255. Rabbi Yitzchak said: How fortunate are the pious in this world and the World to Come, as they are all holy. Their bodies are holy and their Nefesh is holy. Their Ruach is holy and their Neshamah is the Holy of Holies. There are three levels - NEFESH, RUACH AND NESHAMAH - just like above, reflecting MALCHUT, TIFERET AND BINAH OF ABOVE. As Rabbi Yehuda has taught, it is written, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures (Heb. 'nefesh')" (Beresheet 1:24), which refers to the soul of Adam. Come and see: These three levels - Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah - join together, and the superior one is Neshamah.
256. As Rabbi Yosi said, every person has a Nefesh, an ANIMALISTIC NEFESH and he has a supernal Nefesh, DENOTING a SPIRITUAL Nefesh. If man merits that soul, he is given a crown called Ruach, as the verse says, "Until a spirit be poured upon us from on high" (Yeshayah 32:15). Then there awakens in man a different supernal awakening to search the ways of the Holy King. When man merits the Ruach, he is crowned with a heavenly, holy, all - inclusive Sfirah called Neshamah, called the Neshamah of Eloha.
258. IN THE BOOK OF KING SOLOMON, it is written that the Holy One, blessed be He, made three dwellings for righteous people, FOR THEIR NEFESH, RUACH AND NESHAMAH AFTER THEIR DEMISE. One is for the Nefashot (Heb. plural) of the righteous that did not depart this world and are still in this world, AS THE NEFESH OF THE DECEASED DOES NOT DEPART THIS WORLD. When the world needs mercy and living PEOPLE are in distress, the Nefashot pray for them. They go and tell this to those who slumber in Hebron, MEANING THE PATRIARCHS, who awaken and go to the earthly Garden of Eden, where the Ruach of the righteous are clothed with crowns of light, take counsel with them and make a decree. And the Holy One, blessed be He, fulfills their wish and shows mercy to the world.
261. The third dwelling is the holy dwelling on high called the bundle of Life, MEANING THE GARDEN OF EDEN ON HIGH. There, the highest, holy level called Neshamah has pleasure. It clings to find pleasure in the most high Eden and it is written, "Then you shall delight yourself in Hashem; and I will cause you to ride..." (Yeshayah 58:14). THE GARDEN OF EDEN ON HIGH IS CALLED THE HIGH PLACES OF THE EARTH.
262. We have learned that when the world needs Mercy, THEN the Nefesh of these meritorious righteous men, which is in this world in order to defend the world, rises, flies across the world and alerts the Ruach. The Ruach rises, adorns itself and alerts the Neshamah. The Neshamah alerts the Holy One, blessed be He, and then He has mercy on the world. Then He descends from above downwards, the Neshamah informs the Ruach and the Ruach informs the Nefesh.
263. Every Shabbat and new Moon, NEFESH, RUACH, AND NESHAMAH join and clothe themselves together until they are united to come forth and bow before the most high King. Afterwards, they return to their positions. This is the essence of the verse, "And it shall come to pass, that every new moon, and every Shabbat, shall all flesh come..." (Yeshayah 66:23).
264. When the world needs mercy, the living go and inform the Nefashot (Heb. plural) of the righteous, and weep on their graves. Those who are worthy to inform the righteous men: what is the reason THEY ARE WORTHY? BECAUSE they concentrate on clinging to Nefesh with Nefesh; then the Nefashot of the righteous awaken, assemble, fly to the slumberers of Hebron, inform them of the distress of the world, and they all ascend to the door of the Garden of Eden to inform the Ruach. These Ruchot (Heb. plural) that are adorned in the Garden of Eden, with celestial angels going among them, all inform the Neshamah, the Neshamah informs the Holy One, blessed be He, and all beg for mercy for the living. And the Holy One, blessed be He, shows Mercy to the world on their behalf. This is what Solomon meant in, "So I praised the dead that are already dead."
267. If they do not repent wholeheartedly , entreating and crying for the distress of the world, woe to them, in that they assembled for nothing. They say: Who caused the Holy Torah to be exiled because of them who failed to do repentance. Then they come to list their sins. Therefore, none should go there without repenting or without fasting to seek requests. Rabbi Aba said: Not without three fasts. Rabbi Yosi says: Even one FAST SUFFICES, but it must be on that same day as long as the multitudes sit in great distress. Then they would come together, MEANING NEFESH, RUACH AND NESHAMAH, seeking mercy upon the world.
274. We have learned that it is written, "Yet the soul (Nefesh) of my master shall be bound in the bond of life" (I Samuel 25:29). HE QUESTIONS: It says "the Nefesh of my Master," but it should read 'the Neshamah of my master,' BECAUSE NEFESH REMAINS IN THIS WORLD AND ONLY NESHAMAH RISES TO THE BUNDLE OF LIFE. HE ANSWERS: As we said, fortunate is the share of the righteous men that everything is tied one to another - Nefesh with Ruach, Ruach with Neshamah and Neshamah with the Holy One, blessed be He. The result is that Nefesh is tied to the bond of life, AS IT IS CONNECTED TO NESHAMAH, WHICH IS THE BUNDLE OF LIFE.