds. At first they are one group, and they are one name of Yud-Heh-Vuv-Heh. Afterwards it divides into 4 foundations except for their root which is Adam Kadmon, the crown of the Yud, which is the tenth sefirah, higher than all of them, and is called "Keter" (crown). And afterwards, these 4 foundations divide into 9 Sefirot as mentioned.
(Translator: G-d manifests Himself only through these 10 Sefirot. For if He would manifest through the infinite - "Ein Sof" we would all be instantly annihilated by the intensity of His presence. Each sefira has a particular property which that world reflects. For example the 2nd world, Atzilut corresponds to Sefira "Chachma" - wisdom, so G-d's wisdom as it manifests in the creation, functions through this world. The five worlds together are like an infinite computer, except the components are not computer chips but sensitive, intelligent beings. see the book "Inner Space" by R.Aryeh Kaplan z'l.)
Behold, all these [divisions] can be grouped into 2 [main] divisions. They are (1) the Creator and all the creations. And this is what is written in Pirkei D'Rabi Eliezer (Ch.23) "until the world was created, He (Hu in hebrew) and His name were One", because the "Ein Sof" which is called "Hu" (in hebrew) and the created which are included in His name, which is Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh, everything was one, because the "flame was hidden in the ember".
Behold, we have explained that all the worlds are included in the name Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh which divides into 4 foundations and 10 Sefirot. Likewise each world sub-divides in this manner. For example, the world of Atzilut which is the letter "Yud", which is called Chachma, divides into all the levels we explained. And it contains one complete Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh which divides into 4 foundations and 10 complete Sefirot in the exact manner mentioned [above] for all the worlds in their totality. And it is this way for all the 5 worlds mentioned. And in this way it continues to go and sub-divide in absolute divisioning until we find that even in this lowly word there is no tiny creature which does not contain the complete 4 letters Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh and the complete 10 Sefirot. And all this is in order to teach that everything was created by the power of G-d, blessed be He, and that there is no other [power].

Another introduction, which is that all these classes and levels from the heights of Adam Kadmon until the depths of this lowly world, all of them are, each higher than the next and each more inner than the next. Because the higher one, "mitlabesh" (enters and wears) inside the lower one like the soul to the body. However, not the entire higher one wears the lower one, but rather only a specific lowest level of the upper one (the malchut - Tr) wears the entire lower one. And likewise in this manner until the end of the worlds, in such a way that all the worlds whether together (in totality) or whether in each level (sub-divisioning), everything is in this manner. Because this one is higher than the next and more inner until they are all like [layers] of clothing each to the next to the "Ein Sof" (which is innermost and highest) and the Soul of all the souls.

(Translator: i.e. For example, "light" from "Ein Sof" wears all of Adam Kadmon, like a soul wears a body. Then the lowest part of Adam Kadmon wears all of Atzilut in the same way, then Atzilut wears Beriah, etc. until Asiyah is the outermost shell which contains inside it the lowest parts of all the worlds and from the Ein Sof. Also note that this kav (line) of "Ein Sof" which is innermost to all the worlds is actually light from the torah, which is rooted in the Ein Sof - see Rashash, hakdamot Rechovot haNahar)
However, in each of the 5 worlds there is a difference in the branching out of the lights, until where they reach, in order that there should be a difference between each one. And likewise there is another difference in the sub-divisions of the 4 foundations in each world, and also the sub-subdivisions but this is not the place to clarify this matter.

Therefore we find that just like in the branching out of the lights from above to below, there is no sefira which is not included by 10 Sefirot, and each [of those] subdivides further to thousands and tens of thousands of Sefirot (each sub-division being 10 Sefirot only), likewise in the matter of the branching of the lights from inside to outside is in this matter. Because the innermost of all of them is called "Keter" and outside it, "Chachma", and outside that "Binah", and outside that the 6 sides (Sefirot) of "Tiferet", and the outermost of all "Malchut". And likewise all the levels subdivide in this manner to thousands and tens of thousands of subdivisions. And since the explanation of this is clear to us except for the matter of Asiyah (the lowest world) therefore we will explain its matter with absolute conciseness what is needed for the subject matter here.

(note: The rest of this chapter is very difficult. One should not spend too much time trying to understand every detail. - Tr)

Behold there are 7 firmaments (in our world, which is "Asiyah"). The highest one is called "Aravot" because it includes the first 3 Sefirot of Asiyah, they are the Galgal Sechel (sphere of intellect), Galgal Makif (surrounding sphere), and Galgal Mazalot (sphere of the constellations). And the 5 planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, and Venus correspond to [the Sefirot] Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferet, Netzach, Hod, and the sixth sphere [which is] Yesod includes mercury and the moon.
(somehow these planets are "relay stations" for the lights of Asiyah. From here is the basis of ancient astrology to determining future events through astronomical observation since the supernal lights must pass first through these stations - Tr).

The last [firmament] is called "Vilon" it does not have [an active] function because it is the Sefira of Malchut of Asiyah. And it itself sub-divides to ten Sefirot. They are: (1)"Vilon", "Keter" of it, and the four foundations of the lower world - fire, wind, water, and earth which are "Chachma" (fire), "Binah" (wind), and the 6 edges of Tiferet (water), and Malchut (earth). Therefore, we find that the Malchut of the Malchut (i.e. since the first Malchut is "Vilon" and the second is "earth" - Tr) is the foundation of earth - which is the kli (container) and form for the entire world. And in this foundation of earth are found all the derivatives (the creatures: animals, rocks, etc.) which [each] include all the 4 foundations mentioned (fire, wind, water, earth) in the sod (secret meaning) of "Everything was from the earth."

(Translator: to summarize, the 5th world splits into 10 Sefirot, i.e. the 7 firmaments. These are like the "universe", the receptable of time/space. Next, the lowest firmament, Vilon, splits into another 10 Sefirot which are the building blocks for all the matter and creatures in this world.)
We have clarified the matter from top to bottom. Behold it occurs similarly from inside to outside. Namely, the foundation of "earth" also [internally] includes 10 Sefirot, and the "Keter" of them, is innermost of all and is called the class of "Yechida" of the foundation of earth. Outside it is [the Sefira] "Chachma" [which is the class of] "Chaya". Outside it is "Bina" which is "Neshama". Outside it the 6 edges of "Tiferet", which are "Ruach". Outside it is "Malchut", which is "Nefesh" of the foundation of earth. And this "Malchut" also subdivides internally to its 10 Sefirot, and the external most "Malchut" of them is the foundation of earth itself, the physical which has no spirituality, but is rather base physical which is called "Domem" (silent/inanimate as in rocks). And everything inside [the outermost Malchut of earth] is called the "soul of the Domem". (it comes out from this that the foundation of earth has a "body" which is the outermost Malchut, and also a spiritual "soul" corresponding to the inner layers of Sefirot inside)

And in a similar manner for the foundation of water. Because the external most "Malchut" of all of them (within the foundation of water - Tr) is called the "water of growth" and is called "Tzomeach" (plant). And everything that is inside it is called the "soul of tzomeach". And in a similar manner for the foundation of "wind" and the foundation of "fire", which are "Chai" (animal), and "medaber" (speaking, human).

And the four of them together are (i.e. the four foundations, complete with all their internal splitting - Tr): the Domem - nefesh (body of earth with soul of earth - Tr), the tzomeach - Ruach (body of water+soul - Tr), the Chai - neshama (body of wind+soul - Tr), the medaber - Chaya (body of fire+soul - Tr), and Vilon - Yechida.

And this is what you will find in the words of the philosophers which are named "powers". They say that the soul of the Tzomeach (soul of water in plants - Tr) has the power of sustenance (generating energy - Tr), and the power of drawing (such as drawing water, and minerals through its roots - Tr), and the power of nourishment, and the power of expulsion (of waste). And likewise they said about the soul of Chaya (soul of wind in animals - Tr) which has the power of movement and feeling, because it has in it the power of awareness and the power of imagination, and the power of mental picturing, etc. and in this manner for all of them.

What comes out of all this is that also the outermost Malchut of each class (ex. class of earth, or water etc. - Tr), behold it is the body of that class (with the rest being the "soul" of that class - Tr). However it is not called the true physical, base body except the outermost Malchut of all of [the world] of Asiyah from top to bottom and from inside to outside. And this point alone is the foundation of earth, base and totally physical and it is the most base and physical body of all the worlds.

(Translator: i.e. the world of Asiyah is the Malchut (10th Sefira) of the 5 worlds in the primary 10 Sefirot. It splits to 10 Sefirot (the 7 firmaments) with the Malchut being "Vilon". Vilon further splits into 10 Sefirot with the Malchut being the foundation of earth. The foundation of earth splits internally twice and the final Malchut, which is also the outermost layer is the "body" of the foundation of earth. This pure, physical, earth is the body of all the worlds. Since it is the final and most external of all the sefirot. So the worlds, just like a human being have a body and different soul levels. As we'll see, in a human being, the soul cannot elevate itself or bring down spiritual energy without the actions of the body down here. Likewise, all the spiritual worlds above need the actions of its body, i.e. actions in our physical world for bringing down its spiritual energy. This occurs only through the actions of man. So even though our world, is the bottom of the barrel in terms of spirituality, nevertheless it is the switchboard of everything. This is also why man has a physical body. It is not a deficit over the angels (spiritual beings) but rather an advantage. For since man includes in himself all the worlds, then he must also include this physical world and therefore he has a physical body with all levels of physicality (i.e. inanimate, plant, animal, etc.))

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On what is man. In this gate will be clarified words that the early ones did not attain. They are awesome foundations, and if they were not essential to clarifying the matter of prophecy, I would not have revealed them - and I will write them as concisely as possible. Guard them under your clothes. (i.e. be careful who you share them with - Tr)

I will ask a few deep questions:

  1. Why was it necessary to create a human being in this world with a body and a soul?
  2. Why did G-d add to man two creations - the good and the evil inclinations?
  3. If both inclinations are equal in strength, then where does the power of free will come in to tip the scale this way or that way?
    And if the free will is stronger then the inclinations, then what is the point of the inclinations?
  4. what are these 2 inclinations?
  5. To know if the soul of man is greater than the angels or not. If we say that it is, then why didn't the angels also go down to this world to dress in a body? And if (you say) the angels are greater, this cannot be, because in all the writings of the Sages we find the opposite. For example, "Who is greater the guardian or the guarded" (Midrash) and many others. Also, the Bible itself testifies the opposite as it says "You have weakened, the Rock (G-d) that formed you" (Devarim 32:18). Or "Give strength to G-d" (Tehilim 68:35), "you are sons to the L-ORD your G-d" (Devarim 14:1). "Yisrael in who I am glorified" (Yeshaya 49:3), "the angels don't say 'Kadosh' until the Jews start below." And we don't find such things by the angels at all anywhere (that we need to wait for them - Tr)
  6. Even if we say it's true (that the soul of man is greater than the angels - Tr), it is hard to understand to call man "sons of G-d" or to say that they weaken or give strength to G-d?! One could come to heresy..
  7. The matter of prophecy, how is it conceivable that the King of Kings would speak to lowly man, and even through an angel to the lowly man, and also while man is clothed in the lowest and basest matter of all the worlds!

We clarified in the previous section (Part 3 Gate 1) the matter of the worlds, how they are all one name of G-d, and are divided into 5 worlds with different 5 spiritual levels (Yechida, Chaya, Neshama, Ruach, Nefesh), and this physical world is like the body of all of them. What comes out is that all the worlds together are in the form of a man who also includes a physical body and a soul with 5 spiritual levels. Know that the [numerical value] of the Name of G-d in full (spelling) equals [the numerical value of] "Adam" in gematria.
This forms exists also in each subdivision (body and 5 spiritual levels) and each subdivision is like a sub-man with one name of G-d divided in 5 levels and 10 Sefirot.

There is also another division which we have not discussed and that is that the 10 Sefirot are composed of 613 levels as we'll explain. Therefore, all the worlds together and also in each subdivision by itself, were created in the form of man below. This is the secret of "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Bereisheit/Gen. 1:24). Understand this well.

We explained previously (in the book Etz Chaim - 347:4 - Tr) that from Beriah (the 3rd world figure 1 - Tr) and below, everything is called the "tree of knowledge" which includes good and evil except that at each level down, the good diminishes and the evil increases, until we find that this lowly world is mostly evil and minimally good. We also explained (ibid) that the evil always envelops the good. Therefore the good is called the fruit and the evil is called the klipa (shell) which is worn by the fruit. Not only that, but this even applies in the "good" lights - because the purer and the more spiritual light wears and is enveloped by the other less spiritual light. Likewise at all levels. We also explained how the light of "Ein Sof" is the innermost of all and outside of it, the 10 Sefirot according to their levels, where the Keter is innermost and Malchut is outermost.

Now we will explain something new. That is, just like there is a unique light, called the world of the 10 Sefirot, which is in the form of a man, so too there is another light called the "repository of the souls of men" which is of exactly the same form in all levels and details as the "man" of the 10 Sefirot, which is called complete "G-dliness" (since the 10 Sefirot are like a prism for passing G-d's light from the Ein Sof. So they are considered "complete G-dliness" - Tr). And it (the 10 Sefirot) enters and wears this light which is called the "repository of the souls of men" in all its details.

There is another light in the form of man which is called the "repository of angels" from which are formed all the angels. It also is of exactly the same form as the 10 Sefirot in all levels and it is the outer garment to the light of the "repository of the souls of men".

There is another small light, and it is called the "dark light". It is all hard dinim (judgments) from which come all klipot (impure forces) in each world. It envelops and is worn by the light of the "repository of angels" and it also is of the form of man.

Outside of all these 4 lights are the firmaments of that world, which are the "body" of that world. Inside the firmaments are the 5 lights described earlier, namely, the Ein Sof is innermost and in intensity according to the spiritual level of that world. Outside that, the light of the 10 Sefirot, then the repository of souls, repository of angels, and the klipot, then the firmaments which are the body of these lights. Afterwards, inside the firmaments (for example in our world this is the space/time which can contain matter and energy - Tr) are created the derivatives of that world (i.e. the matter, energy, creatures, etc. which fill that world - Tr). These derivatives include all the levels since they draw their strength from the firmaments which themselves include all the five lights (Ein Sof, 10 Sefirot,Men, Angels, klipot - Tr), with the Ein Sof innermost and giving life to all of them. The power drawn from the "repository of souls of men" is called the upper Mazel of the man below. And understand this very well. But, that which is in [the world of] Beriah is called the Mazel of the Neshama, and in [the world of Yetzira] is called the Mazel of the Ruach, and in [the world of] Asiyah is called the Mazel of the Nefesh.

Now, we'll clarify what is man, what is his function. We'll start from the world of Asiya (#5) from the bottom up.

We have examined each world and its derivatives. Now, the world of Asiya (starting from the bottom - Tr) has at first the lowest portion (lowest 10 Sefirot - Tr) which are called the "4 foundations" (earth, water, wind, fire - Tr). Now all the offsprings (creatures, etc. - Tr) were created with the foundation of earth, which is the "body" (i.e. the lowest - Tr) of the 4 foundations (earth, water, wind, fire - Tr). They were created with the physical part of the foundation of earth (the foundation of earth also has spiritual levels internally in the form of 10 Sefirot. The lowest Sefira, i.e.Malchut of earth, is physical earth, most concealed spirituality - Tr).

They are divided into four classes.

  • The lowest form of them is stones, metals, and the like ("domem" literally "silent" - Tr). They contain only the foundation of earth which received power from the 4 foundations, but only from the "body" (i.e. the lowest Malchut of each of the other foundations water, wind, and fire - Tr). They become mixed together and became that metal. However, there is in it a power which mixed with this mixture. It is called the soul of the foundation of earth. (i.e. stones, metals, etc. are composed of the lowest Malchut, i.e. the bodies, of water, wind, and fire combined with earth and the soul of earth. The soul of earth gives it the power to hold together the mixture so that it doesn't break down back to its four foundations. - Tr)
  • After inanimate objects were created the "Tzomeach" (vegetative life), such as trees and grasses. They have a body from the foundation of earth, etc. (mixed with the "body" from the other foundations as in rocks - Tr), with the appropriate soul levels of earth as before. Additionally it has a soul of "Tzomeach" (i.e. the water element is not just physical, it also contains the appropriate soul levels of water - Tr) which includes its five powers (growth, ingestion, digestion, expulsion, reproduction as in Part 3 Gate 2. - Tr)
  • Afterwards, the "Chai" (living) was created. They are the animals, birds, etc. They contain the body and soul of earth (mixed with body of water, wind, fire accordingly as in rocks - Tr), plus the soul of water with its five powers (as in plants which takes care of all involuntary body functions - Tr). Additionally, they contain the soul of Chaya (i.e. soul of wind - Tr) which is called the animal soul - movement, and feeling, etc. (will, but not true free will - Tr).
  • Afterwards, the speaking man was created. He contains all the powers above and additionally a "speaking soul" from the foundation of fire (i.e. he has not only the "body" of fire but also the soul levels of fire - Tr)
Know though, that certainly all the soul levels (of the 4 elements - Tr) in man are more pure than in an animal (for example, the soul levels of wind or water in man are higher than in animals - Tr). Likewise, for animals relative to plants.

Afterwards, the Jewish man was created (according to the book Sefer HaBrit, he received an extra soul during the process at Mount Sinai, from Vilon which is the level of Keter of the 4 foundations - Tr) . Purer in all the soul levels than all other creations, whether in the souls of Domem (earth), Tzomeach (water), Chaya (wind) or Medaber (Fire).

(Translator: A non-Jew can also receive this "extra soul" provided he re-enacts the process at Sinai, i.e. full acceptance of the 613 commandments. This is why "conversions" without full acceptance of the torah are invalid. Conversion is not a paper from a Rabbi but rather acceptance to observe all the torah commandments.

Also note that the further down we go, the more G-d's providence is concealed. So the lowest level of earth, i.e. inanimate objects appear as mere cause/effect following scientific laws. As we go up to plants, the plant goes and builds itself, creating leaves, wood, etc. G-d's providence begins to be visible for it is impossible to do this with a purely inanimate machine. The process is mysteriously guided somehow by a "creative force". As we go further up, we have animals which possess awareness and will. A higher and more mysterious spiritual ability, more "alive". Further up, we have the human and his intellect, a higher degree of "life". But the scientist with his limited vision and physical instruments only sees everything through the lowest physical level which serves as body for the other levels.
In being more pure than all the creations, he is elevated even higher because he is also included and tied in with all the 5 worlds and in all their details. How? After the lower soul (of the 4 elements earth,water,wind, fire - Tr), a soul enters him from the firmament of Vilon, and from there and above, all the way up to the highest firmament in Asiya (which is called "Aravot" - Tr), all this together is called the soul of Asiya. This is called the Intellectual soul, the holy soul in a person. It is divided into the 5 soul levels (within Asiya itself - Tr).

We can also look at it in terms of 2 divisions; because every level which is taken from the 4 foundations (earth,water, wind, fire) are all called together the "foundation soul" which is divided as before (into domem-rocks, tzomeach-vegetative, Chai-animal, Medaber-fire - Tr) and the soul of Vilon is the Keter (crown) on top of them. It is called the "intellectual soul" and the remaining firmaments are the remaining soul levels of the intellectual soul (ruach, chaya, yechida - Tr). Everything together can be called one "Nefesh" (soul) of Asiyah which includes all the levels in Asiyah.

Afterwards, he takes a Ruach from the 4th world (yetzira in figure 2 - Tr). It also is divided into many levels along the lines we described for the 5th world. Together, all the soul levels in yetzira are called the soul level of "Ruach" relative to the total picture of the 5 worlds.
In a similar fashion, "Neshama" from the world of Beriah (#3 in figure 2 - Tr), Chaya from Atzilut, and Yechida from Adam Kadmon.

Now we have explained well what is man. He includes within himself all the worlds whether in the subdivisions or the totality of all the worlds, unlike all the other creations whether upper (angels) or lower (animals,etc.) which only include from the world in which they were created.

Now, all this is from below to above (that man includes all the worlds - Tr). Man also includes all the worlds from inside to outside. How? Behold, in the 5th world (Asiya) he has a body from the element of earth which is called the "Olam HaShafal" (low world) and inside it is the "foundation soul" in the semblance of the klipot. Inside that are the angels of this world which were created for all the matters of this world, to cause plants to grow, etc. Inside that the semblance of the souls of men and all these together make a chariot for the light which comes from the lights of the 10 Sefirot of the world of Asiyah which are innermost and serve to give life to everything. And likewise for what there is to a man from the rest of Asiyah and the 3 worlds, Yetzira, Briah, and Atzilut.

Now we have explained all the answers to the questions we posed above (beginning of Sec.III). Now, the light of the souls of men is more inner and higher then that of the angels, therefore the angels are his servants - because through him (man) they (the angels) receive their light and life from the 10 Sefirot.

This is what is meant by "behold, their valiant ones cry without; the ambassadors of peace weep bitterly" (Isaiah 33:7) (i.e. angels cried out during the temple destruction - Tr). For when the energy from the 10 Sefirot does not reach the souls of men, which is more inner than them, their energy is also reduced being that they are external to the souls of men.

And therefore, the angels did not descend below to wear a physical body, because certainly they would be defeated by the klipot. Because even the souls of men does not have the strength to stand up to the klipot, all the more so them. And the proof is from the "Nefilim" (fallen angels in Bereisheit/Gen. 6:4 - Rashi on Bamidbar 13:33 brings down "Nefilim-Giants among the sons of Shamchazay and Azael who fell from heaven during the days of Enosh" - Tr), who tried to descend to this world and became lost. They will be destroyed in the future.

Another reason even greater (that angels don't descend to wear a physical body - Tr) is that in their lacking, they cannot draw spiritual energy to all the worlds except from their level and outside (unlike man which contains all the levels of all worlds - Tr), and even this much they are not capable being that they cannot bring energy to themselves from the 10 Sefirot except through the souls of men.

Now it's true that the soul of man in the world of yetzira (4th world) is lower than an angel in Beriah (3rd world) and likewise for the other worlds, but a soul of man in Beriah is greater than an angel in Beriah, and likewise for each world. (i.e. within the same world and level, the soul of men is greater than the angel - Tr).

We have also clarified the greatness of the soul of man. It is light born out of and drawn from the light of the 10 Sefirot themselves without any intermediary. For this they are called "you are sons to the L-rd your G-d" (Devarim 14:1). Because they are in the semblance of a son who is united with his father and comes from Him. And this is also what is meant by "the Avot (patriarchs), they are the holy Chariot" - i.e. a chariot to the 10 Sefirot which ride on them without any intermediary light. This is also the meaning of "you are My servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified" (Isaiah 49:3), because the clothing of a person is his glory, as is written "as a bridegroom will don glory" (ibid 61:10)

Now, the light of the souls is a garment to the light of the 10 Sefirot. This is the meaning of "my beloved (G-d) descended to the garden (this world) to browse in the gardens, and to gather roses" (Shir HaShirim 6:2) whose first letters spell "levush" (garment) because He picks the souls of tzadikim which have a fragrance like roses due to their good deeds in this world, and He picks them to wear His light on them (Ruach HaKodesh - Tr). And this is the meaning of "and you who cling to G-d..." (Devarim 4:4). Completely clinging with the light of the 10 Sefirot, unlike all the other creations.

We have also clarified the matter of the good and evil inclinations in a man. They are two forms added to a man besides his soul. And they are light from the angels (good inclination) and light from the klipot (evil inclinations), outside of the good inclination and external to it. But being that the soul itself is innermost than all of them, and being that it is the essence of a man, therefore it is in his power to tilt the free will to the place that he wants - because he (the soul) is greater than them.

Now, his primary desire is towards the good inclination, because it is holy like him and also near to him. But for the body, it's primary desire is to the evil inclination, because both are from the side of evil (physicality - Tr), and also they are closer to each other. It is because of this that there is a battle between the physicality and the soul. Because since the soul cannot do the mitzvot except through the body, which tends towards the evil inclination, because of this there is a great difficulty to subjugate it (the evil inclination - Tr).

We have clarified that the soul has the power of choosing to follow the good inclination, but since it needs the actions of the body, it has great exertion in subjugating the evil inclination. And understand this well, that after death there is no (main) punishment neither to the soul nor the body until they re-join together like before death (in the time of the resurrection - Tr).

We will now explain the answer to the first two questions. Namely, why was it necessary to create man with a physical body and also why was he created with a good and an evil inclination. This will also answer the verse "Give strength to G-d" (Tehilim 68:35) and "you have weakened, the Rock (G-d) that formed you..." (Devarim 32:18) (i.e. how is it conceivable for man to strengthen or weaken G-d - Tr)

Behold, in the beginning of creation, all the worlds were created in the manner described above. From the power of the "Ein Sof", with (G-d's) simple altruistic desire to do kindness. Afterwards, (after the creation of all the worlds - Tr) it was necessary to draw down the spiritual "sustenance", life, and energy, to all the worlds in order that they should continue to exist...

So after the creation it was necessary for the worlds to sustain themselves through their own actions (i.e. the worlds should draw down the spiritual energy from G-d through their own actions - Tr) - similar to a son who grows up no longer needs to eat at his father's table.

However, the 10 Sefirot do not depend on any actions because the spiritual energy that is needed to sustain them is drawn constantly from the "Ein Sof" as it says "evil will not dwell with You" (Tehilim 5:5).
The creation though, namely, from the souls of men and out, which are mixed with good and evil, need actions and tikun (reparation). Therefore when there is a lessening of the spiritual energy from the 10 Sefirot to the creations, it appears as if there is a weakening of G-d's power (i.e. since the souls of men are the intermediaries between the 10 Sefirot and the rest of creation, when the souls block the passage of energy, it appears as if G-d's power is weakened - Tr). Therefore it is written "you have weakened, the Rock (G-d) that formed you..." (Devarim 32:18) and the opposite: "Give strength to G-d" (Tehilim 68:35).

Another reason (why it appears G-d is weakened - Tr) is as follows. When a man is healthy and clean, he desires that his garments are noble according to his greatness. So too, the Sefirot appear weak when the creations are in need of reparation (since the Sefirot are innermost and "wear" the souls of men like a garment - Tr). We have clarified the 3rd question (in beginning of Part 3 Gate 2 - Tr).

For the reasons explained above (that it is necessary for the worlds to maintain themselves - Tr), it was necessary to create a man which would include all the creations and emanations (i.e. everything - Tr), which would tie together all worlds as explained above until the depths of the land (our world - Tr). Because he is closest to receiving the energy/life force from the 10 Sefirot. Then by the tikun (reparation) of his actions, he will draw down the energy from the 10 Sefirot to himself, and then from himself to the angels, and from the angels to the klipot, in order that they repair what is possible to separate as we'll explain nearby, and from the klipot to the worlds themselves which are the Kelim (vessels) and bodies of each world. And if, G-d forbid, he sins, he destroys all the worlds.

Behold, we have explained the need for creating man with a body and soul and with a good and evil inclination. And there is another similar reason for the yetzer hara. Namely, that it is necessary to be created in man in order that he make children and that he eats - but everything only in the necessary amounts and in purity. And also, it (the yetzer hara) is necessary in each world to bring down the spiritual energy which condenses and becomes physical for the vessels, namely, the worlds themselves. For without the spiritual energy, the vessels (worlds) would not continue to exist..

Therefore it was necessary for man to be joined with all the worlds, that they should help him in his actions to bring down the spiritual energy to himself and to them. Because they themselves do not have the power to draw it (the energy - Tr). Therefore when a man sins, all the worlds are damaged and receive punishment and a diminishing of energy because they did not help him. Understand this well. And this is the meaning of "all the wickedness like smoke will be destroyed" being that the klipot caused the sin more than everything else, therefore their punishment will be great. Nevertheless, on the good portion of them (the klipot) it is written "And you will love H' your G-d with all your hearts" (Devarim 6:5) - "hearts" plural means with both inclinations. Since the evil inclination can also be purified - but the negative part of the evil inclination (which should be eliminated - Tr) on that it is written "As wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of G-d" (Tehilim 68:3).

We have explained that man includes all the worlds, and this is what is meant by "this is all of man" (Kohelet/Eccl. 12:13). And it is the deeper meaning of "Let Us make man in our image" (Genesis 1:26). This is why "Let Us" is written in plural form - because all the worlds were partners in his making. Then he includes the image of man in all the worlds (i.e. the 10 Sefirot) because all of them need his actions. This is the deeper meaning of "And G-d placed man in the garden of Eden to work it and guard it" (Genesis 2) - (work it) means positive commandments and (guard it) means negative commandments. As it says "G-d did not bring rain on the land because the man was not there to work it" (Genesis 2:5). And also, "I placed my word in your mouth to plant the heavens and to lay the foundations of the earth" (Isaiah 51:16). Because man through his actions brings down life to heaven and earth and it is as if he planted them and laid their foundation. Therefore we find that "You are with Me (G-d)" as the Sages taught (G-d says:) "My partner - I create and you (man) uphold".

From now it should not be difficult to understand the matter of prophecy like the Sages taught on the verse "And to cling to Him" (Devarim 11:22) and "with Him you shall cling" (ibid 10:20) because the prophet clings to G-d through bringing down the prophecy and the spiritual energy to the world below. And this is no surprise because there is no light which clings to the 10 Sefirot like the souls of men. This is the deeper meaning of the verse "And you who cling to H' your G-d [are all alive today]..."
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In the previous section, we have discussed how it is easy for a man to reach prophecy since he includes all the worlds and all of them receive their sustenance (spiritual light) through him. The summary of all this is that just the opposite - prophecy must exist in the world in order to straighten the man to correct his ways to bring down the energy to all the worlds so that they don't become destroyed. And for the worlds, if prophecy did not rest on Moshe and he did not bring down the torah from the heaven which sustains the worlds, as it says "if not for My covenant (the torah) day and night, I would not have appointed the ordinance of heaven and earth" (Yirmiya 23:25) then the worlds would have been destroyed, G-d forbid. And in his (Moshe's) ways he brought all the later prophets to straighten the (Jewish) nation and to enlighten their eyes in the wisdom of the torah and its secrets through the Ruach HaKodesh (Divine spirit) which enclothes them.

Therefore prophecy and Ruach HaKodesh is necessary and must be found in the world and it's very easy to do - but on condition that there are found men who are fit for it. But if the soul of man is flawed that is what blocks. Therefore let us explain these barriers.

Behold, when the energy of Ruach HaKodesh is awakened to descend to the man and to rest on him, but he is a sinner - then, the yetzer hara (evil inclination) causes a barrier between the intellectual soul to the source of the Ruach HaKodesh. This is what is meant by "your sins were separating, etc." (Isaiah 59:2) and the Ruach HaKodesh does not rest on him. And this is through the 365 sins which damage the intellectual soul as described above.

Likewise if the blemish is due to lacking of a positive commandment among the 248 positive commandments, behold he is a 'baal mum' (blemished), and the energy from above cannot come down to the intellectual soul while there is an organ which is corrupted or blemished.

But if the blemish is below - in the foundation soul because of bad character traits in the animal soul or due to forbidden food which corrupt the soul of tzomeach (vegetative) and likewise for similar cases. Then the power below cannot awaken to bring down the energy above and it becomes a separating barrier there and the awakening below cannot rise up to bring down the spiritual energy from above.

Therefore we find there are several barriers.

  • If a barrier from the tzomachat (vegetative soul) and above due to damage through forbidden food whose powers are in the vegetative soul.
  • If a barrier through bad character traits or through sins from lust in arousing the nefesh chaya (animal soul).
  • And if they are sins of speech which come from the speaking soul.
  • And if they are in thought which damage the intellectual soul.
We have also explained that each blemish is only in that specific point of the soul in each level and in each world. Understand this. And sometimes when the blemish is strengthened, the branch of the soul becomes cut off from the body of the tree which is called the "repository of the souls of men" (see PART 3 GATE 2 - Tr). This is the deeper meaning of what the Sages said "the wicked while alive are called dead" (Talmud Berachot 18b).

We have explained that not all damage is equal. There are damages in the vegetative, animal, speaking, and intellectual soul. But for the matter of bringing down Ruach HaKodesh (Divine spirit), since there is a damage in any of them, he cannot bring it down at all. Therefore one who wants to purify himself, must make sure all the levels are crystal clear; completely clean from all the sicknesses of the "yetzer hara" which is mixed in with all the levels of the soul. And this is what was said to Moshe Rabeinu - "remove your shoe from your foot" (Shemot/Ex. 3:5). That all the limbs of your body and the powers of the soul in all levels we mentioned should be pure from all types of base physicality as mentioned in the Sefer Tikunim. And that there should not remain from the impurity of the yetzer hara at all, except for the "good part" which is necessary for the upholding of the body. Then there is no blockage to separate from the soul to its root in the light of the repository of souls which itself is attached to the source of Ruach HaKodesh, namely the 10 Sefirot.

Behold, we have clarified that due to a damage there are two evils. One, that the lower "desire and will" cannot rise to the source of Ruach HaKodesh, and through that the upper Ruach HaKodesh cannot descend down below. And all this is due to barriers of sins as explained.

However, for all the damages (in all levels - Tr), they all must go through the body (i.e. lowest part of - Tr) the nefesh HaDomem (lowest soul from element of earth - Tr) which is tightly bound with the (physical - Tr) body itself. Because it (the body - Tr) is the instrument through which the soul acts in all of its levels. But not all damages are found in all levels. Because there are damages in the vegetative (soul), or animal, or speaking, or intellectual as explained earlier. The exception to this is that the (damages) in all levels are found in the nefesh HaDomem and in the body (since they are used in all levels - Tr).
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For the conditions of prophecy. We have explained that there are damages which are done to the souls of tzomeach (vegetative), and some to the animal, and some to the speaking, and some to the intellectual, and that one must clean up all of them.

  1. Therefore one must first do complete teshuva (repentance) from all sins or bad middot (character traits) and not return to them at all. (this will unblock the tubes so the spiritual energy can flow. But if one tries to fulfill positive commandments while the sins are not rectified, the klipot attached to him due to his sins will suck the holiness from him and entice him to more sin. Then he will be a provider for them - Tr)
  2. After that, one should try to fulfill all that is possible in our times of the 248 positive mitzvot like we explained in the first section. And especially from those which are to fix times for torah study during the day and night, don't miss even one day. And to pray with complete kavana (intent) 3 times a day, and to fulfill birkat hamazon (grace after meals) and all the other berachot (blessings) with kavana (intent). And to honor the Shabbat in all its details, and to fulfill "love your fellow as yourself" with a complete heart, and to fulfill the Shemah, tzitzit and tefillin properly in his prayers.
  3. After that to be careful not to sin at all on any of the 365 negative commandments and even in the dikdukei sofrim (obligations derived by the Sages from a meticulous scrutiny of the Scriptural text - Tr). And especially from all those which carry a penalty of karet (cut off), or death from heaven or Beit Din (human court) below, and from other negative commandments, and especially from slander (lashon hara), idle speech (devarim betalim), frivolity, staring at women, all types of keri (wasted seed), nidah, oaths even for truth, and guarding the Shabbat above everything. And be careful of all improper middot (character traits) because they contaminate the foundation soul (i.e. soul levels in earth, water, wind, fire - Tr) and especially from gayva (arrogance) - to the opposite extreme until one is like the threshing floor that everyone treads on and the shiflut (humility) should be fixed in your heart literally until you do not feel any joy from one who honors you nor shame from one who insults you - that the two should be equal in your eyes. Guard yourself also from anger, even if one smacks you on your face, because there is nothing that prevents Ruach HaKodesh more than anger. And from irritation, even for your family. And from sadness - to distance yourself totally and completely because prophecy does not rest at all even for one worthy of it while in a state of sadness.

    And he should be "content with his portion" even when suffering befalls him, as it says "And you will love the L-ord your G-d with all your hearts, etc."
  4. After all this, he should toil with all his strength in the torah completely lishma (pure intentions) - to give nachat ruach (contentment) to his Creator only. And when he toils in torah and mitzvot, he should be joyful to the extreme end as it says "I am joyful in Your commandments like one who finds a great treasure" (Tehilim 119:162). Because through this you will bring down shefa (spiritual energy) to all the worlds.
And the main, crucial thing is yirato Yitbarach (fear of G-d) always, every second, in order that you not sin. And this comes through placing G-d in front of your eyes, as it says "I have set G-d before me always" (Tehilim 16:8) And he should have intent to cling his thoughts to Him, don't stop even for a second. And this is the meaning of (the verse:) "and to cling to Him", or "and to Him you shall cling".
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on the types of prophecy

1) We have explained how there is a light in the form of a man (i.e. the repository of the souls of men) which spreads out into all 4 four worlds - atzilut, bria, yetzira, asiyah until the depths of the 4 foundations of this lowly world. This light clings to the light of the higher man, namely the 10 Sefirot. They (the 10 Sefirot) wear this light which is called the repository of the souls of men and all the souls of men below are included there. And when they descend down to this world (our physical world - Tr) to wear a physical body, they leave their root attached to their source (i.e. when the soul descends down to this world to wear a body, the root upper part remains attached to the repository of the souls of men on high - Tr) from which it was taken. And only the branch of the root descends and wears a body in this world. This can be compared to the branches of a tree which are attached and rooted in the tree itself and the branches bend down below and touch the ground even while they are attached to the tree (as in a willow tree - Tr). But when a man sins a sin which deserves "Karet" ("cut off" as in "But the soul which does it with a high hand...and that soul shall be cut off from among his people"- Bamidbar/Num. 15:30 - Tr), then that branch becomes severed from the tree and the person remains standing in this world like the spirit of an animal (i.e. no higher connection - Tr). And this is the secret meaning of "that soul shall be surely cut off..." (Bamidbar 15:31). And this is also the meaning of "man is a tree of the field" (Devarim/Deut. 20:19).

This is also the secret meaning of why the tzadikim's names are repeated in the torah, as in "Avraham, Avraham", "Yaakov, Yaakov", "Moshe, Moshe" - one corresponding to the root which remains above connected to the tree. And this (root) is called the "Mazel" of a man. Just like our Sages said "That Moshe saw the Mazel of Rabbi Akiva sitting and expounding on the torah..." (Talmud Menachot 29b). Because from it (the root, i.e. mazel) flows the spiritual energy to the branch which descended below and enclothed in a physical body.

2) Behold, the root is very lofty, at the top of the heights of the world of Atzilut, and the branch is very long, it spreads and descends in all the worlds until the end of it enclothes inside a physical body. And in each level of each world, it leaves there a root in such a way that there is no soul which does not have an countless number of roots, each one higher than the next. And through a person's actions, he can merit to ascend to all of them. Now, all the levels in the world of Asiya, all the roots that he left there are called in totality (together), one "Nefesh Shelema of Asiya" (complete soul of Asiya). And similarly in the other levels.

3) Through this we have clarified the matter of prophecy, since when a man's physical part has become pure, clean, without the impurities of the yetzer hara (evil inclination) and not in the hands of the powers of the lower soul (i.e. is free from bad character traits - Tr) at all, and he doesn't have in his hands a sin which damages some root of the roots of his soul, behold when he prepares himself to connect to his root above, he will be successful in connecting. However, even though he is fitting for this, he must divest (hitpashet) his soul and shed completely all forms of physicality - and then it will succeed in connecting to its spiritual root.

Behold, the matter of separation (hitpashetut) ( i.e. the soul leaving the body and ascending to the spiritual worlds - Tr), that you will find written in all the books on the matter of prophecy and "Ruach haKodesh" (holy spirit) is not really separation where the soul leaves the body completely like during sleep, because if so, it is not prophecy but rather a dream, like all dreams. Rather the settling of the Ruach HaKodesh on a man occurs when his soul is still attached to his body and he is awake. The matter of separation refers to removing all thoughts completely and also the power of imagination in him, which is a power whose source is in the nefesh chaya ("animal soul"). Then once he succeeded in stopping the thoughts and imaginations of all matters of this world, (and reached the state) as if his soul left his body, then he can switch his power of imagination of thoughts to imagine and picture as if he is rising up the spiritual worlds to the roots of his soul that he has there, and from there (one root) to there (another root) until he reaches using the picture of his imagination to his upper source (highest root) and he should engrave the forms of all the lights in his thought as if they exist and he sees them. And then, he should think and have intent to receive light from the 10 Sefirot from that point where the root of his soul is attached there, and he should have intent also to raise the 10 Sefirot one to the other until the Ein Sof and bring down to them light from there until below, in the way of descent until the end. And when the light (from the Ein Sof) descends through him to them (the 10 Sefirot) they rejoice in this and shine from that light that he brought down to the root of his soul, which is attached there according to the portion fitting for it. Then he should have intent to descend through the channels of descent from level to level until the light and energy reaches his intellectual soul in his body, and from there it reaches to the "living soul" and the power of imagination in it. There the matters will become pictured in a physical picture in his power of imagination. Then he will perceive them as if he actually saw them with his eyes.

Sometimes this light which descends and forms in one's power of imaginaton, takes the form of an angel which speaks to him, and he sees it or hears it's voice or the like from one of his 5 senses, of his imagination (i.e. he perceives it but in his mind only - Tr). From there, they become (more) external and manifested until he sees, hears, smells, and speaks literally with his physical senses, as written: "the Spirit of G-d spoke through me and His word was on my tongue" (Shmuel II 23:2). Since the light condenses and forms into the physical senses.

Sometimes one's prophecy only reaches the 5 senses of the imagination. All this depends on the extent of purity of the separation of the imagination from all physical thoughts (i.e. the quality of the preparatory meditation, that he should have removed all thoughts and become receptively silent. - Tr)

We've found that prophecy is like a dream whereby the intellectual soul goes out from him and ascends up from level to level and there gazes and afterwards returns and descends this light until the "life soul" (nefesh chaya-animal soul), in which there is the power of imagination. There that light condenses and forms and becomes more physical. When the person awakens, he remembers the matters through the power of (mental) guarding and memory which are also in the "nefesh chaya", as is known in the science of nature. Behold we have explained the matter of prophecy and the matter of dreams well, because this one (prophecy) is while his soul is in his body while that (dream) is after it has left (his body).

However in prophecy itself, there are 2 types. One is the prophecy of other prophets (besides Moses). When the light descends and reaches in its descent to the intellectual soul in him, and from there to the "life soul" to form into the 5 senses of the imagination, the external (physical) senses would tremble with a great trembling and they would fall on the floor because they did not have the power to receive that light and to form it and condense it to the physical senses. The prophecy in this manner is considered a "dream", even though it is not really a dream as it says "and a great sleep fell on Avraham.." (Bereisheit/Gen. 15:12).

The second type of prophecy is full prophecy where the senses did not tremble at all and (the light) forms and condenses smoothly. This was the prophecy of Moshe Rabeinu. The reason for this is because his physical side became totally pure and transformed through the holiness of his deeds until it reached the level of "soul" (i.e. the physical became completely spiritual - Tr). Because the (physical) impurities were removed and only the good and pure of his body remained, and likewise for the powers of his foundation soul (i.e. soul parts from earth,water,wind,fire - Tr) because in them only is there physicality, unlike in the intellectual soul and above.

We have already explained that there are countless roots to the soul of a man (i.e. when the soul descends from its source in the repository of soul, it leaves roots along the way in all the spiritual worlds - Tr). And behold, according to the greatness of the source from where it was hewn, will be the greatness of the power to bring down the energy of prophecy. (But) likewise even if his soul's root is from a very lofty place, but he did not rectify and merit to bring down from all the roots from there and below, so too he will not be capable of bringing down the energy of prophecy except from the level that he rectified and merited. Only from there he will bring down the energy of prophecy. From this you can understand that there are countless levels of prophets.

(Translator: i.e. each prophet has a level of prophecy according to the highest in the chain of roots he has rectified completely. His maximum potential is according to his highest root. But his current level depends on the number of links which are rectified.)
And don't think that since we have explained that the soul of the prophet does not leave his body, if so what power do his thoughts have to ascend and open gates, etc. The answer to this is like I wrote above, because the soul is like a very long (tree) branch. And it spreads down from its primary root which is attached to the tree (of the repository of souls - Tr) all the way down to the body of a man. And this "line" which is pulled constantly as a man yearns to ascend to his (primary) root, the light of his thought which is called "muskal" (thought) from the "maskil" (thinker), which is the intellectual soul, ascends to the "sechel" (transendent intellect), which is the lofty root (primary root) of his soul. (when the mind ascends all the way from the man below to his primary root through the "branch" - Tr) they (the maskil and the sechel - Tr) cling and unite through the "haskala" (understanding) itself, which is the energy which descends from the "sechel" (transcendent intellect/primary root - Tr) to the "maskil" (intellectual soul below). Therefore the "muskal" is the light and the energy itself which descends from the "sechel" to the "nefesh hamaskelet" (the intellectual soul) and this energy and light which is tangible, it is called "machshava" (thought). Understand this well because it is not something empty. For if it were not so, then all the matters of kavana (intents) in prayer and thoughts of good or evil become null and void.
(Translator: the book Taharot Hakadosh by the Kabalist Aharon Rota zt'l explains (Maamar Taharas Hamachshava ch.3): know my brother, that I will transfer to you another great principle. There is "sechel","maskil", and "muskal", which means every Jew has a spark of holiness which is called the "nefesh hamaskelet", whose root is attached in the heavens above (spiritual worlds). And this spark which is in his body is very little, and it is not even 1 thousandth of a thousandth of a ten-thousandth of a ten-thousandth compared to the root of his neshama (higher soul) in the heavens. Because there it is greater without limit beyond what we can understand. And the nefesh in the body, is attached to it, like a chain is attached from one end to the other. And this is the secret meaning of the verse "For the L-RD's portion is his people Yaakov the chain of His inheritance" (Devarim 32:9) (see Ohr HaChaim on this verse and also on the verse "And you who cling to G-d", Devarim 4:4).

And the root of the nefesh is in the heavens (i.e. spiritual worlds), and it is called "sechel", and the nefesh (below, in the body) is called "maskil", and the light, the fire, the desire, the will, the craving that the nefesh has for G-d, and to cling to its root - this light which comes out is called the "muskal". And when this light rises above, it joins there and becomes a great flaming fire, which is felt and seen by all the angels above, and the souls above. And this light which is called muskal joins with its root, and if a man has rectified himself and is of stature, then the sechel above returns and shines down below...ahava (love), yirat shamayim (fear of heaven), and mesirus nefesh (zeal) as written (midrash shir hashirim 5), "open for Me like the crack of a needle, and I will open for you an opening the size of a palace". (from Taharat Hakodesh (maamar taharat hamachshava 3)
And behold we have clarified how prophecy is a necessary matter and is possible to happen. It is like a man who grabs with his hand the end of a tree branch which is bent all the way to the ground and he pulls and shakes it with strength. Then the entire tree necessarily moves and shakes. However, the upper worlds will not be moved by the thoughts of man unless he is fitting to bring down the higher light to them. And then through the simcha (joy that they received in receiving the light - Tr) they will also rain down some of that light to him. But if he does not have the capacity to bring down the light to them, they will ignore him completely and they will not want to become close to him and help him to ascend the light of his thoughts/mind above because it is worthless and will not accomplish anything.
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on the levels of prophecy and the matter of prophecy in the early generations, and what is the matter of attaining Ruach HaKodesh (holy spirit) which is possible to acquire in our times.

We have explained above how there are 4 worlds which are called Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzira, Asiyah. And below all of them is this lowly world which divides to 4 foundations (earth, water, wind, fire), they and their foundation soul powers (i.e. water for example has physical water, and also levels of souls which are found inside plants, animals, humans but not in rocks - Tr). And they (the worlds) are divided like 10 Sefirot. We have also explained that in each world there is an internal light which is called the 10 Sefirot. Outside of them is the light of the repository of souls. Outside of that is the light of the repository of angels. Outside of that is the dark light of the repository of the klipot. Finally, outside of that is the world itself which are the rekiim (firmaments) of that world. And likewise mamash (literally) in this lowly world (i.e. this happens in a large scale, big picture of all the worlds, and also the smaller subsections have this form, namely: - Tr) Because in this world, the physical side of the 4 foundations (earth, water, wind, fire) is like the body and the world. Next inside it you have the other lights, each one contains the 4 levels of the foundation soul. There are also countless (spiritual levels) because each Sefira includes within it 10 (sub)Sefirot, and those also contain 10 (sub) Sefirot, etc. in such a way that each world has countless levels.

We have already explained the matter of prophecy in gate 5, whereby the "thought/mind" of the prophet spreads and ascends from level to level from below to above until it reaches to the place of attachment of the (primary) root of his soul. Then he would think to lift the light of the 10 Sefirot until the "Ein Sof" (infinite light of G-d) and pull from there light, then return and descend it from level to level, from above to below on the levels which he previously ascended until he reaches below to his intellectual soul and it takes its portion of this light according to the measure of attachment of his primary soul above. From there he brings it down to the power of imagination in the "living soul" (nefesh chaya) in him and there the things are formed in the inner senses of the power of imagination or in the external (physical) senses.

Behold, the pulling of the thoughts (i.e. ascension of the thought/mind and subsequent descent - Tr) certainly did not occur by itself, but rather through kavanot (special intents) and yichudim (a form of kabalistic meditation based on different permutations and combinations of the Divine names and attributes of G-d - Tr) which were transmitted to him from the (earlier) prophet who taught him to prophecy. Similar to the "sons" (students) of the prophets with Shmuel, Eliyahu and Elisha z'l, in order that with these yichudim that they would use to bring down the light and energy according to his will. This is the purpose of the matter of prophecy.

There were other techniques that they taught them, namely prayers, and pronouncing of special names to the guardians of the gates in the firmaments, and the "halls" in each of the worlds, from the end of the worlds which are the four foundations and the "spaces" between them - until the heights of the world of Atzilut, as mentioned in the Zohar Parsha Vayakhel on the matter of the ascension of prayers (pg.201b). Likewise in the chapters of the halls and their Beraitot. At first they would work to open the gates of that level and then unite the yichud and the prayer specific to that level. This is how they would ascend from level to level until they reached their primary root on high and they would rest there. Afterwards they would continue to push their thought until the "Ein Sof" (infinite) and return and bring down the energy below as described.

On the matter of the gates and the special names, this means they would swear in, using the power of a holy name which is from the Sefira of that level, the angel which is rooted and hewn from there. And he (the angel) would be appointed on that gate which is in the firmament itself and is the "physicality" (so to speak) of that level. And the gate would have a special name that is known (to the prophets). He would then open it and the mind of the prophet would enter through the path of the gate from light to light until the innermost light of that Sefira in that level. Then he would pray and unite the yichud which is needed there. Thus he would ascend from level to level.

Behold this is the matter of the vision of Yechezkel (see Ezekiel 1) which is called Maase Merkava (the matter of the chariot) being that the levels are riding one on top of the other.

(Translator: here is a quote from there to help the reader. note that the original Hebrew has many layers of hidden meanings and that the vision was spiritual and not to be taken so literally:
(Yechezkel/Ezekiel chapter 1) Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river Chebar that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of G-d. 2 In the fifth day of the month, which was the fifth year of king Jehoiachin's captivity, 3 the word of the L-ORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the L-ORD was there upon him. 4 And I looked, and, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, a great cloud, with a fire flashing up, so that a brightness was round about it; and out of the midst thereof as the color of electrum (chashmal), out of the midst of the fire. 5 And out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four Chayot (angels). And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. 6 And every one had four faces, and every one of them had four wings. 7 And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot; and they sparkled like the color of burnished brass. 8 And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and as for the faces and wings of them four, 9 their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. 10 As for the likeness of their faces, they had the face of a man; and they four had the face of a lion on the right side; and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four had also the face of an eagle (representive of the kings of chayot (beasts), behemat (domesticated animals), and birds respectively). 11 Thus were their faces; and their wings were stretched upward; two wings of every one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. 12 And they went every one straight forward; wherever the spirit was to go, they went; they turned not when they went. 13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like coals of fire, burning like the appearance of torches; it flashed up and down among the living creatures; and there was brightness to the fire, and out of the fire went forth lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning. 15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel at the bottom hard by the living creatures, at the four faces thereof. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the color of a beryl; and they four had one likeness; and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel within a wheel. 17 When they went, they went toward their four sides; they turned not when they went. 18 As for their rings, they were high and they were dreadful; and they four had their rings full of eyes round about. 19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went hard by them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the bottom, the wheels were lifted up. 20 Wherever the spirit was to go, as the spirit was to go there, so they went; and the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. 21 When those went, these went, and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up beside them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. 22 And over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of a firmament, like the color of the terrible ice, stretched forth over their heads above. 23 And under the firmament were their wings conformable the one to the other; this one of them had two which covered, and that one of them had two which covered, their bodies. 24 And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings like the noise of great waters, like the voice of the Al-mighty, a noise of tumult like the noise of a host; when they stood, they let down their wings. 25 For, when there was a voice above the firmament that was over their heads, as they stood, they let down their wings. 26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above. 27 And I saw as the color of electrum, as the appearance of fire round about enclosing it, from the appearance of his loins and upward; and from the appearance of his loins and downward I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about him. 28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the L-RD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spoke. And He said unto me: 'Son of Adam, stand upon your feet, and I will speak with you.' 2 And spirit entered into me when He spoke unto me, and set me upon my feet; and I heard Him that spoke unto me...
In the beginning the Heavens opened, i.e. the gates of the firmaments which are the lights of the physical and the vessels of that world. From there he entered the klipot as written "and I looked and, behold, a stormy wind..." and like it is written in Hoshea 1:2 "When G-d spoke in the beginning with Hoshea" which means the beginning of the revelation of the word of prophecy which was a revelation of klipot (impurities) and its powers. Hence the woman of sin and the children of sin (spoken there). However once he was in the heavens, there he wanted to cling and look around, as it is written "the gates of heaven opened and I saw a vision of G-d", but when he reached the place of the klipot, he did not want to cling there but rather to split through and pass without clinging there just a (minimal) necessary gazing. And this is the secret meaning of Eliyahu (Melachim 1:19),
(And He said: 'Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the L-RD.' And, behold, the L-RD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the L-ORD; but the L-ORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the L-ORD was not in the earthquake;and after the earthquake a fire; but the L-ORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.)

From there (the klipot) he (Yechezkel) entered the separation to the light of angels as is known because between each light there is a pargud (separating "veil") and this is the hidden secret of the matter of the "chashmal/lightning" (Yechezkel 1:4) which is the gematria (numerical value) of "malbush" (garment) and it is the vessel and "physicality" (so to speak) for the light of the angels, may G-d atone for me in revealing this hidden secret. And then he saw 10 groups of angels which are all divided to 4 Chayot and 4 encampments of the Shechina (Divine presence). This is what is written "And inside it the form of 4 Chayot" (ibid 1:5). From there he entered until he reached the light of the 10 Sefirot themselves. This is what is meant by "On the form of the chair, the appearance of a man..." And the chair itself is the light of the repository of souls (of men) - in the secret of "the fathers are the merkava (chariot)". Therefore the soul is called "kavod" (glory, like the "throne of glory" since the souls are the throne itself) as in the verse "So that my glory may sing praise to You, and not be silent" (Tehilim 30:13) or in "how long shall my glory be put to shame" (Tehilim 4:3).

Behold, I have revealed to you a deep secret which includes matters of the merkavah (chariot) which the earlier generations did not merit. We have already clarified above in gate 5 that not all prophets "suckle" from the same root because there are countless roots which are in fact 600,000 in each world. This is what is meant by our Rabbis' teaching "600,000 prophets arose in Israel, etc. and Moshe Rabeinu included all of them and was equal to all of them (combined)."

Now in a general way, we will clarify their levels. Because Moshe Rabeinu would ascend up to Atzilut and from there could actually (mamash) see. But it was through being cloaked in the world of Beriah only. And even this was in the way of passing only. Because the Atzilut alone is restricted (there are no angels, etc., there is only G-d's presence since it is like the King's private chamber - Tr). And this is the secret meaning of "no man can see Me and live" (Shemot/Ex.33:20). The other prophets could see in Atzilut through being totally cloaked in the lights of Beriah. After the destruction of the temple, Yechezkel would prophecy from the Atzilut after being cloaked in the Beriah and the Beriah inside (the world of) Yetzira total encloakment. (in layman's term, Moshe could see Atzilut through a television screen whereas the other prophets could see a television screen of Atzilut through a television screen of Beriah. R.Aryeh Kaplan - Tr)

From then on, there is no revelation of the light of Atzilut or Beriah at all. This is what is meant by "After Chagai, Zecharia, and Malachi, prophecy stopped completely and only Ruach HaKodesh (holy spirit) remained" (Talmud Sanhedrin 61), which is bringing down the lights of Yetzira only from there to below. And this is what is referred to in the talmud as "the ascent to Pardes" which is the Yetzira which is called the world of M-etatron. And also for this there were known actions for opening the gates which are in the lowly world (here) and (others in) Asiyah and the Yetzira and to unite the yichudim and the prayers designated for the world of Yetzira and the 10 Sefirot in it.

And this is the secret meaning of the actions of the "chapters of the halls" which were used by Rebbi Nechunya, Rebbi Akiva, Rebbi Yishmael, and the men of the great assembly. Afterwards even these actions were forgotten, and also because we lost the purity of the ashes of the red heifer in the times of the Amoraim (talmudic sages) until the time of Abaye and Rava as mentioned in the talmud (Chagiga 25). Therefore, they did not use from then on the ascent to Pardes and from then on they used only actions in the world of Asiya only. And it being the lowest of all the worlds and also since the angels there few are good and most are evil, and furthermore the good and the evil cling together very much, therefore there is no clear revelation (hasaga) because it is impossible to reveal good alone therefore the revelation is mixed with good and evil, truth and falsehood.

And this is also the matter of practical Kabala. Therefore it is forbidden to practice it, because inevitably he will also cling to the evil which is attached to the good. He thinks to purify his soul but defiles it through this evil. And even if he manages to attain, it will be truth mixed with falsehood. And especially since there are no ashes of the red heifer found today, and the impure forces of the klipot cling to the man who approaches to attain through practical kabala. Therefore, one who cares about his soul should distance himself from them. Because besides that he can defile himself, he will be punished in Gehinom. And even in this world we have a tradition that he or his descendants will either become poor, or seriously ill, or die out.

Take proof from Rebbi Yosef Deila Reina (an amazing "story to end all stories" about a master kabalist who sought to single-handledly take down the forces of evil and almost succeeded. See end of the hebrew book "Shaarei Kedusha HaShalem") and Rebbi Shlomo Molcho who practiced practical kabala and was cast away from the world. All this because of what we said, namely that there is no good (in the lower worlds) without evil.

And also (another reason to stay away from practical Kabala) because the kabalist must force them (the angels guarding gates, etc.) against their will through swearing them in with holy names. Then they entice him and direct him to non-good directions until he loses his soul. And greater than this is that all the ways of swearing in (using holy names) were hidden by the early ones (early Sages) and we are not very proficient in their ways, and it is fitting to distance oneself from them completely.
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on attaining Ruach Hakodesh (holy spirit) in our times

After our warnings in the previous gate of all the types of attaining (supernatural revelations/powers and the dangers - Tr), one should not despair (due to the difficulties involved - Tr). Because on the verse "And Devorah, was a woman prophet...", (there is a commentary from) Tanna D'Bei Eliyahu (Eliyahu Hanavi): "(says G-d) I testify on Myself heaven and earth, whether man or woman, whether gentile or Jew, whether slaveman or slavewoman, everyone according to his actions, the Ruach Hakodesh will dwell on him". (i.e. anyone can reach Ruach HaKodesh even women, slaves, or non-Jews - Tr).

Behold with our own ears we've heard and seen special individuals who reached the level of Ruach HaKodesh in our times. And they could foresee future events, some of them were wise men who attained wisdom which was not revealed in earlier generations. And in order to not cause despair to those who approach holiness to become holy, I will clarify some matters and open like the crack of a pin hole, "and G-d who is good, will not withhold good to those who go with pure intentions (b'tamim)." At first, we will clarify a few things on the matter of attainment (of Ruach HaKodesh), and in gate 8, I will write the order of conduct for them with G-d's help, blessed be He.

Behold the path which is the best of all (i.e. the safest path which has no danger - Tr) is like we wrote in the name of Tana D'Bei Eliyahu, and this is the path which the early pious ones tread. It is:

  1. To return a powerful return (repentance) from everything that one damaged.
  2. After that to make complete and whole one's soul by fulfillment of the positive commandments, and by total kavana (intent) in prayers, and through toil in the torah lishma (with pure motives and) with zeal, like an ox pulling a yoke (plowing a field) until one's strength becomes weakened. And also with minimal eating and drinking, rising midnight or a bit before (for the midnight prayer and to learn torah in the peacefulness of late night - Tr) and by distancing oneself from all negative middot (character traits), and by distancing oneself from all men even for matters of idle speech.
  3. After that, to purify one's body by frequent tevila (immersions in a mikveh).
  4. After that, to go in solitude sometimes and to contemplate in Yirat H'shem (awe and awareness of G-d's presence), and to put YHVH (G-d's name) before one's eyes (mentally) always. And he should be careful to keep his thoughts empty of all the vanities of this world and instead to cling to love of Him, blessed be He, with a great longing.
Through this it is possible that he will merit Ruach HaKodesh through one of the following ways:

  1. One way is that he will bring down to his soul supernal light from the (primary) root of his soul above as mentioned earlier in Gate 5, and it will reveal itself to him. This is complete Ruach HaKodesh.
  2. The second way is through toil in torah study or through fulfilling a mitzva which our Sages have said in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers 4:11) "whoever does a mitzva acquires for himself one advocate." And it is created from this (mitzva) an angel mamash (literally). But this only applies on condition that he will fulfill it always and with great kavana (intent) like its halacha. Then this angel will reveal itself to him. This is the matter of what you find in books on the matter of the angels called "Magidim". But if the mitzva is not done like its halacha, then that Magid will be mixed with good and evil, truth and falsehood.
  3. The third way is through his piety as above, Eliyahu HaNavi will reveal himself to him, and according to his piety, the revelation will be greater.
  4. The fourth way which is greater than all of them, is that he will merit a revelation from the soul of an early tzadik of previous generations. If from one of those which are of his root soul (i.e. close to his soul's root - Tr) as is known or from another but because he did some mitzva (exceptionally) similar to this tzadik. One who merits this level, will attain that they will teach him wisdom and hidden secrets and wonders of the torah. All this is according to his actions.
  5. The fifth and lowest of all is that he will see in his dreams future events and wisdom close to Ruach HaKodesh.
Behold this way is the straight path (i.e. safest and best path - Tr) since the man does not bring under oath supernal forces (using holy names) but rather uses the power of his own good deeds and holiness. Then, certainly the Ruach HaKodesh that will come to him will be pure without any evil at all. Unlike the other case when a man forces and seeks with the swearing in of forces by using actions, special prayers, and unifications, that if he does the slightest error, it is possible that he will reach external (dangerous) things mixed (with evil).

There are other ways through acts, and I will clarify them in Part 4, and they are to bring down on oneself one of the 5 ways above even though they don't come on their own (i.e. to accelerate the process - Tr). But this requires great holiness and purity in order that they should not be in them mixtures (of evil) as we said. But the first path (i.e. the 5 step "safe" path above - Tr) is the one which treaded even the early generations like the Ramban wrote on the verse "and to cling to Him" (Devarim 11:22 and 30:20), and in the holy letter which he wrote on the 5th chapter regarding Ben Azai who would sit and learn and the fire would flame all around him.
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to clarify the attainment of Ruach Hakodesh (holy spirit) in our times with great conciseness

One must go through 5 purifications:
  1. The first is to return (repent) from all one's sins, whether in (transgressing) negative commandments, whether in refraining from positive commandments, whether in all Rabbinical decrees, whether in all types of bad middot (character traits), and not to return to them at all. And especially all those who carry the penalty of Karet (cutting off of the soul), or death, or chilul H'shem (desecrating G-d's name through bad actions not befitting a religious Jew - Tr), and guarding of Shabbat, and from Nidah, and all forms of wasting seed, and from oaths even if they are true, and from staring at women, and from lashon hara (talking negatively about someone, even if it's true - Tr), and slander, and frivolity (acting foolishly), and devarim betalim (useless chatter), and to distance from arrogance, anger, irritation, sadness, and to habituate oneself in humbleness, humility, and to be happy with one's lot.
  2. The second purification is in the fulfilling of the Biblical positive commandments and the Rabbinical commandments. And especially with fixing times for torah study, and prayer with kavana (intent), and Birkat HaMazon (grace after meals), and all the blessings on benefits (food, incense, shoes, etc.) and to love every Jew like the apple of his eye and to honor Shabbat in all its details, and to rise every night after midnight to mourn Jerusalem and to toil in torah, and that all one's actions should be for the sake of Heaven (pure motives, not to get reward etc. - Tr), out of love.
  3. The third purification is at the time one prepares for holifying (lehitkadesh) himself with Ruach HaKodesh.
  4. The fourth purification is with purifying the body through immersions in a mikveh and by wearing clean clothes.
  5. The fifth purification is at the time he prepares himself to receive Ruach HaKodesh after he has acquired all the good middot until they are ingrained in his nature.
Then, he should enter his home alone after immersion and in holiness. He should be in a place where the voices of men will not disturb him nor the noise of birds. And if it is after midnight, it is best for all these things. He should close his eyes and remove his thoughts from all matters of this world - as if his soul left his body, like a dead man who does not feel anything at all. Afterwards, he should courageously strengthen himself with tremendous desire to meditate on the upper world and to cling there to the roots of his soul and to the supernal lights. And he should imagine to himself as if his soul left his body and ascended above. And he should picture the upper worlds as if he is standing in them. And if he did some yichud (unification) he should meditate on it to bring down with this light and energy to all the worlds. And he should have intent to also receive his portion at the end. And he should meditate in thought as if he received the Ruach until some amount. If he does not feel anything, it appears that he is not yet fitting and ready. Therefore he should strengthen himself more from then on in service and holiness and return after some days in solitude in the manner described until he will merit and the Ruach will settle on him (this discussion will be detailed more in part 4 - Tr).

When the (Ruach) will dwell on him, he should check that perhaps he is not yet pure and clean and this Ruach is from the "other side" (side of evil), or at least a mixture of good and evil. And the story of Ben Azai and Ben Zoma (mishnaic sages) who ascended to Pardes is proof. This one can discern through what is revealed to him. If all his words are true or truth and falsehood mixed together, or if his words are Devarim Betalim (useless talk) of matters of this world, or things which are not in line with torah, or the like. Because then, one must push it away from oneself, and also to strengthen more and more in his service until all his things are faithful and with fear of heaven, etc.

And know that in the beginning the Ruach will settle on a man in infrequent intervals. And also they will be simple things which are not deep, and also his words will be few. As time goes by, strengthen yourself in all the details we specified.

(Translator: here's an example from Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato of a first revelation:
"I will describe the matter concisely. On Rosh Chodesh Sivan 5486, while I was unifying a yichud, I fell asleep. And when I awoke, I heard a voice say: 'To reveal I have descended, hidden secrets from the holy King'. I quickly stood up afraid, and afterwards strengthened myself. The voice did not stop and told me a secret. On the second day, at the same time, I tried to be alone in the room, and the voice returned and said another secret, until one day he revealed to me that he is a maggid sent from shamayim (upstairs), and gave to me special yichudim to do every day and then he will come. I did not see him, only I heard his voice speak through my mouth. And afterwards, he gave me permission to ask questions also. After about 3 months, he gave me some tikunim to do each day in order that I merit a revelation from Eliyahu hanavi. And then he commanded me to write a book on Kohelet/Eccl., which he would explain to me the secret meaning of each verse. Afterwards, Eliyahu came and said some secrets. And he said that now, the great Mem-Tet (M-etatron) [will come]. And when he came, I knew it was him because of the words of Eliyahu. And from then on, I recognized each one by himself. And also, there were souls of (tzadikim) which revealed themselves.." - excerpt from the book Yarim Moshe Igeret 12)
Behold, the general principle is: purification of the physical until the other extreme and uprooting of the random thoughts and the power of imagination in oneself completely (i.e. clear head). And he should cling to the supernal realm totally and absolutely, and behold one must contemplate everything we wrote in Part 1 Gate 6, because there is clarified the order and manner of attaining piety in greater details.
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practical methods for attaining Ruach HaKodesh

I have already clarified in Part 3 Gate 7 that there are 5 types of attainment. They are: (1) Ruach HaKodesh, (2) souls of Tzadikim, (3) angels which are called "Magidim", (4)Eliyahu HaNavi, and (5) dreams. And for all of these things it is possible to reach them on their own through the holiness of a person and his toil in the torah, without need for any other action (from here we see an explanation for the supernatural powers found in great torah sages). It is also possible to reach them through specific actions after the prerequisite that the person is fitting and prepared for the attainment. And this latter manner (the specific actions) will be clarified in this part from all that is found in the books of the early Sages, and it is divided into 3 gates. Gate 1, on the manner of actions. Gate 2, on the manner of attainment. Gate 3, on the conditions for attainment. And I have already written in my large book, which is called "Etz Chaim" some yichudim (unifications), and types of wondrous ways on the matter of attainment. And if H-ashem, blessed be He, will decree, I will write them here with a clear explanation in a separate part.

(Translator: Rest of Part 4 Gate 1 is not fit for translation due to the dangers involved for those who are not fit (i.e. all of us)...) Rav Chaim writes there:
"and the one who is brazen in using this [holy] name and does not guard it, he will be punished and destroyed from the world. He will die childless. He will inherit his lot among the humiliated, he will be of eternal treachery, his fire will never extinguish and his worm will not die (a reference to Isaiah 66:24), and from civilization he will be banished, and from light to darkness they will cast him."
(He also wrote earlier in Part 3 Gate 6:
"And this is also the matter of practical Kabala. Therefore it is forbidden to practice it, because inevitably he will also cling to the evil which is attached to the good. He thinks to purify his soul but defiles it through this evil." Thus, it is safest to use only the simple method of "holiness of a person and toil in torah")

on the manner of attainment

(here R.Chaim Vital zt'l brings down some quotes from various books - Tr)
Rebbi Pinchas the son of Yair says "zeal brings to cleanliness, cleanliness to purity, purity to separation, separation to holiness, holiness to humbleness, humbleness to fear of sin, fear of sin to piety (chasidus), piety to Ruach HaKodesh, and Ruach HaKodesh to the resurrection of the dead, and resurrection comes through Eliyahu."

Igeret HaRamban z'l, he sent it to his son from Akko to Barcelona (Rav Chaim now quotes word for word the famous letter. I did not include it here as it is readily available - Tr).

Rav Yitzchak from Ako wrote in the name of HaRav Moshe, a student of Rav Yosef Gikatlia of blessed memory: "the man whose heart has inspired him to repair his middot (character traits), and to straighten his ways and actions, and to chase after humbleness with absolute wholeheartedness, to be insulted and not insult [back], to hear other's mocking him and not answer them, immediately the Shechina (Divine Presence) will rest on him and he will not need to learn from flesh and blood because the Ruach Elokim (spirit of G-d) will teach him.

I have found written that in Tractate Kallah, chapter "judge your fellow...": says Abba Eliyahu zt'l (Eliyahu HaNavi), "Always, the torah is explained only to he who is not a 'kapdan' (impatient, irritable), so too I will reveal myself only to he who is not a kapdan".

He who wishes to learn wisdom must attach himself to these 3 attributes - "yirah" (fear and reverence of G-d), humbleness, and simcha (joy); that he should fear sin, be humble, and happy with his lot. And when he reaches to the understanding of these levels, he will attain wisdom.

There's a story of a man who would fast for most of his days, and he made many good charities and helped orphans, but he would chase after leadership positions (honor). He came to the mystics who had attained the level of prophecy and said to the greatest among them. "my master, in your kindness, tell me the reason why after I have done all these good deeds, why have I not merited the level of prophecy, to see future events like you?"

He answered him, "take a bag full of figs and nuts and hang it around your neck. Then go to the main street of the city in front of all the important people, and gather youngsters. Say to them 'whoever wants that I should give him figs and nuts, let him come and smack me with his hand on my neck and after that on my cheek.' If you do this many times, return to me and I will guide you in the way to attain truth."

He answered: "my master, how could an important and honorable man like me do these things?"

The mystic answered him "is this a big matter in your eyes!?? This is just the easiest way you'll need to do if you want your soul to see the light of truth." (since he needed to break his lust for honor - Tr) Immediately, he stood up and left disheartened.

Rav Eliyahu Vidish, author of "Reisheit Chachma" testified to me in the name of his Rebbi, HaRav Moshe Kordovero z'l author of "Pardes Rimonim", that whoever wants to know some matter, he should habituate himself in kedusha, tahara, and yirat chet (holiness, purity, and fear of sin), and especially on that day. And at night, after he has recited the Shema prayer before sleep, he should meditate a bit in his mind without any other thoughts at all. Then he should think about his question until sleep falls on him and he sleeps. And he should be alone in the house in a place where no man will awaken him. Then they (i.e. upstairs) will answer his question during his sleep, and he should be careful that others should not disturb his sleep then.

Writes HaRav Yitzchak from Akko z'l, among the conditions for perishut (separation) and hitbodedut (meditation) is to distance oneself from all sins (whether accidental or voluntary) which cause the removal of the light of the Shechina (Divine presence) from the soul of the sinner. For, if men act badly, they form a barrier between their soul and the light of the Shechina, and they will remain in darkness. But if they are good, one will find with them the light of the Shechina.

on the condition for attainment

[On] The second manner for attaining the 3 types as above (i.e. different types of attainment - Eliyahu, souls, etc. - Tr). I will not write down any actions through swearing in [using holy names], and pronouncing holy names except through thought and contemplation only, or through prayers to G-d in the way of prayers.

You have already known that all matters of attainment require that a man be alone in his house so that others should not disturb him from his thoughts. And the man himself must meditate in his thoughts until the opposite extreme - that he should divest his body from his soul, as if he does not feel that he is wearing a physical [body] at all. And according to how much he can divest of the physical, so too will be the power of the attainment. And if he senses a noise or movement that nullifies his thoughts (meditation), or if he himself will come to some physical thought, behold, the thought of his soul will disconnect from being attached to the higher realms and he will not attain anything. The reason is that the holiness on high cannot rest on a man as long as he is clinging to the physical even just a hair's breadth. And therefore the prophecy or ruach hakodesh is called "tardema" (deep sleep), or "chalom" (dream), or "chizayon" (vision).

The summary is that even if a man is worthy to have the Ruach HaKodesh rest on him, if he doesn't habituate himself in this, to completely remove his soul from his body - the Ruach HaKodesh will not rest on him. And this is the secret meaning of the "bnei neviim" (disciples of the prophets) that played before them drums and pipes, etc. (Shmuel 1:15), because through the sweetness of the sound of the music, the meditation fell on them during the sweetness of the sounds, and they would remove their souls (from their body). Then the player would stop the music, and the bnei neviim, would remain in the same supernal clinging and they would attain prophecy. Behold this is the first condition.

The second condition is that the man must nullify from himself all the things that cause an interruption in his meditation. Because in the first condition, we mentioned only the physical things which naturally cause an interruption in the meditation. However, now, we will speak about spiritual things which interrupt. And they are the forces of tuma (impurity) which come from the yetzer hara (evil inclination) who is enclothed in the man himself. And they are strengthened through the sins of man.

Therefore the one who comes to meditate, must first do teshuva (repentance) from all that he sinned. And afterwards to be careful not to continue to sin on any of them. And afterwards to habituate himself to remove from himself the bad middot (character traits) which are ingrained in him, such as the middot of anger, sadness, kapdanut (irritation), useless speech, and the like. And after he has repaired the sicknesses of the soul, whether in sins or in middot, then the ruach hatuma (force of impurity) does not have the power to interrupt his clinging to the upper realm (elyonim). And then he can habituate himself in the nullification of the physical from himself like mentioned in the first condition. And after [mastering] all this (the 2 conditions), he can start with actions which bring to clinging with the supernal, like we will explain with G-d's help, as I have found in the words of books, and in the words of meditators.

However, the matter of the 2nd condition, which is to remove from oneself the forces of tuma (impurity), and this is through repentance of his sins, and distancing from the bad middot, I have already explained the matter as I have found in books. And after I have taught you the 2 conditions mentioned, I will now mention the actions which are to cling the power of the soul of a man to the supernal, after he masters the 2 conditions mentioned. With this we'll start:

(Now R.Chaim Vital zt'l will bring down some actual practices for attainment. I have only translated the first. Note that at the end of this book's introduction he claims to have personally verified that these methods work. - Tr)

Meditate alone in a house as before, and wrap [yourself] in a tallit (prayer shawl), sit and close your eyes, and remove yourself completely from the physical, as if your soul has left your body, and it ascends to the rakia (firmament). And after the removal (of the physical), read one mishna, whichever you want, many times repeatedly, back-to-back, very quickly - as fast as you can, while keeping a clear pronunciation, and without skipping any words. And have intent to cling your soul with the soul of the tanna (Mishnaic Sage) which is mentioned in that mishna. And this is through your intent that your mouth should be a kli (vessel) through which go out the letters of that mishna, and the voice which comes out of the vessel of the mouth, is sparks of your inner soul which go out and read that mishna. And they become a chariot, in order to allow for the enclothment inside it of the soul of that Tanna, the author of that mishna - and that his soul should become enclothed in your soul. And when you become tired from reading the mishna, if you are fit for this, perhaps, the author of the mishna will enter your mouth, and become enclothed there as you are reading the mishna. And then, as you are reading, the mishna, he will speak through your mouth, and greet you "shalom". And everything that you will then think in your thoughts to ask from him, he will answer you, and speak through your mouth. And your ears will hear his words. You will not be the one speaking through your mouth, he will be the one speaking.
And this is the secret meaning of (King David's words:) "the spirit of G-d spoke through me, and His word was on my tongue." (Shmuel II 23:2) (much of Tehilim was composed in this manner - Tr)

And behold, if you are not worthy for this lofty level, it is possible that it will come in another way. That is through the great speed of your mouth (in reading the mishna - Tr), you will become tired, and your words will silence without your intent, and you will doze off lightly. Then, in that sleep, you will see that they will answer your question whether in hint or clearly. Everything according to your intent. And if you do not merit one of these 2 ways, know that you are not yet fit for this, or that you were not able to remove yourself well from the physical.

(ok. Here's part of the next one. - Tr)
Purify your body and sanctify it from impurities. Clean your hands from all forms of theft and bribery, as it is written (Tehilim 24:3) "who will ascend to the mountain of G-d, and who will stand in His holy place? One with clean hands, and a pure heart...he will lift (yisa) a blessing from G-d...". And you should purify your inside to be like your outside (tocho k'baro - that your outside should reflect your inside, i.e. purity of heart from falsehood - Tr) as it says (above) "and a pure heart". And then he will "lift a blessing from G-d", which refers to the level of prophecy, as it is written (by the prophet Bilam - Bamidbar 23:7), "And he lifted his message and said..." And he should connect his spirit above and afterwards he can draw his wellspring below.

At first learn the reasons for mitzvot in revealed matter (some talmud), and afterwards a little of the nistarot of G-d (mystical torah). Learn torah and do mitzvot and refrain from all unnecessary speech that day. And immerse in a mikveh, dress in white clothes, and go to a clean place away from all forms of tumah (impurity), and away from dead bodies or cemeteries. Distance yourself from all forms of worry, despair, or sadness and dress yourself in great simcha (joy). Separate yourself from the physical and ascend in your mind from firmament to firmament (of the seven firmaments mentioned in Part 3 Gate 1 - Tr) until the seventh firmament which is called Aravot. And picture that above Aravot there is a great yeriah (curtain), white and enormously huge. And on it is engraved the name Y-H-V-H in ashuri (torah) script in enormously huge letters. Each letter, like a mountain, of form white like snow. And you should join the letters...
(skipping forward... - Tr)

(R.Chaim will now quote a book:) The book "Meirat Einayim" (enlightening of the eyes), in parshas Eikev, on the verse "and to cling to him": "And I, Yitzchak the small one, son of Shmuel from Akko says, that whether for special individuals (yechidim) or for the general public, that whoever wants to know the secret of the connecting of his soul on high, and the clinging of his thought to G-d on high, in order that he acquires with that constant and uninterrupted thought, the Olam Haba (World to Come), and that G-d will be with him in this world and in Olam Haba, he should imagine in front of his eyes the letters of G-d's unique name (Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh) blessed be He, as if they are written in front of him on a book in ashurit script (hebrew in sefer torah handwriting), and every letter should be large in his eyes without limit. This means that when you put the letters of the unique name in front of your eyes, the eyes of your imagination should be on them (i.e. picture them), and the thought of your mind and your heart on the "Ein Sof" (infinite One), everything simultaneously, the seeing and the thought - both of them together. And this is the secret meaning of the true clinging mentioned in the torah "and to cling to Him" (Devarim 30:4), or "and in Him you shall cling" (Devarim 10:20), or "and you who cling to G-d [are all alive today]" (Devarim 4:4).

And all the time that the soul of man clings to G-d, blessed be He, in this way, no bad thing will happen to him, and he will not ever come to error in any matter of his matters, whether in intellectual or emotional, and he will not fall in the hand of chance (the natural order) because as he's clinging with G-d, he is above all happenings, and rules over them. And in honor of H' may He be blessed, he should be careful not to cling his thoughts in Him except in clean places, and not in dirty alleyways, and not with unclean hands, and not in front of idols, or the like. And I heard from a wise G-d fearing man, that he saw the pious Rebbi Yitchak the son of the Ravad z''l who he served, and he said that the pious man (R.Yitzchak) all of his days, his physical eyes did not see anything because he was blind, and when he needed to go to some place, he would say to his student who went with him that when he reaches a place of idol worship, hurry your footsteps as much as possible. And it appears to me that all of this he did in honor of H-shem, blessed be He, because he needed to not think while in a place of ultimate tuma (impurity) thoughts of Him which is the ultimate kedusha (holiness). And he would hurry to pass by in order to return to the point where he left off.

And if you ask, why should we cling our thoughts in this name more than any other name (of G-d)? It is because this name is the Source of sources and the Cause of causes and everything is included in it, from the keter to the atara, from Ein Sof to Ein Sof, and it is the cause of all existence from the keter to a small mosquito. And on this great name said the great composer of Israel (King David) "shiviti H' lenegdi tamid ki miyemini bal emot" ("I have set G-d before me always, He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved" Tehilim 16:8). In saying "before me", it is a hint to what we wrote, that his eyes and heart were always to G-d as if they were written in front of him....

(Translator: this is brought down as the first halacha in the shulchan aruch (code of Jewish law) in the Rama. The Chafetz Chaim explains this verse as follows (from Shem Olam part 2 ch.10): "the general principle, is for every good person to contemplate always how H-shem's presence fills the world, and that he is standing before Him to do His will. This is what is meant by 'shiviti H'..', that 'I have constantly contemplated that I am standing before G-d to do His will", and this is what G-d said to Avraham - "walk before Me and be perfect.." (Bereisheit/Gen. 17:1), which means contemplate always that you are standing before Me."

The Arvei Nachal (chelek 2 111b) writes: "All the time one fulfills the verse "shiviti H'...", he won't come to arrogance, or honor seeking, while he is standing before the King of kings, the holy One blessed be He, but if he momentarily forgets even a little bit - this is the meaning of the verse "vatechasrehu me-at mElokim" (you lacked a bit of G-d) then immediately "vkavod vhadar teatrehu" (and honor and glory surrounds you).
...After a man has merited to the clinging (of his thoughts to G-d), he will merit to the secret of 'equality' (explained shortly), and if he merits the secret of 'equality', he will merit to the secret of 'meditation', and after he has merited to the secret of 'meditation', he will merit Ruach HaKodesh, and from this to prophecy, which means, he will prophecy and see future events (he will also be able to look with his soul's eyes and not just his physical eyes. This will give him supernatural, clairvoyant powers. - Tr)

And on the matter of "hishtavut" (equality), Rabbi Avner said to me: A wise man, among the misbodedim (meditators) came to me seeking that I accept him among the meditators. The master said to him "blessed are you my son to G-d, your intentions are good. However let me know if you reached the level of 'equality' or not." He answered "Rebbi explain your words." He said "For two men, if one of them honors you and the second insults you, are they equal in your eyes?"
He answered "no my master. Because I feel pleasure and contentment from the one who honors me, and pain from the one who insults me, but I don't bear any grudge against him."
He answered "My son, go to peace, because as long as you haven't reached 'equality' until your soul doesn't feel the honor from someone who honors you, nor the embarrassment from one who shames you, you are not prepared to have your thoughts tied with the supernal when you come and meditate. Go and humble more your heart in truth until you have reached 'equality', then you'll be able to meditate."

The matter of equality, comes through the clinging of one's thoughts to G-d, blessed be He. Because the clinging to G-d causes that man not look at others' honoring him, nor at their shaming him. He will also not be worried about forces of evil. You can see when G-d was with [king Shaul], and Shaul's thoughts were clinging to G-d, he removed the sorcerers from the land, and similarly, he did not care when the evil men insulted him when he was coronated as king over Israel (Shmuel I 11). But when G-d left him, he transformed into a different person. He went after the sorcerers (Shmuel I 28:7), and also he became furious with anger on the righteous Kohanim (priests) which did not sin against him and he spilt their blood for nothing...And if so, a man must first do a great humbling in order to merit the hitdabkut (clinging to G-d) and this comes through fulfilling the mitzvot with all his strength. And also to cling absolutely to the trait of humility, that his eyes should be below and his heart above.

(Translator: and in the book "Ketav Yad B'Kabala" (Pg:226, www.hebrewbooks.org/36766):
"Thus, one of the primary, essential matters in meditation is to first acquire the trait of 'equality' - to not be moved by any matter. On the contrary, one must have joy in his soul (simcha nafshit) and be happy with his portion, thinking in his heart, that G-d alone rules in this lowly world and there is no man near or far to worry about. Nor is there anyone who can harm him or damage him or benefit him in any way. For all good and wealth of this world is in His hands and one needs nothing [else]. On this our sages said: 'prophecy does not rest except on one who is wise, strong, rich..' and who is rich? he who is happy with his lot..

(Translator's note: next approximately 20 pages were not translated due to the abstraction and dangers involved. see original Hebrew. Rav Chaim warns in part 4 gate 1:

"...and on condition that he who uses this (holy name) is a vessel prepared to receive the spiritual energy, and that he is fit for this (i.e. a very holy person), but if he is not, then G-d will change to cruel and they will "then turn into the degenerate plant of a strange vine", G-d forbid (a reference to Yirmiyahu 2:21)...
"and the one who is brazen in using this [holy] name and does not guard it properly, he will be punished and destroyed from the world. He will die childless (his children will be massacred). He will inherit his lot among the humiliated, he will be of eternal treachery, his fire will never extinguish and his worm will not die (a reference to Isaiah 66:24), and from the world he will be banished, and from light to dark they will cast him." (i.e. he will bring down a destructive spirit which will lead him into the clutches of the Forces of evil.)

For the detailed "road map" of practical preparations, see the unequaled Path of the Just by Rabbi Moshe Luzzato (who many regard as the primary successor of R.Chaim Vital) (this book is unique in that it not only tells you what to do, but it also tells you in what order to do them, i.e. which step must be mastered before moving on to the next step.)

translation of Shaarei Kedusha by Rabbi Yosef Sebag
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