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Tikkun 5 – 3

There are four types of death that the soul goes through in the process of its cleansing to achieve immortal life in the world to come.

The type of death is related to the Tertragramaton

Deuteronomy 21:22
“וְכִי-יִהְיֶה בְאִישׁ, חֵטְא מִשְׁפַּט-מָוֶת–וְהוּמָת: וְתָלִיתָ אֹתוֹ, עַל-עֵץ”
“And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree”

The Torah tells us that if a person was sentenced to death, we should hang him after killing him. This is a strange instruction but it has a good reason and is for the benefit of the criminal’s soul.

“לֹא-תָלִין נִבְלָתוֹ עַל-הָעֵץ, כִּי-קָבוֹר תִּקְבְּרֶנּוּ בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא–כִּי-קִלְלַת אֱלֹהִים, תָּלוּי; וְלֹא תְטַמֵּא, אֶת-אַדְמָתְךָ, אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה”
“his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him the same day; for he that is hanged is a reproach unto God; that thou defile not thy land which YHVH thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”

The Torah continues to tell us that we should not leave the body on the tree for long, it should be buried before the day passes, meaning before sundown.

Deuteronomy 20:19
“כִּי הָאָדָם עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה” “for the man is the tree of the field”

Man was created in God’s image, which is the Tree of Life. When a person acts against the spiritual laws, he disconnects himself from the Tree of Life. After the destruction of the second Holy Temple, the Sanhedrin, which was the supreme court, was moved from the Holy Temple and because of that they couldn’t sentence people to death. It was so, because the fact that the Holy Temple was destroyed, the world went into a death state. The act of hanging is the aspect of connecting the soul to the Tree of Life and giving it opportunity to go through a cleansing process and to reincarnate for further correction. For the last known history of the Israelites, there was no known death sentence by spiritual religious authorities and therefore no hanging.

Nowadays, we connect the soul of the dead to the Tree of Life by reciting a special Kadish at the time of burial. This is the aspect of hanging (connecting) onto the Tree.

The Torah is our connection to the Tree of Life and when we cling to it, we sustain our souls and disconnect from the aspect of this world.

Proverb 3:18
“ עֵץ-חַיִּים הִיא, לַמַּחֲזִיקִים בָּהּ”
“She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her”

Genesis 3:22
“וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים, וְאָכַל, וָחַי לְעֹלָם”
“and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”

To live forever is to be purified forever and not having to come back to this life but at the time of the Final redemption.

One of the most important soul cleansing process is done before going to sleep. The Holy Ari tells us that before sleeping we should submit our souls to the light, confess our ‘sins’ and accept all four types of death on ourselves. When we are ready to do so, we let our souls come closer to the light from the distant state we were in during the day. When reciting the Shema Prayer we should also accept the four types of death, to be in greater unity with the light.
Link to chart of the names and four types of death for meditation