Receiving The 3 Extra Souls – How To Make The Most Out Of The Holy Shabbat Times

Shabbat is an incredibly valuable day of 26 hours which must be enjoyed to the fullest. Doing so can be a huge help in the Tikkun HaMiddot and Avodat Hashem

Knowing how to use Shabbat can be a great form of elevation. Most people are unaware, but Shabbat is not a “day of rest”. We could say that we rest a little more physically, but we also do intense spiritual work.

All the Mitzvot we do, including Kiddush, eating the meals, studying, praying and so on are meant to elevate the fallen sparks on this holy day. And this elevation is on a much higher level than the rest of the weekdays.

This is the translation from the printed Siddur of Rabbi Shalom Sharabi (the holy Rashas’h):

Know that during weekdays, the worlds (of Atzilut) descend from their spiritual levels in the realm of BYA (Beriyah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah) until Arich Anpin reaches Nukva D’Atzilut (Malkhut). All this is for the purpose of the sifting [of the sparks].

Through our prayers on weekdays, we ascend a little, as explained in the order of the weekday prayers. This elevation happens until the Mincha of Erev Shabbat prayer, meaning that the worlds have already ascended from their places up to the level of the ascent of the weekday prayers.

And now, through the Kavanot that the one praying should have, the spiritual worlds ascends entirely to their true place until the ascent of Atzilut […] until Arich Anpin D’Atzilut goes back to Tabur of Adam Kadmon.

We won’t elaborate much on what these levels mean. Essentially, the Rashash is saying that during the weekdays, the 3 spiritual worlds of Beriyah, Yetzirah and Assiyah go down to vest themselves in Beriyah, Yetzirah and Assiyah to aid in our job of elevating the fallen sparks.

On Shabbat, however, these worlds go back to their place. It is truly a taste of the Olam HaBah (World to Come)

Shabbat is incredibly holy

However, while during the weekdays, we can only work on NAH’Y (Netzach Hod Yesod) of Binah of Z”A (Zeir Anpin) of Atzilut, on Shabbat we are able to go above to CHAGA’T (Chesed, Gevura, Tiferet) and CHABAD (Chokhmah, Binah and Da’at) of Binah during the night, the entire Chokhmah during the day, and the entire Keter of Z”A during and after Mincha.

This means that these 26 hours more or less of Shabbat that we have are incredibly precious and we should make the most out of them. Every word of Torah studied or prayer prayed is exponentially more valuable.

Bringing the extra soul of Shabbat from outside

The Arizal explains that day of Shabbat illuminates the weekdays both before and after it. This holiness extends for the first 3 days after and the 3 days before Shabbat proper. This is the meaning of “remembering” the Shabbat each and every day of the week.

It is a fountain of blessing that we can draw all forms of illumination anywhere and we are constantly connected to it. And there’s no prosperity blessing quite as much as keeping Shabbat and enjoying it.

If we put our minds to it, that is. The light of Shabbat can be consciously brought down if we know the appropriate Kavanot. During this holy day, all the Partzufim of Atzilut go up and all the spiritual worlds are blessed.

Parts of these three extra souls are retained throughout the week in the following way:

  • On Sunday, we still keep the Neshama until the end of the day (and this is why it’s not recommended to fast on Sunday).
  • On Monday, we still keep the Ruach until the end of the day
  • On Tuesday, we still keep the Nefesh until the end of the day

Fascinatingly, we already receive an illumination of these souls for the coming Shabbat already in the previous week as follows:

  • On Wednesday, we start receiving the extra Nefesh
  • On Thursday, we start receiving the extra Ruach
  • On Friday, we start receiving the extra Neshama

The way to receive these illuminations is by focusing on the 3 different aspects of Avodat Hashem, as Rav Chaim Vital explains in Shaar HaKavanot. These 3 aspects govern and have particular importance on their specific days as follows:

  • The aspect of Thought (through study or Yichudim and others) governs on Sunday and Friday
  • The aspect of Speech (through prayer or not lying, and not doing Lashon HaRah and others) governs on Monday and Thursday
  • The aspect of Action (through giving Tzedakah or accompanying the dead and others) governs on Tuesday and Wednesday

Meaning, we should strive to focus on these aspects during these days, and have the Kavanah of bringing down the illumination of Shabbat. These aspects are important to bring down even more blessings on these particular days.

Shabbat illumination

Receiving the 3 souls during Shabbat

Rav Chaim Vital also teaches in Shaar HaKavanot that on Shabbat we receive 3 souls which are actually 6:

  • The feminine Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama during the night
  • The masculine Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama during the day

In order to receive these souls, we use Kavanot. But even simple intention works because “energy flows where intention goes”, and the same applies everywhere else. Merely intending to “draw down” the extra soul can be good enough and Hashem helps those who try it with a sincere heart.

Since the “feminine aspect” is associated with the night, that’s when we receive the feminine parts of the soul, as follows:

  • The Nefesh comes when we sing “Boi Kalah Shabat Malketa” at the end of Lecha Dodi
  • The Ruach comes when we answer Barchu with “Baruch YHVH HaMevorach Leolam Va’ed”
  • The Neshama comes just before we say “Ufros Aleinu V’al Yerushalayim”, before the Amidah.

Conversely, we receive the “masculine aspect” during the day as follows:

  • The Nefesh comes at the beginning of Nishmat Kol Chai
  • The Ruach comes throughout the Amidah of Shacharit in silence
  • The Neshama comes when we say “AYE” of the Kedusha of Mussaf

Many married women don’t stay until Kedusha of Mussaf, many also pray at home, without a Minyan. This might be just conjecture here, but I believe these Kavanot are mostly geared toward men who attend the Minyan.

As Rav Chaim Vital explains in Shaar HaGilgulim, whatever levels men receive in life, his wife automatically receives it and I personally believe this is also true when it comes to receiving the extra souls on Shabbat. Women help men achieve their Tikkun, and sending this article to them could be very useful for the couple.

The holy meals of Shabbat

We couldn’t finish this article without mentioning the 3 holy meals of Shabbat, which must be done with bread and wine (or grape juice). While during weekdays we are separating the Ma’achal (food, holiness) from the psolet (waste, tumah), on Shabbat, we are separating Ma’achal from Ma’achal.

We are not going over the Kavanot of eating here, but Shabbat is a time to enjoy food and eat more than usual. Every food we eat is holy, but can become even holier.

Each meal is associated with a specific Partzuf, which we are “inviting” using the declaration “Atkinu Seudatah”, which illuminates and blesses us, as follows:

  • On the night meal, we invite the Chakal Tapukhim Kadishin (the Shekhina)
  • On the day meal, we invite Atika Kadisha (Keter, the Partzuf of Arich Anpin)
  • On Seudat Shlishit, we invite Zeir Anpin (the 6 Sephirot) as seen from the Arizal’s song “Bnei Heikhala

This is not merely a “nice thing” to do, we are essentially asking Hashem to bless us and acknowledge that He’s the one giving us everything.

One great Chiddush that the Arizal gives is that in each and every holy day (including Yamim Tovim), the Tefila corresponds to the internal part, while the meal corresponds to the external part.

Note: This is also true for Pesach when people often rush through Arvit to get to the Seder! But we need to have extreme concentration and heart on that Tefila since it’s the internal part of the Seder.

The Melaveh Malka fourth meal was also instituted so we bless the coming days with the external part of the light of Shabbat while the Pasuk “Vihi Noam…” is meant to bless the coming days with the internal part of the light of Shabbat.

Preparations, tips and tricks

There’s much more to write about, this is only a summary of all the awesome blessings of Shabbat.

If you are new to this, mark your siddur with the appropriate names of the souls that you are supposed to receive, so that you can have the Kavanah and be ready when the time comes. If you are a man who keeps Torah and Mitzvot, you can buy one of the Siddurim with Kavanot in a Kabbalistic Yeshiva. The first Siddur I had was the Matok MiDvash, which is really fantastic and have simple Kavanot. Naturally, it marks the spots you are supposed to intend receiving the extra souls.

Practice makes perfect, don’t expect to be mindful 100% of the time, and don’t force yourself. When it comes to Kavanot, you can imagine anything really: a beam of light coming down from Heaven, your soul being ignited with holy fire, the joy of closeness to Hashem, and so on.

Kavanot work with the power of imagination. Whatever works, works, and with practice, you will genuinely come to perceive this extra soul in a very real way. The mind only needs to be trained a little to perceive the subtle reality of Hashem.

Remember to enjoy and be aware of the moment. With time, it will come naturally.

As I wrote, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more to derive from Shabbat, but we will have to deal with it in another article.

I hope this was helpful to you.

Shabbat shalom!

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Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

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