45. And for this reason it is a commandment of the Holy One, blessed be He, that a man should marry his deceased brother's widow, to have a son for his brother that he be not lost to that world. And this is like the secret of the mixed kinds in the fringes (Heb. Tzitzit). For it has been said: What I have forbidden to you in one place, I have permitted in another. I have forbidden mixed kinds in general, but permitted mixed kinds in the fringes. I have forbidden you to marry your brother's wife, but have permitted his widow marriage. Similarly, one may graft apples or dates, each on its own species, but it is forbidden to graft one species onto another. And on this it is said: "For man is a tree of the field" (Devarim 20:19), FOR MAN IS ALSO FORBIDDEN TO MATE WITH ONE WHO IS NOT OF HIS SPECIES, WHICH IS INCEST, but, for levirate marriage, one may graft two different species so that the soul of the deceased shall not be lost, "that his name be not wiped out in Yisrael" (Devarim 25:6).
46. And this is the secret of reincarnation (lit. 'rolling'). The wheel does not move without the flow of water through the conduit TO TURN IT. So also, the conduit is the secret of the letter Vav, by which the wheel is turned. And the secret of the matter is that just as the wheel will have no motion without the aqueduct, so also the wheel which is the letter Yud will have no motion without the aqueduct which is the letter Vav. A deceased brother's widow is Hei, and we thus have THE LETTERS OF Binah, Ben (lit. 'the son of') Yah. FOR THE SON, WHO IS ZEIR ANPIN, ISSUES FROM THE UNION OF YUD HEI, THAT ARE CHOCHMAH AND BINAH, AND HENCE HE IS IMPLIED IN HIS MOTHER'S NAME, BEN YAH, NAMELY THE LETTERS OF BINAH. With the letter Yud, THAT IS CHOCHMAH, He created the World to Come, which is an extended world, namely the letter Vav, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN.
47. For this reason, anyone who has no son, WHO CORRESPONDS TO ZEIR ANPIN, WHICH IS THE SECRET OF VAV, WHICH IS THE WORLD TO COME, will not be among the inhabitants of the World to Come. For the sea, WHICH is BINAH, THE SECRET OF THE WORLD TO COME, corresponds to it, TO THE VAV, for the Vav emerges from between THE YUD-HEI, WHERE THE YUD IS THE SECRET OF CHOCHMAH AND THE HEI OF BINAH, WHICH IS CALLED 'SEA.' THEREFORE THE VAV IS LIKEWISE CALLED 'THE WORLD TO COME' LIKE IT. And from the sea, WHICH IS BINAH, a number of rivers separate, THESE BEING THE SFIROT OF THE VAV, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, and they circumscribe the world, WHICH IS MALCHUT, until they return to the sea, WHICH IS BINAH, from which THE RIVERS, WHICH ARE ZEIR ANPIN, issued. This is why scripture said: "All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; to the place where the rivers flow, thither they return" (Kohelet 1:7). That is to say, until they return to it as they came out; NAMELY IN THE SAME CONDITION AS THE RIVERS FLOW OUT OF BINAH, SO DO THEY RETURN TO BINAH.
48. So also, REGARDING THE SOUL OF MAN, IT IS WRITTEN, "and the spirit returns to the Elohim who gave it" (Kohelet 12:7), NAMELY IT RETURNS TO HIM IN PERFECTION, as He gave it in perfect condition. If it returns in repentance, which is the supernal Binah, THAT IS CALLED 'REPENTANCE,' WHICH IS THE LETTERS OF Ben-Yah, the letter Hei IN THIS WORD is multiplied by the letter Yud IN IT, which means ten (= Yud) times five (= Hei) equals fifty. This, ACCORDING TO THE NUMERICAL VALUE, is the sea (Heb. Yam = 50). THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE LETTERS Yud-Hei IN BINAH, HEI TIMES YUD. THE LETTERS OF 'BEN' OF BINAH ARE the river flowing from it, ZEIR ANPIN, and it divides into several rivers, NAMELY SIX ENDS, like a tree spreading into a number of branches. AND WHEN A MAN REPENTS, HE CLINGS TO THE RIVER, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN AND RETURNS WITH ITS RIVERS TO BINAH, WHICH IS CALLED 'REPENTANCE,' AND IS ALSO CALLED 'SEA.' AND THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE VERSE, "ALL THE RIVERS RUN INTO THE SEA," AS MENTIONED ABOVE.
49. And if the soul does not return perfect as it was WHEN IT WAS GIVEN, the verse says about it, "thither they return" (Kohelet 1:7), it and all the other souls WHICH ARE LIKE IT, NAMELY IMPERFECT. IN OTHER WORDS, THEY RETURN TO THIS WORLD IN AN INCARNATION. And so also if he is incomplete, in not having a son, or if he has no daughter, who is ALLUDED TO in this world, BEING MALCHUT, so that he can be perfected by her in this world, MALCHUT, which was created with Hei, as it is written: "These are the generations of the heaven and the earth when they were created (Heb. behibaram)" (Beresheet 2:4), MEANING BEHEI BERA'AM (HE CREATED THEM WITH HEI). SO A MAN HAS TO INCARNATE A SECOND TIME BECAUSE HIS SOUL IS NOT PERFECT, AND TO HIM IS THE VERSE APPLIED "THITHER THEY RETURN."
50. Yud-Hei-Vav OF YUD HEI VAV HEI FORM THE SECRET OF CHESED, GVURAH AND TIFERET. THIS IS THE SECRET OF THE VERSE: "Lo, El does all these things twice or three times with a man" (Iyov 33:29). THAT IS TO SAY THAT THE SOULS INCARNATE ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLE OF THE LETTERS YUD-HEI-VAV, ABOUT WHICH SCRIPTURE SAYS: "LO, EL DOES ALL THESE THINGS..." Regarding the wicked, it is said: "And so I saw the wicked buried, and come" (Kohelet 8:10). THAT IS, DESPITE BEING INCARNATED THEY REMAINED WICKED, causing "These (Heb. eleh) are your Elohim, O Yisrael" (Shemot 32:4). THEY DO HARM TO "ELEH," NAMELY THE SECRET OF THE YUD-HEI-VAV, and about them it is said: "For three transgressions of Yisrael, I will turn away his punishment, but for the fourth I will not turn away his punishment" (Amos 2:6). THIS MEANS THAT, after they have corrupted themselves three times IN THEIR INCARNATIONS, and they have not merited TO BE CORRECTED by Yud-Hei- Vav, about which it is said: "in the place where the tree falls, there (Heb. yehu, Yud Hei Vav) shall it lie" (Kohelet 11:3). THAT IS TO SAY, THE REPAIR OF THE TREE, WHICH IS MAN, IS AFFECTED BY YUD-HEI-VAV. THEN "but for the fourth I will not turn away his punishment." THIS REFERS TO THE LAST HEI, THE FOURTH LETTER OF THE YUD HEI VAV HEI, AND MEANS, HE WILL NOT SEND THE SOUL BACK FOR A FOURTH REINCARNATION, CORRESPONDING TO IT, BUT it will be judged in Gehenom by destruction, anger, and wrath.
51. And the garments of these three letters, YUD-HEI-VAV, are recognizable in the rainbow, namely white, red, and green. A person in his first time OF REINCARNATION is white, CORRESPONDING TO THE LETTER YUD OF THE YUD HEI VAV HEI, WHICH IS CHESED; in the second he is red, CORRESPONDING TO THE HEI OF THE YUD HEI VAV HEI, WHICH IS GVURAH; and in the third he is green, CORRESPONDING TO THE VAV OF THE YUD HEI VAV HEI, WHICH IS TIFERET, CALLED 'JACOB,' THE CENTRAL COLUMN INCORPORATING THE OTHER TWO, CHESED AND GVURAH. And since the letters YUD AND HEI, WHICH ARE CHESED AND GVURAH, are included in Jacob, and the tree takes root, grows, and gives good fruits, THEREFORE IT IS SAID: "Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale" (Yeshayah 29:22), so that his Chariot should not journey with the Evil Inclination, which is the serpent, nor with any other type of evil beasts. And for this reason, IT IS WRITTEN ABOUT HIM: "and he strove with an angel, and prevailed" (Hoshea 12:5). And because man is called 'a tree,' he is, in this secret, SIMILAR TO a tree planted in a place where it does not bear fruit. What can one do about it? One removes it and replants it elsewhere. This is why the scholars of the Mishnah taught that A MAN is not considered barren until he be replanted in the land of Yisrael and tries to make a woman conceive there.
52. So also, a righteous man who wanders from place to place, from house to house, is like a person who goes through many incarnations. That is what is meant by "but showing mercy to thousands of generations of those that love Me" (Shemot 20:6), until he achieves perfection in the World to Come. But, a wicked person is not allowed more than three INCARNATIONS. If he repents, however, HIS WANDERING IS CONSIDERED A REINCARNATION AND HE ACHIEVES THE PERFECTION OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN. For we have learned that 'Exile atones for transgression.' This is why the sages of the Mishnah taught: 'The righteous do not return to their dust' again, NAMELY DO NOT INCARNATE.
53. But CONCERNING THE WICKED, scripture says: "and he shall take other mortar, and shall plaster the house" (Vayikra 14:42), NAMELY THAT HE SHALL TAKE ANOTHER BODY COMING FROM THE DUST, IN A REINCARNATION, AND AMEND HIS SOUL. "and man shall return to dust" (Iyov 34:15) MEANS THAT HE WILL RETURN IN REINCARNATION. AND ALSO, "the dust returns to the earth as it was" (Kohelet 12:7) INTIMATES THAT HE WILL RETURN IN A REINCARNATION. This is because the wicked person is afflicted and has but a bad woman - that is, the Evil Inclination, about which we have learned that 'a bad woman is like leprosy to her husband' FOR SHE IS THE BODY OF THE WICKED. What remedy does the wicked person have? Let him divorce her and be healed. THAT IS, HE SHOULD GET RID OF HIS PRESENT BODY, TAKE ANOTHER BODY, AND SO BE HEALED. For she, THE WICKED WOMAN, THAT IS, THE BODY, was the cause of: "So He drove out the man" (Beresheet 3:24). "the man" refers to the soul; the particle "et (Eng. 'the')" REFERS TO THE BODY, which is the spouse of man, WHO IS THE SOUL, AS IT SAYS: "As a bird who wanders from her nest, so is man who wanders from his place" (Mishlei 27:8). IN OTHER WORDS, BECAUSE THE MAN CAUSED THE BIRD, WHICH IS THE SOUL, TO WANDER FROM ITS NEST, FOR IT WAS DRIVEN OUT FROM ITS HEAVENLY PLACE BECAUSE OF HIS SINS, SO ALSO DOES A MAN WANDER FROM HIS PLACE IN ORDER THAT HE SHOULD RETURN IN A REINCARNATION.
54. And that is why: "Even the sparrow has found a home" (Tehilim 84:4), meaning the deceased brother's wife. THIS MEANS THAT THE SPARROW, THE DEAD CHILDLESS MAN'S SOUL, HAS FOUND A HOME, AS IT WAS INCARNATED IN THE BODY OF THE WIDOW, WHO BECAME A HOME TO IT. "and the swallow a nest for herself" (Ibid.) refers to the redeemer WHO MARRIES THE DECEASED BROTHER'S WIDOW AND FINDS HIMSELF A NEST IN HER. "where she may lay her young" (Ibid.) refers to a son and a daughter THEY BEGET. Happy is he who makes a nest, THAT IS, WHO MARRIES THE WIDOW OF HIS CHILDLESS DECEASED BROTHER. "and shall redeem that which his brother sold" (Vayikra 25:25), FOR THE WIDOW OF HIS DECEASED BROTHER is considered as though sold to him, for she is not his, BUT HIS BROTHER'S, AND SHE IS THEREFORE CALLED "THAT WHICH HIS BROTHER SOLD."