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). - -
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
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!