The soul has five levels, their names are: Nefesh, Rua’h, Neshama, ‘Haya and Ye’hida. The soul is the spiritual entity inside the body, the latter being only its outer garment. Each soul has a precise root and a possibility of acquiring the highest level of this root. All come first with a lower level, and will, if they merit, attain the next higher level.
The first and lower level. It is acquired at birth and before the succeeding levels. It corresponds to the level of the physical world of ‘Asiah and of the feminine configuration Nukva.
The second level and is acquired before the succeeding levels. It corresponds to the level of the world of angels – Yetsirah and configuration Zeir Anpin.
The third level and can be acquired only after acquiring the level of Nefesh and Rua’h. It corresponds to the level of the world of souls – Beriah and configuration Imah.
The fourth level and can only be acquired after the preceding levels. It corresponds to the level of the world of emanation – Atsilut and configuration Abah.
The fifth and highest level; it is very rarely attained and can only be acquired after the Tikun (rectification) of all the preceding levels. It corresponds to the level of the world of emanation – Atsilut and configuration Arikh Anpin.
Correspondence between the five levels of souls, four worlds and five configurations
There are many divisions and categories of souls. They differ according to their origin or their level in the higher realms.
Each level of the soul is subdivided in five levels. As for the level of Nefesh, there are Nefesh of Nefesh, Rua’h of Nefesh, Neshama of Nefesh, ‘Haya of Nefesh and Ye’hida of Nefesh.
Each level of the soul has its own five levels
(1) Nefesh of Nefesh is the lowest level for a soul
(2) ‘Haya of Ye’hida is almost the highest
Each level of Nefesh subdivides again
Each level can again be subdivided, for example:
(1) ‘Haya of Rua’h of Nefesh is a higher level than
(2) Rua’h of Nefesh of Nefesh but lower than
(3) Neshama of Ye’hida of Nefesh
Each soul has its origin in the different worlds and configurations. The quality of the soul will depend on which configuration and from which world it has its root. A soul with a higher origin will be of superior quality and will have a better potential for understanding and approaching nearer to its Creator, on the condition, of course, that it acts accordingly and reaches its potential.
Each one of these levels of the soul subdivides for each level of Partsuf – configuration and for each world. Therefore, there are five levels of soul for each configuration and there are five levels of configurations for each world, etc. Each one of these levels can again subdivide in many, adding numerous possibilities.
The goal of man is to reach each successively higher level of his soul; for that, he must perform the Tikun of the preceding levels. The higher levels of the soul cannot be acquired at once. Most men only have the level of נפש, and if they merit, they will acquire the succeeding levels – but one by one by dying and reincarnating. If he needs to acquire the level of אימה of עשיה, first, he must perform the Tikun of מלכות of עשיה, ז׳א of עשיה, and so on. To acquire his level of נשמה, he must perform the Tikun of all the levels of the Sephirot and configurations of his נפש and רוח, etc.
To do this Tikun could take a few lifetimes, the soul will then reincarnate as many times as needed to accomplish it.
All these complex possibilities have only one purpose; to allow man to have merit by his own efforts and get closer to his Creator. For this, he must get a higher level of soul and elevate his ways by doing his own Tikun.