Kabbalistic Concepts

Kabbalistic Glossary: Tikkune


  • The process of spiritual correction made by the soul. 

Kabbalah teaches we are all born into this world with what is called tikkune, which translates as “correction.” Our tikkune are aspects of ourselves we are meant to repair, or “correct” in this lifetime. What we have done in previous incarnations – such as choices or actions stemming from a place of reactivity and selfishness - influences our current life; from a kabbalistic point of view, reincarnation is the process the soul goes through to correct these behaviors. Each person’s tikkune is unique to them, and could be, for example, in areas surrounding self-esteem, money, anger, or relationships.

The tikkune process is not a punishment; its purpose is to progress our soul and help us reach our highest potential. As such, once we begin to recognize our tikkune, life can start to make more sense, even when we are facing challenges, because we know that those difficulties are there for a reason: to allow us to transform those selfish aspects from previous lifetimes.  

How do we begin to see what our tikkune is? Rav Berg said that the tikkune process is what drives our thought patterns, feelings, and activities every day. Therefore, simply by becoming aware of those things, we begin to become aware of our tikkune. Another way to pinpoint our tikkune is by noticing what causes us pain or discomfort; usually those are clear signs of areas that need correction. And further, if we find ourselves repeatedly facing the same issues, it is because there is a lesson in those situations we still need to learn.

We can also discover our tikkune by looking at our astrological chart. Kabbalistic astrology explains our chart is like a map showing us exactly what we were born to correct. Each sign has positive and negative aspects that direct us to both our strengths and areas of correction; as such, before coming to this world, the soul chooses the exact time it will be born, setting itself up with the best opportunity to achieve its tikkune. This also includes choosing its parents and environment.

To correct our tikkune, we must first be open to seeing the behaviors we need to transform. Then, when we are presented with the opportunity to change that behavior, choose in the moment to overcome our reactive or selfish nature.

Rav Berg teaches that while almost every soul in this physical world has come back to make its correction, there are a few exceptions.  There are rare souls who have completed their tikkune and return here with a specific mission that has nothing to do with them. Rav Shimon bar Yochai was one such soul; he had no karmic reason to be here over 2000 years ago, and came back for the sole purpose of revealing the Zohar. Rav Isaac Luria, similarly, came back just to interpret the Zohar and spread its Light.


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