Nefesh, Ruach, Neshama

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151) This is the Nefesh. When her craving rises, it is to the Creator. She does not cling to other kinds of light and she follows her own holy kind, in the place from which she emerged, which is the Nukva, from which the Nefesh extends and comes out. This is why it is written, “With my soul have I desired You in the night,” to chase You, to cling unto You, and to not be lured after another kind, a strange one.

152) My soul [Nefesh] is the one who governs at night, chasing after her degree, Nukva de ZA, to cling unto her. It is written about it, “With my soul have I desired You in the night,” meaning the Nefesh that governs in the night, for then she rises and appears before the King. And the Ruach governs during the day, as it is written, “With my spirit [Ruach] within me have I sought You earnestly.”

In other words, NR extend from ZON—the Ruach from ZAHassadim, and the Nefesh from the Nukva. As ZA rules during the day, the Ruach rules during the day. And as the Nukva rules at night, as it is written, “She rises while it is still night,” the Nefesh rules at night, for she is similar to the Nukva, where there is seeing. But the rest of the degrees—Ruach and Neshama—that extend from ZA and Bina, do not rise to be seen before the King because there is no seeing in them.

153) NR are not two separate degrees from one another. Rather, they are one degree, and they are two that are conjoined. And there is one that is superior who governs them and clings to them, and they to her. And she is called Neshama.

154) All the degrees rise in Hochma because when the degrees look at each other, man looks in the upper Hochma and this Neshama enters in NR and they cling to her. When the Neshama governs, a man is considered holy, completely whole, and he is of one will with the Creator.

155) Nefesh is a lower awakening from the lights NRN. It is near to the Guf [body] and nourishes it, the Guf clings to her, and she clings to the Guf. Afterwards, the Nefesh is corrected through good deeds that a man does and she becomes a throne where the Ruach can be, by the awakening of the Nefesh that clings to the Guf, as it is written, “Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high.”

156) After they have both been corrected, the Nefesh and the Ruach, they are destined to receive a Neshama, since the Ruach has become a throne for the Neshama to be on. This Neshama is superior to all and is hidden, unattained, more hidden than all that is hidden.

157) It follows that there is a throne to a throne, since the Nefesh is a throne to the Ruach, which is a throne, too, and a throne to the one above them, since the Ruach is a throne to the Neshama who is superior to them. When you examine the degrees, you will find how the light of Hochma is drawn through these NRN, and everything is Hochma by which to obtain hidden things.

158) Nefesh is a low awakening that clings to the Guf, like candlelight, whose bottom light is black, clings to the wick, does not depart it, and is corrected only in it. And when the black light is corrected and grips to the wick, it becomes a throne to the white light atop it, for it hovers over the black light. And that white light corresponds to the light of Ruach.

159) Once they are both corrected, the black light and the white light atop it, the white light becomes a throne to a hidden light, and it is not seen or known that it hovers over the white light. It corresponds to the light of Neshama, and then it is a complete light. Thus, there are three lights one atop the other in a candlelight: 1) The black light that clings to the wick, below all the others; 2) the white light over the black light; and 3) the hidden, unknown light over the white light.

Similarly, a man who is complete in everything has three lights one atop the other, NRN, as with the candlelight. And then a man is called “holy,” as it is written, “As for the holy that are in the earth.”

160) When Abraham came to the land, the Creator appeared to him, as it is written, “And he built there an altar to the Lord, who appeared to him.” He obtained there the light of Nefesh and built an altar for that degree. Afterwards, it is written, “Going on still toward the Negev,” by which he obtained the light of Ruach. Subsequently, when he rises to cling within the light of Neshama, the hidden world, it is written, “And he built there an altar.” Yet, it does not say, “To the Lord, who appeared to him,” since this is Neshama, who is more hidden than all that is hidden. This is why it is not written about her, “To the Lord, who appeared to him,” as it is written in regards to the light of Nefesh.

161) Afterwards, Abraham knew that he had to be further purified and crowned in degrees. Promptly, “And Abram went down to Egypt,” and was saved from there and was not lured into their lights. Thus, he was purified and returned to his place.

When he went down to Egypt and was purified there, promptly, “And Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev.” He went up indeed, meaning had an ascent in degree because he was rewarded with the light of HayaHochma of the right, and he returned to his place, to the land of Israel and clung to the upper faith, as it is written, “To the Negev,” meaning Hochma of the right, which is Hesed that rises at the time of Gadlut and becomes Hochma. However, there are five degrees NRNHY in this degree, and now he was rewarded with the first degrees in her.

162) Henceforth, Abraham knew the upper Hochma and clung to the Creator, and became the right-hand-side of the world. This is why it is written, “And Abram was very heavy with cattle, and silver, and gold.” “Very heavy” means from the east, Tifferet. “With cattle” means from the west, Malchut. “And silver” is from the south, Hochma, and “And gold” means from the north, Bina.

163) All the friends came and kissed Rabbi Shimon’s hands. They wept, “Woe, when you depart from the world, who will light the light of Torah?” Happy are the friends who heard these words of Torah from your mouth.

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