(1) The choice of man: We have already mentioned man's being that creature created to cleave to Him, may He be blessed, that he is put between perfection and deficiencies and that he has the ability to acquire perfection. However this needs to be with his choice and will. For if he were forced in his actions to choose perfection no matter what, he would not truthfully be called the master of his perfection; as since he is forced to acquire [it] by another, he is not its master. [Rather] it is the one who makes him acquire it that is the master of his perfection. So [God's] intention would not have been fulfilled. Therefore it was necessary that the matter be left to his choice, such that his inclination to the two sides be equal, and not forced to one of them; so he would have the capability to choose - with intellect and with will - which one of them he would want. And [he must] also have the ability to acquire whichever one of them he wants. Therefore man was created with a good impulse and a bad impulse so that the choice is his, to incline himself to the side that he wants.
(2) The joining of the body and the soul: However in order for this matter to be accomplished appropriately, the Supreme Wisdom decreed that man be composed of two opposites - meaning to say, from a spiritual and pure soul and from an earthly body. And since each one of them naturally inclines to its side - meaning to say, the body towards physicality and the soul towards spirituality - it comes out that there is a war between them in such a way that if the soul wins, it will raise the body with it; but if man allows the physical to win in him, the body will surely be lowered and the soul will be lowered with it. And that man will not be fit for perfection, and will be pushed away from it, God forbid. But that man [still] has the ability to humble his physical [side] before his spiritual [side] and soul and acquire his perfection, as I have written.
(3) This world and the next world: However His Goodness, may He be blessed, decreed that there be a limit to this striving that is required for a person to acquire perfection and that when he finishes his striving, he obtains his [level of] perfection and is left with his enjoyment for ever and ever. Therefore two time periods were designed for him - one is the time for work and one is the time for receiving the reward. However the [divine] attribute of good is greater, such that the work has a [limited] time, as His Wisdom, may He be blessed, decreed be appropriate for it. But there is no end to the receiving of reward. Rather one delights and continues with the perfection that he acquired for himself for ever and ever.
(4) The change in man's conditions with the change of time periods: However according to the change in the time period, so is it fit that his condition and his other circumstances change. For in all of the time of striving, he surely needs to be in a situation in which all the things that he needs for this process of striving can be found. The explanation of this is that it is surely necessary that the war that we mentioned between the spiritual and the material be present for him. And there should not be anything for him to impede the material from ruling and doing its [function], according to the measure that is fitting for it. And there should be nothing impeding the spirit from ruling, as is fitting for it, and doing its [function]. Likewise, there should not be anything that would cause the material to be strengthened more than is fitting, and also [nothing] causing the spirit to be strengthened more than is fitting. For even though from one angle, [the latter] would have appeared to be better; behold according to the true intention and the desired matter about man - which is the acquisition of perfection through his striving - it is not good. But at the time of receiving the reward, it is surely fitting that the situation be the opposite of this. For behold, all that the material would rule at that time was surely only to darken [man's awareness] and prevent the soul from cleaving to the Creator, may He be blessed. Therefore at that time, it is appropriate for only the soul rule; and that the material be completely drawn after it in such a way that it not be impeded by it at all. And indeed two worlds were therefore created - this world and the next world. The place and the natural conditions of this world are what is fitting for man all the time of his striving. And the place and the natural conditions of the next world are what is fitting for him at the time of receiving the reward.
(5) The human specie changed: And among that which one must also know is that the nature of the human specie that we see and distinguish now is not like at first. Rather there was a great change in him, and that is the matter of the sin of the first man (Adam) - as through it, man and the world were changed from what they were at the beginning. And there are indeed many components of this change and its outgrowths, and we will write about them in the continuation with God's help (Part 2, On Israel and the Nations 2). And it comes out that discussion about the human specie and distinguishing its properties [needs to be] doubled. For he and his properties before the sin will be discussed, as will he and his properties from the aspect of [the situation] after the sin - as we shall still elucidate, with God's help (Below, Paragraph 8).
(6) Behold that at the time of his formation, the first man was completely in the situation that we have mentioned until now. This means that he was surely joined from the two opposite parts that we mentioned - which are the soul and the body. And there were the two [possibilities] in the world - the good and the evil, and he stood between them evenly, to cleave to the one of them that he would want. And it was surely fitting for him to choose the good, that his soul should win over his body and his spirit over his materiality; and then he would have been perfected immediately and stayed in his perfection forever.
(7) The effects of the soul on the body: And you need to know that even thought we don't feel any effect of the soul on the body except for life and awareness, behold that among its axioms is that it purifies the actual body and its material, and it raises it up - one lift after [another] - with regard to its becoming fit to accompany it in the pleasure [of] perfection. And in truth, the first man would have reached this thing if he had not sinned - his soul would have purified his body, one purification after [another], until it would have been purified [with] the necessary and established measure for everlasting delight.
(8) The outgrowths of the sin of the first man: But once he sinned, a great change happened to things. And that is that at first there were surely sufficient deficiencies in the creation that the first man would be in the equal condition that we mentioned, so there would be room for him to earn perfections through the 'effort of his [own] hands.' With his sin, however, deficiencies were added; and they grew in the essence of man and in all of the entire creation. Moreover the redress became more difficult than before. The explanation of this is that surely at the beginning it was easy for [man] to go away from the deficiency planted in him and to acquire perfection. For the Supreme Wisdom set up the things like this according to the traits of good and fairness. And since man was not the cause of the evil and the deficiency within him - but it was rather planted in him in his creation - when he removed himself from the evil and turned to the good, he was surely immediately able to go away from deficiency and acquire perfection. However with his sin - since it was through him that perfection became more hidden than it was and the deficiencies grew, and he was the one that caused evil to himself - it would no longer be as easy for him to return and to go away from deficiency and acquire perfection as it was at the time that he was not the cause of his deficiency, but was rather [just] created like that from his beginning, as I have written. All the more so [would it be harder], as the striving required of him now to reach perfection would perforce be doubled: For he would first need that man and the world return to the condition that existed at the beginning before the sin; and then afterwards to rise above that condition to a condition of perfection to which it was fit for man to rise.
(9) Death and resurrection: However besides all of this, His trait of [strict] judgement, may He be blessed, decreed that from now on, man and the world could not reach perfection so long as they are in a corrupted state - meaning, the form they have now, in which evil grew. Rather they perforce need a transformation beyond the perdition - meaning, death for man and destruction for all of the other things in existence that became corrupted with him. And the soul can [no longer] purify the body until after it first goes out of it and the body dies and decomposes. And then [the body] returns and is built [as] a new structure, and the soul enters it and purifies it. And likewise the whole world will become destroyed from its current form, and it will return and be built in a different form that is fitting for perfection. And therefore it was decreed upon man that he die, and [then] come back and live [again]. And this is the matter of the revival of the dead. And [it was decreed] about the world that it will be destroyed and [then] come back and be renewed - and this is the matter that they, may their memory be blessed, said (Sanhedrin 97a), "The world will [exist] for six thousand years, and be destroyed for one [thousand]; but at the end of a thousand years, the Holy One, blessed be He, returns and renews the world.
(10) And behold according to this root concept, the time of the true repayment - meaning the time of receiving the reward, that we mentioned above - and its place, is after the resurrection in the world that will be renewed. And man will enjoy it with his body and his soul, in that his body will be purified by the soul and prepared by it to enjoy that good. Yet people will be distinguished and their levels and positions will differ, according to the measure of that which they toiled in the world of work, and according to that [which] they strove to access perfection. For the soul will shine according to this measure, and light up the body and purify it. And both of them will acquire preciousness and stature and be fitting to approach the Master, blessed be He, to be lit by the light of His countenance and to enjoy His true good.
(11) The world of souls: And yet since death was decreed upon man - and as I have written - and it comes out that this combination needs to divide for some time and come back to join; behold it is fitting that there also be at this time of division an appropriate place for these two divided parts, for that which is desired for this [period of] division. And see that the body needs to return to its element and separate [from] its combination and lose its form. And since it was dirt, it must return to it - and this is what He, may His name be blessed, said to Adam, "As you are dirt and to the dirt you shall return" (Genesis 3:19). But the soul (that has merited reward through its deeds) surely only has to wait until that which needs to be done to the body is done - meaning the desolidifying and decomposition of the first [body] and its remaining in the dirt all the time it needs, and its formation anew afterwards, when [the soul] returns to enter it. However it needs a place between this and that. And, in truth, it is for this reason that the world of souls was established - that the meritorious souls enter it, after their leaving the body, and dwell there in a restful place all the time that the matters that are fitting to happen to the body happen to it. And see that all of that time, these souls will dwell in loftiness and delight, similar to that which will be given to them afterwards at the time of the true repayment that we mentioned above. For his loftiness in the world of souls will also certainly be measured according to the actions that he has done, according to which his repayment afterwards at that time will also be measured. But the true perfection destined for those who merit it will not be attained - not by the body and not by the soul - until their joining together a second time, after the resurrection.
(12) The purpose of man in the world of souls: However besides the world of souls being a place for the souls to dwell and wait for the body - as we have said - behold there is also another great purpose found in it for the souls themselves, and afterwards for the body for what it needs afterwards at the time of the resurrection. And that is that after there was the decree on man, that he could only reach his perfection after death - even though it is already apparent about him from the angle of his deeds while he is still alive (as without this, it would never be coming to him; as the time of acquiring perfection is surely only in this world, before he dies, as we have written) - another extension of this decree is that all the time that it is in the body in this world, to which evil cleaves [and] from which it is impossible to completely separate, it too will be darkened and hazy. And even though through the good deeds that a person does, [the soul] acquires precious perfection for itself, the thing cannot be revealed; and it cannot shine with the splendor that would have been fit for it to shine according to that preciousness that it would have truly reached. Rather it all stays suppressed in itself until the time that is given for it to be revealed. However the delay is not from its side at all, but rather from the side of the body, as we have written. And [the body] itself loses in this; in that during all of that time, it does not receive the purification that would be fitting that it receive, as we have written. Nevertheless, [the soul] also loses, in that it is suppressed inside itself and is not able to express its splendor. Moreover, it does not perform the act that is fit for it, which is the purification of the body. And if it did perform it, it would perfect itself greatly from the angle of the essence of this act itself. For it is surely a perfect act - to do good to, and perfect, another. And also this act is the act that is appropriate for it according to its nature and its axiom - as it was created for this. And every creature is perfected when it does that which it was designed to do by its Creator, may He be blessed; and it is lacking perfection all the time that it does not do it. However when the soul leaves the body and goes to the world of souls, it surely expresses itself there and shines its splendor according to that which is fitting according to it deeds. And that which it can attain there, all the time that it is there, strengthens it from all that it was weakened in the body, and it becomes more equipped to that which is fitting for it to do at the time of the resurrection - until, when it does return to the body at the fitting time, it will be be able to perform the act appropriate for it, meaning the purification that we mentioned.
(13) The difference between the entry of the soul into the embryo and its entry [into the body at the time of] the resurrection: However you need to know that even now, when the soul enters the body of the fetus - even though it has not yet acquired perfection through its deeds - surely from the angle of its internal preciousness and splendor, it would have been fitting that it give its great purification to the material [body] to the point that it would go away from being of the human specie. Nevertheless, His decree, may He be blessed, suppresses it and hides its power and reduces its splendor in such a way that this matter not come out from it. Rather it dwells there concealed in itself, according to that measure that is required according to the Highest Intention. And so it operates in the body according to that arrangement and measure that is required from His Wisdom, may He be blessed. And behold [likewise] according to its good deeds that it continuously does; it should have expressed itself and shined, as we have said, and then its purification would have reached the body. However according to the decree that we explained above, it is not possible for it [to do so] until it is in the world of souls. Nevertheless, when it returns to the body after the resurrection, it will not reduce itself nor hide, but rather enter [the body] with all of its splendor and all of its power. And then it will immediately purify the body [with] a great purification and it will not need a graduated growth, [as] is needed for children right now. Rather it will immediately make it shine at that time, and it will will immediately purify it [with] a great purification. However this will not prevent the body and the soul together from having elevations and more elevations [at that time]. Rather the point is that immediately with the entry of the soul into the body, that man will be precious and elevated and his body will immediately receive [its] first purification. [And] it will be more elevated than all that it was during all the days of its first life. And that purification will be according to all of the good deeds that he already did. And they put him on a level that is appropriate for him, and he will be among those that merit to enjoy perfection. And afterwards, they will both be lifted by elevations and more elevations, according to that which is fitting for one who is on that [particular] level.