Introduction to Sefer Milhhamot Ha-Shem of Yihhyeh ibn Shlomoh ElGafeh
that introduction here re-written
At the moment of writing, 14 years have passed since the formulation of the original introduction. I have explained elsewhere the very particular significance of that introduction, it being the first and previously the only document revealing the true identity of the Tzadik, Haim, Head of the 36 Hidden Tzadikim, written by me while he was still in this world and read by me to the holy Tzadik and approved by him, word by word. This makes it as well the only document in which one of the 36 Hidden Tzadikim gave permission to write and to reveal information about himself and to explain something of the 36 Hidden Tzadikim.
This fact, together with important information received in dreams from the Tzadik Haim after his demise, has given us to understand that Milhhamot Ha-Shem is a ‘redemptional sign’ pertaining to the Geula ha-Shlema. More specifically, after the terrible holocaust and with the formation of the State of Israel, the Jewish people as a whole, is found in the period of its ‘purification’ and ‘refinement’ which preceeds the final redemption.
(I begin to renew here the original text).
The Tzadik and Hacham ha-Razin, ha-Moreh Haim from Sana’ Yemen, was born to the Tzadik, chief of the Beit Din in Sana’, ha-Mori Moshe, peace be with him, at dawn of the first day of Shavuot. Ha-Mori Moshe, seeing that the exact moment of his son’s birth coincided precisely with that of Matan Torah, called him Haim in virtue of the verse ‘Haim heim le-mahhzikim bah’ - ‘It (the Torah) is life unto those who hold on to it’ (Proverbs, 3: 18). As a very select few from among the Higher Tzadikim, ha-Moreh Haim was born circumcised. The youngest of 11 children, 9 brothers and 1 sister, he was the chosen one to receive the ‘secrets’ of the Torah and the ‘secrets’ of the world, from his father, the holy Tzadik Moshe.
It was about 12 years ago (in 1970) that ha-Moreh Haim, who has been living now in Milan, Italy, for more than twenty years, may we merit to the light of his presence for many years to come, had first mentioned to us, his talmidim, that there existed an extremely important sefer, written by the Yemenite Hacham, Yihyeh ibn Shlomoh ElGafeh, which is the only book of its kind to speak openly and to reveal the truth concerning the completely heretical doctrines contained in the Zohar and taken up by the ‘kabbalists’ and followed by the hassidic movements. The Sefer, called Milhhamot Ha-Shem - The Wars of God, was known exclusively to an inner-circle group of Yemenite Jews, the Darda’in, and a few copies of the original and exclusive publication in 1931 were to be found. It was not until January, 1981, that one of the talmidim, Davide Levi, obtained a copy in Israel from a Yemenite Jew from Sana’ who gave it to him as a present when he heard that Davide was a talmid of a Yemenite Tzadik.
Ha-Moreh was still in the hospital after the first long operation when Davide brought it in from Israel with an account of how, by miracle he was given that copy after having given up hope of ever finding it. At the end he met a Yemenite girl by ‘chance’ and when Davide told her what he was looking for, she brought him home to her father who by ‘chance’ had a one copy of the book. When Davide explained that he was talmid of ha-Moreh Haim, the man took his only copy and gave it to him with a blessing, “May God grant that this book come into worthy hands who will be able to make it known publicly”. The Yemenite Jew who descended from Dardain and knew about the dispute explained that he would not have given it away, but that he himself would not be able to do anything towards its diffusion.
The Teacher, after a few days, allowed me to take it home and ordered me to read it very carefully. I did not read it. I ate it and relished it and wept for joy that this text existed in the world. I became excited with the thought that the Tzadik had saved it from oblivion and that now it might be prepared and made known. The Teacher Haim gave me permission to translate it into English as well as the permission to write an introduction in which I reveal the identity of the Hidden Tzadik, Head of the 36 Hidden Tzadikim. This was a unique historical event.
Afterwards, I made first drafts into Italian from the English from which Davide Levi made the Italian text of ‘Le Sacre Guerre contro la falsa Kabbalah’. During the year of mourning for the Tzadik Haim, we finished the texts and with the help of Remo Levi, peace be with him, we published it in Italy by the Giuntina, a Jewish publishing house of Florence.
Before the death of the Tzadik, he had blessed our work, placing his hand on the Book and on the translation work up to then, and said, “Ha sefer ha zeh yihyeh kadosh la-kol” (This Book will be holy for all). The Tzadik had heard from me piece by piece as I wrote the introduction and had given his approval. Ha-Moreh Haim assured us that the contents of this book will stupefy the Jewish world to such an extent that the Holy Wars against the false Kabbalah will be awakened in the hearts of conscientious Jews all over the world sincerely interested in the conservation of our heritage. Therefore we are reinforced and secure in placing our steps, for the Crowning Light of this publication, the Tzadik Haim, has authorised these Holy Wars. This represents the assurance that its contents are acceptable before God Almighty and will consequently be cherished in the eyes of all those who search for truth and wisdom.
The Yemenite Jews, for more than 27 centuries lived exactly as their fathers and father’s fathers in every generation. They lived ‘al pi ha-torah ve-’al pi ha-’avodah ve-’al pi ha-teva’ ‘according to the Torah, according to the service and according to nature’. They lived a life dedicated to the Torah, to serving God through their work and to serving God through the love and knowledge of nature and its secrets. There were no doctors in Yemen, nor was there need for them, as every Yemenite Jew knew hundreds of secret cures from an antique oral tradition concerning the virtues of herbs and their combinations. It indeed represents a very involved study which consists in knowing each herb and its particular virtue (segulah) and the thousands of possible combinations each fulfilling a particular function. The knowledge of the exact proportions and the exact combinations, the proportions of the ingredients and the manner of their preparation distinguishes the Yemenite tradition from all others in the world.
There is yet a higher study known only to a select few in which the Hacham or Mori knows the relationship between the virtues of the herbs and the stars from which these herbs take their influence. They can thus calculate the time of major success for each remedy. As for herbs, so too the knowledge of the virtues of particular stones involves a profound and secret instruction given over orally and not to be revealed.
All these are but a few categories of secrets in nature known to the Yemenite Jews in direct inheritance from the Hachamim who were living in Jerusalem previous to the destruction of the First Temple. It was in that period that the Prophet Jeremiah prophesied concerning the forthcoming destruction and warned that those desiring to follow the word of God could save themselves by leaving Jerusalem and Israel. In general the people did not heed nor believe the Prophet’s warnings. Only 80 Hachamim who feared the Lord and believed the words of the Prophet gathered their families and belongings and departed from Jerusalem about twenty years before the destruction. They directed themselves southward across the Arabian Peninsula until they came to a small mountain where they received stellar signs (of which they had great knowledge) that they must settle in that place. The name of that mountain Gebel Innegum - Mountain of the Stars was given by them.
This represents the true origin of Yemenite Jewry, testified to by the Tzadik Haim. It also explains why Yemenite tradition has the superiority of unbrokenness and dcompared to all other traditions, the great Reform of Ezra included.
The fact that the Yemenite tradition goes directly back to the period before the destruction of the First Temple is extremely significant. It is the only tradition that did not pass through the confusion and desperation, the persecution and dispersion connected with the hhorban of the First Temple or, later on in history, of the Second Temple. The Yemenite Jews remember how their first fathers answered with wise steadfastness to Ezra’s ‘order’ that they leave Yemen and return to the Holy Land, “We did not participate in the first destruction and we do not desire to witness the second destruction. We will return to the Holy Land, God willing, for the time of the Third and Final Temple which will never be destroyed.”
Their tradition was thus untouched and unbroken by the pains of exile. It is the oldest oral tradition in existence. Among those 80 Hhachamim there was also at least one who carried with him the ancient hidden tradition of the Prophet Elijah, of blessed memory. This is a tradition, passed down orally from one person to one person in every generation, which reached the Tzadik Moshe of Sana’ Yemen and which was eventually passed on to his son Haim.
This is the particular tradition and blessing which pertains to the Head of the 36 Hidden Tzadikim in each generation. The Prophet Elijah himself is called the Head of the Men of the Ascent to which the Talmud alludes when it says ‘The Men of the Ascent are very few’. The Sages of blessed memory also speak of the fact that ‘Not less than 36 Tzadikim receive the face of the Divine Presence every day’. Among those 36 Tzadikim of the Hidden Ascent, to one pertains the tradition closest to that of the Prophet Elijah, of blessed mentioning, and only to this one person in every generation pertains the title Head of the Hidden Tzadikim.
Their secrets are never written down nor could they be understood had it been possible to write them. These are the righteous pillars of the world in whose merit the Almighty does not destroy His world. For when wickedness abounds in the land and all foolish ways are praised as wisdom and the beloved nature of the world is violated, the individual misdeeds are accumulated in the general ‘cup of wrath’ from which, God save us, decrees of unremitting destruction are pronounced upon the world. Yet even as God revealed to Abraham the heavenly decree which was about to fall on the five cities of Sodom, so did He place the Hidden Tzadikim in each generation. These through the secret which they possess are able to elevate themselves to a ‘general level’ and to know the decrees that are ready to descend, God forbid, on a large city, a country or the world. So do they stand up in prayer before the Merciful One and accept upon themselves the painful weight of that decree, lest it fall upon the masses. Therefore do they suffer in silence and praise God for their every breath. Great is their holiness and their humbleness, immense is the power of their secret. Yet even they, as elevated and holy as they are cannot enter into the chamber of responsibility which is the inheritance of one alone in every generation about whom the verse alludes ‘The Tzadik is the foundation of the world’.
It is they alone who know the secret of the Ascent and they alone who bear the burden and suffering of the ‘general sins’ of mankind. If not for the ‘hidden powers’ of the Kedusha (Sanctity) that the Tzadik possesses he could not possibly endure the intensity of such a suffering, for no individual could support more than the share which pertains to him as an individual. Also for this reason the Higher Secrets that cannot be lacking at any moment, cannot be given to others since the knowledge of them incurs necessarily the responsibility corresponding to the ‘general level’ from which they derive. If not for their intervention, the decrees would fall upon the ‘klal’, God forbid, and the world would return to Tohu and Bohu, God save us.
For our purposes here, in introducing the unfortunately necessary war against the false Kabbalah, let it be said that the Tzadik Haim allowed the revelation of these facts for reason of ‘Et la-assaot la-Adonai Eloheinu, heifiru toratecha’ (it is a time to act for the sake of the Lord, our God, for they have violated Your Torah). It was an historical necessity that a true and authoritative voice of the true Kabbalah speak out once and for all against that great sea of Kabbalistic literature all based on a common error of an erroneous theology and thus false Torah. The true Tzadik knows the authority of his voice, and his affirmations are, so to speak, immediately ‘sealed’ before the Higher Tribunal.
The Tzadik knew as well that he was in a pure state of ‘sacrifice’ before God and that his every word was immediately accepted. Let the Holy Wars of God against the false Kabbalah must be made known to the people of Israel.
Also the great accomplishment of Yihyeh ElGafeh’s efforts had been redeemed and the truth of his entire exposition had come unto the time of its objective. Previous to the arrival of this book, the Tzadik Haim had explained to me that all Israel was in error concerning the Zohar and that its doctrines were anything but true Kabbalah and that they led to every kind of idolatrous thought. The Tzadik raged fire in redeeming the name of the holy Tanai, Rabbi Shimon ben Yohhai, from being attributed to this work and he cursed Moshe de Leon for the spiritual catastrophe that he caused to Israel in the later days of its history. I had no permission, however, to speak of this, and, as mentioned, it took more than ten years for the sefer to arrive.
In general the Teacher did not go into details in explaining the error of the Zohar. That was not the Tzadik’s purpose with me. He elongated much more on the money-sin of Moshe de Leon and how he had received for his texts great sums of money from the poor souls of rich merchants who believed them written by Shimon ben Yohhai. For the details of the error, the Tzadik relied on the eventual arrival of Milhhamot Ha-Shem. What the Tzadik did explain was that the basic mistake lay in interpreting the words of the Torah literally, such as the ‘hand of God’, ‘and God descended on Mount Sinai’ and all the other anthropomorphic terminology used in the Torah and by the Prophets.
“They did not heed the Great Eagle’s warnings” the Tzadik Haim would often repeat. “The Rambam, peace be upon him, warned all Israel, especially in "Moreh Nevochim", from taking these terms to the letter. Instead the kabbilists made a ‘shiur qoma’, a cosmic positioning of His stature, God forbid. They forgot to understand that you cannot contain God in any form whatsoever, earthly or cosmic. The terms of the Torah regarding such come, as the Sages, of blessed memory explain, only to let the ear hear what it might for the sake of letting it hear something. This is so that one have some idea of how the Holy One, Blessed is He, manifested something of His sanctity to the world, but not to be taken to the letter.”
In other discourses on this matter, the Teacher would exclaim, “It’s amazing how profoundly the nation sleeps. If all these kabbalistic books contain the secrets of the Torah and the secrets of the worlds above, how would all these be called secrets, if they are written down for all to read!? But they contain a false metaphysical doctrine based on human understanding and human understanding is totally insufficient for understanding what is above nor can the true secrets above be described in human terminology without coming to error. They did not have the humility to lower their heads in the knowledge of ‘tamim t’hiyeh im ha-Shem Elohecha’ - (Be of a simple heart with the Lord, your God) (Deut., 18: 13). The human intellect cannot understand what the Creator of the heavens and earth is!”
This theme would come back again and again in the Teacher’s words. The nation had fallen because those who believed themselves the carriers of the tradition had come to relish the thoughts of their own intellect until they forgot the barriers of humalimit. After this they fell into the false lights of Satan’s wisdom, fooling themselves and all who came under their influence. And also the false god Mamon came unto its midst to entice the spreading of the Zohar which teaches the secrets of the Torah to all those who pay good prices for entrance into the hidden doctrines of the Kabbalah.
The Tzadik would often teach me, “All of them together, using all the ‘names’ and ‘kavvanot’ mentioned in their books would not be capable of lifting a glass even one centimetre from the table”. This is an important teaching. I hope to explain something of it further on in this introduction.
Let me try to sum up another typical lesson of the Tzadik Haim, concerning the Zohar, the mystic movements and hassidic movements. - ‘Yet the enticing persuasion of these books convinces them that constant and continual study and meditation will lead them into the hidden chambers and quench the thirst of their longing souls. The evil power of attraction which they contain and from which they derive stirs up their hopes and desires, in the belief that soon they reach the beginning of their desired destination. Yet they reach only to the next idea and the next meditation as they plunge into the abyss of unfounded hope and into the unending spiral of constructed fantasies. Day after day, year after year, and until the very life-span of a man, the evil inspiration which lurks behind Moses de Leon’s imbroglio refuses its victim the insight and realisation that he is exactly at starting point. This in turn leads to every kind of falsehood and illusion. It gives the person who studies them a completely false image of himself and it conducts him out of the range of normal behaviour and proper derech eretz. All his thoughts become disproportionate nor has he any true understanding of the very words that he has become accustomed to bantering’.
It is, granted, not easy to distinguish one true light from a thousand false lights, since also the false lights have their illumination. The true light, of course, will not go out while the thousand false lights will not remain. In the meantime, however, who might distinguish among them, unless one already possesses and knows the true qualities of the true light. In truth, therefore, only one of the true Hidden Men of the Ascent could decree in the name of that higher truth what is true kabbalah and what is false kabbalah.
But the planes of tradition would also have to be satisfied in order to answer to rabbinical queries. This had to come from a talmid hhacham. The Divine Providence awakened a spirit of true jealousy for the true kabbalah of our sages, of blessed memory, based on the Torah and the oral tradition of the Mishnah and Talmud. The force of EL KANA summoned his work while the Hhacham ElGafeh delved and found, meditated and knew, waged the war of the great mitzvah to which his destiny had entrapped him for the sake of the future importance that the fruits of his labour would bring to the people of Israel.
In truth Rav ElGafeh’s exposition of the facts is not shakla and tarya (the exchange of various opinions of Amoraim to arrive at the basis of a Mishnaic law or to form new decisions). He is speaking of a grave error in the midst of the rabbinic world which touches the very core of all Judaism. Also the kabbalists of Jerusalem became afraid when it was published in 1931. They immediately called for a fast and they placed the sefer in Hherem; they went to the cemetery barefoot and put ashes on their foreheads and bellowed in prayer against the intruder.
Indeed Sefer Milhhamot Ha-Shem is not a book; it is a war, a harsh and bitter war without any place of compromise. The sefer is written with the force of prophecy denouncing the wretched prostitute who had found her victims in Israel’s rabbinic world in the last days of judgement; not simply in a style of prophecy but in the prophetic force of the sanctified words of the Torah and Prophets ‘ratified’ by the entire oral tradition of Israel, Mishnah, Talmud, Poskim, the Mishnah Torah etc. It’s no wonder that the kabbalists of Jerusalem got scared!
But the author simply turned their fright into pathetic "truths": What were they afraid of? Why was he called a Kofer (one who negates God or the Torah) for his disbelief in the Zohar when all his sources in explaining the idolatrous reasoning of that sefer are taken from Torah and tradition? He was negating by way of Torah material that he was demonstrating to be false Torah. The author is speaking pure Torah. Why should you be so afraid if the Torah is behind you to answer?
It was obvious that the kabbalists’ reaction was not simply for the Book of the Zohar but reflected the extent to which their kabbalah had for them become the Torah itself! They were no longer able to distinguish. In the confusion of such a pure fusion between the two, it had seemed a hundred percent clear to them that Rav ElGafeh had cursed the whole Torah. Their minds had already been cut off from being able to speak Torah about the truth or non-truth of the ‘doctrines’ that they were following. To them it had become Torah and you could not discuss it.
Rav ElGafeh, with indignation against the trap into which the rabbis had fallen and had allowed Israel to fall into after them, answered with well-founded disgust, “Where is your sechel, o Israel? You believe that the Zohar was buried under ground for about 15 centuries, in the territory of some foreign king. The king, it is said, searched for treasures but by surprise found this book but he didn’t know how to read it. He called to his wise men who said to call the Jews who explained to the king that, yes, it was a Jewish Book but that they themselves were not able to understand it. Only one rabbi, rabbi Moses de Leon, of Spain was able to understand it. So the king sent it to Spain and that is how Moshe de Leon came onto it. Even a small child would not believe such non-sense. What has eaten your intellects, o Israel!”
Nevertheless, before the Book was written, there was an exchange of letters between the Rav ElGafeh and one of the kabbalists of Jerusalem, letters which are conserved as the introduction to sefer Milhhamot Ha-Shem. The letters require a high calibre of knowledge concerning the kabbalistic ideas which are one by one refuted by ha-Mori ElGafeh. At the same time he demonstrates the blatant lack of understanding of the questions asked by him and he denounces the unjustified disrespectful language used in his regards totally against the laws of derech eretz of the Torah and tradition. ‘This is proof that the doctrines which you are trying to defend have caused you to deviate from the beloved ways of the Torah’.
Clearly the subject-matter of Milhhamot Ha-Shem is not of easy comprehension to those fortunate enough not to know anything about the mystic-doctrines from the Zohar until Habad. The problems of how to present the material to a vast Jewish world, at least 90 percent of which has no knowledge and no interest of such abstract trash, must here be considered. The text of Milhhamot Ha-Shem is itself written in a highly rabbinical style, normal for Jews used to studying Torah texts. On the other hand, the basic argument is one, the pure faith in which we are commanded against the doctrine of Zeir Anpin of the Zohar. The objective, therefore, to be reached is not complicated. It is as simple as ‘Be of a pure heart with the Lord, your God’.
This means that even if you don’t understand what all those doctrines are trying to get at, it’s enough to know that they’re wrong and idolatrous in their source, and to rely on the well-rooted faith of Jewish tradition. This, however, might be well for that large majority of Jews but what about that other 10 percent who has fallen? Those who have not fallen, can understand and agree to it readily, while those who have fallen are not able to take sefer Milhhamot in their hands. They are closed off from the temimut of the true Jewish faith. For whom then is the sefer to be prepared, for those who wish to have nothing to do with those doctrines or for those who fallen into those doctrines and will listen to nothing else?
One of the purposes of the rewriting of this introduction is for the sake of coming to terms with this dilemma. In that first introduction, the purpose was for awakening the Wars of God among Jews for the sake of purifying Judaism from a terrible trap into which part of it had fallen and to warn the nation of this danger.
Let us say that the purpose of that first publication in 1931 was that Israel prepare itself for bringing a sin-sacrifice for idolatry on behalf of the whole congregation, when the sin was ‘hidden from the eyes of the congregation’. The purpose of our publication was to bring the authorisation of the Tzadik Haim, Head of the 36 Hidden Tzadikim, to bear on the verification of the contents of Sefer Milhhamot Ha-Shem.
There was also another purpose, that of binding the generations of that error to its final Fourth Generation form in the false messianic movement of Habad where it reaches the climax of the hated idolatrous ideas and behaviour that must be truncated from all Judaism before Israel can enter into its redemption.
The author had not been in the position to judge hassidism and the mystic doctrines of hassidut which are, in any case, only ramifications of the Zoharitic doctrines mostly in their Lurianic interpretations. But the Tzadik Haim had seen the doctrinal filth fulfilled in the active filth of Habad. They were false in every way, before God and before others, but many were the innocent victims who fell in with them. The subtle sin of the fathers of the Zohar had come to its manifestly hateful and idolatrous actions in Habad. The Jewish world had to be warned against this evil force and to stand up against it.
It was Providential that the Tzadik had redeemed me from the Habadiim with whom I had become a full-fledged member for 5 years. It would later become incumbent upon me to help in binding that sin of fathers of the Zohar to the sin of the hated fourth generation of Habad. As the work of preparing Milhhamot Ha-Shem progressed into the Hherem Mideoraita, also the my personal redemption from Habad at the hands of the holy Tzadik Haim, became bound to the work of the purification of Israel from this last plague of no return.
The prophetic force of the Hhacham ElGafeh’s words, with all the truth behind them, had now to be bound to the Prophesied Fourth Generation. I began working on the Five Tablets of the Pact. This sefer was intended to explain Milhhamot Ha-Shem and to establish the true Kabbalah of all Israel.
Thus the Wars of God against the false kabbalah now became the Wars of God against ‘AVON KETZ, the prophesied Last Great Sin of the Final Days of Judgement. The sin of the Zohar and its four hundred year development until the hated fourth generation Habad messianism was the ‘hidden’ sin that had caused Israel to fall in the latter days.
In Rav ElGafeh’s prophetically engaging the verses of the Torah to correspond with the idolatrous sins of the Zohar, he deals with the sin of the generation of Enosh, with the sin of the tower of Babel, with the sin of the golden calf and in general with the Second Commandment and he touches the implications of the original sin. These four points lay the foundation work for the Hherem Mi-Deoraita which is incorporated into the first four Tablets of the Five Tablets of the Pact.
Here again Rav ElGafeh’s prophetic correlation’s between those ancient events and the idolatry of the Zohar require that a true Beit Din of Israel act, define and judge etc. The prophetic force of the same prophecies, however, as they become bound to the Fourth Generation Prophecies, take on great ‘finalised’ meanings which explain the great historical correction necessary for receiving the Final Redemption.
This in turn gives the soul-searchers for Israel’s ‘correction’ the new mental construction with which to review Israel’s history, especially those of the 400 years before the holocaust in terms of the Fourth Generation. Thus while Rav ElGafeh halachicly carved out the Hherem of the Torah against these false doctrines, the Hherem Mi-Deoraita becomes THE Historical Excommunication of the Torah against the doctrines of Emanation, Zeir Anpin, Tzimtzum etc.
The Four Generations mentioned in the Second Commandment become prophetic to the Final Fourth Generation. The time has come. The Final and unique Fourth Generation of all history has been opened. The generation of the Day of the Lord great and terrible is this one.
Now the fact that the Hidden Tzadik Haim had initiated the Wars of God against the false kabbalah while he was still in this world and he gave orders to continue the work of Milhhamot Ha-Shem for the sake of the necessary purification of the faith before the final redemption, took on larger measures, demonstrating the enormous historical importance of knowing and discerning this atrocious error in the midst of the Jewish world.
The Fourth Generation is also the time of the Great Purification of the faith for the world. How much more ,so, is it essential that the faith of Israel, which is the pure faith of Abraham, our father, and the faith revealed in the Holy Torah and in Jewish tradition, be clarified and purified so that it be totally uncontaminated by extraneous doctrines of human intellect which deviate from the truth. Only when Israel’s faith is pure can it be a light of the true faith for the world, a world the majority of which has yet to purify its many forms of idolatry.
So too the tragic historic error of the High Priest Aaron in the face of the golden calf, is prophetically called up into its new final position so as to show to all of the scandalised Israel concerned for the Torah and honour of so many kabbalistic authors of saintly memory etc., that Aaron himself fell and did not understand the great error of the mixed-multitude. Prophetically it happened again. The Avon Ketz of the Fourth Generation is also the Last Golden Calf of History and the Rabbinate and the scholars who fell into the subtle trap, as Aaron, did not understand the idolatrous ideas and doctrines that lay in the Doctrine of Emanation of the Zohar.
Just this understanding is necessary for the correction of Israel’s Sin of the Last Days of Judgement. Just as Aaron had to admit before Moses that he had not understood the evil that lurked within the idolatrous tendency of the mixed-multitude, so must the heads of Rabbanite Judaism lower their heads before the knowledge of Milhhamot Ha-Shem against the false Kabbalah and to understand their great error. Repentance from this sin on the part of the heads of Israel represents nothing less than the first entrance of the Jewish people into its Final Redemption.
Thus Milhhamot Ha-Shem, in the form of the Hherem Mi-Deoraita, contained in Sefer Mishnat Haim, represents the final clarification and purification of the true faith loved by God Almighty in preparation for the Final Redemption. We must know the God of Israel who gave the Holy Law to Moses and to all Israel. We must know if our belief in is in God Almighty or in the Emanated Small-Faced Cosmic Son-God and Man-God Zeir Anpin.
This language hurts the ears, especially in translation where it is not camouflaged by the suave Aramaic incantation-language of the Zohar. What Jew of tradition might ever believe in such an obviously unorthodox metaphysical construction? How is this whole thing possible? To believers in the Trinity it sounds quite nice, but to pious and scholarly Jews who spend their days in contemplating the precious jewels of the Torah, how is it possible?
Rav ElGafeh answers to this in one place: If it were not possible that the heads of Israel fall into error concerning an idolatrous sin, why would it be provided by the Torah that in the case an idolatrous sin hidden to the eyes of all the heads of the congregation, a sin offering must be brought etc.? The Torah exclaims that an idolatrous sin might be perpetrated even by all Israel without it being recognised.
Obviously those who follow the Zohar do not bow down to crass graven images. They bow down ,instead, to extremely sophisticated graven mental images, but they are unaware of its being idolatry. The sin of the fathers is always subtle, otherwise no one would fall into its clutches. It is an erroneous estimation which has its own reasoning behind it, a reasoning on its own standing but not in view of the higher received truth of the faith.
The sin of the generation of Enosh exemplifies the subtlety of the Sin of Fathers. They knew of the existence of the One Living Creator but they deemed that His Governors, the Governing Stars were made for them to reach, reason for which they were visible, and that it was desired by the Creator that people do honour to these great chosen governors. This error then lead them to a second error. Since the stars were such great and influential governors, it was proper that they share in some way the honour of the One who made them, and so they began to add the name El to the name of each star called to by them. This responds to the verse, ‘then they began to profane the name of God’ (Genesis, 4: 26) in reference to the generation of Enosh.
The Hacham ElGafeh demonstrates prophetically, exactly and ferociously that PLACING THE NAMES OF GOD ON TEN EMANATED SFIROT TO BE CALLED TO AS SHARING IN HIS GODLINESS, WHILE BEING CLOSER TO US AND WITHIN OUR REACH WHEREAS THE INFINITE EIN SOF, THE HIGHER INFINITE GOD ABOVE, IS ABOVE THE REACH OF ALL BEING, IS EXACTLY THE SAME SIN OF THE GENERATION OF ENOSH.
Indeed the introductory letters of Rav ElGafeh are all intended to ask the Jerusalmite kabbalist how such a metaphysical concept ever came to be considered a true theology of the Jewish Faith? Our service and our prayers to God are not to be directed to the Higher Infinite Light but rather to the Emanated Zeir Anpin (the Contracted Cosmic Man-God of the World of Emanation). Why didn’t Moses, our teacher, tell us about it, rebukes the Rav, or why didn’t the Prophets of Israel explain it to us so as to correct our error? Why did they let us waste our time and energy praying to the Higher Infinite God who is not interested in our prayers?
But as the Rav cuts the throats of the poisonous doctrines and demonstrates how all this is contrary to the received faith of all the Tradition of Israel, the kabbalist refuses to answer the Rav’s questions. He refuses to acknowledge that the kabbalists objectify Zeir Anpin as a separate God-head since nothing at the level of Emanation is truly separated from God but is totally Divine; only in order to create the worlds below was it necessary that the Infinite Light contract itself in myriad contractions and self-hidings and descents until arriving at the level of Emanation where it is possible to speak of Five Partzufim and Ten Emanated Sfirot; but all this is not something outside of God Himself.
The Hhacham ElGafeh reiterates a kabbalistic formula which states that all our service and prayers must be directed to Zeir Anpin and not to the Infinite Ein Sof. If you are not separating God-heads, how can such a statement be made? And if this Emanated Zeir Anpin is the object of our cult, what has become of the infinite Light of Ein Sof? Has He not remained above while handing over the worldly works to Zeir Anpin, the chosen Son-Partzuf of Aba and Ema!
The kabbalist is scandalised by the Rav’s harsh assumptions of idolatry and throws dirt at his low manner of comprehending the words and terms of the kabbalists who have gleaned these jewels in the sanctity of their higher levels. All that which is spoken about is in terms of extremely fine and elevated lights, while someone who has obviously not entered into the chambers of truth as they has no right to doubt the veracity of their words and to speak in such a demeaning manner about them. Such a one is a kofer, a denier, and is culpable.
The Hhacham ElGafeh answers that one who combats for the sake of the purity of the faith of our tradition, is not a kofer. One who is speaking according to Torah and Mishnah, Talmud, Geonim and Poskim and the Mishnah Torah and Shulhhan Aruch is hardly a kofer. But at the moment that he recognises an error which goes against the tradition, it is a mitzvah to stand up and to call out to demonstrate and to denounce the idolatrous prostitute that has entered into our midst, allowing Israel to deviate from the way of our fathers.
(I’m paraphrasing a few ideas expressed by the Hhacham ElGafeh) ‘Your calling me a kofer and expressing suspicions as to my intentions demonstrate that your own heart is not clean before Heaven and that you are ready to hold false suspicions against an innocent person who asked a perfectly legitimate question: What have we to do with Zeir Anpin and who is this Zeir Anpin that Moses, our teacher, and the Prophets of Israel and Hochmei Yisrael never told us about? Is One who spends his days and nights in studying Torah and Mishnah and Talmud and in fulfilling Mitzvot to be considered a kofer because he refuses to acknowledge the Zohar?!’
‘And as far as to my ‘materialising’ the terms and concepts of the kabbalists, it is time you stop pulling the wool over one’s eyes. There is no difference; the kabbalists themselves say that every level of descent on the spiritual levels is a materialisation compared to the level before it. It makes no difference if this is on the level of refined spiritual lights or of matter.’
The kabbalist, nevertheless, obviously unable to answer the Rav’s questions, tries to demonstrate that he is patient and generous as well, and he expounds on some of the basic kabbalistic doctrines concerning the ‘Unity’ of the Ten Sfirot of the World of Emanation. The kabbalist to some measure does not accept that kabbalistic formula that all our service and prayers etc. must be directed to Zeir Anpin. The Rav had cited this point directly from a book called Matzref Emunah (Crucible of the Faith), one among the hoard of kabbalistic works. The kabbalist exclaims that there are some among the kabbalists who do not accept this book cited and to show their scorn for this text they have labelled it Masref Emunah (Burner of the Faith).
Rav ElGafeh takes the point to heart. Why should such antagonism be shown to the author of Matzref Emunah when everything he writes is in accordance with the doctrines of the other kabbalists? It is also obvious that the kabbalists themselves are quite confused about what is considered ‘true’ kabbalah and what is considered a ‘Burner of the Faith’.
The reader who is unfamiliar with subject will still not understand what is going on here. What is this kabbalah of the Zohar and what are the kabbalistic doctrines? How is all this possible?
Some years ago in May 1996, Maurizio Piha, a sephardic Jew originally from Alexandria, Egypt, a friend of ours who knew the Tzadik Haim, but who virtually knows nothing of our work in these past thirteen years, called and spoke to Paolo. In brief he said, “I have here before me on the table the Book of ‘Le Sacre Guerre contro la falsa kabbalah’ (our publication of The Holy Wars of Yihye ibn Shlomoh ElGafeh in Italian). I have an extremely important message for Peretz. Tell him that he must have courage and patience and start from the beginning. This book is too important for the entire people of Israel, but this text is for specialists and the layman cannot understand it. Tell Peretz that it is incumbent upon him to explain all this on a level that everyone can comprehend. Let him remember that it is he who received the tradition from the Tzadik Haim and only he can relate it to others. Tell him to be strong and to get to work. The importance of explaining these facts to everybody cannot and must not be underestimated.”
It was then that I began to rewrite this introduction based on the original one. After this introduction, I made an abridged version, with added foot-notes, of the Book Millhhamot Ha-Shem that I had translated previously into English. Also in the first introduction I had attempted to summarise some of the basic kabbalistic formations and concepts. Here is the original attempt. If needs be I shall fill in with foot notes.
The kabbalists have considered the Infinite God Who Is (EIN SOF) and God the Maker (ZEIR ANPIN) as two separate God-heads, the latter being an Emanated Existence in the ‘form’ of a ‘Spiritual Cosmic Man-God’ who is the Ruler and King over all the worlds. As one might beseech a king to grant him his desire, for it is in the king’s power to give, so are prayers to be directed to the King of the world, and not therefore to the First Cause of all existence.
The World of Emanation (Atzilut) is supposedly a world, emanated from God, more spiritual than the World of Creation (Briah) which has already descended to become created existence. Yet the World of Creation is itself a spiritual world, above the World of Formation (Yetzirah) which is that of the angels and the Source of all forms below. In its turn the World of Formation is higher than the World of Action (Assiyah) which is itself not material but is the ‘Spiritual Format’ of this physical world.
These are the Four Worlds spoken of by all the kabbalists. They represent Four General Categories which can be correlated in man to Action, Speech, Sentiments and Intellect.
Each one of these Worlds has Ten Sfirot. In the World of Emanation these would be the Ten Emanated Sfirot: Crown (Keter - the Will) of Atzilut, the Wisdom (Hochhmah) of Atzilut, the Understanding (Bina) of Atzilut, the Benevolence (Hhessed) of Atzilut, the Force (Gevurah) of Atzilut, the Splender (Tifferet) of Atzilut, the Eternity (Netzahh - Victoriousness) of Atzilut, the Magnificence (Hod - Glory) of Atzilut, the Foundation (Yesod) of Atzilut, and the Kingdom (Malchut) of Atzilut. The Ten Sfirot represent the Soul-Powers in each world of the Emanator, the Creator, the Former and Maker respectively.
The Cosmic Man-God of Atzilut (Zeir Anpin) has a Cosmic Body called Body of the King (Gufa d’Malka), containing 248 Cosmic Limbs and 365 Cosmic Veins and Arteries.
The World of Emanation is further classified into Five Partzufim (Faces - Aspects). Crown (Keter), Aba (Father), Ema (Mother), Zeir Anpin (Son of Aba and Ema), and Malchuta (Kingdom) or Nukva (Female).
The Partzuf of the Crown represents the Higher Crowned King whose ‘Pleasure’ lies in the Higher Secrets known only to the Higher King, whereas the Lower King represented by Malchut is the King’s Pleasure in commanding His servants and having His will fulfilled. The dominant Partzuf of the Creation was Aba, the Wise Father, while the Partzuf of Ema, the Understanding Mother, put into action the commands of Aba, except for the creation of man, where Ema took it upon herself to generate him even against the good council of Aba.
The Partzuf of Zeir Anpin is the ‘generated son’ of Aba and Ema, the Heart of Atzilut who receives from the Intellect Powers above him and is called ‘Man’. The Five Partzufim together are also called Higher Man (Adam ‘Elyon), whereas Zeir Anpin forms a complete Partzuf within the restricted attributes to which it pertains. Thus, according to the kabbalists, the Five Partzufim together represent Arich Anpin (Long Face -Patient), whereas the more restricted Zeir Anpin (Short Face - Short-Tempered) represents the Awarder of good and Punisher of evil.
When Zeir Anpin is in a love-relationship with Malchut, the ‘influence’ is received by her in the best manner, and thus that which is born from their union is ‘Godliness’ in a more revealed form. When, however, Zeir Anpin and Nukvei are separated from one another, the influence drawn into the world by way of Malchut is given over ‘unwillingly’ so that miracles are unseen and the severity of nature abounds.
In general, the world of Emanation is considered the Last Manifestation of Godliness which, although an emanation, is not separated from His Essence. The last emanation in the Atzilut itself is Zeir Anpin who must, however, be joined to Malchut, the receiver of His influence and Female Counterpart, in order that He be the God of the world.
The performance of the mitzvot are the ‘secret paths’ derived from and connected to the bodies and limbs of Zeir Anpin and Nukvei Therefore when Israel is adept in complying with the mitzvot and laws, their actions cause the higher bodies and limbs to be joined, while their ‘intentions’ (kavvanot) cause the higher Spirits (Ruhhot) of the Partzufim to be in loving-harmony. For this reason all the mitzvot, services and prayers must be directed to the manifested Godliness in His Cosmic Man Emanation, as He (Zeir Anpin) is in loving-harmony with Malchuta, now called Shechintei, the Divine Presence. It is for this reason that the kabbalists say before the performance of each mitzvah ‘For the sake of uniting Kudshe Brich Hu and Shechintei’.
And we say that we shall not unite 2 Gods in God or 5 Gods in God or 10 Gods in God, nor shall we have anything to do with such Divine Unifications. For this reason it is prohibited to speak of Divine Emanated Levels and Categories. Any such Levels or Categories necessarily become a Multiplicity of Reigns and Divisions in God, God forbid. Moses, the teacher of us all, taught ‘Be of a pure and simple heart with the Lord, your God’ (Deut. 18: 13) and he taught ‘The hidden things are to the Lord, your God, while the revealed things are for us and for our children’ (ibid, 29: 28).
All this is not Torah, nor Prophets nor Tradition. How did such scholars of the Torah fall into such a blatantly idolatrous theology?
I will not try to answer this question except by the hair of a Tail. The temptation of the Zohar was as the Fruit of Beautiful Intellectual Pleasures that Eve could not do without until she knew her sin. And the subtle blind sin of attaching the names of God to the Ten Emanated Sfirot of the Zohar was the sin of fathers of the generation of Enosh. And the desire to construct a spiritual building that would bind God in heaven to the world below and bring the final redemption, as has been the kabbalistic daring in the past 400 years, was an undesired and hateful building, as the city and the Tower of Babel, and its true intentions are based on the foolish arrogance to ‘bring’ the Final Redemption, instead of waiting for the Signs of God who chooses the Final Goel and decides the time of the revelation of the Final Redemption. And the sin of deifying the Ten Emanated Sfirot derives from the sin of the Mixed Multitude who, for reason of the idolatrous concepts retained from Egyptian ‘theology’, would have deified the Ten Commandments turning them into Ten Divine Emanations, had Moses not thrown them down and shattered them to pieces, so as to destroy the sin in its source. And the sin of the rabbis of these generations who have been beguiled by the Zohar’s Serpent Cunning and simply have had their eyes covered and have not understood the idolatrous mistakes involved, is the sin of Aaron who unwittingly erred and did not understand the idolatrous roots behind the Mixed-multitude’s desire for the golden calf. This sin has returned for its final purification, so as to clear the way for the final redemption.
For all these reasons together, it was foreseen by the Prophets of Israel that Israel would fall into ‘AVON KETZ, the sin of the Last Days of Judgement, while the purification of Israel from that sin would represent the return of Israel to its true God at the time of the complete redemption. It represents the Last Terrible Sin of Israel. If it had to come out, this is because it had to be purified before the true faith might reign in the world. Again it will be realised how important it was that the Tzadik Haim himself initiated and authorised the Wars of Mitzvah against the false doctrines that have contaminated Jewish existence for the past 400 years and strangled its spirit from receiving the true spirit of the God of Israel.
Sefer Milhhamot Ha-Shem provides all the necessary keys to understanding the basic principles upon which their false kabbalah has been constructed. The author has ingeniously intersperced his book with citations from the kabbalists and the essential tenets upon which the citation is based on the one hand and the counter citations from the Torah, the Sages of the Mishnah and Talmud, the Geonim and Rishonim etc. on the other. The profound result is that the reader will gain an understanding of the true nature of their kabbalistic system from which he will clearly be able to distinguish between the True Kabbalah of the Written and Oral Law and between the beliefs of the false kabbalah. If the reader will at first be amazed at the striking dichotomy, he will shortly become aware of the incredible perspicacity with which the Mori Elgafeh has seized upon the undeniable principles of their kabbalistic system and its direct contradiction to the True Tradition of Israel’s faith.
In the original introduction, also because of the fact that I did not know if I would afterwards have permission to write about the Tzadik, Haim, I mentioned with short explanations some of the true categories of the True Kabbalah. Most people, students of the Torah and not, are very confused about hidden things. People are confused about such questions as the existence of demons, the powers of magic, the powers of the stars, astrology in general, the returning of souls, the secrets of nature, the secrets of the Torah, the Kabbalah Maasit, the higher knowledge of the Hidden Tzadikim. The intention that I had in reporting those categories was to demonstrate that Milhhamot ha-Shem, in demonstrating the falsities of the Zohar theology and of all the so-called kabbalists who claim all sorts of powers deriving from those doctrines, is in no way disclaiming the true ‘secret’ Kabbalah of Jewish tradition.
Destroying the so-called Jewish Mysticism of the past 400 years has nothing to do with the truth of the existence of true hidden traditions of the Torah and even of true hidden traditions of pre-Torah times. There are, of course, many categories of ‘secrets’, as there are many categories of miracles known from the Torah tradition, with each category having a particular ‘secret tradition’ behind it. But here we wish only to highlight the true existence of some of the main subjects of confusion.
I am here not speaking of the Hidden Tradition of the Hidden Tzadikim or of the Secret of their Ascent, but of various categories of secrets which do exist and which have been passed on from generation to generation, from father to son or from teacher to pupil, by word of mouth. For example, secrets of the Kabbalah Maasit, were known among the Sages of Yemen, brought with them from the ancient tradition, as explained. There are, indeed, many levels to the Kabbalah Maasit itself.
Examples of the Kabbalah Maasit are known in tradition from the children of Jacob who sometimes created with it a sheep (or some other animal) and ate it still alive (Ever Min Hahai); and sometimes they created pretty women with whom to expel natural passions, and afterwards the women were no more. It is known in tradition that Joseph came complaining to his father, Jacob, that his older brothers were transgressing the will of God by eating the blood of living animals and by laying with women at random.
Examples of the Kabbalah Maasit are known in tradition from the children of Jacob who sometimes created with it a sheep (or some other animal) and ate it still alive; and sometimes they created pretty women with whom to expel natural passions, and afterwards the women were no more. It is known in tradition that Joseph came complaining to his father, Jacob, that his older brothers were transgressing the will of God by eating the blood of living animals and by laying with women at random. The Tzadik Haim would explain that, as in the other instances of our father Jacob’s favouritism shown to Joseph, a favouritism well criticised by the Sages, of blessed memory, also here Jacob, our father, allowed Joseph to think he was right, instead of explaining to him that his older brothers had received a secret of the Kabbalah Maasit from him and that they knew what they were doing.
This demonstrates the antiquity of ‘secrets’ known to the Patriarchs and passed on to the children of Israel. Ours is a tradition of miraculous powers known to the chosen of Israel. Joshua held the sun in its place for 24 hours with it. Elijah, of blessed mentioning, and Elisha’ performed miracles with it. Its existence is known but it is hidden because relatively only a few have received it. And those who receive it will not tell. The Tzadik Haim told me that Yemenite Jewry would have been destroyed by the Arabs in various phases of its history, if not for the Kabbalah Maasit known by them and used for the sake of physical salvation from enemies.
Secrets of the Torah. The Mystical Doctrines of the Zohar claim to be secrets of the Torah, but the truth is that they are total distortions of the words of the Torah. There is, of course, much material stolen from previous sources in the Talmud and midrashim, whose meanings are subtly changed to fit into the Emanated Scheme of things. These are then passed off for ‘secrets’ and ‘hidden meanings’ of the Torah. They are all equal to the Christian application of the three angels visiting Abraham as the manifestation of the Trinity in the Torah. Ibn Ezra, peace be with him, commented that they have forgotten that afterwards the angels were separated; the announcer of Isaac went above while the other two went on to Sodom.
So too every explanation of the Zohar, after they seem to be in the ‘unity’ of the Sfirot, become separated Godheads when taken by themselves, leaving their explanations on the ‘Other Side’ (Sitra Ahhra) of the Torah, the side which gives Satan his portions while it sucks away the true life of Torah substance.
The other example from which a Jewish reader might understand the concept of the ‘other side’ is by way of comparison to Christianity. Traditional Christianity has been the great blood-sucker of the true life of Torah substance since its inception. It has sucked up life from the holy and true words of the Torah while clamping them into a false and idolatrous theology and an abominable deification. This is what is meant by the ‘Other Side’ of the Torah. They did not use the Koran to find their spiritual portions because the Koran doesn’t answer to the Messianic prophecies. Nor did they suck up the religious texts of Hindus or Buddhists etc. The Other-Side has both this closeness and its diametrically-opposed distance. It has attached itself to the true source but only for its own purposes.
So too the Zohar and the kabbalists have sucked up the sources of tradition only to plaster them into the Format of the Emanated Sfirot in order to bind Zeir Anpin to Nukvei. Using the words of tradition and binding them in such a way, according to the ‘intentions’ of the Sfirot, are called by them "Secrets of the Torah". The oinking of pigs is closer to the truth than their mystical explanations of the Torah. The Torah has been desecrated by their commentaries. From the highest to the lowest reasons for which this has come about, the result is the same; the Sin of the Last Days found its way into the Jewish world, so that it be revealed in the end and destroyed forever. This is the truth.
And yet Aaron too, when he saw how they danced around the golden calf and adored it, realised that the people had fallen into idolatry. This was just before Moses returned from the Mountain. Aaron, however, at that point could do nothing. It was too late. His voice would not be heard; especially since it was he himself who had asked for gold to make it and who had built for it an altar and who had proclaimed ‘It is a Feast unto God tomorrow’ (Exodus, 32: 5). In taking gold for it, Aaron did not understand; in building an altar for it, Aaron did not understand; in proclaiming ‘It is a Feast unto God tomorrow’, Aaron did not understand. When, however, he saw the idolatrous services that they began offering the golden calf, he knew that the people was sinning, but he could do nothing.
The fourth manifestation of an idolatrous sin corresponds to the hated fourth generation. Crude idolatry issues from it, the sins of the three generations having come unto their manifest result. In the case of the 400 years of the sin of the Zohar and the four generations (one may say Spain, Zefat, Poland-Russia, United States), the epitome of idolatrous practices, the inner arrogance, the disgusting ways of regarding others, the sickening cult that they make to their Rebbe, even after his death, the total distortion of anything truly redemptional or messianic, the insincerity, the teaching of hatred to all who are not as they, etc. etc. have all come out in the Habad movement, especially as it developed in the United States.
All false, idolatrous doctrines eventually lead to fanatical behaviour, to hatred, to disgusting manners and to idolatrous practices. As the sin of the Zohar had to come out in order to become recognised, so that it’s destruction be everlasting, so too Habad and its false messianic movement had to come out and become recognised as idolatrous and false, so that such a false messianism never again find place to raise its head in the Jewish world.
The Tzadik Haim, however, knew, while he was yet in this world and how much more so afterwards, all the secrets of stars known in ancient times to the Babylonians and Egyptians. In general no one living person in the world, at least in the last 20 centuries, reached the level of the hidden knowledge of the stars as did the Teacher Haim.
There were several things told to me directly by the Tzadik Haim which he revealed to me with the expression, “You will need to know this fact afterwards”. Such, for example, was the Teacher’s explaining to me in detail the fact of his being born circumcised.
The question of the immense and powerful level of ha-Moreh Haim in the secret knowledge of the stars, as stated here, is in this category. The Tzadik himself told me, in secret, that no one had reached the level of knowledge of the stars and of understanding from the stars, as had been given to him to know.
The hidden knowledge of the stars, properly speaking, is not considered a category of secrets of the Torah, but secrets of the world. Among the secrets of the world are the secrets concerning the Sheddim or demons, as they are rough-shoddily called. Also the knowledge of the spirits, of which there are many categories, is secret of the world. The knowledge of the souls (neshamot), on the other hand, does not pertain to secrets of the Torah or to secrets of the world but is part of higher secrets known only to the Hidden Tzadikim.
Secrets of the Torah and secrets of the world are two extremely general and inclusive categories. In general, a true Tzadik knows what is above, what is below and what is in the world. The Tzadikim have no permission to speak about higher levels. The Hidden Tzadikim possess:
The knowledge of the souls or neshamot; this includes the knowledge of how many times a neshama was in the world before, when, where, what it had done in its other lives and how it had been judged etc.
The knowledge of the ruhhot or spirits; this includes being able to see them and to speak with the spirits of the deceased; it also includes the knowledge of exorcising them from the body of a person who has become possessed by one.
The knowledge of the Sheddim (sing. Shedd) or roughly translated demons; these are the inhabitants of the lower worlds, that is, the Shiva Adamot or 7 Lands ‘below’ this world, each level being inhabited by a different category or groups of categories of Sheddim. This knowledge includes the secrets of how to summon them, to speak with them or to command them, if necessary, and to know from which level they derive etc.
Secrets of the Torah and Secrets of the World meet in such categories as the ‘Secrets’ of creation, the Secrets of the Higher Chariot and Secrets of the serving angels. The true Tzadikim cannot speak about these levels or write about them, for they are outside of the nature of this world and attempting to speak about or to describe them in human language would falsify them. Any attempt at description would ultimately confuse people and lead them into temptation to reach what cannot be reached by any contemplation or pious behaviour.
Ha-Moreh Haim gave us merit on several occasions to let us hear his holy words concerning these subjects. We also merited on several occasions to be present when he exorcised spirits or demons from someone. The Teacher Haim told us that when he was living in Cairo, it happened that a young Jewish girl had become possessed by a spirit. The desperate parents, after having consulted the best doctors and spent much money in vain, had asked some of the ‘known kabbalists’ to come and try to cure her of this ruah (spirit). The three kabbalists who came were very pious Jews, knowledgeable in Talmud but dedicated to the Zohar and Etz Haim etc. When they came to the house of the unfortunate girl, they began pronouncing names and combinations of names and special prayers found in their books. The evil spirit, as soon as they began their exorcism started to shout at them and he finally struck them. One of them received a wound on his face before he was able to escape from the room with others.
One of the close relatives of the girl’s family knew ha-Moreh Haim (who then worked in the Jewish Community of Cairo, as vice-Hhacham of the known Rav Nahhum) and came to ask that he please intervene because the girl was causing great anguish to her by now desperate parents and the situation grew worse and worse every day. Ha-Moreh Haim agreed to visit the girl the next morning. When he arrived he found a small group of the family’s relatives and friends, among which were the three kabbalists, all waiting.
When ha-Moreh entered the ante-chamber where the girl was sitting, she immediately stood up with her head slightly bowed in silence. Then the Tzadik called to the ruah. The expression on the girl’s face changed completely and her eyes bulged. “What is your name, rasha’?” the Tzadik said with a fixed looked of power. Through the girl’s voice came a distinctly male voice who answered the question and the further questions of ha-Moreh Haim as to when he had died and where he was buried (later verified), the reason for his punishment and the mistake of the girl reason for which the ruah had had permission to enter her. The ruah then began crying and pleading with the Tzadik not to expel him. The Teacher answered that the girl had been sufficiently punished and ordered the ruah to leave the girl and to give a sign for everyone to see: when the ruah left her body, there arose a terrible wind inside the room, until ha-Moreh Haim said, “Enough”! The ruah left, the wind stopped and all was still. The girl returned to her nature, as if awakening from a dream and did not understand why she was there and why all the people were standing about. She did not know what had happened or how much time had passed.
The 3 kabbalists sought forgiveness from ha-Moreh Haim who rebuked them to this effect: It would be better for you to abandon all this foolishness. It is forbidden and dangerous to attempt to cast out a ruah , unless one knows what he is doing and such a knowledge is not to be found in books. It is not from me that need ask forgiveness but from Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu, because you have transgressed the commandment of the Torah to guard your own health. You have also used names mentioned in those books which are prohibited even to think about. Furthermore, you are wasting precious time.
The Tzadik Haim taught us that even the ‘secrets’ of true magic, a thousand separations, which are strictly prohibited by the Torah, could never be studied from books. Even if someone reads the vast literature on magic, he will be no closer to those secrets than he was at the beginning. Those who practice true magic have an oral tradition, a thousand separations, which they generally give over to one pupil after years of virtual servitude to his master.
True magic always employs ‘impure names’ (shemot tumah) through which ‘sheddim’ are conjured up and ‘commissioned’ to do the bidding of the magus (mechashef). To do this the mechashef must be extremely exact and courageous because the appearance of a shedd is outside of the nature of this world. The mechashef will see, for example, that the wall before him opens up and the shedd enters, or the shedd may appear to him in the size of a large building. In our times, however, the Tzadik Haim explained, virtually all of the true magi (there are also many false ones and charlatans) do not have the power to see the shedd but only to speak to him. The shedd comes without showing himself because he knows that if he shows himself, the mechashef might either die of fright or go insane, and the shedd wishes not to lose his sacrificial portion.
The reasons for which the Torah prohibited magic (kishuf) are mainly two. The first is that the mechashef (or female mechashefet) must repay the ‘commissioned’ shedd with whatever ‘service’ the shedd desires. Most often this is the blood of a cat or rabbit etc. ‘Sacrificed’ in the name of the shedd. This is considered idolatry because the mechashef must serve and obey the shedd in this. (Note- the blood is a great ‘delicacy’ to the sheddim, reason for which all pagan cults as well as magic rites needed blood sacrifices whether animal or human. The ‘priests’ of those cults were in fact the mechashfim who performed ‘miracles’ through the employment of sheddim who in return for their benefits would require of the priest the sacrifice of their choice. Thus the priest, to the same measure that he was a servant of the shedd had his power enhanced by the benefits of the shedd. With this knowledge the reader will be able to understand the underlying reason for which, in all ancient history, the power of the priest was so dominant and why the force of idolatry was so incredibly potent. The people received benefits for their services and sacrifices but they would have those benefits only if the priest agreed. The priest would agree only on the condition that he be rewarded for his services and obeyed at word. We may also note here that among the many reasons for which the Torah prohibited the consummation of blood, one of the essential underlying principles is that the person must refrain from partaking of that portion which is the food of the sheddim etc.).
The second reason is that the ‘names of impurity’, since they are impure, cannot be recited in cleanliness. Therefore the mechashef must render himself impure which he does by way of urine or excrement or male sperm or menstrual blood. Thus the Torah prohibited all magic in as much as its impurity is in direct contrast to the cleanliness and sanctity (kedusha) in which every Jew is commanded.
If not for these two reasons the calling up of sheddim would not be prohibited. We find in fact in the Talmud that the Hachamim sometimes called up a particular shedd to serve them when they had need. So too the Tzadik may call into service any shedd if he so wishes and to order him as he desires. The shedd is completely subservient to the will of the Tzadik and not vice versa.
Of necessity the Tzadik must know the secrets of kishuf. Occasions arise in which magic must be destroyed in order to save a person on whom the magic was made. There are a thousand categories of kishuf and the Head of the Hidden Tzadikim knows them all in detail. Many times, thank God, we had the privilege to witness the cases of persons who had been victims of magic and for whom no remedy was possible had ha-Moreh Haim not intervened. It was sufficient for the Tzadik Haim to look at the person and immediately he would know what level and what kind of kishuf had been employed and who the mechashef was.
Here is an example of one case: The Teacher Haim told me about a girl from a well-to-do family, (in Cairo, I believe) very beautiful and intelligent, with whom a young and well-to-do Arab had fallen desperately in love. The young Arab had commissioned a young a well-known mechashef to have her fall in love with him and to follow him. The mago accepted his request for a large sum of money, explaining that this required an extremely strong kishuf with many precise preparations. After less than a week, the girl, who was of a traditional Jewish background, had suddenly decided to leave the University where she was studying and she began to spend all her time in the company of her Arab boy-friend.
The good fortune of this family had it that a close friend of the girl’s father knew ha-Moreh Haim, who, on the condition that it be kept a secret, agreed to intervene. In brief, the Tzadik came to visit the girl and knew immediately that she was under the effect of a ‘difficult’ kishuf in which a particular ‘impure name’ is written with menstrual blood on the skin of a cat and placed under the head of a dead person already buried. The Tzadik Haim went directly to the mechashef and threatened him with total destruction of his powers if he would not undo the kishuf. Ha-Moreh Haim said to him, “If I want, I can destroy your kishuf in one minute but I want you to tire yourself out in digging it up as you did in burying it”. The mechashef went and undid the kishuf. The girl returned to her normality, abandoned the young Arab and returned to her university studies.
Obviously, aside from the knowledge, great courage and strength are needed to enter such matters.
Also the ancient star-worshippers (‘ovdei kochavim u-mazalot - those who do service to the stars and to the constellations - also known as kosmim) possessed secrets which were passed on from teacher to pupil orally. The Teacher Haim explained that if the kosem was not expert in his science of obtaining from the star its desired influence, he put himself into vital danger. The kosem had to know, for example, the exact moment and place in which words had to be said while dressed in certain vestments of a particular colour etc. He had, that is, to know all the conditions by which the influence of the star could be received. The conditions differ for each star. Let not the science of the ancient star-worshippers, such as the magusi and sages of the Caldeans, Babilonians and Egyptians be light in the eyes of the modern reader. Those secrets were extremely precise and complicated formulas, a received knowledge concerning the characteristics of individual stars. The kosem in fact rendered himself servant to the star of his worship in order to receive of its influence. His secret was to know precisely which service pertained to that particular star. He had also to bow down to the star and to praise it for which reason the Torah prohibited such practices. Only the Creator, Blessed is He, is worthy of all service and praise.
It is not, however, of itself forbidden to know about the particular influences, powers and functions of individual stars. It is only that such a knowledge is completely secret (and is received by the Tzadik in a manner totally different from that of the ancient star-worshippers, a thousand separations) and cannot be given to anyone who is not under the protection of the kedusha. The Tzadik through his power and hidden knowledge can know and dominate these celestial influences but, except for extremely rare and particular cases, never does such. One reason for this is that the influence which derives from the stars is in any case in direct relation to the nature of this world and therefore the Tzadik will not interfere unless there is sufficient reason.
In general, the Talmud did not enter questions of the stars to a great extent. There is one concise expression, however, often quoted by the Teacher Haim for the immensity which it contains: Everything concerning children, life (longevity) and livelihood (work and earnings) depends on the star (banei hhayei u-mezonei ba-mazala talya). The questions of one’s marriage and one’s children (also how many and what sex), of the length and general health of one’s life and the manner in which one sustains himself are 3 large categories in the life of every person hardly to be minimised. The influence which every person receives directly from the unique star under which he was born are already written in these 3 categories and all that is related to them.
Ha-Moreh Haim explained to us that the influence of the person’s star may sometimes be impeded by the negative actions of a person and even by ‘acquired’ negative characteristics (the natural character, however, depends directly on the particular star under which the person was born). Sometimes the impediments are not for negative deeds but reason of the name itself.
To give an example, a person may have it ‘written’ in his star that he is ‘allotted’, let us say, 30 thousand dollars for a particular year. It is not, however, written, in which way this person will spend his money (especially the money left over after the necessary expenses). The person is free, for example, to benefit others, or to use it exclusively for himself, or to waste it uselessly or to employ it for some evil purpose etc. It is no longer the direct influence of the star that decides but is subject to the person’s free will. Negative actions may impede the influence of the star itself. Suppose, for example, this same person quit his job for some completely foolish reason. He might well find himself with less than 30 thousand dollars that year. The Teacher Haim compared it to rain-water blocked in roof-gutter by some impediment, not allowing the rain-water to descend. So too the influence may be ready todescend but is blocked and impeded by negative actions and unworthy decisions.
The knowledge of the astrologers will always be in reference to these 3 above mentioned classifications ‘children, years and work’. This knowledge, however, which they gain from the 12 signs of the Zodiac is of a general influence, each sign covering the generality of a month. The type of information, therefore, is general and often vague. No specifics, such as the person whom you will meet in five days from now, can be known from it.
In the ancient past, however, there existed a hidden science known only to the highest astrologers and magi in each generation. It was also known to a restricted number of Hhachamim before the destruction of the First Temple. This is the hidden knowledge of the unique star under which the person was born and which follows and governs over him or her from the moment of birth until his last breathe. The star is different for each person in relation to the place and to the exact moment of birth. This very hidden tradition, retained only in the Yemenite line of the Hidden Tzadikim, reached the Tzadik Haim who from the individual star was able to know everything about the person, past, present and future, if he so desired.
The tradition of astrology in Jewish sources refers back to Abraham himself who is known to have been a great expert in the science of the stars. It was through this knowledge that he was able to know that he, Avram and Sarai, could not generate offspring. Ha-Shem, Blessed is He, at first told Abraham to leave Hharan and to go the place that He would show him. ‘A change in place represents a change in the star (fortune)’ (shinui makom, shinui mazal). Secondly, He told Abraham to exit from the astrological calculation from which he had seen that he and Sarai could not bear children. Even though Abraham’s calculation was correct in itself, the Holy One, Blessed is He, is ‘meshaded ha-ma’arachot’ (changes the celestial orders as He wills). The Lord then changed the name Abram to Abraham and the name Sarai to Sarah and through this the influence was no longer impeded.
Our intention with this brief introduction was to awaken one’s attention to several points. The secrets of the true Tzadikim are given over in secret and the manner of their being given over and received is itself part of that secret. They are never written down. The true secrets incur a responsibility which corresponds to the level of that secret. All the secrets written in the Zohar and Tikkunim and in all the kabbalistic and hhassidic commentaries are figments of intellectualised imagination and have nothing at all to do with the higher knowledge of the true Hidden Tzadikim in whose merit the world stands. These are the selected Men of the Ascent who suffer immensely for the others and whose suffering is compensated only by their great and secret knowledge. These are the true servants of God who walk in humbleness before all men, who disdain honor and despise money. These are the hidden perpetrators of God’s will in the world whose identity is kept a complete secret.
 See in the Herem Mideoraita the documentation of the dream concerning the Ambassadorial statement of James Baker, then Secretary of State, to President Bush, who asserted that “we cannot say that the Ten Sfirot do not exist, but we can say that it is quite a different matter than the manner of interpretation of the kabbalists”. This sign is part of the New True Kabbalah and cannot be denied. I can also testify to the fact that the Tzadik Haim did mention to me the existence of the Ten Sfirot (but not emanated Sefirot from which the great confusion was born, from the belief of emanated worlds from the Ein Sof. From this has come the false theology and idolatry of "other gods before Me", God save us). The error had also come because the true prohibition of trying to write or to define or to describe these Ten Sfirot is not a prohibition that may recede in time. To speak about the Sfirot and to try to describe them falsifies them. Only the true Hidden Tzadikim ‘walk’ in the Sfirot and know them. Those others who thought themselves on the level of these Sfirot and who thought themselves harbingers of the Secret Torah that would bring the Final Redemption were receiving an external and distorted light and all that which they revealed in this light is false and useless. If they would have known the true light they would not have written or spoke about it.
 The reader does not have to understand these terms in order to understand the argument at hand, but only a very general idea of the concepts and consequently the ‘doctrines’ involved. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the idolatrous doctrines to which we refer derive from the concept of Atzilut - Emanation. It is essential to the Sacred Wars that one may not speak of levels or categories in God above or before the Act of Creation. This fact will help the reader not to get confused. We are really not interested in what the kabbalists say concerning their Worlds of Creation, Formation and Action. But in formulating any categories or levels above the Level of Creation, idolatrous doctrines are created, doctrines when translated are closer to the Divine Emanations in the Hindu religion than to the pure Monotheistic faith of Judaism. In comparisan to Christianity, once we know that the John’s doctrine of the Logos represents a false theology, making of Christ the Instrument of God’s creation, we are no longer interested in all the rest of John’s theology concerning Jesus.
This fact may be a source of some confusion to serious students, but, first of all, it must be remembered that the above is a testimony of the Tzadik, Head of the 36 Hidden Tzadikim, Haim, who walked constantly in that higher sanctity. It is he who testifies that, although there exists a true secret of the Ten Sfirot, all that which has been written about them is false and useless while undermining the true faith of Israel etc. I might attempt to further alleviate the possible confusion by postulating that it is not of itself prohibited to believe in the existence of Ten Sfirot but it is severely prohibited to believe in or speak or write about Ten Emanated Sfirot of the world of Emanation. These do not exist and every word concerning such become idolatrous concepts etc. All the doctrines written concerning the Ten Sfirot are based on the Ten Emanated Sfirot of the Zohar and are false on whatever level they are intended to explain.
 ‘Small-Face’ that is God in His Contracted and Emanated manifestation at the level of Atzilut. It is a ‘revealed’ manifestation of the Infinite God where He has ‘lowered’ Himself to the Level of the Cosmic Man, or where He is the Cosmic Source of Mankind. Thus He is the Emanation of God from His Infinite State into His revealed state and the Source and God of Mankind below. This is the meaning of the Cosmic Man-God of Atzilut. One can well understand why Christian theologians so loved the Zohar!
 Generally when Aspects are counted, Keter is counted and when Sfirot are counted, Da’at is counted. The Partzuf of Aba (Father) is correlated to the Sfirah of Hochmah (Wisdom), the Partzuf of Ema is correlated to the Sfirah of Bina (Understanding). The Partzuf of Zeir Anpin is correlated to the Six Sfirot (Hhessed, Gevurah, Tifferet, Netzahh, Hod, Yesod). The Partzuf of Nukva is correlated to the Sfirah of Malchut (Kingdom). Again the reader need not understand anything of these terms, but only to have an idea of the ‘system’ which has occupied the time and energies of the kabbalists since the Zohar.
 Rav ElGafeh throws brimstone and fire against the idolatrous connotations of such a division of Emanated Godheads which is closer to the Greek Pantheon than to the second Commandment.
 Said love-relationship, for the kabbalists, is the result of Israel’s service and prayers and mitzvot etc. Everything that the Torah commands, according to them, is for the sake of unifying Zeir Anpin and Malchut. This is pure kifrut, exclaims ha-Mori ElGafeh, and it corresponds exacty to the prohibition of ‘RIBUI RASHUYOT’ a ‘multiplicity of reigns’ against which the Sages, of blessed memory, warned in many instances.
 From this derives the ‘sexual language’ of all the kabbalists in describing the unification of Zeir Anpin and Nukvei, a language against which the author screams out with fear for the Jewish fate as he lambasts the Rabbis who permitted such an unscrupulous terminology in speaking about the Holy One, Blessed is He. It is one thing to speak about the symbolic union of the Holy One and Israel represented in the Song of Songs. It is another to create an entire theology of Emanated Divine Male and Female Elements seeking the Spiritual Pleasure of their Union by way of the service of Israel.
 If Christianity thrieved for 2000 years on such a concept, the Zohar dressed the same concept in the scheme of Emanation, elevating the idolatry to a metaphysical level, and has been thrieving on it for the last 400 years. In the end, however, down with John’s Logos and down with Leon’s Emanation, and the world will be purified of idolatrous doctrines.
 If you desire to vomit, this is a sign that you are beginning to understand the subject matter. If you desire to cry, this too is good, but it is better for your health that you vomit first. If, however, there is nothing in your stomach to vomit, go to the nearest Synagogue, stand up and pound on the Teva and demand an explanation. With the Aron ha-Kodesh open!
 Hundreds of editions of various Prayer Books (Siddurim) have been contaminated with this idolatrous formula.
 Although the Tzadik was totally hidden in Italy, there were Jews from Cairo who knew ha-Moreh Haim from the time he had worked as vice-Rabbi of the Cairo Jewish Comunity alongside of Rav Nahhum. They also knew that he was the Head Shohhet and teacher of 70 shochetim in Cairo. They, of course, did not know the true identity of the Tzadik but they did know that he was of the elevated Yemenite tradition and some knew that he possessed many secrets and ‘segullot’ (such as the knowledge of the virtues of herbs and stones etc) of that tradition. Ha-Moreh Haim told me that he had cast out sheddim and exorcised spirits and saved many people in Cairo. Thus some of these Jews from Cairo who had settled in Milan, when something happened, knew whom to ask for help. Generally the Tzadik never refused, but he took many precautions to keep the interventions under a veil of silence, given the difficulty of many people to hold their tongues quiet.
 All of the 36 Hidden Tzadikim can destroy any form of magic by the power of the sanctity (kedusha) upon them, but the Tzadik Haim had the complete knowledge of exactly how each kind of kishuf was made etc.
 The Tzadik also quoted often the well-known talmudic expression ‘All is in the hands of heaven (the stars) except for the fear of God’. (Ha-kol bidei shamaim hhutz mi-yirat shammaim).