Trumah: Chapter 29

Nefesh, Ruach, Neshamah


This section explains the three levels of the soul of man and the corresponding three levels in the supernal realm. These levels are Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshamah. The Nefesh is present in the grave until the body decays into dust. The Ruach is the one that enters the terrestrial Garden of Eden and is shaped there in the form of the body belonging to this world. Neshamah ascends immediately to her place, the place from whence she emerged, Malchut. We learn that until the Neshamah ascends to and becomes attached to the Throne, the Ruach does not become crowned in the Garden of Eden of the Earth and the Nefesh does not settle in its place. As soon as the Neshamah ascends, they all can rest.

When people pray at the cemetery, the Nefesh awakens, then floats to awaken Ruach, who ascends and awakens the Neshamah. Then the Holy One has mercy on the world. We read how the three are bonded as one : the Nefesh is the throne for the Ruach, while Neshamah takes out the Ruach, gives it power, dominates it and illuminates it with the light of life. After death, at the time that the Neshamah becomes adorned above in the Holy Crown, the Ruach is standing in the supernal Light during Shabbat, New Moons and Festivals. Then when the Ruach descends from the supernal Light to dwell in the Garden of Eden, the Nefesh stands in the grave and becomes attired in the form that the body had originally, and praises the Holy One. If people gave themselves permission they could see these forms on the graves thanking and praising the Holy One.

During the day of Rosh Hashanah when the world is being judged and the Throne of Judgment stands by the supernal King to judge the world, every single Nefesh hovers and beseeches Mercy for the living. Sometimes they notify the living of their verdicts in a vision at night, and then the living repent. The text goes on to tell how Yedomiam is the appointed angel who oversees the taking of souls. Then we read of the correspondence between these three levels of soul in man and the three levels in the four worlds of Asiyah, Yetzirah, Briyah and Atzilut. The moon is the Nefesh of Atzilut, and it illuminates all the chariots and camps of the three lower worlds even as the Nefesh of man illuminates the limbs and bones of the body. The text says, Happy are the righteous to merit three rests in the World to Come.


This profound portion raises our consciousness to the highest level of our souls (Neshamah). The ascension assures a peaceful and merciful transition into the world to come. Our meditation awakens the force of mercy, causing supernal compassion to spill down upon creation. Transformation of our nature and positive change in the world is achieved through a path of mercy as opposed to one of torment.

All judgments are hereby rescinded upon the merit of the righteous throughout history.