Tikun in the Kabbalah is a very important notion. It shows, in a way, that everything that was created with a possibility of deficiency also has a potential to be rectified. In Hebrew, the word “Tikun” has different meanings; it can be understood as reparation or rectification but also as function, relation or action.
There are different types of Tikunim:
– Tikunim (reparations) that took place in the first emanations to repair the worlds.
– Tikunim (rectifications – relations) for the construction and inter-relations of the Sephirot and configurations.
– Tikunim (actions – functions) of certain configurations for the guidance of the world.
– Tikunim (rectifications) for the souls.
Tikunim (reparations) to repair the worlds
At the creation, when from the configuration of Adam Kadmon emerged the ten Sephirot of the feminine aspect of BaN (52), and the seven lower Sephirot broke. To sustain the recipients of these Sephirot after they broke, 288 sparks of their lights came down as well to keep them alive.
This important damage – Shvirat HaKelim – the breaking of the vessels needed to be repaired. A first Tikun was to help in the ascent of some of these fallen 288 sparks, and to repair the recipients that had broken when they fell, that they might return to their respective lights.
Tikunim (rectifications – relations) for the construction of the configurations
The Tikunim for the construction of the Partsufim – configurations are achieved by way of Zivug (union) of the higher masculine and feminine configurations, during which time the lower configuration will go through a period of gestation inside the feminine higher configuration, followed by its birth.
Tikunim (rectifications – relations) of the configurations for the guidance
There are also Tikunim of different configurations which are their actions, illuminations, and inter-relations in order to influence the guidance of the worlds. These Tikunim result in various illuminations of different intensities, depending on time and the actions of man.
Tikunim (rectifications) for the souls
A Tikun for a soul is its rectification because of its unfulfillment or to cleanse it from any defect. The Tikun for the soul is realized by the Gilgul (reincarnation) and by the ‘Ibur (attachment). By accomplishing what he did not complete of the 613 Mitsvot, by rectifying an act or a damage he caused by his wrongdoings, man makes the necessary Tikun of his soul, which can now ascend to the higher realms and rejoin its source.
There are different types of Tikunim – rectifications for the soul, each one of its levels needs its own Tikun. Most men only have the lower level of Nefesh, and if they do the proper Tikun, they will acquire the succeeding levels – albeit one by one. A Tikun of a higher level can only be accomplished after all the preceding levels.
As long as one undertakes the Tikun of his soul within three reincarnations, he will reincarnate and return as needed to complete his Tikun. However, if he maintains his wrong behavior, he will not come back after the third reincarnation and this soul will be destroyed with no more chance of Tikun.
Tikun ‘Olam – General Tikun
Evil will disappear from this world and change to goodness, when all the general Tikunim – rectifications will be completed. The general Tikun is to bring back the world to its former state before the damage caused by the breaking of the vessels. A state of harmony where kindness, bounty and peace prevail and rigors are appeased, when all the fallen sparks of holiness will be bought back up to their origins because of all the positive behavior and acts of men. Consequently, the Sitra A’hra (negative force) will not be able to attach and nourish from the higher lights anymore and will cease to exist. G-od gave man an important role in the Tikun ‘Olam – general Tikun. It is now up to him to restore and make the necessary reparations to the world by observing His commandments, doing good deeds, and learning the ways of his Creator.
The final goal is to understand and accomplish His will, to deserve and merit closeness to His presence, and to finally help and participate in the revelation of His unicity to the world.