THE HOLY WARS against the FALSE KABBALAH of the ZOHAR
by the Hhacham from Saana, Yemen
YIHHYE IBN SHLOMOH ELGAFEH
Translation from Hebrew into English and comments
(in red round brackets)
by Peretz Green
from chapter 12 - Your argument against me ‘Who gave you permission to interrogate and to do research concerning their words?’ is immensely surprising to me. Was the Torah, then, given to read as a parrot or as a yelping animal! Without understanding! He who studies in such a way is called ‘unscrupulous’ and ‘rasha’ (evil). - -
If someone brought you two contradictory letters concerning merchandise, you would certainly study them to distinguish between them so as not to lose money. You would not accept them on faith. Should you, then, accept on faith that which contradicts the Emunah of the Torah, without distinguishing between good and evil? The most essential aspect of the Torah is to know and to understand its commandments and its laws! As David said when he beseeched God ‘Give me understanding, that I might study Thy commandments’ and again ‘Teach me good reasoning and knowledge, for I have believed in Thy commandments.’(Psalms 119:73, 66) In all the mitzvot of the Torah one must give close attention in order to understand the law and not render permissible that which is forbidden or forbidden that which is permissible. - -
How much more so concerning the commandment of ‘knowing God’ and of ‘understanding the true manner of His Oneness’ (Yihhud Ha-Shem), in accordance with the injunction of the Torah ‘Thou shalt know it this day and turn it into thy heart, that Ha-Shem is God, in the heavens above and on the earth below, there is no other’. So too, David commanded Solomon ‘Know the God of thy father and serve Him’. (Kings) The Prophet Jeremiah pronounced ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, nor the strong man boast of his strength, nor the rich man boast of his wealth, but let him who wishes to exalt, exalt in Me, for I am God who doeth good’ etc. (Jeremiah)
How much and how much more so, then, is it incumbent upon us to know to Whom we must serve! - -
fr. ch. 14
It is now my intention to demonstrate with cogent and veritable proofs, from the written Torah and Oral Tradition, that Ha-Shem, Blessed is He and Blessed is his name, called in the Holy Torah with the Tetragram (The Four- letter Name YOD HEH VAV HEH, often read ' shem havaya ' for discussion purposes) and the ((pronounced)) name ADONAI, and in the language of the Sages Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu, is the FIRST CAUSE, (We may stop here for a moment of clarification because this above point is essential to the entire argumentation of Milhhamot Ha-Shem.) and that He alone exists necessarily. This is against what has been written in the name of Yosher Levav and Yitzhak Luria, who, drawn into following the philosophical words of the Zohar, maintain that it refers to Zeir Anpin.
Proofs from the Torah are based on such verses as ‘The dwelling of the God of the ancient past’ (me’unah elohei kedem) (Explained by Rambam in his commentary to the Mishnah and elsewhere, and by R. Saadya Gaon, Yehuda HaLevy and others authors.) - which refers to the fact that God is the First Cause of all the creations above and below, and that we must serve only Him. And it states ‘I am the first and I am the last and except for Me there is no God’. (Isaiah) In Psalms ‘For who is God except Ha-Shem, and who is the Rock except our God’. (Psalms) For He, Blessed is His name, is the Cause and the Beginning of all else. (Moreh Nevuchim 16) There is no other cause which precedes Him. As the Hhovot ha-Levavot writes:
It is necessary to conclude that the world has a Beginning to which no other beginning precedes, and a First to which there is no first. It is He who formed it all and brought it into existence from nothing - not from something or upon something. As it states ‘I am God who maketh all, who spreadeth the heavens by Myself and extendeth the land’ etc. Job said ‘He stretcheth the north upon Tohu and maketh the earth to hang upon nothing’ (bli mah) (Job). He is Kadmon, the First and there is no beginning to His beginning, nor is there an end to His Eternal Beginning, as it states ‘I am the First and I am the Last’ - Therefore the Men of the Great Assembly established in the Tefillot: In truth, Thou art the First and Thou art the Last etc.
Open now your ears and listen to the answers of the True Torah of Moses, Peace be with him, which do honour to the true God.
What you wrote to me, denying that they call the Five Partzufim ‘Divine’ is a covering over your eyes, for you have not seen the words of the Zohar:(I bring this citation from the Zohar because it is illustrative of its method of interpretation. This excerpt may serve in understanding the Zohar's format of interpretation. Remember that every time it speaks of the Partzufim or the Sfirot of the ' way of Emanation ', it is supposedly speaking of a ' secret ' ABOVE AND BEFORE CREATION.Thus the author of the Zohar allowed himself to speak about levels, aspects, categories and ' separations' in God in His Emanated Divinity ABOVE AND BEFORE CREATION. All this is forbidden. Any proposed separation of levels in the Emanated Divinity is false kabbalah because any two categories at that level of Divine Emanation creates a Dualism in God. See then how the following citation creates divisions in the EMANATED GODHEAD. It does not matter thar you do not understand what Atik or Hochma or Saba d'Sabin or Aba or Emamean or what the Zohar is talking about. Be witness to how the Separated Divinities of the EMANATED GODHEAD talh\k about themselves in Moshe De Leon's Pantheon.)
’And God said ‘Let us make a man in our image, as our likeness’ - ‘The secret of God is to those that fear Him’ - The Ancient of ancients (Saba d’Sabin) opened and said, "Shimon, Shimon, which one is this ELOHIM?" At this, Saba d’Sabin disappeared and was no longer seen. But because Rabbi Shimon had heard that he had been called ‘Shimon, Shimon’ and not ‘Rabbi Shimon’ he said to the hhaverim (the other initiated ones with him), "Certainly this was KUDSHE BRICH HU (the HOLY ONE, BLESSED is HE) of Whom it says ‘Ancient Days (Atik Yomin) has sat’. Then it is now time to open with this secret, for certainly it is a secret which has ((hitherto)) not been given to be revealed. He opened and said: A king had many buildings to construct. And his Craftsman (umana) did nothing without permission from the king, as it states ‘I shall be faithful (eimun) to Him’. The ‘king’ certainly refers to Higher Wisdom (hochma ‘ilaa) above. The Middle Pillar is the Lower King (malka le-tata). ELOHIM is the Higher Craftsman which is the Higher Mother (ema ‘ilaa). ELOHIM is the Lower Craftsman (umana le-tata) which is Shchinta (the Divine Presence) who has no permission to do anything without the consent of her Husband. For all the buildings that were in the ‘Way of Emanation’ Aba (Father - Wisdom) would say to Ema ‘Let it be such’ and immediately it was, as it states ‘ELOHIM said "Let there be light"; the Owner of the Building said it and the Craftsman made it. And so concerning all the ‘Constructions’ in the ‘Way of Emanation’. He said ‘Let there be a firmament’ ‘Let there be luminaries’ and they were made immediately. When it came to the world of separation, which is the world of the ‘separated powers’ Umana said to the Building ‘Let us make a man in our image as our likeness’. The Owner of the Building said ‘Certainly it would be a good thing to make him, but in the future he will sin against you because he is a foolish son, as it states ‘A wise man will make his father happy, but a foolish son is the pain of his mother’. She said ‘Since his sin depends on Ema and not on Aba, I desire to create him in my likeness’ as it states ‘And God created man in His image’, but Aba did not want to participate. Thus when he sinned, what is stated? ‘In your transgressions was your mother sent away’. Malka said to Ema ‘Did I not tell you that he would sin?’ In that moment He banished him and his mother with him. This is the reason that it states ‘A wise son makes his father happy’. This refers to man of the world of Atzilut (Emanation). ‘The foolish son’ refers to man of the world of Bria (Creation). -
Thus it is explained, according to the Zohar that Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu, called Atik revealed Himself to R. Shimon in his study place in the form of a very old man for which reason R. Shimon called Him Saba d’Sabin. Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu here is Atik and it was He who gave R. Shimon permission to reveal this secret, that Ema said to HA-KADOSH BARUCH HU called Aba ‘Let us make a man in our image’ etc.
Thus Atik (Ancient Days) is called Kudshe Brich Hu and likewise Aba. Ema is called ELOHIM but Aba is called both ELOHIM and KUDSHE BRICH HU. In the whole act of creation Aba said to Ema ‘Let there be such and such’ and so it was, but concerning ‘man’ Ema said to Aba ‘Let us make a man’. Aba, however, did not agree to this creation. Then Ema said to him, "What difference is it to you? If he sins, it is against me that he sins and not to you", as it states ‘A foolish son is the anguish of his mother’. And when Adam sinned with the tree of knowledge, He banished both her and him, for ‘In your transgressions your mother was sent away’.
fr. Ch. 16
In the same Zohar: - R. Shimon opened and said, ‘Behold now that it is I, I am He and there is no other god with Me’- He said, "Listen to the Ancient’s words that I wish to reveal after having been given permission from above to speak. Who is it that said ‘Behold now, that it is I?’ This is the Cause of all causes called ‘ ‘ilaat ha ‘ilot ’, the Cause of those causes which cannot do anything until they have taken permission from the cause which is above them. It is as we have established concerning ‘Let us make a man’ that certainly it speaks about two. (So it is here) that one cause had said to that cause above it, which cannot do anything until it has taken permission from the cause above, and so that cause until it has taken council from the cause above it, and so on. But the one called the Cause of all causes has no cause above it, and there is nothing similar to it below, as it states ‘To whom would you liken Me, that I be similar, says the Holy One’. And it states ‘Behold now that it is I, I am He and there is no other god with Me’ from whom to take council, unlike the one who said ‘Let us make a man’ -
The Etz Haim and the Mikdash Melech in the name of Yitzhak Luria: The ‘Cause of all causes’ is Adam Kadmon, The Cause over all other causes. Explanation: When we say the ‘Cause of causes’ this pertains to each Partzuf and is so called because it is the cause of those causes below it. But when we say the Cause of all causes, this is Adam Kadmon, the First Cause of all the Partzufim. -
Thus is it explained in the philosophical words of the Zohar and its commentators, that the God who gave permission to R. Shimon b. Yohai (to speak about what is prohibited even to think about, namely a multiplicity in God is Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu called Atik. This, however, is not the one who said to Israel ‘Behold now that it is I’ etc. Since the one who said to Israel ‘Behold now’ is ADAM KADMON, the First Cause of all the Partzufim who has not from whom to take permission.
Likewise, the one who said ‘Let there be light’ ‘Let there be a firmament’ Let the waters gather etc. is Aba, but the one who said ‘Let us make a man in our image’ is Ema. For Ema said to Aba ‘Let us make a man’ but Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu (Aba) did not agree to his creation until she said to him "What difference is it to you, if he sins it is against me that he sins, as it states ‘A foolish son is the anguish of his mother’ but not the anguish of his father.
So was he created against the will of Aba and, as the Shvilei Noga explains: If Aba had agreed to his creation, he would not have banished ‘her’ from Gan Eden together with him when he sinned, but because he had not agreed, he banished her as well. (Take some ten gods from the Greek Pantheon and instead of the contents of the Greek myths, substitute them with verses of the Torah and Tradition, and you too could write a Zohar)
fr. ch. 17
A terrible trembling will take hold of every Jew from the words of this philosopher and the exchanging of gods which he describes, with the division of the Ten Sayings with which the world was created into many divinities, each one different from the other! In Sanhedrin we read: Therefore man was created single - - so that the Minim (non-believers or dissidents to the true tradition of the Torah) could not claim that there are many reshuot (Ruling Powers) (or ' places of ownership ' which each ' owner ' would have ' permission ' (reshut) to do as he desires) in the heavens etc. (Rashi: and that each one created his own etc.) (the sense is that if Adam and Eve had been created separately, one could have said that the Creator of Adam is not the same Creator of Eve; therefore at first they were created single, as one, and then separated.)
But the Zohar mentioned above says ‘for certainly it speaks about two’ and explains that Ema said to Aba ‘Let us make a man’ and she did as she desired and created man without his agreement. This is exactly as the Minim (Christians who believe in the Trinity etc.) who attempt to prove a multiplicity in God, using the verses of the Torah, God forbid. (such as from the plural of ' Let us make ', but wherever we have such a plural, afterwards the action is described in the singular ' So He created them, male and female ' etc.)
fr. ch. 18
Again we find in the Zohar: ‘In the beginning God created that hidden level which is not known called ‘Stima d’La Ityada’ in this Chamber (Hechala) etc. The Mikdash Melech explains: The ‘beginning’ refers to Aba; ‘who created the hidden level’ is Arich; ‘which is not known’ refers to Atik; ‘to this chamber’ is Ema which is called ELOHIM etc. Still another commentary on the same: In the beginning ELOHIM created the heavens and the earth - this means that through the power of Aba he created ELOHIM which is Binah, this means that ELOHIM, the sfirah of Binah, through the power of Aba, created the heavens and the earth which are Zeir Anpin and Nukvei etc.
In both explanations Aba is called Reshit (Beginning) and Ema (in the second commentary called Binah) is called ELOHIM. (which proves that more than one ' reshut ' ' reign ' is called into play. In such a way it would be possible to ask which god did this and which god did that.)
Who sees, will see and will recognise and will understand how the philosophical author of the Zohar is in complete contrast to all the methods of interpretation used by the Hachamim, of blessed memory, in explaining verses. - -
- our Sages of blessed memory refused to attribute to God any need of his creations or of their help. Nor did they attribute to the angels, his Messengers any act of creation, for all existence refers itself back to God alone. (This is extremely important and essential point is in truth one of the keys to understanding the underlying mistake of the new kabbalists : namely that the forces and powers etc. of all creation are angels and these, no matter the greatness of their level, must not be served or worshipped for they are themselves creations.)
Not so the philosophical author of the Zohar who calls Aba the Creator and places Ema as the Artisan who complies to the will of the Owner; who does not attribute the creation to the First Cause, but to Aba or to Arich by means of Aba. As if the Creator was weak and needed a helping hand in the creation!
fr. ch. 20
The Zohar interprets the verse ‘God reigns, God reigned, God will reign forever’ as follows: God reigns - Above, God reigned - in the Middle, God will reign forever - Below. The Mikdash Melech comments: God reigns - Arich Anpin, God reigned - Aba and Ema, God will reign - Zeir Anpin and Nukvei.
On the verse ‘Is God in our midst or not ', the Zohar asks if Israel was truly so foolish to ask such. It concludes that in fact they wanted to know whether Atika Stimaa called ‘ain’ or Zeir Anpin called Ha-Shem is in our midst. Therefore it does not state ‘im lo’ (or not) as for example in the verse ‘if he will walk according to My Law or not’. Israel said ‘If it is this one, we shall ask in such a way, but if it is this one, we shall ask in a different way’ -
Mahari Lupis explains that the meaning of the Zohar is that our forefathers wanted to know ‘Who’ it was that conducted them and made for them all these miracles, Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu called Zeir Anpin (the Tetragrammaton) or ‘ain’ called Atik. The reason of their inquiry was in order to know the proper service to be used, if Zeir Anpin, in one way and if Atik in another way, for there are differences in each type of service and a different Kavana (intention) for each one. So, in fact, did they remain in their doubt until, in the end, they knew that it was Zeir Anpin - .
In Minahhot: R. Shimon ben Azai said: Come and see what is written in the section dealing with the Sacrifices; it does not state the name EL or the name ELOHIM but only ‘to HA-SHEM’. This is in order not to open the mouth of an ‘accuser’ and that no one come with a diverse (blasphemous) opinion.
Rashi, peace be upon him, explains: that the ‘accuser’ should not say that there are different ‘reigns’ (reshuot) bringing a proof to this from here ((if other names were used)) that the one whose name is such commanded to bring the Minhha and the one whose name is such commanded to bring a sacrifice of bullocks and rams etc. -
The opinion of the author of the Zohar, however, is that there are ‘divisions’ and ‘differences’ in the Divinity and therefore our forefathers sought to find out which God was conducting them, Atik called ‘Ain’ whose service is in one manner or Zeir Anpin whose service is in another manner. This inquiry was not clarified for them until the Revelation at Mount Sinai when they came to know that it was Zeir Anpin.
The Rambam, peace be with him, explains in the laws concerning idolworship (hilchot avodah zara - perek 3) that: - the idolworshippers had many kinds of services (avodot) for each type of image and each type of form, each service different from the other - How is it possible, then, for the philosophical author of the Zohar to say that it is all One? But certainly he believes in divided Godheads and therefore the service and the manner of prayer changes for each one. So too the idolworshippers had a different service for each image!
We, however, who believe in His Oneness to which there is no like in all other entities of ‘one’, (when we speak of the Oneness of God , the ' One ' here involved is not similar to any other category of ' one ', for example , the ' one' in ' one person ' or in ' one category '. The commonly used ' one ' is of number of unity and therefore you may have ' two persons ' or ' two categories ' or ' two units '.The Oneness of God, however, is an absolute Oneness which has no affinity to any other number or any other entity. There exists no Twoness of God. The Threeness of God of the Christian Trinity is false theology, as is the doctrine of the Five Partzufim of the Zohar. We can, however, avoid errors by explaining what that Oneness excludes or what that Oneness is not, as explained by the Great Eagle in Moreh Nevuchim . It is therefore that the Second Commandment itself is the form of a negative precept, explaining that all that which is found in the creation is not to be served , but only God, the Creator of all , is to be served. It is important to understand that this negative precept , which represents nothing less than the true ' theology ' and the true kabbalah given by the Creator Himself, sanctions the definition of God's Being One in negative terms only. We know that God is One but that Oneness cannot be definited. We can, however, say ' God is One ' - He is not Two nor Three nor Five nor Ten. His Oneness is absolute; it contains no divisions or different categories or levels. Any doctrine which speaks of Twoness or Threeness or of Divisions and Separated levels in God is false kabbalah ) can find no place for their words, and the Gemora in Minahhot mentioned above is clear proof to this.
From all the above mentioned statements of the Zohar and its commentators, we see that they call to each Partzuf of the World of Emanation with the Tetragrammaton, with ADONAI, with ELOHIM and with HA-KADOSH BARUCH HU (the Holy One, Blessed is He). They have, however, chosen out the last Partzuf ZEIR ANPIN to serve. They say as well that the EIN SOF and all the other Partzufim emanated from it are not to be served or prayed to because of their great exaltedness. How much more so the Partzufim in those worlds above the world of Emanation for reason of their great hiddenness.
Only Zeir Anpin can be served and called to in the ‘hour of need’, for He is the Middle-Pillar which joins all the forces from above and from below. He was ‘raised’ by Aba and Ema and given ‘Rule’ over all the creations which, in their turn, were commanded to serve and to bless Him. And this, according to them, is the Lord, our God, God save us! Let us now look at the Zohar (Balak) with the commentary of Mikdash Melech on the verse ‘He who withholds grain shall be cursed by the nation’ (mone’a bar yikvuhu le’um) -
The secret of this is connected to the secret of what is written above concerning the verse ‘What is His name and what is the name of His son that you might know it’ - His name is the one which is known ‘ADONAI TZEVAOT is His name’ (comm. ABA) ; the name of His son is Israel (comm. ZEIR ANPIN) as it states ‘My son, My first-born, Israel’; all the keys of faith depend on this Israel; it is he who said ‘God said to me "You are My son"’ (comm. ZEIR ANPIN says that Aba who is called ADONAI TZEVAOT said to me "You are My son"). This is certain, because ABA and EMA crowned Him and blessed Him with manifold blessings, wherewith they commanded to all ‘Supply the grain lest he become angry’ that is, give it over to this son;(psalms - - ' nashku bar pen ye' enaf ' - The Zohar here interprets ' bar ' as son, aramaic for ' ben ' , son. Also Christianity interpreted ' nashku bar ' as ' kiss the Son '- indeed the only difference between Christian theology and the Partzufim of the Zohar is Jesus, but every kind of level that Christianity attributed to Jesus, the Son, will be found in the Zohar attibuted to ZEIR ANPIN) so to speak, they gave the ‘ruling-power’ over to Him, so that He be served by all; ‘lest He become angry’ - since they crowned Him with both ‘severity’ (dinei) and ‘loving-kindness’ (rahhmei) , whoever merits severity will have it and whoever merits loving kindness will have it. All the blessings from above and below go up and become crowns to that Son, but whoever withholds the blessings from this Son, his sins will come up before EMA KADISHA (the HOLY MOTHER), to his true mother Ema (BINA)-
Thus we see that the Zohar calls ADONAI TZEVAOT ‘ABA’ and ‘ZEIR ANPIN’ the ‘son’ of ABA and EMA.(thus creating 'divisions in God' as Christianity.) ABA and EMA gave Him the ‘Ruling-power’ over all the creations and ordered them to serve Him. (thus creating a 'multiplicity or reigns' about which our Sages, of blessed memory, were so careful to avoid) All blessings and prayers become ‘crowns’ to ZEIR ANPIN and must be directed to Him exclusively (thus creating ' another God ' and another object of worship equal to the worship of the Son in the Christianity) - not to ABA or EMA and not to ARICH ANPIN nor to ATIK nor to ADAM KADMON (whom they call the Cause of all causes) (and thus not to the God to Whom we pray Who is the First Cause of all else.) ; and even not to ADAM KIDMAA (within whose spheres were created all the worlds above the World of EMANATION (atzilut); and certainly not to the EIN SOF (the Infinite One, the Without End) which is far away and far above all else and therefore has nothing to do with being served or prayed to. (exactly as the sin of the generation of Enosh who believed that the Higher Infinite God had given over the Ruling - power to the stars. This idea was later adopted into Aristotelian Metaphysics by the philosopher who believed that the Creator of all was outside of the range or interest of all his creations etc. - see Moreh Nevuchim -) The Providence over all actions of the lower realms pertains only to Zeir Anpin. It is ZEIR ANPIN who pays just reward to the righteous and who punishes the wicked. (as the Christ of Christianity, given the Ruling -power ' for the Father judges no one but all judgement has been given to the Son ' (John --)) The Partzufim that are above with the EIN SOF which is above all else do not ‘look at’ the actions of the lower realms nor distinguish between good and evil, nor can they save any person who calls to them in anguish.
God has, then, abandoned the heavens and the earth, God forbid, and left everything in the hands of this Small-Faced ZEIR ANPIN, itself a creation!!!!
Here, instead, is the interpretation of the Sages:
-’Who has ascended the heavens’ - this is the Holy One Blessed is He (Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu), as it states ‘God hath ascended with resounding call’; ‘and descended’ - as it states ‘God hath descended on Mount Sinai’; ‘Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of His hands’ as it states ‘For in His hand is the soul of all that liveth’; ‘Who has bound up the waters in His garment’ - as it states ‘He bindeth up the water in a thick cloud’; ‘Who has established all the extremities of the earth’ as it states ‘God maketh to die and maketh to live’; ‘What is His name’ - ‘TZUR’ (Rock) is His name, SHADDAI is His name, ADONAI TZEVAOT is His name; ‘and what is the name of His son’ - as it states ‘My son, My first-born, Israel’ -
Israel is called ‘son’, as in the Mishnah, the children of Israel are called ‘the sons of God’ (bnei ha-makom) for the reason that through Israel, God has become known to the world. Not a ‘name of ZEIR ANPIN that the philosophical author of the Zohar has called ‘ben’ ‘Son’!!!!
fr. ch. 22
The Yosher Levav affirms that:- the name Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu (the Holy One, Blessed is He) that we are used to saying and the Name-of-Four-Letters (tetragrammaton) by which we call Him is the Partzuf of Zeir Anpin. For His soul (neshama) is hidden within Him by way of the Partzufim which are interior to it (Zeir). This is indeed the First Cause and to It we serve. The general principle, then, is that the First Cause called by all the kabbalists EIN SOF created everything ex nihilo and ‘surrounds’ everything from the outside. But in that chosen part, the chosen one of the Fathers, called ZEIR ANPIN hides Himself within as a chamber within a chamber, as a soul within the body (take the body and you have also taken the soul - take Jesus and you will also take the Father who resides in him !!!!! Take Buddha and you will partecipate in the main current of His manifold emanations. Take Zeir Anpin and you will take the EIN SOF which is within Him !!!!!!! )and gives it life. Therefore this chosen one, Zeir Anpin, rules over all the creations and conducts them and feeds them. He is our God and we are His nation. Our souls are His portion. He is the One to be exalted with every praise mentioned in the Holy Torah which He gave us as an inheritence and by means of which all hidden secrets are revealed to us. -
The author (Yosher Levav) then continues to bring proofs from the Zohar and Tikkunim that all our ‘avodah’ (service) is to ZEIR ANPIN, the Middle Pillar that binds everything. He writes in the name of Yitzhak Luria on the verse ‘Trust in God forever, for in YAH, Ha-Shem is the Eternal Rock: - therefore when one turns his attention to ZEIR ANPIN only, it is sufficient, because here is to be found ARICH ANPIN -
Also in Haim Vital’s Etz Haim: -Moses said to Israel upon their entering the land ‘And you who are attached to the Lord, your God, all of you living this day’ - - this is ZEIR ANPIN.- And in his Sefer ha-Kavvanot on the ‘minhagim’ (customs) of Yitzhak Luria: -whenever you mention the tetragrammaton, you have in mind ZEIR ANPIN; in the following way: the first three letters refer to ZEIR ANPIN and the last letter refers to MALCHUT, and so have it in mind that here the name is completed- . -In Sefer Mahhberet ha-Kodesh (seder mussaf shabbat) he writes: -the angels above place a crown on ZEIR ANPIN who is the Lord, our God etc.
Also the Mikdash Melech writes: -’ELAHA RABRABA’ (Aramaic - the Great God) can refer only to ZEIR ANPIN, but in HOCHMA (the SFIRA of WISDOM) He is called HACHAM (Wise) etc.- but the EIN SOF because of its exaltedness has no name or point within which to be limited and any prayer to IT is no prayer (this is clearly the great error of the generation of Enosh) - - you may come to think about it only as it comes to invest itself within its attributes etc.
fr. ch. 23
Thus we clearly see that the Zohar and its commentators, to name the Mikdash melech, Kisei Eliahu, Mishnat Hassidim, Yosher Levav, Matzref Emunah, Etz Haim, Sefer ha-Kavvanot, Mahhberet ha-Kodesh, Sefer ha-Brit, Sefer ha-Likkutim, Nahhlat Yosef in the name of Yitzhak Luria etc. -all of them answer and say with one voice that the EIN SOF, the Infinite One who is the First Cause of the entire EMANATION, which, according to them, binds together all the Partzufim and gives nourishment to all the creations, must be called to in the time of need and served in every moment.
The author of Kisei Eliahu, however, when he prayed, found it necessary to mention together with ZEIR ANPIN the other PARTZUFIM above it, because by joining them together, he was answered more speedily: but it is necessary to ‘join’ them in the manner already explained when one is praying to ZEIR ANPIN, and to mention the names of the higher PARTZUFIM, for one has need of them. But if one does not do so and prays to ZEIR ANPIN alone, he will not be answered so speedily etc. - He concludes here that even if one prays to ZEIR ANPIN alone, there is no damage in this, but he will not be answered so easily. -
The passionate reader, devoted to the Holy Torah and expert in the oral law of the Mishnah, Talmud and Midrashim, will be astounded by these statements. So too if he is familiar with Hhovot Ha-Levavot, R. Yehuda HaLevi, R, Saadya Gaon, the Rambam, R. Eliezer me-Garmisa (from Worms in Germany) in Ha-Rokeah, Sefer ha-Mitzvot Gadol, Sefer Mitzvot Katan, Sefer ha-Ikkarim and others who speak about the Oneness of God (yihhud ha-shem) according to the true kabbalah of our Sages. He will be awe-struck and filled with trembling when he hears about the disposition of these many gods who have multiplied and been fruitful in Israel from the beginning of the 6th millenium.
They believe in many causes, one above the other ((and one generated from the other)). When one of these desires to create something it takes council with and permission from the cause directly above it. The Zohar explains clearly that each one of the causes (‘ilot) takes permission from the cause (‘ila) above it Malchut from ZEIR ANPIN, ZEIR ANPIN from EMA, EMA from ABA, ABA from ARICH ANPIN, ARICH ANPIN from ATIK and ATIK from ADAM KADMON the Head of the PARTZUFIM of ATZILUT. This latter is the only one who said ‘Behold, now, that it is I, I am He and there is no other god with Me. - -
Let us now look at the Breishit Raba: -Everything has generations (toldot - births, generations); the heavens and the earth have generations, as it states ‘These are the generations of the heavens and the earth in their being created’. The mountains have generations, as it states ‘Before the mountains were yet born’. The rain has generations, as it states ‘Does the rain have a father?’. The dew has generations, as it states ‘or who has generated the dew drops’ - - We studied in the Mishnah: Everything has generations, becomes worn away, is created and is not the Creator, and everthing that does not have generations does not die, does not wear away, is the Creator and is not created. -
The Partzufim mentioned by the Zohar and the kabbalists all have ‘generations’ as well as ‘pregnancy’ and ‘sucking’ and it is therefore false and impossible to call to ABA or to any other Partzuf God or Creator - - since each one of them has a ‘Cause’ which preceded it ((and from which it was generated)). In fact every PARTZUF is called Ha-Shem Tzevaot, the Tetragrammaton, Adonai, the Holy One, Blessed is He and all the other and expressions indicating Ha-Shem Baruch Hu.
All this is against the true kabbalah, as can be clearly seen from the Rambam hilchot yesodei ha-torah, The 4th Principle is to believe that this ONE is the Absolute First, and all else in existence is not the First.
fr. ch. 25
Well known is the severity of the Sages concerning any person who says ‘modim, modim’ (We give thanks, we give thanks) or ‘Shema, Shema’ (Hear, Hear) (of the Hear o Israel, the Lord, our God, God is One). Such a person is made to keep silent. (Berachot , perek ein ' omdim, Megilla, perek ha- korei and berachot 33) All the commentaries explain that the reason for this is that would seem as though there were two ‘reigns’ (reshuot) and as if he were accepting upon himself two gods.
In Berachot: - it happened that someone was praying in the presence of Raba who heard him say ‘emet, emet’ (‘truth, truth’ - or ‘it’s true, it’s true’). Raba said: Whosoever says ‘emet, emet’, take hold of him (to stop him) -
Ha-Boneh in ‘Ain Yaacob explains: In the same way that one may not say ‘Ehhad, Ehhad’ (One, One) because it seems to indicate a multiplicity rather than Oneness, so may one not say ‘emet, emet’ because there is only One Truth. Thus Raba’s explanation that his great desire (of the one who says ‘emet, emet’) to exclaim the truth brought him to this; that is, he thinks he is reinforcing his words in expressing the truth of Ha-Shem Baruch Hu by this addition but he is, in fact, lessening it. - (see also Sukkah - perek he- hhalil)
We see, then, how strict the Sages were with any words that might imply two ‘reigns’ (reshuot). (so too all the Poskim prohibited the repetition of the words ' Shema, Shema ' or ' modim, modim ' for the reason that it appears as two reigns.) How much more so must we be contrary to the statements of the Zohar such as the one in Bereishit on the verse ‘God reigns (or ‘is King’), God reigned, God will reign forever: God is King - Above (Arich Anpin), God reigned - in the Middle-Pillar (Aba and Ema), God will reign - Below (Zeir Anpin and Nukvei) -
This implies that when one says ‘God reigns’ he gives Kingship to Arich Anpin, when he says ‘God reigned’ he gives Kingship to Aba and Ema and when he says ‘God will reign forever’ he gives Kingship to Zeir Anpin and Nukva.
Is there a belief in many ‘reigns’ greater than this ! And since he has called these three Kings to rule when he says this verse, how then, does he lie to himself when he says Avinu Malkeinu ‘Our Father, our King, we have no King except for You’? He has already crowned three Kings! Which one will he now choose to crown, leaving the others without Rule?
The author of Sefer Ha-’Ikkarim was thus perfectly justified when he warned (maamar 2, end of the third perek- It is to be noted that the language of this admonition does not yet carry the definited distinction between false and true kabbalah. The author of Ha - ' Ikkarim was probably not yet capable of defining such, for, indeed, except for ha -Hhacham ElGafeh in Milhhamot HaShem, no one had definited the distinction in halachic terms. Therefore Ha -'Ikkarim, as others concerning the same subjects, relegates the Zohar and the entire kabbalah that it entails to the realm of 'A set of keys of understanding to which those who received its secrets understand its hidden meaning, whereas those who read it and try to understand it by themselves, will only fall into false modes of interpretation'. There is obviously still a gap in resolving the real problem of what is false in the false kabbalah. Nevertheless, Rav ElGafeh was very perspicacious in sensing the tremendously heavy admonition ' lest you fall into their traps and be caught in their snares, for they have abandoned the straight ways for paths of darkness, yet they do not know that they walk in darkness - all those who study the kabbalah upon their own decision '. The author of Ha -'Ikkarim obviously felt or knew much more than he was able to say openly about the Zohar. Why did he speak, otherwise, ot traps and snares and pathes of darkness so subtle that one thinks he sees light, but it is darkness !) not to study the Zohar and all the other books of the kabbalah: - This is the general rule: Be extremely careful and guard yourself to the utmost lest you fall into their traps and be caught in their snares, for they have abandoned the straight ways for paths of darkness, yet they know not that they walk in darkness - all those who study the kabbalah upon their own decision - except for the kabbalah which one has received directly from a Hhacham who has received -
fr. ch. 26 - Every reader who has studied something of the Zohar and the books of the kabbalists with understanding knows that the SFIROT and PARTZUFIM which they mention come before the creation of the heavens and the earth and all therein. As Haim Vital explains in Sha’ar Shevirat Ha-Kelim (Chapter of the Breaking of the Vessels) in his Etz ha-Haim:
-I shall now explain the order of the ‘kings’, beginning from the first which is DA’AT (KNOWLEDGE) - When the vessel could no longer support it, it broke and descended below into the world of BRIAH (CREATION); this means: in that place which afterwards would become the World of Creation, since it had not yet been created. This vessel then fell into that place which in the future would be(come) DA’AT of BRIAH (the SFIRAH of KNOWLEDGE in the World of Creation) -
We must definitely conclude that the mistake of the new kabbalists (the Author throughout Sefer Milhhamot Ha- Shem often refers to them as ' new kabbalists ' in reference to Deut. --- ' they took up NEW gods which forefathers did not know '-) was that they sought to find explanations for ‘what is above, what is below, what is before and what is after (or what is inside and behind). Both Talmuds, however, as well as the Midrash Raba and Tanhhuma etc. prohibit this kind of inquiry.
In Hhagiga: - ‘Inquire, then, concerning the first days’- (Deut.) I might have thought that one may inquire about what was before the creation of the world, but the verse teaches us ‘From the day that God created man on earth’; I might have thought that one may not inquire about the six days of creation, but the verse teaches us ‘Inquire, then, concerning the first days’; I might have thought that one may inquire what is above, what is below, what was before and what is after, but the verse teaches us ‘from the extremities of the heavens to the extremities of the heavens’ - this means that from one extremity of the earth to the other you may inquire, but you may not inquire about what is above, what is below, what is before and what is after - - - (this mishnaic prohibition is extremely important and of ad hoc pertinance to the Holy Wars against the false kabbalah. Nor is this a mishnaic law which can change or become obsolete or be softened or compromised, because it is not dealing with a matter that has changing conditions. The great danger of damaging one's mind and of going off course in contemplating such questions is a costant threat based on the nature of the brain of the human kind and it does not recede. For a traditional Jew who knows understands the power of the Mishnah, this mishnaic law is sufficient to disprove the entire foundation of the Zohar. And then, as proven by all the false kabbalah that has issued, the attempted answers to such queries can only lead to false doctrines . Thus the Zohar is a priori in a state of trangression, proposing a pantheon of EMANATED LEVELS OF THE DIVINITY BEFORE THE CREATED WORLD CAME INTO BEING)
The new kabbalists erred greatly in this and vulgarly believed in their own opinions and feelings, entering into questions and arguments which, in fact, the Sages, of blessed memory, never permitted. So did their hearts eventually come up with the false idea that as the time of the Ge’ula (Redemption) draws close, this prohibition is made void and it becomes permitted to teach that which was originally prohibited! (as the legal decision - psak - taken by R. Yizhhak Daltash, printed in the Beginning of the Zohar. This is a mistake on his part to decide the halacha from the Zohar against the Mishnah, Talmud and Poskim and his decision is not to be relied upon at all) - - They disregarded the words of the Sages and therefore fell into error, believing in a multiplicity in God, confirming the existence of other gods and associating things together with Ha-Shem Baruch Hu, against the principle of Rabbi Shimon Ben Yohhai who admonished ‘Whosoever associates to God anything else is uprooted from the world’ . - -
fr. ch. 28
This, precious reader, is the true faith received from the Sages who received it ultimately from Moses, that God is the First Cause. He alone created everything without the help of any other creation. Against this is the philosophising author of the Zohar who believes that a multitude of causes which were brought into existence help one another in the creation, each one gaining permission from the cause above it. - - Such have the false prophet of the Zohar and the rest of the kabbalists done with the honour of our Father in heaven, retaining that all the PARTZUFIM which they have invented are to be honoured together with Him. Thus ADAM KADMON, the greatest of them, is honoured for having said ‘Behold, now, that it is I, I am He that maketh to die and maketh to live’ etc. (having no other cause from whom to take permission. ABA is honoured with having said ‘Let there be light’ and ‘Let the waters gather’ etc. EMA is given the honour of having said ‘Let us make a man’ etc. ATIK YOMIN has the honour of having said ‘God has made you, in the midst of years, He maketh him to live’. Zeir Anpin has the great honour of having said ‘I am the Lord, thy God, who hath taken ye out of the land of Egypt’. And finally MALCHUT is not devoid of her honour, for she has said ‘These are the powers that have smitten Egypt’ for it MALCHUT with the help EMA (BINAH) that brought the plagues upon them. (Sefer Nahhalat Yosef (of the new kabbalists)p61,62)
Could it be made clearer than this that the kabbalists praise the PARTZUFIM with honour due only to the King of the universe, as if these carried the burden together with Him, God save us from such false beliefs!
fr. ch. 30
I have already written about how severe the Sages were concerning any word that might be taken to imply two separate Ruling-powers, to the point of forcing one to keep his silence. For what will it help and what will it add if one say that it is all One after he has already spoken about and considered many causes, each one of which takes permission from the cause above it!! It is as if we had been commanded to say One with our lips but to consider in our hearts many gods. Let us now look at the words of ha-Nesher ha-Gadol (the Great Eagle), the Rambam, peace be upon him, in Moreh Nevuchim (Guide of the Perplexed): (perek 50 of first edition)
-know, then, that belief (emunah) is not that which is said by the mouth, but what is conceived of in the soul (ha-metzuyar ba-nefesh) - that one believes that it is truly so as he has conceived of it. It is enough to understand that if one were to speak about true opinions that he considers true, without conceiving of or believing in what he is saying, that this would be quite frivolous. So, in fact, you will find many foolish ones who hold to beliefs to which they attach no conception in any wise. - - Thus if one believes that He is One but that He possesses many descriptive qualities (or attributes), he has said the word ‘One’ but in his thought believes in many. This is as the Christians who say that He is One but He is Three and the Three are One. It is the same for the person who says that He is One but He possesses many Attributes and that He and His Attributes are One, if only we remove the material sense and believe in His absolute simplicity. (this describes perfectly what the kabbalists say, namely that the Ten Emanated Sfirot are Ten but they are One.) As if our purpose and intention is what we must say and not what we must believe! There is indeed only one form of true belief, that one’s belief be the same as the belief conceived of in his intellect. If, then, he is with this belief (of Yihhud Ha-Shem - the Oneness of God) in such a manner that it is impossible to exchange it in any way, nor is there any place in his intellect to reject it or to estimate the possibility of its being changed, it will be true. - -
fr. ch. 31
We can see from this that the new kabbalists were all mistaken in that they conceived of and described God in multifarious forms: spheres, sfirot, lines, aspects, partzufim etc. each one different from the other, one within and one above etc. All this in spite of the true Kabbalah of the Sages that it is forbidden to make such considerations or even to ponder on such things, for they are included in that which is above, below, inside and behind.
They have said (I report the whole citation as brought in Sefer Milhhamot HaShem so that the reader may feel the intellectualised hog-wash used to describe ' the way the world was made '.., God save us. The reader will do well not to attempt to understand Haim Vital's ' cosmogony '.See, instead, how deeply he went off limits, altough he was a highly learned Hhacham who walked in his holyness. This is the result of relying on the human intellect to understand what is totally above human intellect, reason for which is prohibited by the Misnah mentioned above.) that in the beginning God filled the void of the universe. Afterwards He ‘contracted’ Himself and ‘squeezed Himself into the sides all around. He changed from the way He was in order to bring into existence place and void in each world. Look at the words of Haim Vital:
After the ‘contraction’ (TZIMTZUM) from which was left the place of the void and the empty ‘air’ in the midst of the Light of the Infinite One (EIN SOF) properly, there was now space in which could be placed the EMANATIONS, CREATIONS, FORMATIONS and MATERIALISATION. Then, from the Light of EIN SOF, one ‘straight line’ (KAV) was drawn down from the Light of its own outer SPHERE (‘IGUL) from above to below, evolving and descending to within that empty space. The highest point (ROSH, Head) of that KAV is brought down from the EIN SOF itself and touches it, but the end of the KAV below does not touch the EIN SOF below. Within the place of this void He emanated, created, formed and made all the worlds. This KAV can be compared to a thin pipe-line which through it the ‘waters’ of the SUPERIOR LIGHT of EIN SOF spread out and are drawn down into all the worlds.
Now we will explain the query of the kabbalists as to why there is a ‘beginning’ and ‘end’ to the SFIROT. This is because the HEAD of the KAV touches the LIGHT of EIN SOF from above, but the end of the KAV is not extended to the point of reaching the EIN SOF which encircles the worlds from below, nor is it attached. Therefore it is correct to speak of a ROSH (HEAD, BEGINNING) and a SOF (END). But if the two extremities received their influence from the EIN SOF, then both extremities would be in the category of HEAD, equal to each other, there being no ‘above’ or ‘below’. Likewise, if the EIN SOF would have been extended from the sides of that void, there would have been no above, below, inside, behind, east, west etc. -The Light of EIN SOF, drawn down in the form of a straight line within the void (HHALAL), does not spread out below immediately but very, very slowly. This is because at first the KAV of light begins to spread and immediately at the beginning of its spreading in the ‘secret’ of KAV, it spreads, is drawn down and becomes as a spheroid circle all around. This ‘IGUL’ however, is not attached to the EIN SOF which encircles it from all sides, for if it were attached, it would return to its original state of being and would be nullified in the LIGHT of EIN SOF. Its power would not be at all recognisable and there would remain only the LIGHT of EIN SOF as it was originally. Therefore this encirclement (‘IGUL) is close to the EIN SOF but not attached to it, for the bond and attached of that Emanation from the EIN SOF, the EMANATOR, is exclusively by way of the KAV through which the LIGHT descends from the EIN SOF into that encirclement. The EIN SOF encircles and encompasses it at an equal distance from all sides, for also it is in the category of ‘IGUL.
It is of necessity that the LIGHT of EIN SOF which shines into the EMANATIONS be exclusively by way of this KAV, for if the light were drawn down also by the SURROUNDING category, the EMANATIONS themselves would then be in the category of EMANATOR, unlimited and without measure. Not only but the KAV itself is extremely thin so that the light be drawn into the EMANATION in limited measure. For this reason the EMANATIONS are called TEN MIDOT and TEN SFIROT because they have measurement and are limited and have a fixed number.
Thus the first ‘IGUL which is more attached to the EIN SOF is called the CROWN (KETER) of ADAM KADMON. After this the KAV continues to descend a little but again becomes an encirclement which is now the second ‘IGUL within the first ‘IGUL. This is the ‘IGUL of HHOCHMAH (WISDOM) of ADAM KADMON. The KAV then descends again and again becomes an encirclement, this being the third ‘IGUL within the second ‘IGUL called the ‘IGUL of BINAH (UNDERSTANDING) of ADAM KADMON. This continues until the tenth ‘IGUL, the ‘IGUL of MALCHUT (KINGSHIP) of ADAM KADMON etc.
It has already been explained that there are many kinds of worlds which have been emanated, created, formed and made - thousands upon thousands of ten thousands etc. - and all of them together are in the place of this void there being nothing outside of it. Each world has its own TEN SFIROT and each SFIRAH itself has TEN individual SFIROT included in it.
-Now we shall explain the second category of the TEN SFIROT, that of ‘YOSHER’ which is in the form of the SUPERIOR MAN (ADAM ‘ELYON). So it is that the above mentioned KAV which spreads from above downwards and from which have spread out the encirclements, descends also in a Straight Way (YOSHER) from above to below; from the HEAD of the UPPER ‘ROOF’ of the HIGHER ENCIRCLEMENT until the bottom closing point of all the ‘IGULIM. This consists of TEN SFIROT in the ‘secret’ of ‘TZELEM’ (IMAGE) of the UPRIGHT MAN with 248 members etc.
-It is this second category which is called the ‘image’ of God and to which the verse alludes w when it says ‘And God created man in His image’ etc. Almost all of the worlds of the Zohar and Tikkunim deal with this second category of ‘YOSHER’ - -
Likewise Vital explains that the TEN SFIROT of the world of ATZILUT are not the first nor the highest but that many worlds of EMANATION, CREATIONS, FORMATIONS and MATERIALISATIONS had preceded them. Yet because of their great hiddenness, the Zohar and Tikkunim did not mention them except with hidden allusions. He also explains here the level to which the ‘FEET’ of ADAM KADMON reach and so the FEET of ATIK YOMIN, ARICH ANPIN, ABA and EMA, ZEIR ANPIN and until the FEET of NUKVEI; that ABA and EMA are short, the measurement of their stature reaching only from the THROAT of ARICH ANPIN until the NAVEL of ARICH ANPIN-
fr. ch. 32
From all this we have it clearly explained that the Sefirot were drawn down and evolved by way of a Thin Kav from the EIN SOF itself. So it is both for the ENCOMPASSING LEVELS (‘IGULIM) and the DIRECT LEVELS (YOSHER). Accordingly, the BODY of the SEFIROT along with the INTERNAL LIGHT which is their SOUL, as well as the ENCOMPASSING LIGHT which is their GARMENT, are all of ONE ESSENCE, the EIN SOF that spreads and descends etc. As the Shushan Sodot expresses clearly:
-know that the TEN SEFIROT are not something created but have, instead, been extended from the Essence of the Creator and are not separated from Him, for He is always found in them ‘as a snail whose garment is part of its body’ etc. -
Likewise the Ramaz: the VESSELS of ATZILUT are in the category of GODLINESS (ELOHUT).
And the Mishnat Hassidim: the entire ATZILUT both its LIGHTS and its VESSELS (KELIM) and even its GARMENTS are in the category of ABSOLUTE GODLINESS (ELOHUT GAMUR), whereas the World of Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiya, from their RUAHH (BINAH - UNDERSTANDING) and below, the RUAHH itself included, are not COMPLETE GODLINESS. -
Here, then, is the answer to your words with which you denied all this and you said: "God forbid that the kabbalists have said such! On the contrary, they have said that one must not believe or think that the Sefirot are part of the EIN SOF, Blessed is He, having evolved from CAUSE to CAUSE etc. Your words clearly contradict the Zohar, Haim Vital, Shushan Sodot, the Ramaz and Mishnat Hassidim who explain the manner of their ‘EVOLUTION (histalshelut) from the Essence of the EIN SOF and that they are completely DIVINE (ELUHUT GAMUR). Even you, then, admit that such words are an outright sin.
I have also shown previously that the Zohar calls ABA and EMA ‘HA-SHEM TZEVAOT’ (God of Hosts) and ZEIR ANPIN, the SON of ABA and EMA. They explain that all service and prayer are to ZEIR ANPIN. All the kabbalists agree to this and declare that all the praises and blessings are directed to ZEIR ANPIN exclusively. Not to the EIN SOF or to the other PARTZUFIM above ZEIR ANPIN in the world of ATZILUT and not to the PARTZUFIM below it in the worlds of Briah, Yetzirah and Assiah. And even though that they say that each one of these lower worlds contains all the PARTZUFIM that are in the world of ATZILUT being that they were all taken from the same basic substance i. e. from the Essence of the EIN SOF from which they were drawn down by way of the KAV and caused to evolve and descend below etc., it is only that these ((the lower worlds)) are not ELOHUT GAMUR (COMPLETE GODLINESS) to be prayed to or beseeched at the time of one’s troubles! (notice how disgusting it is to speak about the Creator of the universe, Blessed is He, in such a manner, disgusting, as well as false and idolatrous !!!)
It was about such beliefs that the Sages said in Sanhedrin (61b):
‘from the gods of the nations which surround you, those close to you and those far away’ - What difference does it make if they are close or far? This means that from the nature of those that are close you can understand the nature of those that are far away - -
With this the Sages taught us a way of discerning the images of the idol-worshippers, that from the characteristics of those that are close, we are able to know the characteristics of those that are distant.
Compare and judge from this all the PARTZUFIM. They say that in each one of the FOUR WORLDS all the PARTZUFIM are present but, nevertheless, our service goes only to ZEIR ANPIN of ATZILUT. Just as those close to us in the worlds of ASSIAH, YETZIRAH and BRIAH must not be served because they have no substance and are not DIVINE, so too with that far away, namely ZEIR ANPIN of ATZILUT, ((must not be served because it has no substance and there is no God except for Ha-Shem Baruch Hu u-Baruch Shmoh le-’olam va-’ed. --
fr. ch. 33
Why may we not direct our prayers to the Higher EIN SOF who encompasses all existence? Why should He become angry with us if we turn to Him in prayer? Why too did Moses, the man of God and the faithful one of His house, not make all this known to us in the written Torah and the oral law which he passed down word of mouth? Why too the Prophets who stood up for Israel from the days of Moses until the period of Malachi, the last of them, who warned us ‘Remember the Law of My servant Moses, which I commanded at Horeb to all Israel, laws and statutes - - why did they not make all this known to us? Why did they allow all these past generations to be victims of their innocence in ignoring the God of their salvation!
It was incumbent upon them to inform the people that it is not to the High and Almighty God that they must pray to because His greatness and Infinity are not in reach of any understanding. One must, instead, turn only to His favorite manifestation, Son to His Father and Mother, (it is not strange that traditional Christians, believers in the Trinity, dance up and down in their love for the mystical doctrines of the Zohar.) the short-tempered ZEIR ANPIN, who has already thickened and become comprehensible to the senses!!!! - - The Kisei Eliyahu writes openly:
fr. ch. 34
-when we speak of benediction in conjunction to Him, the intention is not to the Essence of the Single One, God forbid, since He is exalted above all benediction - (this and the next citation demonstrate beyond any doubt the error and sin of the generation of Enosh)
The Sefer Ha-Brit writes:
-concerning the EIN SOF in its most divest form, the philosophers ((Aristotelians)) were right in their affirmation that no service or prayer concerns Him, since in this category He is elevated above all blessing and praise, nullified are the mitzvot and all the Torah - -
Since, then, the kabbalah which you mention is the opposite of the Zohar and kabbalists, the only proper word for you is fool. What are you battling about, with your calumny, slander and evil-tongue, against those who study the Torah. For what reason do you insult them? Because they do not chirp out the words of the Zohar as you do! Because they cling to the Mishnah, Talmud and Poskim? It is only with evil intentions in your heart that you announced in public that we are minim (deviates from the true faith) and kofrim (deniers of the true faith) because we do not study the Zohar and Tikkunim. - -
Woe unto the ‘shepherds’ who with their lies make the people to err, yet they are wise men in their own eyes! You are wise in doing evil and in profaning the Name of Ha-Shem Baruch Hu and the Holy Torah! And you would do ‘business’ with the doctrines of the truth of which your knowledge is only superficial, that it might be for you ‘a shovel with which to dig’ broken pits that can hold no water. As the Prophet Micah (3:4) said:
- ‘The word of God concerning the prophets who lead my people astray, who bite with their teeth and call ‘peace’ but declare a holy war against them if they put nothing into their mouths’
fr. ch. 35
Who will not allow himself to understand that the lying prophet of the Zohar has adopted other beliefs, such as the Christian trinity and mixed them together with the ‘emunah’ of the Torah, changing the order of their births but arriving just the same at the belief in a ‘father’, a ‘son’ and a ‘holy spirit’. Look at how the Zohar (va- ethhanan page 263 with gilayon) and the Mikdash Melech have interpreted the verse ‘Hear o Israel, the Lord, our God, God is One’:
- ‘Hear o Israel’ R. Yeisa said: This is ‘Yisrael Saba’; R. Yitzhak said: The large ‘AIN’ (' ain equals 70 in ghematria; the traditional ' ain of the Shema is large .) (of the word SHEMA are the 70 names which are witness to all things (this is the secret of Binah which has 70 names and Malchut that receives from the AIN) - ‘Hear o Israel’ as it states ‘Hear o ye heavens’ and ‘hearken o ye heavens’ - here too Hear o Israel is the same thing (ZEIR ANPIN); Ha-Shem (the first mentioning) is the beginning of all, in the light of ATIKA KADISHA, and is called FATHER (ABA who receives from the YOD of ARICH ANPIN); ‘our God’ (ELOHEINU) - this is the ‘deep valley from which rivers and fountains flow out and descend into all’ (EMA); HA-SHEM (the second mentioning) is the ‘body of the tree’, complete with its roots (ZEIR ANPIN); ‘One’ - this KNESSET YISRAEL (the ALEF and HHET are the 9 SFIROT of ZEIR ANPIN, the DALET is MALCHUT of ZEIR ANPIN) and all is one completeness, each bound to the other so that there is no separation and all is One - -
The Zohar thus considers the 3 names mentioned as three different PARTZUFIM : HA-SHEM (ABA), ELOHEINU (EMA) and HA-SHEM (ZEIR ANPIN). The word EHHAD (One) includes ZEIR ANPIN and NUKVEI, one and inseparable, and the five PARTZUFIM as one. This interpretation follows the doctrine expressed in Bereishit where he considers the ESSENCE of the Creator ABA, the CRAFTSMAN EMA and ZEIR ANPIN the SON of ABA and EMA. The Christians, on the other hand, consider the Essence of the Creator ARICH which they call FATHER, the SFIRAH of HHOCHMA (WISDOM) as the SON, and the SFIRAH of BINAH (EMA) as the HOLY SPIRIT.
Who, then, is wise enough to understand and explain to me the difference between the faith of those who believe in the trinity and that of the new kabbalists who believe in five or twelve in their subdivisions?!!! -
fr. ch. 40
It is against such false beliefs, so completely in contrast to our Holy Torah, that R. Tam ibn Yihhye spoke when he said that those who occupy themselves with this new kabbalah destroy the corner stones of the Torah and break its pillars asunder etc.
His words also refer to what was written in the name of Yitzhak Luria that one should not say ‘Yigdal Elohim Hai’ (Exalted is the Living God etc.) The reason is that they believe that no service or prayer or praise concerns God, the First Cause, because of His being completely divest of any matter or form. This persuasion derives from the pagans who believed that the Almighty God is exalted above and therefore devoid of benediction or praise, that in His infinite greatness He is unconcerned with laws or worship or prayer.
Even when He invests Himself (according to them) in the sfirot of the countless worlds above the world of ATZILUT, these are still too fine and spiritual to be conceived of or perceived. Even ADAM KADMON of ATZILUT, as well as ATIK YOMIN, ARICH ANPIN, ABA and EMA cannot be served because of their ‘thinness’ and ‘hiddenness’. Only the last PARTZUF of ATZILUT called ZEIR ANPIN (and NUKVEI) which has already thickened slightly can be worshipped and prayed to. Look now at the explanation of Sefer Ha-Brit:
-concerning this you must know, my brother, that our faith (emunah) is not similar to that of the philosophers (metaphysics) or to that of the Ismaelim concerning the Oneness (Yihhud) of the Creator.(this is perfectly false ; the Ishmaelites , by way of Islam, returned to the faith of Ishmael, son of Abraham, in the One Living God. Creator of all existence ; this isthe same faith of Abraham , the pure monotheistic faith in which we are commanded. The Torah and Mitzvot are an added love to His people for their own purification, elevation and knowledge, not another theology, God forbid !) For these have no knowledge of the glorified and wonderous Name-of-Four-Letters. (this statement is no less hateful than those of the Witnesses of J. who believe themselves exclusively privileged because only them pronounce the Four-Letter Name !!!). They believe only in that ‘obligated’ Existence, in its most divest form, in the beginning before Creation, divest (without garments). This category is incomprehensible to everyone nor can it be alluded to in any way. Yet concerning this category the philosophers were right in saying that no service or prayer pertains to it because of its complete aloofness from blessing or prayer; and as R. Meir Gabai has said ‘All the Torah and Mitzvot have no place here - but he who meditates well will understand clearly without any doubt that there is no place for all these, except by way of emanation of the sefirot - not so the people of the God of Abraham who believe in his ‘obligated’ Existence as it is enclothed in His attributes. This is the secret of the Tetragrammaton, in the category of ‘after creation’ and ‘perceived’ by the House of Jacob. It was revealed to Moses at Sinai. (It states ' I am God (Tetragram) - I revealed Myself unto the patriarchs in the name of EL SHADDAI, but in My name (Tetragram) was I not revealed to them'. Did Moses then receive a different theology than that of Abraham, God forbid !!!!) It brought us out of Egypt and gave the Torah to our fathers of the desert-generation ‘face-to-face’. It is to this category that our ‘sacrifices’, our prayers and all the mitzvot mentioned in the Torah pertain. It was upon this glorified and wondrous Name, Ha-Shem Elohecha (Zeir Anpin) that Moses warned us to fear etc. - -
Likewise Haim Vital in his ‘Etz Haim explains:
-the light which descends from ADAM KADMON is extremely pure, but by way of its descent and its becoming more distant, it thickens with one thickening after another. Here is the manner in which this happens: the light which is drawn down and descends through the EAR is extremely pure, but when this light is drawn into the NOSE, upon its exiting from there it has slightly thickened. It has thus acquired some ‘thickness’ and ‘crudeness’ for reason of its furthering away; then it is further drawn down until the MOUTH from which a small portion exiting from there has become even thicker etc. - -
THE REASON then that service and prayer pertain only to a God who is ‘perceivable’ and has some ‘thickness’ is in order that one be able to imagine Him in a ‘structured’ and ‘materialised’ form. The EIN SOF, however, or ADAM KIDMAA or ADAM KADMON or even ATIK and ARICH ANPIN which have not yet thickened and materialised so much, are not connected to any service! For they are not thick enough or material enough to be figured and pictured in the mind! Therefore all service goes the SMALL NOSED ZEIR ANPIN who, according to them, is our God by way of His having materialised to the point of revealing Himself to Moses in the Burning Bush and to our fathers at Sinai!!!!!!
They have forgotten that the Torah writes openly that it was an angel of God who revealed himself to Moses at the Burning Bush, as it states ‘And there appeared unto him an angel of God in a flamefire from within the Sneh’. And it states ‘For you saw no image, the day in which God spoke with you’ etc. They did not see a perceivable image with 248 limbs and 365 veins and arteries, as the kabbalists say!!!!!
fr. ch. 41
See, then, precious reader, how their hearts were filled with evil intentions to speak against the Sages of Israel and to uproot four foundations of the Holy Torah expressed in Yigdal Elohim HHAI. The Hhemdat Yomim, one of the pupils of Yitzhak Luria explained the reason:
-after having given witness in va-yechulu (And so were completed the heavens and the earth and all their hosts) to the constant renewal of the world, it has become custom to say the Piut ‘Yigdal Elohim Hhai Ve-Yishtabahh every Shabbat. It is well proper for everyone to sing it with intention in his house. For even though it has been said that R. Yitzhhak Luria did not want to say it, his anger is justified only concerning the first four stanzas which are not in accordance with the ‘true way’. As the Zohar, in parashat Terumah allows to sing that which is true kabbalah, so is it not proper to say them. From ‘Adon ‘Olam, however, the rest are allowed to be said etc. -
-It was for this reason that they refused to say Yigdal Elohim Hhai: The foundation of all their thinking was based on the belief that service and prayer go to Zeir Anpin. Before the creation, however, Zeir Anpin did not yet exist. Therefore Yitzhhak Luria did not want to say Yigdal Elohim Hhai. For how could he say He exists but there is no time to His Existence. ZEIR ANPIN has a time to its existence, namely, from creation on and not previously, or from Abraham on (for they maintain ((tikkunei Zohar)) that until Abraham, Zeir Anpin was not yet firmly established and it would not have been proper to serve a ‘god’ who was still lacking. He would have been giving false praise had he said He exists and there is no time to His existence because previously ZEIR ANPIN did not yet exist and had not yet been established and was not fit to be served or praised.
It was likewise not to his pleasing to say ‘He is One and there is no Oneness as His’ for also this is an untruth for them. It has already been explained above that they give an example of a house, having many rooms and being made up of wood, stones, earth and lime etc. The builder is the one in his wisdom joins them together and makes them into one thing, called with one name ‘house’. This means that for them the Oneness of God is similar to other entities of one, consisting of all the parts that make it up but called with one inclusive name. How, then, could he have said ‘He is One, but there is no Oneness as His Oneness’!!
They also refused to say ‘He is hidden, nor is there an end to His Oneness’. For they say that there are many worlds emanated, created, formed and made which are above the world of ATZILUT. Yet because of their hiddenness, no attempt was made to explain them. Even ADAM KADMON was only alluded to slightly. Their general rule is that all the PARTZUFIM above the ATZILUT because of their hiddenness and fineness and thinness cannot be served nor beckoned in prayer. Only the PARTZUFIM that have thickened and have some appearance and in particular ZEIR ANPIN, the last of the PARTZUFIM of ATZILUT which has thickened to an even greater degree and become revealed enough to be comprehensible, can be served and prayed to. Therefore they would not say ‘He is Hidden and there is no end to His Oneness’ since this is not the true praise of ZEIR ANPIN.
Similarly, they avoided saying ‘He has no bodily form and He is not body’ being that ZEIR ANPIN has the form of a body with 248 limbs and 365 veins etc.
After having understood well the reason behind Yitzhhak Luria’s not saying ‘He has no bodily form and He is not body’ it must be further understood that even though they say He is not a ‘material body’ but ‘light’, this resolves nothing. The ‘form’ (d’mut) of a body remains (with 248 limbs etc.) They have also not taken into consideration that even fire and light are bodies, even if they are thinner and more spiritual bodies-
They themselves say that the ‘essence’ of the PARTZUFIM of ATZILUT consists of SOUL, BODY and GARMENT: The SEFIRAH itself is the BODY, the INTERIOR LIGHT is the SOUL and the ENCOMPASSING LIGHT is the GARMENT. So too in many places in the Zohar it speaks about GUFA D’MALKA (BODY of the KING).
It would, therefore, have been false for them to say ‘He has no form of body and He is not body’ because this is not of the true praises pertaining to the PARTZUFIM according to their new kabbalah.
They also refused to say ‘He is the first and there is no beginning to His beginning’ for according to their kabbalah there are many beginnings to the beginning of ZEIR ANPIN upon which is centered all their worship, God save us. There were many causes which preceded ZEIR ANPIN such as the EIN SOF, ADAM KIDMAA, ADAM KADMON, ATIK YOMIN, ARICH ANPIN, ABA and EMA. Therefore they refused to praise ZEIR ANPIN who rules over all the creations and is called with the Name-of-Four-Letters with being the first and having no beginning which precedes His beginning since this does not agree to their kabbalah. And, as seen in parashat Terumah of the Zohar, one may only recite those songs of praise which are of the true kabbalah. Thus our OLD KABBALAH that Ha-Shem Baruch Hu is the first and there is no beginning to His beginning is not true kabbalah and so they refuse to say the first four stanzas of Yigdal Elohim Hhai. The continuation, however, from ‘Heno Adon ‘Olam etc. are praises that can be attributed to ZEIR ANPIN and thus are considered true kabbalah and are not included in Yitzhhak Luria’s wrath against the first four stanzas.
The ear able to distinguish words will understand the great error of the rabbis, authors of the new kabbalah, who uprooted four fundamental principles of our Holy Torah. (R. ElGafeh's brilliant exposition here in revealing the true intentions of the false kabbalah by this very acute axplanation of Yigdal Elohim Hhai may be taken as a format in distinguishing the true kabbalah of tradition and the false kabbalah of the Zohar. Here the unrelenting and zealous Hhacham from Saana has stripped them of all pretences as the Prophet Elijah, of blessed mentioning, stripped the priests of Baal of all pretences at Mount Carmel. He has shown, unfortunately but necessarily, the real ugliness of their nakedness.) Openly the Yosher Levav writes:
- ‘Know the God of thy father’ includes FIVE PARTZUFIM; and ‘serve Him’ -this is ZEIR ANPIN even though He is created, because in this manner you are serving His soul, without which there is no existence etc.
fr. ch. 43
The Rambam explains: - (hilchot ' avoda zara ' - the Laws concerning idolworship)
-Thus we see that our father, Abraham, peace be with him, taught to the world the faith in the Oneness of God. He also wrote books which he made known to his sons as well as to all the others who had been drawn into their fold. This includes Ishmael who, we know from our tradition, did repentance. Possibly, the reward of Ismael’s repentance is that his progeny after many generations merited to have faith in the Oneness of God which Mohhamed had in fact learned from Israel. Among the descendants of Jacob, however, there had never been an interruption and it remained with the Levites and with a remnant of individuals from the other tribes until the period of our great law.giver, father to all the Prophets and head of all the Hhachamim, our teacher, Moses, peace be with him. It was to him that an angel of God revealed itself in the bramble bush in fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. Through the hand of Moses, He redeemed our ancestors from Egypt, brought them to Mount Sinai, crowned them with the commandments, instructed them in how to serve Him and in the proper manner of understanding His Oneness, and taught as well the punishment for idolworship and those who err after it. When it came close to the time of Moses’ departing from this world, the Holy One Blessed is He revealed to him what will happen towards the end of our exile period and said to him, "You will now lie down with your fathers, but this nation shall arise and prostitute itself to the gods of other nations to which they shall have come into their midst" etc. -
So has it happened to us. We have been beguiled by the Zohar, written by Moses de Leon and falsely attributed to R. Shimon ben Yohhai, into abandoning our God and substituting Him with a belief in a multiplicity of manifested godheads. Yet the vast majority of the Rabbis and Hhacamim gave no attention to searching out the source of its words or the basis of its concepts. As blind men or as sheep being lead to their slaughter, they accepted upon themselves the onus of its vacuum weight, believing on faith that R. Shimon ben Yohhai had actually written it. It was for this reason that they never recognised all the snake-pits hidden in its poisonous guile and in its treacherous self-flattery. The Leaders fell and the multitudes plunged. Subtly but surely it contorted the pure faith of the Torah into an intricate and systematic paradigm of divine manifestations, a belief as far from the Torah as the Vedic religions of India. Yet its enticement, once its doctrines had not been disclaimed and rejected, was ever-strong. The prostitute had entered the camp and no one had stopped her or held her back from her promiscuous profession. Slowly in its inception but with ever-increasing pace, the false kabbalah had become the Matron while the true kabbalah of Israel, received uninterruptedly by word of mouth from Moses until Rabi, R. Ashi, Rabina and R, Yohhanan, had become, God forbid, a disgusting and unruly maid-servant from under whom the land showed its wrath!
Thus do we lie down in dishonour while shamefulness covers us over, for we have abandoned the unadulterated faith and yeilded to the rationalized pantheon of the Zohar.
The Ismaelim, however, have stood in the faith of Yihhud ha-Shem. So too has it been explained by many Hhachamim among which the Rambam in his answer to a convert, that they believe in the Oneness of God as we do. The statement of the new kabbalists that ‘our’ faith concerning Yihhud ha-Shem is different from that of the Ismaelim is false. It is ‘their’ belief which is different, for it is the adoration of an ‘associated level’ and a ‘manifest’ creation, similar in substance to the Cristian belief in the Trinity.
fr. ch. 44
With the help of the One who teaches knowledge to man, let us examine the words of several Sages, teachers of the laws by which we live and through whose light of instruction we enter into the wisdom of the Torah and its precepts. We have already seen some of the Rambam’s words on the subject. Let us now turn to R. Eliezer, author of Sefer Ha-Rokeah:
-when mentioning the Name in Baruch Atah Ha-Shem (Blessed art Thou, o God), one should not think of the Glory which appeared in the hearts of the Prophets or the Vision of the Throne. One should think only of God who is in the heavens, on the earth, in the air, in the sea and everywhere, the God of our fathers who is always present, as it states ‘I have placed Ha-Shem before me always’ -
concerning Yihhud Ha-Shem (the Oneness of God) he writes:
-To Thee is befitting all praise. Thou art not similar to all Thy servants. Who hath seen, to know Thy secret? Thou seest all before Thee. Whosoever possesses wisdom within his heart must know, in the path of his knowledge, as least the basic principles of Yihhud ha-Shem. There is no capacity or manner to express the the secret of the Creator or what He is. For all that lives cannot see Him, not angel nor prophet for all else pertains to the creation. He created all and formed them. He is One to whom there is no second. Therefore is He not to be imagined in any form or aspect or appearance. For that which has aspect has an end and a limit but the Creator has no end, neither above nor below nor to the four directions of the world. There is no beginning nor end to His wisdom or His omnipotence. Only ‘the power of His deeds did He tell to His nation’ to make known His might and the splenderous glory of His kingdom. Simultaneously, in one second, all the creations call and pray to Him, each one touched in his heart by some anguish. he answers to all of them, for ‘He is close to all who call Him’ and He listens. Therefore the wise one whose eyes are in his head will listen to my words and will not tire himself, trying to think about what He is. For you can know nothing of the Creator Himself in that He is not created. How could you estimate past, present and future in one? ‘To whom would you liken Me that I be compared?’ All forms of the created forms are not in Him. All that can be imagined or likened in the creations cannot be imagined or likened in the Creator. All that is made is not found in the Maker.- ‘For Thou art God; Thou alone hast created the world’ , ‘For Thou art great and makest wonders’. ‘In the beginning God created’ - without toil or labor. ‘With the word of God, the heavens were made’. Understand in your wisdom that He fills all, He is hidden from the sight of all and He has no end. There is nothing within you that is hidden from Him, for ‘The heavens and the earth do I fill’. - The habitation of His glory is in the heavens above and the dwelling place of His might is in the upper heights, ‘Thou art there; if I lay down in the pit, here art Thou, even herefrom Thy hand shall guide me and bring me up’ -At times the world and all that is in it cannot contain Him, and at times He speaks between the hairs of one’s head - the smallness which reveals the greatness. ‘The heavens and the earth do I fill’ - behold the love for Israel, that He revealed His glory between the two Cherubim. ‘And God saw all tha He had made’ - all that which is above and below with one ‘glance’, both this world and the world to come. He is One. He created the world without other means. By His will alone, He desired and it was. So He decreed and the heavens became. The Creator needs no space nor place, for He existed before all existence. There are no walls or separations from before Him. Blessed is the Creator, Maker of all, the Most Wonderful, the Hidden and Self-Concealed. All is nil and without value compared to the Creator. He has no measurement or limiting number. He has no length, width, form or bodily shape. He has no joinings, no limbs, no shadow, no light, no turning. According to His will, He makes His voice heard from before His glory. The Creator is the ‘present’ in everything. He has no form or shape, no action or body, no association or attachment. He has no need of anything. He has no dwelling or place. He fills the heavens, the earth, the sea, the air and all existence. He has no standing, no sitting, no walking, no movement and no weariness. Nor has He vellels or instruments with which to work. He is the Creator of all without toil or labor. Neither the eyes of the Prophets nor of anyone else have ever seen Him. The Creator was before all else, previous to all existence. He is the First, Living and Existing, Great, Mighty and Wonderful, the Praised and Exalted King. From Him can nothing be added or taken away. He has no diminishing or increasing and there is no end to His existence. ‘If you search for God, will you find Him or will you discover the extremity of Shaddai?’ There is no limit to His understanding and no searching into His greatness.
-He is the only Creator. He shows His glory when and how He wills and desires it; the vision of the glory of Ha-Shem as a consuming fire, or the vision of a light without form, impossible to be looked at by any creation. Only the voice is heard and an amazing vision is perceived by the Prophet who says ‘I have seen Ha-Shem’. He shows the form of His glory as His will so decrees, at times as an image of a man or in some other form. SometimesHe shows His glory in the form of Great Hosts clinging together, Ha-Shem Tzevaot, or with separated bodies Ha-Shem Elohei Ha-Tzevaot. It was from this vision of the glory and splendor that His voice would become heard. But think not false thoughts about it. Take extreme heed and guard yourself steadfastly, lest you cause your flesh to sin, to say that He is divided into limbs, God forbid, ‘To what form would you liken Him?’ ‘For you have seen no image’ - R. Shimon ben Yohhai said: Even the serving whose life is as long as the world cannot see His glory. -
The Rokeah continues on at length and concludes:
-The Creator commanded us to proclaim His Oneness twice daily ‘God, our Lord, God is One’. This is the faith which must be taken into the heart and not simply heard by the ears. With these words, we receive Ha-Shem upon ourselves as our God, in our belief that He is One and that He and His name are One -’And Thou shalt know it this day and take it into thy heart that Ha-Shem is God, in the heavens above and on earth below, there is no other. He is the First and the Life of all existence. There is no one with Him. He is One and He is not to be imagined in any shape or form. Guard yourselves until your very souls ‘For you have seen no image’. (even though is written ' they saw the God of Israel ' , the Torah warns severely ' for you have seen no image ' , because what they saw was a manifestation of His glory.) With what image would you liken Him? for there is nothing in existence which is in any way similar to the Almighty God of the universe, Blessed is He and Blessed is His name forever- -
fr. ch. 45
Give your heart over, precious reader, to the words of this Hhacham in his description of the true Yihhud Ha-Shem and the true faith, purified of all fallacious and imaginary ideas. They stem from a faithful source, from the tradition of the Sages in the Talmud and Midrashim. -
God has no aspects or any of the PARTZUFIM conjured up by the new kabbalists. It is forbidden even to allow such ideas to arise in one’s thought as it is forbidden to ponder about ‘what He is’ or about the manner of His operating. As the words of the Sages: And thou shallt not turn after thy heart - this refers to ‘minut’ (negating the true tradition of Israel). There is, in fact, no greater negating than this, to believe that the Creator has divided aspects which have different names, different qualities and different actions, and that by their joining together with one another, they give birth to new generations, generating souls to the angels, to Israel and to the nations!
After relating to us the various Partzufim and labeling them with names of the Holy One, Blessed is He, what will one add and what will one gain when afterwards he lies with his tongue and says that all is One. His mouth has already spoken out the thoughts of his heart, saying it with his lips and writting it with his pen that they are many. Even when he goes back and calls them One, are we of words alone? Or does a word cancel out thought?
The true Kabbalah, accepted by our nation from generation to generation is that our God, Blessed is His name, has no measurement or limits, no length or width and no shape or bodily form. Nor does He have a Wife to help Him. For the Almighty God has no need of any help. ‘There is no searching and no end to His greatness’ - He is the First and there is no beginning to His beginning.
This is the essence of our faith and the tradition received directly from Moses, our teacher, and from Abraham the first Patriarch of our nation. -
fr. ch. 47
The Rambam concerning idolworship: (hilchot 'avoda zara' , perek 1 and 2)
-The essential commandment concerning idolworship is not to serve any of the creations, neither angels, celestial spheres and stars nor any one of the four elements and whatever has been created from them. Even if the one who serves them knows that Ha-Shem is God and yet he serves this creation in the manner of the generation of Enosh (at its inception), he is one who practices idolworship (‘avodah zara) - -
-In the generation of Enosh, the people fell into a very great error, saying that since God had created the stars and heavenly spheres (galgalim) to conduct the world and had placed them above and given them honour, being that they are His servants who serve before Him, it is therefore proper to praise and extol them and to show them honour (kavod) - and that it is the will of God that those which He made great and to which He has given honour be exalted and honoured, as a king who desires that honour be shone to his servants this being the honour of the king as well- -
fr. ch. 48
The intelligent reader will readily understand from these statements to what extent the ideas of the kabbalists parallel those of the generation of Enosh. The latter referred to their objects of worship with the name of God and prayed to them. The new kabbalists have called each PARTZUF with the name of Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu ordaining that these be worshipped. All the prayers and blessings established by the men of the Great Assembly are to be directed to ZEIR ANPIN in conjunction with the HIGHER PARTZUFIM, notwithstanding their having been created. Moreover they erroneously believe that the obvious contradiction of serving creations is rectified by their claim that in truth they serve the ‘soul’ which is in them.
So the Maker of the eye in man has given him a heart of perception and a mind of discernment to comprehend that their’s is the very same thought of the generation of Enosh which, in great error, considered the forms and PARTZUFIM of their imagination as gods and called them with one name ‘God’, (this was mainly the name EL added to the names of the stars worshipped by them) serving them as a means to draw down the ‘influences’ from the Higher God.
And if one wishes to argue that the generation of Enosh was different in that they made the PARTZUFIM and Forms with their own hands while the kabbalists have made no actual forms but have only considered the forms and partzufim as Godliness, this is exactly the same thought with which began the error of that generation. So too the word of the Sages that one might have thought that the prohibition pertains to the one who actually made the ‘idol’ but not to the one who considered it in his thoughts only - therefore it states ‘Thou shalt have no other gods from before Me’ in any manner whatsoever. This is also the meaning of the verse ‘Lest you lift up your eyes to the heavens, and beholding the sun and the moon and the stars, you stray’ etc. Everything is included, even the mental attribution of ‘divinity’ or ‘ruling-power’ to any creation or emanation. They are all included in the category of ‘the hosts of the heavens’ which the Torah has strictly prohibited us to serve. Even though one calls them with the name of God, they have no substance.
fr. ch. 49
In Sanhedrin, concerning the verse in which Israel exclaims the praise of the golden calf ‘This (these) is (are) your god (gods) o Israel who took you up from the land of Egypt’: R. Yehudah said: If not for the Vav (sign of the plural) of ‘heelucha’ (who took you up), all the enemies of Israel would have been destroyed; R. Shimon ben Yohhai said to him ‘(No! It is not so, for) in all cases ‘whosoever associates the name of God with anything else is uprooted from the world’ as it states ‘to God alone’; what then does ‘heelucha’ come to teach us? - that they desired many gods- (Author R. Yehudah maintains that the ' VAV ' or plural sign of heelucha - thus rendering ' elohecha ' plural ' thy gods ' - indicates their belief ina plurality, whereas if the golden calf had been intended in a singular sense, it could have been associated with the One God. Therefore their sin would have been less severe and Israel would still have merited the destruction of all its enemies. R. Shimon ben Yohhai, however, does not agree that their sin woul have been less because it is a question of ' association ' , being that they worshipped the calf and ' whoever associates ' merits destruction.Thus in any case they would have been unworthy to merit the destruction of their enemies.)
Distinguish well between the true kabbalah of the Sages and that of the new kabbalists. These latter believe that Ha-Shem Baruch Hu in His most essential and divest Essence is not the object of our prayers nor is the intention of our deeds to be directed to this aspect of ‘Absoluteness’. By ‘Himself’ He is not in the range of helping nor has He the power to save anyone until He has first united with the PARTZUFIM and in particular ZEIR ANPIN. Only then is it possible to speak of worship, prayer and blessing. It is necessary, however, to ‘conjoin’ ZEIR ANPIN with his Female Counterpart as well as with the other Five PARTZUFIM. In this manner one’s prayer will be answered for he knows the proper method of ‘combining’ God to His attributes!
This is properly ‘association, the ‘partnership’ (SHITUF) of God and ‘something else’. For alone He is unable to do anything unless He has first joined Himself to them in order to act and to put his works into action. There is no greater ‘association’ of God with ‘something else’ than this!
And properly to R. Shimon ben Yohhai, who in the true kabbalah of the Talmud was most outspoken in his hatred of ‘association’, was attributed by the false kabbalah of the prevaricating author of the Zohar with such blasphemy!
The pure and unadulterated faith, however, is to believe with a complete and perfect conviction that God Himself and He alone has the power and the rule over all the creations which in His loving-kindness He has made to exist. Our sole intention in all our prayers and deeds and the mitzvot as commanded us in the Torah must be to Ha-Shem only, to the First Cause without being joined or associated to any other force. For all that which exists needs Him but He needs none of His creations.
fr. ch. 50
Let us now study the Gemarra in Minahhot: (perek ' harei ' alai isaron p. 110)
-R. Yitzhhak and some say R. Yehudah said in the name of Rav: From Tyre to Carthageny they acknowledge Israel and their Father in heaven; but from Tyre westwards and from Carthageny eastwards they acknowledge neither Israel nor their Father in heaven. - R. Simi b. Hhiya resolved a contradition before Rav, for it states ‘From the rising sun until its setting’ - The others called the God of Israel the ‘God of the gods’ - -
The Maharsha explains: It mentions Israel first because it was through Israel that the knowledge of the Omnipotent God became known in the world, and that He is the God of Israel whose Providence is over all the land; hence, their Father who is in heaven; but from Tyre westwards etc. since they do not acknowledge Israel, they do not know about their Father in heaven whose Providence is in the world below. They believe, instead, that He is the ‘God of the gods’ (ELOHEI HA-ELOHIM) who gave over to the gods below Him power and rule, while He Himself looks not at the lower world- -
Turn your heart, precious reader, to the true wisdom of the Sages. Open your eyes to behold the light so that you be completely convinced that the opinion of the kabbalists that He is far above and ‘no thought can grasp Him’ etc. that therefore one must pray only to ZEIR ANPIN who was given ‘ruling power’ over all, that whoever calls to the EIN SOF, the High God, will not be answered, is itself the faith of the other nations referred to here as ‘westwards from Tyre and eastwards from Carthageny’. It is they who believe that our Father in heaven is too far above to ‘descend’ and to be ‘interested’ in what happens in the lower realms. He is, instead, the God of the gods, the FIVE PARTZUFIM who themselves gave over the ruling-power to ZEIR ANPIN to whom alone is there a reckoning of all happenings.
This is the reproof of the Prophet Isaiah to Israel ‘Doth My hand fall short of redeemimg, do I not have the power to save?’ - unless I am helped by the PARTZUFIM which are below Me? Or have I appointed them in My place?
For He is the First Cause who commanded us not to serve any other creations whatsoever. He is not the ‘power’ within a ‘body’ as the new kabbalists have thought!
fr. ch. 58
He then continues to ignite his maddening flame-fire against those who place their efforts in the study of the Mishnah by praising his secrets and calling his Testament the ‘Tree of Life’ - while the oral law that Moses received - is the Maid-Servant (SHIFHHA). If Israel had merited, he claims, Moses would have given to them a Mishnah containing no prohibitions, impurity laws or disqualifications. Everything would have been pure, allowed and usable. It was for the reason of giving such a Mishnah that he was punished with being buried outside of the Holy Land. ‘And no one knew his burial place’ means that nobody knew the reason for his being punished with such a sepulcher. Now he reveals the secret that this was his punishment for having given to Israel this Mishnah. (this interpretation of the zohar is by itself sufficiently motivated to warrant the burning of all text of the zohar anf tikkunim)Those who study it and the teachers who instruct the nation in its ways are called the ‘mixed-multitude’ while the Mishnah itself is the ‘maid-servant’ who has taken rule over MATRONITA (the Queen, Malchuta) and thus caused the separation between the KING and MATRONITA:
fr. ch. 59
-As flowing honey the words of this philosopher come forth constructing a belief completely foreign to the Holy Torah. In such a way, as well as through intricate devices of self-flattery did he attract the hearts of many, snaring them into worshipping the forms and partzufim which he considered as ‘separate divine entities’ whose ‘souls’ are ‘hewn out’ of the Higher God who gave them a ‘portion’ from His Essence. Their encompassing elements, their bodies, their souls and garments were all taken from one source (the EIN SOF) which has no name or point of reference, and since it cannot be grasped by any thought, it can therefore not be served or called to in prayer. It will not answer, for it has already appointed the PARTZUFIM over all the work of creation. It made ABA to be the CREATOR. It is He who says and commands EMA ‘Let there be such and such’ and She obeys His orders as a craftsman who faithfully accomplishes the work of the proprietor. So too ABA and EMA commanded and appointed ZEIR ANPIN and NUKVEI to give Providence over all the lower creations - all is done as is the desire and will of ZEIR ANPIN.
fr. ch. 61
It is well known that the first nations in the time of Enosh felkl into the error of worshipping the stars, the Zodiac, the sun and moon and the other heavenly hosts. After them there arose other groups who believed in two activators, one who activates good and one who activates evil. After this there spread out the belief in the trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the TEN EMANATED SFIROT is an extended interpretation of the philosophical abstractions of the Trinity. So too they claim that the FIVE GENERAL PARTZUFIM constitute the aspects of a ‘whole’ and are ‘one’.
If, however, asthey would have it, that in their entirety they are one, this would mean that any one of the five general partzufim is itself not a complete ‘one’. For only the five partzufim together would constitute ‘one’, whereas each PARTZUF would be only one part of the ‘complete’ God. Why, then, in our prayers are we to have in mind only one of the five, the SMALL-FACED ZEIR ANPIN? Yet such is the opinion of the majority of the kabbalists. One of the kabbalists, however, the ‘Oz L’Elohim maintains that our prayers are not to ZEIR ANPIN but rather to MALKA KADISHA D’KOL KADISHIN, the MOST HOLY KING.
Whoever possess understanding will be amazed. How is it possible that the kabbalists themselves, all following in the same footsteps of the same Zohar were not able to find agreement as to whom they must beseech in prayer. For one prays and calls to ZEIR ANPIN and His concubines while the other calls to MALKA KADISHA D’KOL KADISHIN and His wife!!!!
Woe to such shame and such dishonour! ‘The ox has known its owner, and the ass its proprietor’s stall, but Israel has not known its God’. It has not known to which FORM and to which PARTZUF among the Zohar’s concocted PARTZUFIM it must pray to! It has abandoned the God who made it, the First Cause, the Rock and Foundation of all. It has taken up new gods of recent stamp which even the idolaters of other nations have not known!
fr. ch. 65
-From all this you will understand ((another)) error of those Rabbis, authors of the new kabbalah, who believed that there actually exist ELOHIM AHHERIM (OTHER GODS), each one having TEN SFIROT and FIVE PARTZUFIM of K’LIPA (the unworthy and useless PEAL) in counter-position to the TEN SFIROT and FIVE PARTZUFIM of KEDUSHA (HOLINESS). So too they interpreted the verse in Job ‘One in counter-position to the other did God make’ - the CHAMBERS (HECHALOT) of IMPURITY in counter-position to the CHAMBERS of HOLINESS in each PARTZUF. (Mishnat Hassidim , masechet hechalot ha-k'lipaand S. Mahhberet ha-Kodesh, shaar Rosh Hodesh 47b)They maintain that just as He emanated, created, formed and made ELOHIM KEDOSHIM, in like manner He emanated, created, formed and made EHOLIM AHHERIM (OTHER GODS). Just as in Kedusha there are ADAM KADMON, ATIK, ARICH, ABA and EMA, ZEIR and NUKVEI, in the same way, on the left side, in exact counter-position, there is ADAM BELIYAAL (WORTHLESS MAN) on the SITRA AHHRA (the OTHER SIDE).
If you search in depth, you will realise that this opinion ultimately derives from the tenet of the dualists that there are two ACTIVATORS, one good and one evil. Their idea was explained by the early commentators and rejected with both hands. Only the new kabbalists have taken it up again, describing it, in their attempt to cover over its obscenity, in such a manner as to invest it within the framework of the Holy Torah!
It is indeed completely foreign to the faith in God’s Oneness, nor may it enter the congregation of Ha-Shem. It is in no way kabbalah, since it admits the existence of EL AHHER against the words of the Sages and against the many biblical passages which prove their words, such as ‘For Ha-Shem is the God in the heavens above and on the earth below, there is no other outside of Him’ and ‘Thou alone art God’. It is only according to the thought of those that serve them that the Torah admonished ‘Thou shalt bow down to no other god’ and ‘Thou shalt have no other god’ etc. The Torah revealed that their error was in considering them gods. It is not that Ha-Shem Baruch Hu brought into existence two types of ‘divinities’, one holy and the other impure, God forbid! For there is no God except for Him.
In conclusion, there is not to be found in the entire Torah or in the words of the Sages anything referring to the existence of EL AHHER, not holy and not impure. We find only the Lord, our God, Blessed is He. All others are servants who fulfil His will. The Torah spoke of ‘other gods’ only in reference to the thought of the idolworshippers who had chosen out one thing from among God’s creations to worship and to pray to. To this they brought sacrifices considering it either as a god or as a means. Some chose the sun, others the moon or one of the stars, or the Zodiac, while still others chose to worship fire or water.
Against them all, the Almighty warned us and said ‘Thou shalt have no other gods from before Me’ and ‘Thou shalt not bow down to another god’. For these are not gods. It was for this reason that R. Saadya Gaon in his translation of the Torah into Arabic rendered ELOHIM AHHERIM not ELAA AHHAR (other gods) but MA’ABUD AHHAR (other kinds of worship).
fr. ch. 67
The Shevilei Emunah justly admonishes:
-Let it not arise in your mind that you will be able to perceive God by trying to study or to search into the knowledge of His Essence or of His Essential (absolute)Truth. For this is impossible. On the contrary, whoever attemps to enter into such a study is a blasphemer and a reviler. For all that which exists has not the power to understand this. How much more so one who is found in a material body. Therefore the Sages of blessed memory warned us and said: Dnot search into that which is too wondrous for you. - -
fr. ch. 70
The new kabbalists have explained that the Zohar and Tikkunim did not mention the higher PARTZUFIM (except for some allusions) by reason of their great concealment. This itself, they maintain, is the reason for which they must not be addressed in prayer or served in any way. Only a PARTZUF that has already become thickened and can thus be comprehended may be turned to in prayer and served.
One must surely be astounded by such reasoning! For the Lord, our God, who is the First Cause and Whom our fathers and forefathers have always served, is most hidden and concealed. Even the angels and holy Haiot ask ‘Where is the place of His glory’. Notwithstanding this, the verse says ‘Who is such a great nation as to have God so close to it as is the Lord, our God, whenever we call to Him’.
fr. ch. 71
Here now are some principles pertinent to our subject from the THIRTEEN PRINCIPLES of the Rambam in his commentary to the Mishnah as reported by the Shevilei Emunah.
First Principle: To believe that the Creator, Blessed is He, exists in an absolute existence; that He is the cause of the existence of all that exists; from Him is drawn the power of their existence. If we were to imagine the absence of His existence, the existence of all else would be nullified and no creation would be found. If, however, we would imagine the nullification of all that exists except for Him, His existence would not be nullified because of them in any way. For the Creator, Blessed is He, is ‘rich’ in that He has no need of anything for Himself. All other existences, such as the (higher) intelligences, the celestial spheres (GALGALIM) themselves and what is contained in them, need Him for their existence, whereas He does not need them. This principle is alluded to with the words ‘I am the Lord, your God’ -
Second Principle: His Oneness: that is to know that the Cause of all is One - not as the one of a general species, such as ‘mankind’ which includes many persons; and not as the one of a specific kind, such as ‘one man’ - for you include with him 248 limbs; not as the one which is combined and can be divided into many ones; and not as a simple ‘body’ (entity) which is one in number yet may receive an infinite number of divisions. For each ‘one’ of these is called ‘one’ in a transitional sense only, because those things which have been ‘gathered together’ under one name are equal in one aspect but it is not one in the true sense. The true One, in fact, is uniquely the Oneness of the Creator, Blessed is He, of which there is no like in any way. This is the word of God as it states ‘Hear o Israel, the Lord, our God, God is One’ -
This is the true kabbala which we have received from Moses, our teacher and from Abraham, our father, that the Oneness of God is unlike any other category of ‘one’ and that His Oneness stands eternally and it will never change.
Not as the new kabbalists whose First Cause is an EIN SOF divisible into sections and that undergoes a multiplicity of changes, an infinite light of which a large portion took on the form of a spheroid ball after its self-contraction!!!!
fr. ch. 72
In the Midrash Raba, on the verse Hear o Israel the Lord, our God, God is One:
-this is as it states in the verse ‘Who is with Me in the heavens, nor with Thee have I desired in the land’ - Rav said: there are two heavens etc. R. Elazar said: There are seven heavens etc. and the Holy One, Blessed is He opened them all for Israel.(at the Revelation at Sinai) This was in order to make it known to them that there is no other God, except for Him. The congregation of Israel said before the Holy One, Blessed is He ‘Who is with me in the heavens except for Thee, so too have I desired no other in the land. Therefore do I enter the synagogue every day and give testimony that there is no other God, only You and I say ‘Hear o Israel the Lord, our God, God is One’:
In complete contrast to this is the idea of the new kabbalists that when one says the ‘Hear o Israel’ which represents the accepting upon oneself the yoke of the kingdom of heaven, he must join to it in his thoughts ABA and EMA, ZEIR ANPIN and NUKVEI, while at the same time in his thoughts he must also combine ABA and EMA, ARICH ANPIN and ATIK YOMIN, so as to be answered more speedily!!!!!!
In the same Midrash Raba:
Hear o Israel - The Rabbis said: The Holy One Blessed is He said: Everything have I created in pairs; heaven and earth is a pair, the sun and the moon, Adam and Eve, this world and the world to come; but My Glory KAVOD) is one and unique in the world, as we read Hear o Israel the Lord, our God, God is One. -
fr. ch. 81
(for the sake of the necessary briefness of this edition I have left out here the discussion on the totally inappropriate of ZEIR ANPIN, their ‘short-tempered God’ as well as the discussion on the sinful sexual language used in expressing the interplay of the DIVINE PARTZUFIM, may God save us from all this)
In R. Azulai’s Shem Ha-Gedolim, under the entry Zohar it states:
-I have seen written by R. A. Revigo as follows: I have found in an old manuscript of the Zohar, in the possession of my teacher Maram Zechut, as follows: In truth, the Head of the kabbalists was R. Nehunia ben Hakana who wrote Sefer ha-Bahir. After him R. Shimon ben Yohhai made the Sefer ha-Zohar and conjoined it to some other of his compositions such as the Tikkunim. When R. Shimon ben Yohhai, R, Eliezer and all that generation died, the wisdom of the kabbalah was lost; until God made it come to pass that a king from among the kings of the orient gave an order to dig in a certain place, for monetary concerns, whereupon was found a chest containing the Sefer ha-Zohar. He then sent for the sages of Edom but they knew nothing of it nor did they understand it. He sent for the Jews who when they came and saw the book said to the king, “This book was made by one sage but it is very profound and we do not understand it”. He said to them, “Is there no Jew in the world who understands it?” They said, “Yes, there is, in the country of Tuleitula in Spain. So the king sent the books with his men to Tuleitula and when the Hachamim of Tuleitula saw it they rejoiced with a great happiness and sent back many gifts to the king. It was from here that the kabbalah became known in Israel - - so have I found it written from the above mentioned rabbi - -
Such is the foundation of quick-sand upon which they have construed their beliefs. But the lion will not roar forever nor can the people of Israel remain silent in aeterno. For all in existence has an end, only Thy commandment is infinitely wide.
In their frivolous rejoicing they have not even noticed a most obvious contradiction. How can they claim an uninterrupted oral tradition from Sinai if the wisdom of the kabbalah was lost for about 15 centuries closed up in a box, hidden under the ground?
fr. ch. 82
We have already mentioned that the new kabbalah was unheard of before the sixth millenium (about 1300) nor was its origin ever known exactly. The only information that R. Hhida had before him was the story of the oriental king cited above. It seems, in fact, that some of the Hhachamim of Jerusalem had accepted this opinion and agreed to the words of the Shem ha-Gedolim. -
-In the Sefer Shalshelet ha-Kabbalah of the Raavad it is written in the name of Sefer Yuhhsin as follows:
-in about the year 5050 (1290) there were some groups of men who maintained that the words of the Zohar in aramaic are those of R. Shimon b. Yohhai but the words in the Holy Language are not his. Others say that the Ramban (R. Moshe Nachmonides) found it in the land of Israel and brought it first to Catalonia and then to Aragon where it came into the hands of Moses De Leon. Still others say that Moses De Leon was very intelligent and it was he who wrote all these explanations from his own mind, but in order that the Hachamim pay him a great price for them he attributed it to R. Shimon b. Yohhai and his group - -
With their very own words they have thus demonstrated that the condition given by the Ramban (Nachmonides)(not reported here in this abridged version) that ‘It is impossible to understand the words of the kabbalah from any book but ‘only from the mouth of a Hacham who has received from mouth to ear’ has never been fulfilled by them. For they admit that after the death of R. Shimon b. Yohhai and his son R. Eliezer along with all that generation, the Zohar was hidden away and forgotten and the knowledge of the kabbalah was lost. Nor was theanyone who knew of it until it was revealed in the 13th (or 15th) century in Spain from whence it spread. In truth the only source of the new kabbalists is the Zohar itself. It is just this fact,(that the only source of the new kabbalists is the zohar which has no true line of continuation as does all true Kabbalah) also according to the reasoning of the Ramban, which has caused them to err and to uproot the foundations of the Holy Torah, while the limitedness of their understanding has blindly permitted them to believe in other gods and to associate the name of God with other things!!!!
fr. ch. 83
A side-note in S. Shem ha-Gedolim concerning a rumour heard and reported by R. Yashar in his Sefer Matzref le-Hochma:
in the year 380 of the 6th millenium (1620) when the Spanish plundered Heidleberg, they took from the Akademia several thousand books among which were the Holy Books written on parchment. Among these were the books of the Zohar on all the 24 books of the Torah -
note - this rumour heard by R. Yashar is false because the Zohar had already been printed in 318 (1558) -
The Gaon, R. Yaacob Emdin in his Mitpahhat Seforim wrote in the name of R. Yitzhhak from Akko as follows:
in the year 53 (1293) - Moses De Leon was living in Avila (Moah El-Hagra). For the sake of history I shall report what I found written: that R. Yitzhhak from Akko went to do research on the Sefer ha-Zohar; for it seemed to him that its words were wondrous and drew from a higher source. The words of the Jerusalem dialect of Aramaic he considered true kabbalah but the words in the Holy Tongue he considered fraudulent. He tells that he asked the talmidim who were in possession of the Zohar about its origin but their answers were inconsistent. Some said that the Ramban had found it in the Holy Land and had sent it to Catalonia but there the ‘spirit’ brought it Aragon where it fell into the hands of Moses De Leon. Others said that it had never been the composition of R. Shimon b. Yohhai but that Moses of Leon knew the ‘secret-name-of writing’ and by means of this name wrote the most marvellous things. It was in order to be paid a high price that he attributed it to the great Tanai R. Shimon b. Yohhai and his son etc.
- Then I came to the city of Yaliadular ((? prob. Tuleitula)) and there I found R. Moses De Leon who swore to me that the Sefer of R. Shimon ben Yohhai was found in his Yeshiva in Avila and that he would show it to me when he would go there. But in his returning home he died in Aribal. Then I went to the city of Avila and there I found an old Hacham whose name was R. David Rassan, a relative of his. I found favor with him and I had him take oath that he would tell me what he knew about the Zohar and if it was true or not. The Hacham said that he knew most certainly that Moses De Leon had himself created it all by means of the ‘secret-name-of-writing’. The reason for his being convinced of this was that Moses De Leon used to write wonderful secrets for the rich persons of that country and would receive many gifts of gold and silver for them. On the same day that he received them, however, he would squander all his earnings. Even until the day of his death no money at all was ever left over and his wife and children went around hungry, thirsty and naked for lack of funds. He told, “When I heard about his death, I arose and went to R. Yosef of Avila who was very rich and from whom Moses had taken money in his life-time. I said to him, “You have now a wonderful occasion to obtain the merit of possessing an important Sefer. You will be able to take it from the hand of his wife, but you must at first send a fine covering for it because it now lay uncovered”. So he did. He sent gifts with his wife to Moses’ widow. Moses’ wife, however, swore to her that her husband had never possessed such a Book and that everything that he had written had come from his own heart and mind. She said, “I used to say to my husband, ‘Why do you attribute all your study to another Hacham? Would it not be better for you to say that you write it with your own intellect, so that they might praise you and benefit you?’ But my husband always answered me that if he would say that they were from his own mind, the others would not pay such high prices for them. Therefore he attributed them to R. Shimon b. Yohhai and the others. - - ” Afterwards I spoke to his daughter and her words corresponded exactly”. Such were the words that R. David said to” etc. (from Sefer ha-Yuhhsin) - -
Is this the basis upon which Israel has allowed itself to be invaded by these untamed mystics of no return? Is this the foundation for a Doctrine of Faith which has come to blacken the pages of our history with its futile hierarchies of divine families! Is this the wisdom with which Israel has descended? But let it be known to those who would remain in their stubbornness and cling to unfathomable darkness, that their glass palaces and castles of sand will be broken down and nullified in the end. For there is nothing that can ever replace the pure emunah in the Oneness of the Almighty God. Nor can the pure-hearted simplicity of one’s faith, a virtue loved by the Holy One, Blessed is He, ever be substituted by sophisticated thoughts of metaphysical abominations. Do not be enticed by their lips of sweet-flowing words when they stir up the hearts of their listeners and awaken them to the fear of Heaven while urging them to study their own new Torah which they call the DAUGHTER of the KING. For their whole purpose is to make converts to their own doctrines and to bring into their fold as many innocent souls as possible. They steal their hearts by promising to show them how to meditate on the ‘pleasure’ of ATIK, the Wisdom of ABA, the Understanding of EMA and the Knowledge that binds them, until they veer their minds into the alleys of logical non-sense and break the equilibrium of normal thought, speech and conduct without, however, one’s realising that he has exited from reality and entered into the realm of self-imposed fantasies.
(here are a few notes of last year, (1995 - well over 65 years of the publication of Milhamot Ha-Shem) concerning a Propaganda Deplian of the School of the Kabbalah in Jerusalem:
He also brought a deplian of the Institute of Research of the Kabbalah. It is so disgusting and outrageous to whoever knows the false doctrines behind it, so trashy, false and undercutting to whoever understands the amount of Zohars sold by this propaganda, and so 'subtly open' in giving more importance to the Zohar and its Kabbalah than to the Torah itself, that I am happy he brought it. It is a perfect document to use against them!
The Torah, it explains, tells you what to do. The Kabbalah explains to you why you do it. Who would not be disgusted and outraged by such a blasphemous and propagandistic lie.
The entire black and white pamphlet. with a design of the Ten Sefirot on the cover, bearing the title "28 questions and answers on the Kabbalah" was written and designed by the yetzer ha-ra and edited by the false god Mammon. These two know better than any that you don't sell beautifully made volumes of the Zohar with the commentaries of the Sulam, the Ashlags and Azulais by asking for money. You must 'sell' the Zohar in order to sell the Zohar.
And selling the Zohar means insidiously trapping the reader in the mystical gates of the falsified Torah, in the name of the Torah. Psychological warfare, the great arch instrument of the Yetzer ha-Ra. Just listen to some of these 28 questions asked with child-like innocence of the Serpent's claws. What is the wisdom of the Kabbalah? Why am I obligated to study Kabbalah? To whom is it permitted to study Kabbalah? I thought that only a married man above the age of 40 was allowed to study it? Is the Kabbalah a sect in Judaism? Why is it important to study Kabbalah? Do I have to be religious or must I have a Torah background in order to study Kabbalah? Are meditation, the returning of the souls (gilgulei nefashot) and astrology a part of Judaism? Is there any competition between you and between other Jewish organisations? Why are there various rabbis who are against the Kabbalah Learning Center? Why does the Kabbalah Learning Center diffuse the Sefer ha-Zohar in every place? Why do the men of the Center wear white garments on the Sabbath? Is the Kabbalah Learning Center's vision of the Messiah differen from that of other groups in Judaism. - -
I hope to answer these
questions and to uncover the nakedness of their answers in a separate text so
as not to spit dirt on my brays. I answer to one question only here: It is
obvious that after selling so many Zohars all over the world that the men of the
Center can well afford the finest white garments for the Sabbath.
Burn out the evil-eye of this blasphemous piece of Kabbalah trash, o Lord of the universe, God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob, burn it out of all Judaism and burn it out of the world and destroy it forever. For it is promised that EL KANA will destroy all the lies concerning the true faith of the Torah.
'The Torah' says the ancient Serpent with a great knowing smile, 'is the body and the Zohar is the soul (neshama)'. 'The Five Books of the Torah and the mitzvot are the body, and the Book of the Zohar and the wisdom of the Kabbalah are the Neshama', explains professor Satan. 'The Book of the Zohar' continues Lucifer, the luminous liar, 'is the source of the Kabbalistic knowledge and of the use of spiritual forces above the senses; the book of the Zohar is considered by the Sages of Israel to be an extremely important Fount as the Torah and the Talmud'. 'The wisdom of the Kabbalah is based on the Sefer Yetzira (Book of Creation) attributed to Abraham, our father, and on the Book of the Zohar, written by R. Shimon Bar Yohhai about 2000 years ago' goes on the great falsifier of all historical truth. 'The Torah' asserts the subtle soul charmer, 'is the road-mapo of our course in life; the Kabbalah teaches us how to read it ".
fr. ch. 88
Aye! Woe be it! Woe be to it! What an unfortunate level of faith be unto the children of Israel, the nation chosen by God to be of special virtue. The Almighty God has given us the Torah of truth, His ‘Seal’ and Signature, which Moses, our teacher, peace be with him, received at Sinai - the Written Torah and the Oral Torah. Forty days and forty nights on Sinai to study its details, the reasons and the generalities of the Torah.
This Torah he passed on to Joshua who passed it on etc. until the Men of the Great Assembly who captured the Evil-Inclination of Idolatry (Yitzra d’’Avodah Zarah), threw him into a caldron and sealed it with a led-stone.
But the lead covering was removed from the caldron by this impostor when he handed over his Zohar to the learned men of Tuteitula (Tudela?) in Spain. Satan had come out to dance among us! will it be then in vain the great accomplishment the Great Assembly (ANSHEI KNESSET HA-GEDOLA) who worked tirelessly and cried out to Ha-Shem Baruch Hu against the Yitzra d’’Avoda Zara, until, in the end, he was handed over to them.
With great wisdom and understanding they cancelled out the Temptation of idolatry through arduous study of the Torah and through the explanations with which they used to teach the nation the true and proper way. These were the teachings that they would discuss in public from the light of the morning until midday with the men and women who were able to understand, as it states ‘And the Levites explained the Torah to the nation and read before the people the Book of the Law of God, as it is explained in the oral law, adding to the people intelligence and allowing them to understand the Torah’.
They also fixed the prayers and the blessings for all Israel and dedicated themselves to establishing many pupils.
In this way they succeeded in destroying the Evil Inclination of idolatry, thereby restoring the Crown to its former place and wiping out the names of the other gods and dispelling all the false cults and beliefs that lead to negation. We read in Yoma: (Yoma perek Ba Lo)
-and they stood up on the platform of the Levites, Yeshuah and his sons, Kadmiel etc. and cried out with a great voice to the Lord their God - (the Talmud asks) What did thesay? R. Yehuda in the name of Rav and some say in the name of R. Yohhanan: Woe, woe! Is it then the same one who destroyed the Beit ha-Mikdash (Temple) and desecrated the Hechal, who killed the Tzadikim and exiled Israel from the land that still dances among us! Didst Thou not bring him upon us only to gain thereby reward? Not him, then, and not the reward therefrom! - A note then fell from heaven upon which was written ‘EMET’ (the truth). R. Hanina said, “We must understand it, because EMET is the SEAL of the Holy One, Blessed is He”. They fasted three days and three nights until at last he was handed over to them. Immediately there was a ‘sign’ and fire, in the form of a young lion came out of the Kodshei ha-Kedoshim (the Holy of Holies). Then the Prophet said to them: It is no other than the Yitzra d’Avoda Zara (the Inclination of Idolatry), as it states ‘This is the evil woman’. Immediately they took hold of him but one of his hairs fell out and he cried out with a voice that extended 400 parsing. They said: What shall we do now? Perhaps Heaven will have pity on him? The Prophet answered: Throw him into a caldron of lead and close it with a lead covering so that it absorb the voice, as it states ‘This is the evil woman, and he threw her into the efah (oven) and closed it with a leadstone’. Then they said: If it is such a propitious moment, let us beseech God to give over to us the Yitzra d’’Aveira (the Inclination of Sin) as well. They prayed to God and also the Yitzra d’’Aveira was handed over to them. Then the Prophet said to them: Be careful, for if you kill him, the world will be destroyed. They hid him away for 3 days. Then it came about that if someone searched for a fresh egg, even for an ill person, he could not find it in the whole land of Israel.( .they could find no eggs because all desire of copulation had become nullified)-
Then they said ‘What can we do now? If we kill him, the world will be destroyed and if we ask for a compromise, compromises are not given from above. So they covered over his eyes with Kahal (MASCARA) and sent him away, being quite satisfied that no one fall in love with his nearest kin. - - (they were partially successful in that: the inclination for forbidden intercourse with family members was destroyed within the people of Israel).
fr. ch. 89
In all humbleness, I believe that this aggadeta in Yoma will be more easily understood by first understanding the foundation upon which the Sages, of blessed memory, based their interpretation of the verse ‘And you shall not turn after your heart and after your eyes’. On this the Sages said: ‘your heart’ refers to ‘negation’ (minut) and ‘your eyes’ refers to ‘fornication’ (z’nut) - -
The relationship between negation or any belief in false doctrines and fornication will be better understood from the beliefs in the BAALIM and ASHTAROT which rampaged in the period of Judges and at the time of Yerubam ben Nevat and the rest of the kings of Israel and most of the kings of Judah during the first commonwealth. The Baalim were masculine gods called such for reason of the intercourse that they were supposed to have with the Female gods (Ashtarot). As the Talmud reports: (Yerushalmi," Avoda zara, kol ha-tzlamim "
-R. Huna in the name of Rav: The Baal (Baal means the Possessor, the one who possesses - in Hebrew baal also is used for ‘husband’ being that he possesses his wife -) possessed its masculinity and was adulterous and they made a pact that it should be their god - -
Thus this male image was called Baal because of its male member and because of its committing adultery. It is further known that the idolworshippers of ancient times would make their images in the supposed images, forms and faces (PARTZUFIM - ASPECTS) of the celestial spheres, in their belief that in such a manner the ‘influences’ of the ‘higher forms’ were ‘attracted’ towards the ‘lower forms’ (reason for which they practised orgiastic and fertility rites openly in the presence of their gods).
A second reason for which they were called Baalim (husbands, lords) is that those who served them accepted them as ‘lords’. The Ashtarot were the female goddesses and especially the female counterparts of the Baalim.
The idea that above there are male and female elements which were caused to copulate according to the corresponding images and ‘services’ of the worshippers goes back to the ancient Caldeans where it was widely diffused. Furthermore there were the doctrines to this effect and there were many who were attracted to these ideas. For many generations they were a great trap to Israel and many speculated on these celestial genealogies and formulated corresponding ‘laws’ to coincide with the ‘influences’ desired. So great was its attraction to the nation that all the Prophets prophesied about them and called out against them.
‘Woe to the law-makers who create laws of wickedness and write treacherous letters. The word of God for them is a command to a command, a command to a command (TZAV le-TZAV, TZAV le-TZAV), a line to a line, a line to a line (KAV le-KAV, KAV le-KAV), here a bit, there a bit, here a bit there a bit (ZEIR SHAM ZEIR SHAM) -
So too the doctrine o the Zohar is all a command to a command, ABA to EMA, EMA to ZEIR ANPIN etc. , and a line to a line, as it states in Haim Vital’s ‘Etz Haim that the Sefirot of YOSHER are in the form of THREE KAVIM (LINES) in the image of a MAN. ZEIR SHAM ZEIR SHAM is clear prophecy against their ZEIR ANPIN, as it states, ‘They have abandoned God to serve the Baalim and Ashtarot’.
And all returns as well to the great error of the generation of Enosh which, as the Rambam explains, was their belief that in consistence with His greatness, He gave the ruling power over to others. Compare what is written in the ‘Oz L’Elohim:
-Kodesh ha-Kedoshim is called MALKA KADISHA; KUDSHE BRICH HU, the Holy One, Blessed is He, is so called because He is blessed from that which above Him. This is not the case of EIN SOF for it has not from whom to be blessed, and cannot therefore be called KUDSHE BRICH HU - -
Nor does their EIN SOF watch over them and is therefore not worthy of praise. Only ZEIR ANPIN who has received the ‘blessings’ from above is ‘worthy of all praises’. So is it explained in Sefer ha-Brit, Yosher Levav, M. Lupis, Nahalat Yosef and many others of the new kabbalists who fell prey to the temptation of the Zohar.
fr. ch. 90
Returning from exile the Men of the Great Assembly made many prayers to the Holy One, Blessed is He, asking for help to destroy the Inclination of Idolatry, for they understood that this had been the cause of the destruction of the Temple. In the end they were given help from Heaven to establish Houses of Study and to appoint Sages and Men of Understanding to instruct the nation in the way of the Holy Torah. They began to destroy all foreign beliefs until ‘a fire, in the form of a young lion went out from the Holy of Holies’ - extinguished was the enthusiasm and overwhelming desire to delve into the ‘secrets’ of the mystic cults and into the false doctrines which had so overburdened the Holy of Holies - that is, the Holy Torah itself, the Holy of Holies which teaches the true knowledge ‘to know God’ and to love and fear Him in the proper way.
From the beginning many had attempted to find in the Torah all sorts of ‘supports’ and ‘allusions’ and had created systems of interpretation completely different from the true and unbroken kabbalah. It is this tradition that teaches the true faith in which every Jew is obligated to believe.
The Creator, Blessed is His name, is One - in an absolute sense distinguished from all other categories of ‘one’. He is the First and He is the Last, above all limitations of time and space. Human intelligence, limited by a material body, can never perceive Him. He has always been, is eternal and is infinite. His constant being, both in terms of past and future is expressed by Isaiah ‘I am the First and I am the Last’.
Onkelus on the verse ‘And I said, “I am the Living God forever”’ (le-’olam - lit. for the extent of the world) translates ‘kayam ana le-’almin’ - I exist in eternity. - This means that God exists always in one way without any change whatsoever and without multiplicity, God forbid. And this is true before the world was created and after the world will be finished, when God so desires it. He is the God who said ‘Behold now that it is I, I am God and there is no other god with Me’. This means ‘It is I who have been and it is I who shall be, even after the heavens be no more. I exist etein the same way without any change’. He is the First Cause and to Him alone is it proper to serve, to pray to, to speak of His greatness and to observe His commandments, But it is not proper to do such to any other creation, whether material or spiritual. These are the highest and purest concepts to be expressed.
Not so the ideas of these new kabbalists who weaken the pillars of the true faith and break asunder the foundation beams of the oral tradition and would have us pray to and serve ‘creations’ such as their ZEIR ANPIN!
Let us return to our explanation: ‘as soon as they took hold of him, a hair fell from him’ - this means that they took hold of those who were erring and making the people to err by creating false explanations of the Torah. They took them by their beards and made them repent from their false interpretations which lead to negation and to a belief in many gods. But a hair fell from their beard when they were taken hold of because they were people who tried to make themselves look venerable by letting their beard grow long. So was their honour offended by this, their glory diminished. Therefore they lifted up their voice which carried 400 parsing, claiming the violence done to their honour, for the knowledge of their worthlessness became known in the whole land of Israel which is 400 parsing to its width and length.
The Men of the Great Assembly then pondered ‘In which manner shall we act now?’ Perhaps they had yet merit for the fact that they studied Torah, even though they used it for finding support to their false and idolatrous ideas. Perhaps, they thought, these would be taken pity on from above, as in the case of Elisha ben Abouya when the merit of the Torah that he had studied helped him to such an extent that from heaven they said ‘We shall not punish him, for the sake of the Torah which he had studied’.
Then the Prophet said to them ‘Throw him into a lead caldron and close it with a lead covering so that the voice be suffocated’. The Prophet Zacharia promised them that they did not have to be concerned about the great lamenting of their voice and he ordered them to drown out from the hearts of all the children of Israel those false teachings, as the lead caldron which sinks in the sea, as it states ‘They have sunk as lead in the mighty waters’.
The ‘mighty waters’ - this is the true Torah received from Moses, our teacher, those mighty waters which gave them the force to establish Houses of Study and Prayer in each city and town and to foster talmidim in great numbers, as it states in the first chapter of Avot:
-The Men of the Great Assembly said three things: Be patient in judgement, establish many pupils and make a fence around the Torah.- -
This third principle means that the Torah must not be interpreted at random but only in accordance with the general rules of interpretation and the true foundations which were given to Moses, our teacher, on Mount Sinai.
And this is the meaning of ‘they covered it over with lead’ - that they stopped up the mouths of those self-righteous wise men and did not allow them to explain the Torah with their blunderings and to conjure up the spirits of the dead that they might come and tell them secrets. With lead, since this drowns out the voice - so that their blind interpretations be heard no more.
In this way, with the help of the Almighty, the Inclination of Idolatry was cancelled out among the nation. The men of the Great Assembly then succeeded in obliterating the names of many divinities imagined by those who strayed after their heart to believe in a series of causes and effects which descend one after the other and give and take permission from one another to create as each one desires.
Those of the new kabbalists are exactly the same heretical thoughts that were wiped out by the Men of the Great Assembly, of blessed memory.
fr. ch. 91
Therefore our Sages said that when the Men of the Great Assembly established the prayer Ha-EL ha-GADOL ha-GIBUR ve-ha Nora (the Great, Mighty and Wondrous God) they had returned the Crown to its former place. It was they who explained that all the events and happenings which occurred to Israel, whether good or otherwise, were all derived from His mightiness and His greatness. All came from Elohim ‘Elyon who is One and whose Oneness is as no other.
This pure faith in the Oneness of the Creator was diffused among all the Jews and continued throughout the fourth and fifth millennium and a small part of the sixth. Shortly after the beginning of the 6th millennium, the Holy One, Blessed is He, put Israel to test by means of the Sefer Ha-Zohar falsely attributed to R. Shimon ben Yohhai. Unfortunately many people, and among them Hachamim and Rabbanim, falling prey to its lies, began creating a new oral tradition while speaking slanderously of the Mishnah and Talmud. Those Hachamim did not stand up to the test and believing in the illusions of the Zohar began writing books until the number of those who studied and occupied themselves with it grew continually. Jointly they used the Mishnah and Talmud as if these were equal with their doctrines in questions of faith without distinguishing or understanding the worlds of difference that lay between them.
The Talmudists, on the other hand, attached as always to the Talmud and Midrashim, as well as the majority of traditional Jews, claimed no knowledge of this new kabbalah. They remained in tact in their pure and unadulterated faith. And it goes without saying that those who were on the level of understanding the writings of R. Saadya Gaon, of the Kausari of Yehuda Ha-Levy or of the Rambam etc. remained fixed in their pure faith in the absolute Oneness of God. The Crown remained and still remains for them in its former place as in the days of the Men of the Great Assembly.
Yet here is the painful thorn. Many of them believe that the books of the new kabbalists are holy, God forbid, and that they contain lofty concepts which they themselves are unable to understand but which walk hand and hand with the pure faith. They are completely unaware of all the snake-poison that it contains and its subtle traps which uproot the foundations and tear down the pillars of the Holy Torah, God forbid.
Many Hachamim and Rabbanim have erred and their mistake was a great stumbling block to those who came after them.
fr. ch. 92
There is yet another category of well-informed men who have scrutinised these books and who know how completely foreign they are to the faith of the Torah and to the faith in the Oneness of Ha-Shem. But all this they speak about only in great privacy among their friends because they are afraid of the ‘hassidim’ and the ‘ultra-religious’ so fervent in their love for honour and glory, God save us, who pray to the Queen of Heaven in their fantasies and delegate to her a secret place in the world. The prayers and the other important deeds (takkanot) of the Men of the Great Assembly has not helped them.
Indeed the only principle that they have retained is not to make images or statues of gold, silver, wood or stone, the work of an artisan’s hand - as the author of the Zohar opens with the verse ‘Cursed is the man who maketh a statue or a graven image’ etc. the work of an artisan - -
In their thoughts, however, there are many images and baalim and ashtarot to whom they serve and bow down to and pray to in ‘purity’. And they refer to all these images with the name of God, and further have in mind the ‘intentions’ (KAVVANOT) to join these various images together as someone who is pulling many ropes or gathering camels. Yet all this matters not for them as long as they say with their mouths that all is One.
Yet those people who understand and believe in the Oneness of God, who know the truth and know what is correct, who constantly study the written Torah and the oral Torah, are afraid to speak up and to bring the full truth to their lips, from fear of the deceitfulness always found on the lips of these ‘hassidim’. They are afraid lest they be attacked with threats of ‘excommunication’ (hherem) ‘by force and with a strong hand’ all of which is not the will of God or of those that fear Him.
For reason of these threats, they are afraid to give themselves over to the cause of the Sanctity of the Name (KEDUSHAT HA-SHEM), for the sake of the Mighty and Omnipotent God whose judgements are in all the land. Have they closed their eyes to the actions of our forefathers who gave over their bodies and souls in order to sanctify the name of God. Remember Abraham thrown into Nimrod’s furnace and Daniel thrown into the lion’s den. Remember the many Tzadikim and pious men mentioned in the Talmud and Midrashim who were ready to die for Kedushat Ha-Shem. Some of them were even killed because of the sin of their generation.
fr. ch. 93
Have they, then, not considered the honour of God whose name is profaned by this new kabbalah, God save us. Is there a greater profanation than this, to serve another god who is created and not the Lord, our God who let His ways be known to Moses! -
This is the pain in our hearts. How is it possible that the Jewish People, the nation chosen by God to love Him and to serve Him and to proclaim His Oneness in their prayers with all their heart and all their soul and all their might without any association to anything else from among the creations above or below, has had its faith so twisted about! For they have abandoned the God of their fathers and have exchanged the honour of the Great and Mighty and Wondrous God for other gods in the form of a man with a small face appointed by his father and mother to conduct and nourish all the worlds, God save us from this insidious trap!
The Men of the Great Assembly accomplished yet another great feat against the Inclination of Sin in that they weakened it to the point that he could no longer provoke the forbidden fornication among certain relatives. They achieved this through the decrees and laws which they established, as they are explained by the great source of light, the Rambam.(hilchot "avodah zara") This important demarcation between parental relations was expressed by the Sages with the words ‘and they put kahhal in his eyes and were successful that he could no longer provoke a person to fall in love with his relative.
fr. ch. 98
-The Gaon, R. Saadya, dedicated himself to answering to the various categories and schools of philosophers who err and search after vanity. His purpose in this was to avoid that their opinions become confused with the pure faith of the Torah. Thus he writes:
-The first category maintains that the Creator is extremely fine and spiritual matter, having very fine points such as dust etc.
-The second category maintains that the Creator of material things created them from Himself. (this means that He ‘separated’ part of Himself and in that part created the world) -
I have found that these philosophers do not deny the Creator, yet their intelligence refuses to admit that something has come into existence after its having been non-existent, and since there is nothing outside of the Creator they believe that He created all things from Himself. This second category is more foolish than the first and I have seen fit to expose their mistakes in thirteen aspects etc. (see ad locum the words of the Gaon and the depth of his answers to understand more fully the origins of the error of the zohar and its followers , for without any doubt their opinions derive from these two unfounded philosophies) -Another category, continues the Gaon, (perek 7, maamar ha-ahdut) says that a small part of God has body and spirit. These are guilty in equal measure to that category which says that everything created is part of the Creator, as well as to the category which says that His body and spirit are brought into existence and in them is there another spirit of the Creator. This would mean that this created body would come to be called God in conjunction with that Godly part which is in it. They parallel this to the manifestation of His glory on Mount Sinai and in the burning-bush and the Tent and the Tabernacle. But this obligates them to believe that the Tent and the Bush and Mount Sinai are God as well, and thus they add evil to their error!!
From these words of the Gaon you can understand the truth of what I have written, for my words are all in accordance with the Holy Torah and the true kabbalah of the Sages. -
fr. ch. 100
-it is forbidden to believe in the idolatrous ideas of the Zohar which would have us consider God as having all kinds of causes and effects. It would have us exchange the Glory of God ‘who has no beginning to His beginning’ for this other god called ZEIR ANPIN who according to them was given the power and rule from the ‘causes above Him’ and must be served by the whole world together with Nukvei, His wife!
It is likewise a profanity for us to believe that R. Shimon ben Yohhai said these things or wrote this book as a new kind of oral Torah and commanded us to repent from studying the Mishnah and Talmud from which this new Torah subtly disassociates itself calling it the ‘maid-servant’ and the ‘peel’ (KLIPAH) and the ‘other rock’ and the ‘stone with carved figures’ etc. -
It is a profanity for any Jew who strives to be of a pure heart before God and the Torah to believe in the false stories of the Zohar which subtly induce the heart to love many gods and teach that ATIK YOMIN revealed Himself to R. Shimon b. Yohhai and gave him permission to expose aspects of the Torah not in accordance with our tradition!
It is a profanity to think that the great Tanai would have tried to steal our heart through the unscrupulous tricks of the Zohar. For so cunningly has the author of the Zohar interspersed sayings and expressions of the Sages within his own to trick us into turning away from our Father in Heaven. As a malicious woman about whom King Solomon warned ‘Beware of a malicious woman for her words are taunting’ etc. ‘she takes him with her manners, through the falseness of her lips she causes him to fall’ etc.
It is a profanity to believe that the Holy One, Blessed is He has ‘bodies of light’ God forbid, from which depend all the commandments, and that if not for these bodies there would be no Torah and no Mitzvot, God forbid, and that all our good deeds, blessings, prayers and praises with which we exalt the Almighty God go to these created bodies, that is, the FIVE PARTZUFIM which are re-divided into twelve, and in particular ZEIR ANPIN and his FEMALE COMPANION, and that He is the King worthy of all praises, for so commanded His FATHER and MOTHER to serve and to pray to Him and to call Him God!
It is a profanity to believe that any of the Tanaim or Amoraim from the first to the last ever believed in other ancient philosophies. The Tanaim and Amoraim were all of the pure faith and had nothing to do with such impure and worthless philosophies and did certainly not try to mix them together with the Holy Torah and to create absurd interpretations!
All this have they believed without any proof whatsoever following the false stories of the revelation of ATIKA KADISHA and the NESHAMAH of Moses and Elijah as well as the souls of Tanaim, Amoraim and Gaonim who did not even exist at the time of R. Shimon ben Yohhai. These stories were all made up and have no basis. How then shall we listen to that which teaches us to exchange the true and Living God for the small-faced ZEIR ANPIN who has the form of a MAN and eats the bread of idolatry! As we read in Sanhedrin: (elu ha-nehhnakin)
-Abahu said in the name of R. Yohhanan: If a prophet tells you to transgress a commandment of the Torah (temporarily), transgress any one of them except for idolatry, for even if he stops the sun in the midst of the sky, do not obey him. In the Braita, Yosi ha-Glili said: Behold the extent to which idolatry reaches, for even if they stop the sun in the midst of heaven, do not obey. Why? Because ‘this is the Lord, your God who is putting you to test’ - -
fr. ch. 101
-Woe unto us, for God has tried us through this Zohar but we have not stood the test and have been fooled by the author’s false cunning into serving other gods who work together with their SON, ZEIR ANPIN and His Concubine! He has tricked us by promising the reader that ZEIR ANPIN receives its ‘influence’ from ATIK!
He has fooled us by praising his own merchandise and by using such expressions as ‘Blessed is the portion of the one who does such and such’ and ‘Woe unto the person who is not careful about such and such’ etc.
As a madman who shoots flaming arrows of death, so has he abased and lowered adegraded the honour of the Mishnah and Talmud while he exalts his own new Torah and prognosticates that in the future at the end of days they will leave the Mishnah and Talmud and ‘will be sustained by this composition’ of the Zohar, and only by studying this work shall they be redeemed!!!
Through these words he was successful in capturing the hearts of a great multitude of Jews and has brought them to serve new gods with bodies of 248 members and 365 veins and arteries, great and mighty, pure and illuminating and however the reader decides to describe them in his own thoughts - only their ‘material’ is not blood and flesh.
And these they call with the names of God!!!!!!!
fr. ch. 102
It is incumbent upon all those who fear the word of God and who search for understanding from the Torah, to refrain from being fooled within the hidden places of their heart into serving any ‘form’ or ‘partzuf’.
According to them, such forms come from the Essence of the HIGHER GOD who took a portion of His WISDOM and placed it as a SOUL to (the SFIRAH) of WISDOM, and a portion of His UNDERSTANDING He placed as a SOUL to (the SFIRA) of UNDERSTANDING, the portion of His GREATNESS He placed as a SOUL to GREATNESS and the portion of His POWER etc. These portions became their souls and also the ‘HIGHER EMPTY BODIES were made to become SOULS to the BODIES below them.
They accepted upon themselves to serve them, believing that by serving these they serve the SOUL that is in them which is the FIRST CAUSE! This idea was taken from that philosophy which maintained that the Divinity was the SOUL of the heavenly spheres and of the stars. Therefore it was proper to worship them, for one was in truth worshipping the SOUL that is in them which they believed to be the FIRST CAUSE.
So too the author of the Zohar invented all the PARTZUFIM from the FIRST MAN (ADAM KIDMAA) until ZEIR ANPIN and NUKVEI, having them evolve from the FIRST CAUSE which CONTRACTED ITSELF and ‘went above’ and then EMANATED all those PARTZUFIM in an infinite number of worlds, including those worlds below the ATZILUT. He then placed a CORD (HHUT) which EVOLVES throughout all of them as their SOUL. Then he commanded his readers to serve them, explaining that one is not worshipping their BODIES but the SOUL that is in them. (This is exactly how ancient metaphysics justified worshipping the stars and the astrological signs.)
These, for them, have become Godliness and are called with the names of God as mentioned in the Torah. But to the HIGHER GOD they left no name, for He is above all praise and blessing and has not from whom to receive blessing. It is useless to pray to Him, therefore, for He cannot answer, God forbid and save us from all this!!!!!
fr. ch. 103
All these have come to be believed without voices or lightning or fire-torches or clouds or the sound of the Shofar or even a sign or portent. No signs have we seen or heard nor has a voice from heaven told that it is so!
Only black ink on white paper, the invention of fabulous stories about how ATIKA KADISHA revealed to R. Shimon b. Yohhai and explained to him the verse ‘And God said ‘Let us make a man’.
Who can believe it possible for anyone to have asked concerning the Ten Sayings of Creation (‘esser maamarot) ‘Who said it?’ ‘Who is the one who made this statement and who is the one who made that statement’?
Whoever is a true student of the Holy Torah will not believe this story or any other of the many stories brought in the name of Elijah, the Faithful Shepherd or in the name of other Tanaim and Amoraim. The true student will ridicule all this but at the same time he will be totally upset and stunned. How is it possible to abandon that which we heard on the chosen Sinai? For ‘He established testimony in Jacob’ and gave the Torah to Israel, to make it known to them and to their sons, with voices and lightning and fire-torches and a black cloud and God speaking from within the fire. He has not done such to any other nation. With a voice of power and might, He spoke to us, face to face and said ‘I am the Lord, thy God who hath taken thee out’ etc. - that I have no father and no brother and no son. ‘Behold now that it is I and there is no other God with Me.
How is it possible to abandon this and to follow this idolater with his new oral law which states that God created from Himself FIVE PARTZUFIM and gave them rule over the act of creation and they in turn established ZEIR ANPIN as RULER over all the creations and they commanded all else to serve Him, He is our God and we are His nation!!!!!!
And if, God forbid, it had been the will of God to exchange His honour for another God called ZEIR ANPIN and had made Him RULER over all the creations, why, then, did He not spread the heavens and descend on some mountain of His choice and speak to us once again to say ‘Now, after all this time, I have become tired and so have I made ZEIR ANPIN KING in My place’!!!!!
Never will it be. This is not the road and not even the city! God does not change or exchange or anything of the sort. And so may it not be done in Israel to change or exchange our God who made His ways known to Moses, that He is patient and merciful etc. for a SHORT-TEMPERED GOD lacking in patience!
The Sages, of blessed memory, said:
-A pact was made with the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy that they should never return empty (without effect) - -
Therefore they established in our prayers the mentioning of these Thirteen Attributes. How, then, would it be possible to attribute these attributes to ZEIR ANPIN, God forbid, whose very name means SHORT-TEMPERED? It is a complete contradiction, for they call it ZEIR ANPIN (KATZER APAIM in Hebrew) which is the opposite in meaning to ERECH APAIM (patient, long-suffering) and they praise KATZER APAIM with being ERECH APAIM!!!!
fr. ch. 104
This was the Prophet’s wrath when he cried out ‘O sinful nation’ etc. ‘for they have abandoned God’. He did not rebuke them concerning tzizzit or tefillin or succa or lulav. Not for these did he call them a sinful nation, expressing the gravity of their evil ways. They certainly used to eat matza and maror for Pesah and they performed other mitzvot as well.
What they performed, however, was done in the name of the Ba’alim and Ashtarot and all the other forms called into use by the false prophets. This they justified with the explanation that the soul of these images is a portion of God above but in order to serve the Divinity in a way perceived by the senses it is necessary to make material images out of wood, stone, silver and gold so as to draw down from above an influence similar in kind to that image.
The kabbalists in fact have done exactly this. After rejecting the inheritance of their fathers that the only true God to be served is the First Cause of all that exists, they abandoned Him with the excuse that no thought can ever grasp Him nor can He be conceived of in any idea.
The Prophet, however, expressed the opposite when he said ‘God is my strength, my fortress and my refuge, Thee shall the nations seek from the extremities of the earth and they shall say ‘False is the inheritance of our fathers’.
It is they who admit to the truth of the Torah and not Israel to idolatrous philosophies!
Yet the kabbalists have proclaimed that only that which was caused by Him can be properly served. In their imaginations they envision emanations as a tree sending out its fruit hither and thither. It is these imaginations that they worship because in their minds they are able to conceive of them. They serve the images and idols of there own mental creations!
The commandments of the Torah they imagine as ‘CREATED BODIES’ which together form the BODY OF THE KING (GUFA D’MALKA). Thus some mitzvot are in relation to the HAND OF THE KING, others to His FEET and so on with all the parts of the body.
It was for such reasons that the Cohanim would cry out between the Vestibule and the Altar and say:
‘Have mercy on the nation, turn their hearts to know and to understand Thy truth and to know Thy ways, the ways which Thou hast commanded Moses, Thy servant to teach the people of Israel, that they might learn to serve Thee with a full - -
Not to created BODIES called DIVINE LIGHTS because of the DIVINE SOUL ELEMENT which is in them!
fr. ch. 105
‘My heart is to the law-makers of Israel, to those who offer themselves among the nation’ to understand in depth the Holy Torah with wisdom, perception and knowledge - - who explained in great detail at length and in depth all the mitzvot of the Torah in their divisions and legal differences-
And yet the laws concerning the most essential mitzvah of Yihhud Ha-Shem, the proper understanding of the Oneness of God, were left completely unmentioned and unspoken of even in a single detail by the later Poskim. It is not understandable for which reason they left this subject as open as an unguarded city. It is a mitzvah which applies in fact at all times in all places, in or outside of Israel, whether the Temple is standing or not. It is as if the laws of Yihhud Ha-Shem have been forgotten from Israel, God forbid!
It was for this reason that many of the later Rabbis fell into the traps and failed in the test to which Ha-Shem had put them. It was due to this lack that they erringly rejoiced when the found the Zohar. In their thirst they drank of its words until in their drunkenness - they yielded to its temptations - and they no longer remembered the sin of the generation of Enosh which called ‘other things’ with the name of God.
The next repercussion of the Poskim’s omission was that instead of having a unified code of laws governing Yihhud Ha-Shem, the Hachamim of Tuleitula filled in the gap, God save us, by praising to the high heavens the words of this philosopher of lies whose false prophecies in the guise of a revelation of the ANCIENT OF DAYS to R. Shimon b. Yohhai they placed above the 48 Prophets and 7 Prophetesses who prophesied to Israel.
All the Prophets of Israel, however, did not detract nor add a single letter to what was already written in the Torah. The author of the Zohar instead has added the belief in ‘gods which our forefathers had never known’ and warned as well that whoever has not entered into the study of his new Torah will not gain permission to come before his Maker!
The reason is because their faith in Yihhud Ha-Shem has been totally distorted. Yihhud Ha-Shem is the true faith in the Oneness of God of which there is no like.
Unfortunately, the later Rabbis hid their eyes from it. They should have elucidated clearly in the Shulhhan Aruch and its commentaries the laws (DINIM) of Yihhud Ha-Shem at great length with full chapters and marked paragraphs. They should have extended on what the Rambam had already written in hilchot Yesodei ha-Torah and from which many explanatory ramifications could have been developed. For the knowledge of Yihhud Ha-Shem is not a question of what or how to say it but of what and how to believe and thus to receive upon oneself the Yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven in the proper way. It is the faith in the Absolute Oneness which has no likeness in any other entity of ‘one’. It is not connected or associated with any other ‘cause’ from all else that has come into existence. Its understanding is included in the oral tradition received by Moses from God, a tradition which is totally good and contains no evil, for it is ‘our life and the length of our days’.
fr. ch. 108
O ye heads of Israel, enough with the blasphemous words of the Zohar! If, as they say, none can stand before his Maker unless he has received this metaphysical and mystical doctrine of faith, what did the Sages mean when they said ‘The Holy One, Blessed is He, desired to multiply the merits of Israel, therefore He gave them the Torah and Mitzvot? Why did the Almighty not desire to give us this great merit and inform us of it through the many Prophets who stood up for Israel, from Moses, our teacher to the last of the Prophets Malachi who said ‘Remember the Torah of Moses, my servant’? Why did they not inform us that all our service and prayers go to the lower causes and not to the First Cause of all who will wipe out the name of whoever calls to Him in prayer?
Why too did our Sages, of blessed memory, the receivers of the true kabbalah of the Mishnah and Talmud not reveal to us this doctrine if it is the SOUL of the Torah? Would they too have slighted us the merit of that eternal life in the world which is completely good? Why did they not explain to us how to serve the CAUSES which derive from Him called KUDSHE BRICH HU and SHECHINTEI? Why did they leave the great majority of Israel among which are the students of the Mishnah and Talmud in their error? Why did they allow them to serve an untrue God, the First Cause who has no joinings and separations and to whom prayer is undesirable? Why did they not instruct us in the service of the last manifest God, ZEIR ANPIN, in order that we merit in our prayers to join together all the separated pieces of masculine and feminine elements as is His pleasure?
fr. ch. 111
Therefore whoever is sincere with the Lord, our God, who is the First Cause of all existence without association to any other power, will not listen to the deceitful author of the Zohar and to all those who were drawn after it. For the Lord, our God, alone in His greatness and kindness has brought everything into existence. He is One and He is totally Unique in His Oneness, unlike all other entities of ‘one’. He alone is the First and there is no beginning to His beginning. It is He who brought us out of Egypt and He who revealed Himself at Sinai and gave us the Torah with voices, lightning, torches of flame-fire and the sound of the Shofar. All the mountains trembled and the whole earth shook to the sound of His mightiness. Then did He make to be heard the sound of His powerful voice and said ‘I am the Lord, Thy God’ and ‘Thou shalt have no other gods’ and all the Ten Commandments the fame of which has spread out in the whole world. -
All this the Almighty God has done with us in order that we believe that Moses, peace be with him, gave us the true Torah and that we must never change it or exchange it for another. Nor shall we believe any ‘prophet’ or diviner who attempts to entice us into serving another god. We shall serve Ha-Shem only without any association to something else.-
fr. ch. 112
On the basis of what has been explained until here, it is certain that one must refrain from all their minhagim(customs, usages, ceremonial rites developed after the closing of the Talmud) whether for leniency or for severity and from all their nushhaot (their versions ofthe prayers and their prayers bokks) which were created in accordance with the Zohar and the kabbalists. The great majority if not all of them were written with the express intent to introduce into the nation the principle of multiplicity and of the male and female elements which must be joined in union.(such as to unite the Holy Blessed is He to His Divine Presence) kabbalists believe that if one says the words, even without understanding, he causes such spiritual marriages to occur. Therefore they set themselves to such pain in order that these versions be incorporated into the Siddurim (Prayer Books). Great is the number of the uninstructed who follow these unfounded minhagim because of those previous rabbis who abandoned the minhag of their fathers which stand on the solid basis of the written and oral law and replaced them with versions directly taken from and based on the new kabbalah.
Therefore let it be said to every person to whom the fear of God shines in his heart, that he take great distance from all these minhagim and new dinim deriving from the new kabbalah. They come only to uproot and demolish the corner stones of the Holy Torah and break its pillars asunder, for in all their prayers and blessings, when they mention the glorious Name, they place their intention on ZEIR ANPIN in association to the higher PARTZUFIM above it.
Yet it is not only these new minhagim which must be avoided. One must be careful about everything which is performed or made by them concerning all the commandments explained to us by the Sages, of blessed memory. Here are a few of them: a Sefer Torah, Tefillin or a Mezuza that were written by any Jew who is devoted to the new kabbalah are not valid because the Names of God written in them were written for the sake of another god, ZEIR ANPIN. All the names written in them are profane and may be burned, is the law of the Poskim concerning a Sefer Torah, Tefillin and Mezuzot written by a ‘min’ (non-believer or dissident from the true tradition). One must not eat from their slaughtering since, at the moment of slaughter, when the kabbalist mentions the Name in the blessing for shechita, his intention is on ZEIR ANPIN. If a kabbalist is leading a congregation in prayer, one must not answer Amen or to Kedusha or to Baruch Ha-Shem Ha-Mevorach because, if the kabbalist is an expert, all his intentions are to ZEIR ANPIN. If one marries a woman or divorces a woman, the witnesses must not be from those who believe in the new kabbalah because the ‘kedushin’ (marriage contract) or the ‘get’ (divorce document) are invalidated by the Torah if the witnesses are unworthy. Thus a married woman might come to marry another man by means of this invalid divorce.
I have already
explained above(not brought here in this shortened
version) that when they mention the Ten Plagues at the Pesah Seder, they pour out a libation from their wine-glass into a broken vessel called ‘ARUR’ (cursed) in order to ‘correct’ MALCHUT and to cleanse her from the blood of her menstruation etc. Thus their wine is as idolater’s wine and is prohibited for usage or for benefit. So are there many such idolatrous minhagim which they have instituted, and one must take heed of them, of their food and of their drink lest one be rendered impure.
Woe unto us that through this treacherous Zohar we have become similar to other nations, such as the religions of India or the cults of the ancient Egyptians, Caldeans, Persians and Medes all of which were involved with such mystical doctrines based on the powers of their imagination ‘who never get out of the confusion and are in constant battle with their own opinions’!
fr. ch. 113
Who will unveil the dust from the eyes of the Men of the Great Assembly who poured out their beseechings and cried out before our Father in heaven with a great voice against the Inclination of Idolatry, to cast out the idols, the baalim and the ashtarot from the people of Israel; yea did you succeed. But not forever! For your true kabbalah has been degraded to a maid-servant, to klipah, to chaff, to straw, to the other rock from the side of evil, while the study of the baalim and ashtarot, of the faces and shapes of the male-gods and the female-gods has been placed as a Madame. And so they serve them in ‘holiness’ and ‘purity’ with the fear and trembling of an impure intellect and with the great confusion of an untrained mind. They themselves know not what ‘intention’ they must say or think about as can be verified by the immense number of ‘intentions’ (kavvanot) found in their books.
If the eyes of our Sages, the Men of the Great Assembly, could see what has happened to Judaism in view of the Zohar, they would have rent their garments, put on sack-cloth and ash and cried out in public, in the market-places and on the streets, with a terrible and bitter voice, as did Mordechai in the great Capital of Susa. Is this the law of the Torah! To search out the hidden allusions for the service to many gods! To call the knowledge of these divinities the secrets of the Torah! These are not the ‘secrets’ (sitrei) of the Torah but the contradictions (stirot) of the Torah for all their words are in contradiction to the true faith in the Oneness of God in accordance with the Holy Torah.
fr. ch. 114
In conclusion, precious reader, incline your heart and give over your attention to efficient wisdom and understanding. Do honour unto God and thank Him, for He awakened and enlightened with the spirit of His holiness all the Prophets of Israel. And afterwards too did He inspire the Hachamim of the Mishnah and Talmud to look with the pure eyes of the intellect into the past and the future to know what might happen in later periods. Thus did they kindle the great flame-torches to demonstrate and instruct the pure faith in the Oneness of Ha-Shem Baruch Hu, before the darkness of the shadow of death would come to defile and adulterate that pure faith with many emanated gods appointed in His stead.
About the first ones who made images of gold and silver, wood and stone, the Prophet Jeremiah said ‘As one they shall be burnt, having been fooled by the teachings of vanity, it is wood’. About those of our generation who follow in the footsteps of the false prophet of the Zohar, the Torah said ‘If there stands up in your midst a prophet or a dreamer’ etc. ‘saying, ‘Let us serve other gods which you have not known’ ’ (not by the true kabbalah received by the Sages nor by any sign or proof) ‘do not listen to the words of that prophet’. Do not even turn to those words to know if any of them is true. For without any doubt all that follows and derives from a false basis will be untrue. About them the Prophet Samuel said to Israel ‘Do not turn after vanity which cannot help nor save you, for they are utter vanity’.
Yet almost all those who read or study in the Zohar or in the books of individuals or groups who have inherited the chaos, have not understood their true intentions and have erroneously believed that they are all part of one Torah and one Law. ‘Israel has not known, my nation has not meditated’ that their real purpose was to institute a completely new oral law to replace the Mishnah and Talmud. Praised is the name of God who bestows on man knowledge and understanding, to perceive the truth of true words, and to shatter the visions of the impudent who would lift themselves up to establish their doctrines, causing by subterfuge and false-flattery many from among our nation to believe that the Lord, our God is not the Unique and Absolute One.
Now let every person who possesses a wise heart look into the Torah of Perfection and into the words of R. Saadya Gaon, R. Yehuda HaLevy, the Rambam and many other great Hachamim, so that his soul be satisfied with the pure bread of our holy Emunah as it was revealed to the Patriarchs and later to Moses together with the entire nation at Sinai. And through this may he merit to behold the pleasantness of God and to visit within His chamber.
So has the Almighty God helped us until here to reveal the true thoughts of the deceitful philosopher and false prophet of the Zohar who dared speak falsehoods against Ha-Shem and against the Torah, selecting new gods, the inventions of his over-indulged imagination while attributing all this to the famous Hacham, R. Shimon ben Yohhai, the holy Tanai, in order to deceive the hearts of the house of Israel.
Blessed is He who bestows knowledge on man to understand and to correct : Come let us walk in the light of God, the Holy Torah which gives us understanding and teaches us the knowledge of Ha-Shem Elohim Emet and through this may we merit to the pleasantness of God in this world and in the world to come.
completed this shortened version - November 9, 1996