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Abaye and the souls from Cain

As we saw in previous articles, the system of souls is indeed very complex.

Hashem, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, created it so we can accomplish our

missions in the best possible way, in order to receive the best possible reward.

Each of us has a unique mission and no two people ever effect the same


The Zohar teaches us that all souls were included in Adam and when his

sons were born, he divided them between both. Therefore, for most of us, there

are two main sources: the majority of people come from the side of Hevel (whose

root is Chesed, lovingkindness) and the minority which come from the side of Cain

(whose root is Gevurah, strength).

As we know it’s possible to reveal within oneself 3 different levels of the

soul, Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama, each of which can come from either Cain or

Hevel. The Chaya and Yechida stay outside the person, illuminating him. There are

other possible divisions, but we will focus on this one.

Secrets from Abaye

In his Sha’ar HaGilgulim, Rabbi Chaim Vital speaks much about the soul of

Abaye the Amora from the 3 rd Century C.E. since he himself came from the same

source that sage. Abaye was special in that he was not only incredibly holy and

wise, but also revealed within himself the 3 parts of his soul from Cain.

Nevertheless, he was able to draw down souls of converts thanks to his intensive

Torah study.

Many Kabbalistic sources point out to the fact that while we each have a lot

of Gevurah, it must be sweetened and transformed into Chesed. This is what we

do with our prayers, Mitzvot and Torah study. Because Abaye was from the

source of Cain and his study partner Rava was from the side of Abel, the halacha

usually follows the latter, except in 6 specific places (as taught in Bava Kamma).

This is because while some Gevurah is necessary (as seen that 6 of his rulings

were accepted), “the world was built on Chesed” as the verse in Tehilim writes.

How do we know whether someone comes from the source of Cain or


Rav Chaim Vital gives us a few clues but first it’s important to understand

that while Hevel is almost entirely good and Cain is almost entirely evil, the good

from Cain is much higher and more powerful than that of Hevel. Yet, the majority

of people still comes from Hevel.

Generally speaking, he writes, since Cain comes from Gevurah which is

related to fire, people from this source have an aversion to water. They also

struggle more with their feelings, especially fear and tend to suffer much more in

life. However, people who are from this side, once they are able to overcome

their challenges reach a much higher level than those of the side of Hevel. This is

because when they transform the darkness from their souls, they rise with

greater strength and become truly high.

As we saw, there’s much more than we can see behind the veil of reality.

While we may not understand everything that happens to us, we can be guided

by our sages, and follow the path of Emunah in which we know that everything

Hashem does is for the best and for our benefit.

Remember also that in the Zohar and Sha’ar HaGilgulim, we find that

there’s a time for the end of every darkness! No matter how difficult our lives can

be, Hashem has already decreed from even before Creation when a person will

leave his sufferings!

Abaye is buried in a cava in Mountain (Har) Yavnit in the North of Israel,

next to his study partner Rava. This cave is not a very well-known place for

pilgrimage but is very much worth the ride not only to be close to these two great

sages, but also to enjoy the wonderful view from the mountain.

May his memory be for an inspiration and a blessing!

This article was written in the zechut of all Emuna Builder Partners. May Hashem help them attain all their hearts desires speedily with complete emuna.

Find out more information about becoming an Emuna Builder Partner today!

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