64. AND HE REPLIES: Surely this pertains to the secret of reincarnation: 'causes the light to vanish before the darkness,' NAMELY Abraham's servant who came out of darkness, the issue of Ham. It suffices for the servant to be like his master, Abraham, who came from the idolatrous Terah, the idol worshiper! HE THEREFORE CAME OUT OF THE CURSED AND DARKNESS AND BECAME BLESSED OF HASHEM LIKE ABRAHAM WHO CAME OUT FROM TERAH, ALSO LIGHT FROM DARKNESS. 'And darkness before the light:' this is Ishmael who came out from Abraham, and Esau from Isaac.
65. The mystery of this is that this is caused by the mixture of drops OF SEMEN in a place it does not belong. This is he who mingles his drop with a maid, Machalat, the daughter of Ishmael, WHO IS AN EVIL KLIPAH, or a daughter of a strange El, NAMELY THE DAUGHTER OF THE HEATHEN, who are evil and darkness, while his drop is goodness and light, IN THE SECRET OF THE VERSE, "And Elohim saw the light that it was good" (Beresheet 1:4). He who mingles good with evil transgresses the words of His Master, who said, "But of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat of it" (Beresheet 2:17).
66. The Holy One, blessed be He, with that which the man mingled, puts him together and reincarnates him so as to receive punishment; THAT IS, HE BRINGS HIM INSIDE A BODY WHICH CONSISTS OF GOOD AND EVIL. If he repents, studies the Torah, and separates good from evil - FOR BY STUDYING prohibitions and license, defilement and purity, what is fit and unfit, that evil is separated from good, as it says of Him, "AND HASHEM ELOHIM FORMED (HEB. VAYYITZER) MAN" (BERESHEET 2:7). Vayyitzer IS SPELLED WITH TWO YUD'S, TO SHOW THAT MAN IS TWICE CREATED, a creation for good and a creation for evil. And through the Torah he separates them, and the Holy One, blessed be He, bequeaths him a Soul from Him, so he will rule them both, the one which is GOODNESS AND light, the World to Come, and the other, which is EVIL AND darkness, this world. Hence, it is written: "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life" (Ibid.).
67. MAN IS JUDGED according to his merits and evil actions. As we explained, he who does one good deed is treated well. He who is average, is a person whose merits and transgressions are balanced, the half of merits is below and the half of transgressions below. This is the secret of, "What is your petition, and it shall be granted you: and what is your request? Even to half the kingdom it shall be performed" (Esther 5:6). THAT IS, IF THERE BE A HALF KINGDOM, THE HALF OF MERITS, THEN IT SHALL BE PERFORMED; THE PETITION AND REQUEST IS ACCEPTED. In the case of a completely righteous man, all his merits are above and his transgressions below. For a completely evil man, his transgressions are above and his merits are down below.
68. The sin of a man who commits it in public pertains to two grades, NAMELY TWO MANNERS. If he does penance in public, THAT IS, ACCORDING TO THE SIN THAT WAS COMMITTED IN PUBLIC, HE IS SEATED IN THAT WORLD among the righteous, who are familiar with the laws of the Holy One, blessed be He, and refrain from sinning. IF HE REPENTS secretly, HE IS NOT SEATED AMONG THE RIGHTEOUS, BECAUSE HIS SIN IS NOT TOTALLY ANNULLED. RATHER, HE IS SEATED among the wicked men, WHO ENVY HIM HIS REPENTANCE, so that the verse will be fulfilled which says, "But the eyes of the wicked shall fail" (Iyov 11: 20).