I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cardinal Lustiger

The late Archbishop of Paris Cardinal Lustiger published a wonderful book called "The Promise". Here is an extract from it.

"The Church appears in Jerusalem, after Pentecost, as an "assembly"
kahal in Hebrew, ecclesia in Greek. It is unthinkable that she would
claim to replace Israel. She is not another Israel, but the very,
fulfillment, in Israel, of God's plan...The Church is then faced
with the question of the extent to which these pagans who share in
Israel's Election should be obliged to observe the laws which are
Israel's trust, responsibility, and privilege. To what extent should
these pagans be associated with the totality of Israel's mission?
This is the major problem facing the first generations of
Christians, as all the New Testament writings testify...In this
early Church, the status of the pagan-Christian assemblies begins to
be established. They are not dispensed from observing the Law- if
the pagans did not observe the Law, they would have no share in
either Israel's Election or grace. But the gift of the Holy Spirit,
a grace of the messiah, enables pagans to observe the law
differently from Israel, which remains charged with
this "delightful" burden of observance. The Church of Jerusalem is,
in the Catholic church, the permanence of the promise made to
Israel, the presence of the fulfillment of that promise, an
attestation of the grace bestowed on the pagans. Thus, the church is
that of both Jews and pagans. The fact that this church of Jerusalem
was to survive only until the sixth century is one of history's
great mysteries and may well be a great spiritual tragedy-whose
final outcome remains hidden. For this matter the separation of the
church into Eastern and Western branches, cannot be considered
settled. These mysteries are a part of the wounds, the sins, that
we must acknowledge...The commandment to love as Jesus loves is not
to be substituted for the other commandments. That would make no
sense. There is only one holy Law. The law is the revelation of
God's commandments. The newness is in God's act, in that he sends
Israel his obedient Son... Jesus obviously spent much time
meditating on the commandments. Everything psalm 119 has to say
about the "delights" of the Law was certainly an essential part of
his prayer...The commandments were constantly being meditated by
Jesus as word of life...Why do these commandments have such
importance? How can we increase our understanding of them? The words
from Leviticus – `You shall be holy; for I am holy (11:44;19:2)- are
echoed in the Sermon on the Mount...It makes no sense to understand
the Sermon on the Mount as the substitution of one commandment for
another...It is essential to understand what is meant by the
expression "a new law". If the novelty meant is that the Holy Spirit
enters the heart of the one who participates in Christ's life –
the `law of the spirit' ,as Saint Paul expresses it- then, yes, the
expression "new law" is appropriate. However to maintain that the
revelation has been substituted for another is to understand
absolutely nothing of the mystery of Christ. It is to deny the gift
of God.

Why have these commandments been given to us?...The Law
enables us to act as God acts. And in Jesus meditation, the law
reveals how God acts. Just as much as the law is a precept given to
man, it is also revelation of God's action and his mystery...How can
it be suggested that by observing the Ten Commandments, we act as
God does, unless the commandments reveal to us how God acts? We have
to enter into Jesus' prayer – the gospel makes it possible – to
understand what the commandments tell us about the way God acts, how
they allow us to participate in God's own action...Undoubtedly,
there are several ways of observing certain precepts and practices
in religious life: that of the Church of Jerusalem, as described in
the Acts of the apostles in the first days of Christianity, a
community composed of observant Jews; an example of this way today
is monastic life – whereas the pagan- Christian communities do not
have the same obligations. All however, being ordered by love, which
is the greatest good of the church. This diversity is given for the
edification of all; but there is only one way to observe the will of
God and that is to obey the commandments." ( Cardinal Lustiger `The

"Pagans also have a right to the Law , as
a holy law inscribed in their hearts. It is by acting through the
Messiah , with him and in him who made himself obedient to the Law
to death on the Cross, that they obey the Law. The discipline of the
church dispenses them from Israel's observances, a burden to heavy
for them, and which remains Israel's privilege. It is not for the
pagans to take on the physical history of the Hebrews, since they,
through Christ, have become spiritual offspring of Abraham, but not
his physical descendants. Nevertheless, in Christ they have access
to the plenitude of the law, and receive the Holy Spirit which
allows them to fulfil it." (Cardinal Lustiger "The Promise" ACCESS

You can buy a copy in english here:


Hasidic Joy

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Catholics For Israel

Here is a link to a wonderful new and developing website of Catholics For Israel. It is an orthodox Catholic group who believe in modern Israel as a sign of the times.


Their description: "We are an apostolate of Catholics for Israel and Catholics in Israel committed to fostering a greater love for the Jewish people, for Jesus the Messiah, and for His Body, the Catholic Church."

Monday, August 06, 2007

Mystery of the B'racha:A Hebrew Catholic Understanding

What does the term 'mitzvot mean? It includes the concepts of commandments and good deeds. In fact mitzvot are 'human acts' that become sanctified through being made in union with the Divine Will and Purpose of God. It is through making a blessing (b'racha) and performing these acts that these sanctified individual acts open a channel with the Divine. Rabbi Aaron Twerski in the comprehensive work entitled "The Laws of the B'rachos" states "The b'racha thus creates a new reality - one in which the blessings from the Infinite Source may descend upon the one who has uttered the b'racha... we never...say...a b'racha...it is always...make a b'racha...the utterance of a b'racha is a creative act...By testifying to our utter dependence upon God, we establish the necessary condition for blessing to flow from infinite God to mortal man." 'Baruch ata' is translated as 'Blessed are you' but according to many rabbis the most correct meaning is 'You are the source of all blessing'. The first half of the blessing is in the first person and acknowledges the Divine Presence. The second part of the blessing is in the third person and acknowledges the hidden Divine Will in the act to be performed or appreciated. Rabbi Twerski states: "When we... attribute acts and motivation to His Divine Will, we move from acknowledging his presence to describing His essence...it is important that we not delude ourselves into believing that we are capable of describing the Divine essence. The b'racha shifts to the more distant and removed third person to indicate that we understand that such description is beyond capability... We make no pretense about our abilities to penetrate the Divine Mystery."

Rabbi Aaron Twerski

Rabbi Twerski perceives the practice of observing brachot and mitzvot as a key to devekut (the mystical union or cleaving of the soul to God). R. Twerski: "B'rachos play a vital role in hallowing the ordinary and the mundane by declaring that Godliness is relevant to all that we do...we are performing God's mitzvos and we are learning His Torah...Observance of mitzvos without consciously associating that observance to the Divine Will is not only unpalatable but ultimately self -defeating. For the goal of all creation is the clinging of man to Godliness...The recitation of b'rachos thus becomes an important vehicle for a constant and unrelenting reminder that our lives are sanctified unto God, that all our acts can be imbued with holiness..". The Divine Will revealed to the servant of God Luisa Piccarreta: "As often as a soul enters into Divine Will to pray, work, love, or to do anything else, it opens many paths between the Creator and the creature. The Divinity seeing that the creature is coming to It, it opens up paths in order to meet Its creature. In this encounter, the creature imitates the virtues of its Creator, absorbs into itself Divine Life, and enters more fully into the eternal secrets of the Supreme Will...That is how in my Will, the creature approaches likeness to Me, how it realizes my designs and how it fulfills the purpose of Creation." The modern Catholic mystics who are exemplars of living in the Divine Will are directing us to a fresh evaluation of Jesus statement that he came not to abolish the Torah but to bring it to its goal (telos). The Jewish people were given mitzvot to help them attain to this restoration of the sanctity that was lost at the fall. The Torah revealed the way to sanctity/holiness through observance of mitzvot by opening a channel to Divine Grace and Life. During the Old Testament times before the First Coming of the Messiah in the flesh the grace to follow the Divine Will was given to the Jewish people in the merits of the coming Messiah. With the advent of the redemption all nations were offered the grace to not only follow the Divine Will but to unite with the Divine Will in performing our acts. While the Jewish people already had a God-given culture in which its acts were focused towards sanctity, the Gentiles were given a way to sanctify all the acts in their own cultures. Since 1889 with the giving to Luisa Piccarreta the gift of 'Living in the Divine Will' in continuous eternal mode, all men can now observe the mitzvot (acts) Dwelling in Divine Will - so that our acts are divinised and become the acts of God himself.

Jesus in the Gospels opposed a legalistic and mundane interpretation of Torah and mitzvot, as he wished the Jewish people to focus on the goal of Torah and mitzvot, which was the call to holiness. A theology that downgrades the centrality of Torah and mitzvot is a mistaken path. In the Messiah we enter into the depths of the Divine Will and all acts become the single Act of creation. Father Joseph Iannuzzi in his book "The Splendour of Creation" states: "Based on the approved writings of the mystics, to enter God's eternal activity the soul must acknowledge God's Presence, invite his activity and desire to remain faithful to his will in all things." The making of a b'racha is a very little way to do this. In a sense the Holy Spirit has prepared Judaism with all the pieces of the machinery in readiness for the Ingrafting. When the Jews are given the grace of the knowledge of the identity of the Messiah as King of the Kingdom of the Divine Will - all will be unified and the machinery will come together bringing 'life from the dead' to all creation. Judaism will enter the Church and it will gain access into the grace of living in the divine Will in a continuous eternal mode- higher than the human and divine modes discussed by St Teresa of Avila and others. In order to attain to this gift Judaism must accept Yeshuah as the Messiah and his mikvah (baptism) in order to begin this process leading to 'Living in the Divine Will in eternal mode' on Earth as they do in Heaven. A miracle of God and the witness of the new saints of the Roman Church who dwell in Divine Will in the eternal mode, will lead to this ingrafting of the Jews and Judaism into the Church.

The Jewish practice of making a b'racha is a Jewish 'little way' or 'opus dei'(work of God). The 'blessings' fall into three main categories. Each blessed act has a unique way or power of refining the soul leading to its goal of holiness. The first category of blessings are the 'Blessings of Enjoyment' such as the blessings on food and drink. The second group are the 'Blessings made over mitzvot' such as those made on Tefillin, tzitzis, etc. The third group are 'Blessings of thanksgiving and praise'. All three categories of blessings acknowledge the Divine Will as the Divine Presence. This, in a sense, is the Will as Noun - I am that I am. The second part of the blessings acknowledges the Will in act (Divine Volition) as the verb of will.

Mystical Judaism speaks of the three heads of the Divine Will. One is the head of desire/pleasure (taanug) which is the desire of the Divine Will to Create; the second is the head of the will/favour (ratzon) which is the will or act of the Divine Will to Create; the third head is the head of faith/trust (emunah) which is the source of the Divine will to Create. The 'Blessings of Enjoyment' (birchot ha'nehenim) acknowledge the desire (taanug) of the Divine will to create blessings for man. The blessings over mitzvot ( birchot ha-mitzvot)acknowledge the will in Act of the Divine Will in providing ways for man to become like God; for him to grow in sanctity. The 'blessings of thanksgiving and praise' (birchot ha'hoda'ah v'ha'shevah) acknowledge the soul's faith and trust in the Divine Will as the source of all blessings.

Over many foods the 'shehakol' blessing is recited "shehekol n'hiyeh b'dvaro" (all was created by His Word) revealing the mystery of creation by, in and through the divine Word. The 'borei' (brings forth)blessings acknowledge the hidden Divine Will in all God's creation - which is given for man. The 'birchot ha mitzvot state 'who is sanctified by His mitzvot' revealing that observances of mitzvot are a way of holiness not a means to salvation. Salvation is a free gift in the Messiah.

However the making of the b'racha can be at three different levels of heart intention (kavanah). The first level of kavanah is the b'racha made as a blessing on our human act done in our own human way. The second level of kavanah is to make the b'racha in union with the Messiah so that we do our act with God beside us. This has some redemptive and sanctifying value. The third kavanah which is made in Divine Will is to intend that God does the act in us - this divinises our act which then not only has redemptive value but allows the Divine Will to reign in the Act. Thus it has redemptive and sanctifying merit for all souls of the past, present and future. This is a great form of tikkun (reparation). Rabbi Twerski states; "...combining the proper kavana (intent) while reciting the b'racha assures that the mitzvah will be performed in its fullness...".

The Catholic Jew who is desiring to live in Divine Will may either verbalise or silently intend a deeper penetration of the b'racha by adding "Eat in my eating, Lord" "Drink in my drinking" "Light in my lighting" Pray in my praying" "Praise in my praising" etc. He may also unite with the Divine Will in the created thing (such as the bread, wine etc) and sing or chant a 'I bless you, I love you, I praise you, I adore you' on behalf and as the voice of the created thing and all creation. In this way the person living in Divine Will becomes the voice for all creatures to return the glory of the Divine Will in all things to its source. This gives God the glory that he is due - his own glory given back to him. The vessel of his glory is his immaculate Mother in Eternity united to all those who live in Divine Will in a continuous eternal mode. Rabbi Twerski says: "The spiritual aspect of nature is hidden from the naked eye and requires the statement of man to bring it to the fore. The b'racha serves as a daily revelation of the spirituality that inheres in nature. When the Chassidic masters speak of elevating the 'holy sparks' by making a b'racha, they refer, in part, to the role of man in revealing the glory of Hashem which is part of creation." Rabbi Zevi Elimelekh of Dinov states: " However, if the eating is done...to extract and elevate the holy sparks in the food...then he can create yihudim (unificiations) with his prayer. This is equally true of all mundane matters, whether plowing or sowing or reaping...".

In a Catholic Jewish perspective, the making of a b'racha is an acknowledgment of the Eucharistic dimension of God's Real Presence and an acknowledgment of the Marian dimension as the vessel that contains the light of the Divine Will in all things. The understanding of the b'racha as a little channel of access to Divine Grace and Life directs us to the seven great channels of Divine Grace and Life we call the seven sacraments or mysteries of the New Covenant. In fact in these seven Great Mysteries we use Christian b'rachot - such as the blessings over the bread and wine in the Eucharist - the 'bless me , Father' of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession). The blessings on the water, candles, oil etc in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation and so on.

Judaism also teaches that one should sanctify one's eating by making a b'racha both before and after eating. Universal Catholic custom also sanctifies our eating by making a prayer of thanks before and after eating. Jewish food laws (given by God himself)is a Jewish way of sanctity in the area of eating by developing self-discipline and self control, and counteracting the sins of greed and gluttony. Rabbi Twerski states: " One should not lose sight of the important existential statement that a b'racha expresses. Whether food is primarily physical or spiritual in nature depends on how one eats. If one eats without a b'racha and in an animalistic fashion, he denies the spiritual aspect of creation. The spiritual aspect then remains hidden and submerged. It is not brought into the open and cannot serve to elevate the spiritual qualities of the person who eats... Conversely, if one makes a b'racha with proper kavana and the eating is recognised as a facet of one's overall dedication to a Godly life, then the spiritual aspect of nature becomes primary and the physical takes on a secondary goal. The old adage that "you are what you eat" has profound meaning within Torah thought."

Many assume that Judaism is only concerned with the letter of the Law rather than the spirit. This is not so. Rabbi Twerski informs us: "There is good reason to be concerned that the act of eating may be contrary to the spirit of the b'racha...Thus, the commandment to be holy does not refer to those matters which the Torah specifically prohibits. Rather, it dictates that great care be taken in limiting self-indulgence and in dealing with that which is halachically permissible in a refined and delicate manner."

In Hasidic Judaism is found the term 'avodah be-gashmiyut' (worship or service through corporeality). This concept goes beyond the teaching of the Halakah in regards to the food laws and blessings and also beyond the other 'derekh eretz' (proper behaviour) teaching of many sages. It is a higher way of sanctifying the very act of eating itself so that it becomes part of uninterrupted devekut (Divine Union or Cleaving). The Hasidic tradition speaks of the Divine Will present in all things as the 'holy sparks'. In a sense the Divine Will is 'trapped or imprisoned in the creature and longs to return to its source. R. Jacob Joseph of Polennoye wrote: " A great principle in serving God is this: in everything, you do for the sake of Heaven...When eating, do not say that you are eating for the sake of Heaven in the sense that the food will give you strength to serve the Lord. Although this too is a good intention the ultimate perfection is for the act itself, in and of itself, to be an act for the sake of Heaven i.e. to elevate the sparks. The mystery of the Sabbath meals is known to all initiates into the divine mysteries."

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mystery of Divine Will: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection on Unity

Pope John Paul II in 'Orientale Lumen' expresses his passionate longing for a "full manifestation of the Church's catholicity to be restored to the world". He longed for the divided Eastern and Western Churches to reunite in full unity. Traditionally the West has stressed the crucifixion and the humanity of the Messiah, the East the Resurrection and the Divinity in their respective spiritual life. How can we reunite these two spiritual ways of the human and divine so they enrich the whole Church and humanity? John Paul II the Great speaks of the East and West as the two lungs of the Mystical Body which is the Church. However it is the heart that pumps blood to these lungs and to all the Body. The heart of the Church is Judaism which pumps life giving blood to the two lungs of the East and West in their role of universalizing the faith and giving life to the whole Body of the Church. In a sense the heart is Mary as the Woman of Israel who holds within her the whole of the Israelite and Jewish heritage and faith redone in Divine Will, who in the person of her Son in the power of the Holy Spirit (the life Blood) gives life to the lungs (Christians of Eastern and Western European tradition) and the whole body (all peoples and nations).

What is the means by which Judaism, Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy can be reunited while maintaining their precious and essential spiritual traditions and understandings? Of course it is by the work of the Holy Spirit. However I believe the Holy Spirit is working through the writings of Luisa Picarretta and the other modern saints of the 'new and divine holiness' as well as some of the contemporary mystics and prophets. It all comes together in the 'Mystery of Divine Will' as proclaimed by St.Paul of Tarsus. "The Beloved... making known to us the Mystery of his Divine Will (Ratzon), according to the desire (taanug)that he set forth in Himself, according to the blueprint (aumanuta) for the fullness of times, to unite all things in Mashiach, things in heaven and things on Earth in Him" (Ephesians 1:9-10). Here the term fullness of times is in the plural and refers to two periods called 'fullness of time'. The New Testament refers in Galatians 4:4 to the first coming of the Mashiach and his mother the promised Woman of Gensis 3:15 as a fullness of time. This concept of 'fullness of time' means a period which has reach its full completion. The era in which man remained on the level of the Fiat of Creation was completed and now the level of the fiat of Redemption was beginning(which includes also the level of the fiat of Creation). John Paul II declared the Great Jubilee of 2000 as a "fullness of time". The level at which redeemed man can attain to the level of the Fiat of Sanctification which is the new and divine holiness has now been opened and will lead to the period of unification that John Paul so passionately longed for in the Third Millenium. In 1998 in his reflection on Creation Pope John Paul said: " For the divine plan to be fulfilled, man must use his freedom in harmony with God's will and overcome the disorder introduced into human life and into the world by sin. Without the gift of the Holy Spirit, this twofold achievement cannot occur. The prophets of the Old Testament put great stress on this. Thus the prophet Ezekiel says: "A new heart I will give you. and a new spirit I will put within you: and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances ... you shall be my people, and I will be your God" (Ez 36:26-28). This profound personal and community renewal, awaited in the "fullness of time" and brought about by the Holy Spirit, will to some extent involve the whole cosmos."

The blueprint (aumanuta)in Judaism refers to the hidden and primordial Torah. In this passage from Ephesians Paul the Great Mystic and foreseer of the third Fiat (Heaven) cryptically alludes to the 'Mystery of Divine Will' that he sees hidden in the person of the Mashiach (as the Divine Man/ Adam Kadmon come in the flesh). Paul looks ahead to this hidden mystery of the Divine Will being revealed in a future 'fullness of time', when this unification process of higher sanctity occurs. This is the fulfillment of the Lord's Prayer "As in Heaven, Yes let it be done on earth" - by the Divine Will reigning in man.

The Eastern Church speaks of the essence of God which is Incomprehensible so that God reveals himself in his divine uncreated energies which may also be referred to as Divine Attributes or Divine Activity. In Judaism these energies are called Sefirot and are considered the way God and his creation intereact (see R. Aryeh Kaplan "Innerspace"). However the Jewish mystics disagree with each other about whether the Sefirot are created or uncreated lights of God. Nachmanides (Ramban)and most of the earlier Kabbalists consider the Sefirot as uncreated lights of one essence with the Godhead. Mamonides (Rambam) and many of the later kabbalists including Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan consider the Sefirot as created lights that are the basic modes of God's creative power that constitutes the inner structure and makeup of the Universes (see "Innerspace"). They are both right to a degree. It is Paul that gives us the true solution when we read him as a master of Jewish mysticism. The Sefirot in the Divine Man (Adam Kadmon) are uncreated and of one essence with the Deity. However in the Universes(Atzilut, Beriah, Yetzirah and Assiyah) the Sefirot are the created lights that mirror the uncreated Sefirot of Adam Kadmon. This sefirotic Mirror is the Celestial Mother (Imma) who is the created blueprint for all Creation. Paul points us to the Mashiach in his humanity and divinity as the blueprint for comprehending this mystery. In the Mashiach we see the created Sefirot of his humanity that is in the likeness of his Mother as it is of all men. She is the true Mother of all the Living. In the Mashiach's divinity is seen the uncreated Sefirot of one essence with the Godhead. Paul reveals to us that we must enter the humanity of the Mashiach, but not as a complete end in itself but in order to move into participation with his divinity in order to reenter the Mystery of the Divine Will so that Heaven and Earth may be reunited in Dwelling in Divine Will.

Often in Western spirituality one moves spiritually and mystically into the humanity of Jesus and one begins a spiritual imitation of his life adapted to one's own calling and state in life. This is a good first step and many myriads of lay Catholics have embraced this form of spirituality. However they often haven't moved on to the higher participation in the Divinity of the Messiah. Thus the liturgical and spiritual life of the Western church can seem somber, restrained and rationalistic. The Eastern Christians however enter the Divinity but they may bypass the humanity of the Messiah. Thus their spirituality tends to be monastic with the majority of the laity left behind. Their liturgical and spiritual life has a lightness and a joy but is not often rooted into the reality of human life for the average Christian. In order to fertilise each one's strengths to the other, a going back to the scriptural and Jewish roots of the faith is essential.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Are Jews in the Church Elect? A Hebrew Catholic Response

Some recent anti-Judaic Catholics have accused Hebrew Catholics of being involved in a Jewish conspiracy to make themselves the elect in the Church and to create a Jewish ghetto that practices Jewish customs in order to exclude Gentiles. Such thinking totally mispresents what Hebrew Catholics believe and do. Are Jews the Elect of God ? Are they the chosen people and do they have a vocation and role to play in the Church? The answer is Yes. However these people totally misunderstand the use of the word Election - the Jewish people have the election of Israel which means they have a special vocation to play in salvation History. This is what they are chosen for, as a witness to God's Revelation to man through Scripture and his Covenants given to Israel. This does not mean that other groups in the Church do not have special roles and missions. Of course they do. To say that Hebrew Catholics are separating themselves by observing their heritage is the same as accusing the Ukrainian Catholics of the same thing or the Maronites because they observe different customs and forms of spirituality than the Latin rite. I might add that the Carmelites or Trappists separate themselves by their spirituality from most other Catholics in living out their special calling in Church yet nobody has any problem with this.

It is also incorrect to state that Gentiles are excluded from the Hebrew Catholics journey in fact many Gentiles are involved with the Hebrew Catholics in the Hebrew Catholic movement just as there are many lay supporters of the Carmelites or Latin -rite Catholics who support the Byzantine-rite Catholics. If any one practices exclusionary policies it is certain traditionalist Latin Mass only Catholics and other more 'orthodox' than the Pope groups or intolerant Modernists who are hostile to most other Catholics who see things differently to them. If Hebrew Catholics saw their way as the only Catholic way then they would rightly be condemned, just as any Catholic group would be if they rejected all other forms of expressing the faith within the Universal Church. Most Hebrew Catholics I know are involved with numerous apostolates in the Church and are not segregating themselves into a 'holy huddle', in fact a number of Hebrew Catholics are traditionalist Latin Mass attenders and most Hebrew Catholics consider themselves orthodox Catholics as opposed to Modernists. In fact when I was first a Catholic I attended quite regularly the Tridentine Latin Mass and still do on occasion. One of the reasons I ceased regular attendence was the narrowness of some and the anti-semitism among some people involved in the Latin Mass. Many others were not like this but one wishes to attend Mass where one can focus on Jesus in the Eucharist not people filled with some kind of irrational hatred of Jews.

Irish Catholics and Polish Catholics observe Catholicism in Irish and Polish ways, so why is it that some believe that it is only Jews that cannot observe Catholicism in their way. What way should they observe? The Irish way or other ethnic ways? All Catholics live out their Catholicism within a particular culture. How Hebrew or Jewish Catholics do this is a question which every individual Hebrew Catholic has a different opinion. To argue with anti-semites is often a waste of breathe however I do pray for them as I was once both anti-Judaism and anti-Catholic before God filled me with his Spirit and changed my heart. Coming from a family of Jewish ancestry who had become Christians I had a built in prejudice against religious Judaism and the Talmud. As my family embraced the Church of England and were right-wing politically it was an easy step to imbibe the Jewish conspiracy theories prevalent in many right wing groups. Looking back I now see that the League of Rights to which some in my family were attached was actually Neo-Nazi, though at the time we considered ourselves anti-Nazi and pro-family, God, Queen and Commonwealth. Strangely enough my family were also religious Zionists but anti-political Zionist. Not that we particularly liked Arabs for they were 'wogs' too just like those Eastern European Jews who spoke Yiddish (our ancestors were the refined aristocratic Sephardic Anglo- Jews as we conveniently overlooked our Ashkenazi lines). In fact I was a racist against any one who was not a WASA - a white Anglo-Saxon Anglican.

That I was Anglo-Jewish in ancestry seemed to give me a fascination with everything Jewish which due to the circles I mixed in and the books available to me was to focus on the negative. I believed in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy that was out to destroy White Anglo-Saxon culture and beliefs and of course the Vatican, Catholics and the Jesuits were all part of this evil conspiracy. Eventually I encountered the holocaust denial literature and as my family had been safe in Australia I had no personal knowledge of it and was easily convinced, I am very sad to say. After God touched my heart at age 18 I was convicted of my prejudices and I began a journey into true Judaism not the evil one the anti-semites had placed in my mind. This Jewish journey strangely, or maybe not so strangely, led me to Catholicism. When I was an anti-semite and anti-catholic no arguments would have convinced me but individual people did such as John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

Do I still hold prejudiced and racist thinking? Yes I do but the difference now is I know it is wrong and I continually repent of such thoughts whereas before I thought it was right and true to be a bigotted racist. So please pray for these people as many of them are sincere and lovely people but they have an irrational blind spot that the Devil uses to his purposes. I realise now the Judaism and the Catholicism I hated were not the real ones but ones created by others over many years as a caricature. Now I love Judaism and Catholicism so God has a sense of humour.

Am I still right-wing? Certainly but now this means for me a love of God, Queen, country and family (without the extreme elements added by fanatics) which were my first passion before I was led down a narrow intolerant path. Now I try to love all people, even those who have different political, social, religious and cultural views to me. In fact I love people who look for truth and have a passion for it. Some of the people I was associated with in my young years are now in prison for violent racist crimes - I pray for them because that could have so easily been me if God had not intervened in my life.

For further understanding of the Hebrew Catholic vocation click here

Note: My parents views were never to the extremes which I as a young passionate boy came to. My father always disliked the League of Rights and considered them neo-Nazi. He also would not hear of criticism of the Pope or nuns who he considered were holy people of God even if misinformed. Also my former racist views were not approved by or encouraged by the Anglican Church.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Seder Olam Rabbah Vezuta and Rabbi Jacob Emden

Rabbi Jacob Emden (1697-1776) son of Rabbi Tzvi Ashkenazi is an authority in Orthodox Judaism. He was a great opponent of Sabbateanism. At present there is a theological movement that is reevaluating St Paul and his writings from looking at his Jewish background. There are a number of new books seeing Paul in this new light as positive towards the Torah. Rabbi Emden was ahead of his time and really expresses his understanding well. If both Jews and Christians looked at Jesus, Paul and Torah from the perspective given by Rabbi Jacob Emden in this letter we could come to a greater appreciation of each others traditions and the place of Torah-observant Jewish believers in Yeshuah. This letter was written in 1757 to the Jewish Council of the Four Lands.


"For it is recognized that also the Nazarene and his disciples, especially Paul, warned concerning the Torah of the Israelites, to which all the circumcised are tied. And if they are truly Christians, they will observe their faith with truth, and not allow within their boundary this new unfit Messiah Shabbetai Zevi who came to destroy the earth.

But truly even according to the writers of the Gospels, a Jew is not permitted to leave his Torah, for Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians (Gal. 5) "I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, the Messiah will do you no good at all. You can take it from me that every man who receives circumcision is under obligation to keep the entire Torah." Again because of this he admonished in a letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7) that the circumcised should not remove the marks of circumcision, nor should the uncircumcised circumcise themselves.

Many have asked that Paul appears to contradict himself here. In the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 16), it is mentioned that Paul circumcised his disciple Timothy. And they found this very puzzling, for this act seems to contradict the later text which seems to indicate that he considered circumcision a temporary commandment until the Messiahs arrival; but this took place after the time of the Nazarene! Therefore you must realize--and accept the truth from him who speaks it-- that we see clearly here that the Nazarene and his Apostles did not wish to destroy the Torah from Israel, God forbid; for it is written so in Matthew (Mt. 5), the Nazarene having said, "Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Torah. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. I tell you this: So long as heaven and earth endure, not a letter, not a stroke, will disappear from the Torah until it is achieved. If any man therefore sets aside even the least of the Torahs demands, and teaches others to do the same, he will have the lowest place in the Kingdom of Heaven, whereas anyone who keeps the Torah, and teaches others so, will stand high in the Kingdom of Heaven." This is also recorded in Luke (Lk. 16). It is therefore exceedingly clear that the Nazarene never dreamed of destroying the Torah.

We similarly find Paul, his disciple, in a letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 5), accusing them of fornication, and condemning one who had lived with his fathers wife. You may therefore understand that Paul doesnt contradict himself because of his circumcision of Timothy, for the latter was the son of a Jewish mother and a Gentile father (Acts 16), and Paul was a scholar, an attendant of Rabban Gamaliel the Elder, well-versed in the laws of the Torah. He knew that the child of a Jewish mother is considered a full Jew, even if the father should be a Gentile, as is written in the Talmud and Codes. He therefore acted entirely in accordance with the Halakha by circumcising Timothy. This would be in line with his position that all should remain within their own faith (1 Cor. 7). Timothy, born of a Jewish mother, had the law of a Jew, and had to be circumcised, just as he was enjoined to observe all commandments of the Torah (Pauls condemnation of the man who lived with his stepmother is similarly understandable, as such an act is also forbidden to Noahides), for all who are circumcised are bound by all the commandments. This provides a satisfactory reply to the question.

This will also solve the apparent contradictions in the Nazarenes own statements. Christian scholars have assumed from certain passages in the Gospels that he wished to give a new Torah to take the place of the Torah of Moses. How could he then have said explicitly that he comes only to fulfill it? But it is as I have said earlier--that the writers of the Gospels never meant to say that the Nazarene came to abolish Judaism, but only that he came to establish a religion for the Gentiles from that time onward. Nor was it new, but actually ancient; they being the Seven Commandments of the Sons of Noah, which were forgotten. The Apostles of the Nazarene then established them anew. However, those born as Jews, or circumcised as converts to Judaism (Ex. 12:49; one law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger) are obligated to observe all commandments of the Torah without exception.

But for the Gentiles he reserved the Seven Commandments which they have always been obligated to fulfill. It is for that reason that they were forbidden pollutions of idols, fornication, blood, and things strangled (Acts 15). They also forbade them circumcision and the Sabbath. All of this was in accord with the law and custom of our Torah, as expounded by our Sages, the true transmitters from Moses at Sinai. It was they who sat upon his seat (as the Nazarene himself attested [Mt. 23]). It was they (the Sages or Pharisees) who said that it is forbidden to circumcise a Gentile who does not accept upon himself the yoke of (all) the commandments. The Sages likewise said that the Gentile is enjoined not (fully) to observe the Sabbath. The Apostles of the Nazarene therefore chose for those Gentiles who do not enter the Jewish faith that instead of circumcision they should practice immersion (for truly immersion is also a condition of full conversion), and a commemoration of the Sabbath was made for them on Sunday. -- But the Nazarene and his Apostles observed the Sabbath and circumcision as mentioned earlier, for they were born as Jews. They observed the Torah fully, until after a period of time a few of them decided to give up the Torah among themselves completely. They said that its observance was too difficult for them and agreed to remove its yoke from their necks (Acts 15).

But even here they did correctly as far as the Gentiles were concerned, for they were not commanded to observe it. Nor is it proper to make it difficult for them, since they did not receive (accept?) the Torah and are not enjoined to ob serve the 613 commandments. However, it is completely different as far as the Jews are concerned, for they became obligated to fulfill the Torah because God delivered them from the iron furnace (Egypt) to be the people of his possession. Therefore they and their children became subject to it forever. This, their covenant, will not be forgotten from their mouths, nor be discontinued from their children. For it they have given their lives throughout the generations, as the Psalmist has recorded (Ps. 44:18): All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten Thee, neither have we been false to Thy covenant.

Certainly, therefore, there is no doubt that one who seeks truth will agree with our thesis, that the Nazarene and his Apostles never meant to abolish the Torah of Moses from one who was born a Jew. Likewise did Paul write in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7) that each should adhere to the faith in which each was called. They therefore acted in accordance with the Torah by forbidding circumcision to Gentiles, according to the Halakha, as it is forbidden to one who does not accept the yoke of the commandments. They knew that it would be too difficult for the Gentiles to observe the Torah of Moses. They therefore forbade them to circumcise, and it would suffice that they observe the Seven Noahide Commandments, as commanded upon them through the Halakha from Moses at Sinai.

It is therefore a habitual saying of mine (not as a hypocritical flatterer, God forbid, for I am of the faithful believers of Israel, and I know well that the remnant of Israel will not speak falsehood, nor will their mouths contain a deceitful tongue) that the Nazarene brought about a double kindness in the world. On the one hand, he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically, as mentioned earlier, and not one of our Sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah. And on the other hand, he did much good for the Gentiles (provided they do not turn about his intent as they please, as some foolish ones have done because they did not fully understand the intent of the authors of the Gospels. I have recently seen someone publish a book, and he had no idea about what he was writing. For if he had understood the subject, he would have kept his silence and not wasted the paper and ink. There are also found among us foolish scholars who know not their right from their left in the Written and Oral Torahs and cause the people to err with their pompous pronouncements. But there are true scholars among the Christians, just as there are the chosen few among Torah scholars; and there are few of the truly great.) by doing away with idolatry and removing the images from their midst. He obligated them with the Seven Commandments so that they should not be as the beasts of the field. He also bestowed upon them ethical ways, and in this respect he was much more stringent with them than the Torah of Moses, as is well-known. This in itself was most proper, as it is the correct way to acquire ethical practices, as the philosopher (Maimonides) mentioned. We have written similarly in our Siddur. However, it is not necessary to impose upon Jews such extreme ethical practices, since they have been obligated to the yoke of Torah, which weakens the strength of the (evil) inclination without it. They have taken the oath at Sinai and are already trained in proper practice and nature. These are clear words that will not be rejected by a clear-thinking person.

If certain Christians who consider themselves scholars would understand this secret, who believe that they are commanded to abolish the Torah of Moses from the seed of Israel, they would not engage in such foolishness. The people listen to their self-conceived words, something which was never intended by the writers of the Gospels. Quite the opposite, they have written clearly that they intended the contrary.

Because of these errant scholars, hatred has increased toward the Jews who are blameless of any guilt and proceed innocently to observe their Torah with all their heart, imbued with the fear of God. They should instead bring their people to love the ancient Children of Israel who remain loyal to their God, as indeed commanded to Christians by their original teachers.

They even said to love ones enemies. How much more so to us! In the name of heaven, we are your brothers! One God has created us all. Why should they abuse us because we are joined to the commandments of God, to which we are tied with the ropes of his love? We do this not to enjoy the pleasures of the (evil) inclination and emptiness of a passing world. For truly (Ps. 44) we have become a byword among the nations, and with all this (ibid.). In God have we gloried all the day, and we will give thanks unto Thy name for ever. We pray for the good of the entire world, and especially for the benefit of these lands in which we reside, protecting us and our observance of the Torah...

You, members of the Christian faith, how good and pleasant it might be if you will observe that which was commanded to you by your first teachers; how wonderful is your share if you will assist the Jews in the observance of their Torah. You will truly receive reward as if you had fulfilled it yourselves-for the one who helps others to observe is greater than one who observes but does not help others to do so--even though you only observe the Seven Commandments. I have written similarly in my pleasant work Torat Ha-Kenaot-- that the Jew who observes the Torah, but doesnt support it, is considered among the cursed; and the Gentile who does not observe the 613 commandments, but supports it, is considered among the blessed."
[Translated by Harvey Falk. The above is part of Chapter 1 of "Jesus the Pharisee, A New Look at the Jewishness of Jesus", by Harvey Falk, 1985]

Rabbi Roller states on Askrabbi.com :"...Jesus played a dramatic role in world history. Even Maimonides himself was dumbfounded why Jesus, a man who left no writings whatsoever, should have been one of God's messengers for disseminating monotheism to the world. If one believes in Divine Providence, and subscribes to the belief that nothing is happenstance in the world, we must say that Jesus the Jew played a great role in unfolding of God's plan in the world. If this is indeed the case, then we must say --Migalgilim zechut al yde'y zakai -- good things come through good people or as Rav Yaakov Emdem (whom I shall soon cite in greater detail) said: "the Nazarene brought a double kindness in the world."
Jesus the JEW, was a spirited preacher who taught his disciples how to love God as well as each other. This Galiean Hasid followed in the footsteps of Hillel, and preached a message of tolerance at a time when Judea was besieged with nationalism, petty factionalism and religious extremism. Jesus’ devotion to the Torah and its Mitzvoth was consistent with the religious ethos taught by the great rabbis of that period...Is there any support within Orthodox Judaism for such a view?
Yes.The great 18th century sage, Rabbi Jacob Emden seriously studied the teachings of Jesus. He was convinced that Jesus and his apostles acted entirely within the Halacha in creating for the Gentiles a religion based on the Seven Noahide Laws which are: prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, killing, stealing, sexual immorality, cruelty to animals, and establishing courts of justice.
Those gentiles who seriously observe the Noahide laws are considered to be the Chasidey Umat Olam -- the saints of the world and will merit eternal bliss. R.Emden composed a letter to the Christian community (Seder Olam Rabbah Vezuta) where he explained in praise of Jesus:
"It is therefore a habitual saying of mine (not being a hypocritical flatterer, God forbid) for I am of the faithful believers of Israel, and I know well that the remnant of Israel will not speak falsehood nor will their mouths contain a deceitful tongue) that the Nazarene brought a double kindness in the world. On the one hand, he strengthened the Torah of Moses and majestically, as mentioned earlier, and not one of our Sages spoke more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah."
Rav Emden is referring to the verse in Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.] And on the other hand, he did much good for the gentiles (provided they do not turn about his intent as they please, as some foolish ones have done because they did not understand the intent of the authors of the Gospels.]....
"He [Jesus] obligated them to observe the Seven Commandments so that they should not be as the beasts of the field. He bestowed upon them the ethical ways, and in this respect he was more stringent with them than the Torah of Moses, as is well known.... If certain Christians who consider themselves scholars would understand this secret, who believe that they are commanded to abolish the Torah of Moses from the seed of Israel, they would not engage in such foolishness. The people listen to their self-conceived words, something that was never intended by the writers of the Gospels. Quite the contrary, they have written clearly that they intended the opposite...
You members of the Christian faith, how good and pleasant it might be if you observe that which was commanded to you by your first teachers; how wonderful is your share if you assist the Jews in their observance of their Torah. You will truly receive reward as if you had fulfilled it yourselves--for the one who helps other is greater than the one who observes but does not help others to do so. --Though you only observe the Seven Commandments. I have written similarly in my pleasant work Torat HaKenaot that the Jew who observes the Torah, but doesn't support it, is considered among the cursed; and the gentile who does not observe the 613 precepts, but supports it, is considered among the blessed."
Therefore in response to your observation, " It is my understanding that he did have "Jewish" followers and that he was trying to get the Jews of the day to return to the ways of the forefathers," from what Rav Emden wrote, he seems to be in agreement with your opinion.
Among modern Orthodox thinkers, there are a fair number who have championed such an approach. Rabbi Pinchas Lapid (who lectures in Germany) has written extensively about this topic--He too follows the view set forth by Rabbi Emden. Cf. Encountering Jesus -- Encountering Judaism -- A Dialogue with Catholic theologian Karl Rahner (Crossroads, N.Y. 1987) Likewise Prof. David Hartman, one of Israel's leading Orthodox scholars has been a strong advocate within the Orthodox community of reexamining the teachings of Jesus in light of Jewish tradition. Yitz Greenberg, another Orthodox scholar and president of CLAL--has also lent his support toward a better Jewish understanding of Jesus --as a teacher of Jewish ethics.
Here are some fine Christian scholars who have attempted to glean what Jesus actually taught... Another fine book I used as a text while completing my doctorate, is Marcus Borg's Jesus--A New Vision---Borg tries very hard to see Jesus within the context of his Judaism and does a very fine job at.
The trend is clear. Considerable Christian scholarship is working very hard to see Jesus not as the "son-of-God" but as a Jew who preached an important message in his times about the importance of love and tolerance. All this is very consistent with Rabbi Emden's view. One last thought to consider: Jesus died as a Jew in the hands of the Romans---Illustrative of this is artist Marc Chagall's brilliant depiction of Jesus dying (with a tallis on his waist together with his brethren who have been persecuted by the nations of the world. To Chagall, Jesus’ crucifixion is emblematic of all the suffering we Jews have had to endure. There is no doubt in my mind that when the Romans executed Jesus --all of Israel mourned for yet another persecuted son of Israel."

Friday, February 02, 2007

BaRZeL - Mystery of the Heart

King Solomon and his Rod of Iron

The Hebrew word Barzel which means Iron is connected in some mysterious way with the Mystery of the Divine Heart. It is made up of the 4 Hebrew letters beit, resh, zayin and lamed. The mystics point out that the word Barzel can be read as 'Mystery of the Heart'. The middle two letters RZ is raz or raza which is mystery or secret in Aramaic and the remaining two letters LB make Leb or Lev which means Heart. The name Barzillai means 'iron hearted' or 'of Iron' and it is the name of three men mentioned in the Old Testament. The mystics point out that BRZL are the first letters of the names of the four wives of Jacob - Bilhah, Rachel, Zilpah and Leah. Thus the word represents all the tribes of Israel. The four mothers represent the four sides of the Tabernacle and linked to the positions of the tribes encamped around the Tabernacle identify the rough location of the bulk of the tribes in the future.

The Zohar Vaera speaks of the four metals of Gold, Silver, Copper (or Bronze) and Iron. They are linked mystically with the four rivers flowing out of Paradise. The river of Justice is associated with golden hot fire and the North, the river of Mercy is associated with Copper wet water (sea) and the South, the river of Beautiful Compassion is associated with the silver dry air and the East, and the River of Righteous Foundation is associated with the iron cold earth and the West. The gematria of Barzel is 239 the Raz is 207 and the leb is 32. These are the 32 paths of wisdom in the Divine Heart. 26 is the atomic number of Iron and 26 is the number of YHVH. The Jewish tradition speaks of Adam’s body being made from the Earth (which is linked to Iron) from the place of the Terrestrial Temple and his soul coming forth from the Celestial Temple. The name Adam is linked to the concept of aleph- dam (aleph blood) which contains Iron. Adam was made from the red iron-rich clay. These four metals were also used in the Temple of Solomon which was designed in the form of the Divine Man. Jewish tradition also tells us that the Divine Name was found on the foundation stone of the Temple which also may have been rich in Iron. The Stone of Jacob was of red sandstone that was red due to the presence of iron oxide in it. To protect this rock which was in the Holy of Holies, which was built over the stone altar where Isaac’s sacrifice occurred, they erected two Iron Pillars with two Lion’s on Top placed at the entrance of the Holy of Holies.

The worship in the Temple faced towards the West. In the vision of Daniel Iron also represented the West and Rome. The Jewish tradition also states that the hidden Messiah is to be found on the outskirts of Rome with the poor and lepers. The son of the Woman in Revelations 12 rules with a rod of Iron and may refer to a Pope of the period at the end of the times of the Gentiles. There seems to be a conflicting tradition about Esau and Edom which is associated with Rome. Evil Edom is the Pagan style Rome whereas the Messiah who comes forth from Edom (Mt Seir) dressed in red represents spiritual Christian Rome. The story of Chushim son of Dan slaying Esau by cutting off his head alludes to the coming separation of spiritual Rome headed by the Pope and Masonic pagan Rome (Europe) by the antichrist Dan also called Armillus (the deceiving Light). This not the final Antichrist before the end of the World who is called Gog. The head of Rome (which is the true Chabad) will be reunited with the Body of Jerusalem (Basar Lev). Pagan Masonic Rome will be destroyed and the Pope will transfer the Papacy to Jerusalem. The Raz Leb (Mystery of the Heart) will then rule the hearts of all as man joins Miriam in her dance and song of the rounds(Galgalim)in Divine Will around the Divine Bridegroom.

This mystery of the Galgal and galgalim is the mystery of the Book of Ezekiel connected with the mysteries of the numbers 32 and 64, and 36 and 72 as discussed in Bahir 95 in regards to the Galgal (Wheel/circle/Round), Teli (Axis/pillar/Pole) and Leb (Heart). The Teli is the King of the Universe who sits on his throne and his rod of Iron represents this hidden axis or pole which the universe spirals around. His Taltalim (or curled Payot)represent this spiral. The throne has four legs and each leg has four angels who have four faces giving us the number 64. This also represents the mystery of the two Hearts as each has 32 paths making the number 2 x 32 = 64. The number 36 is associated with the mystery of forms and 36 x 2 =72. And the Galgal is connected with the number of 360 degrees of the circle which is connected with 36 forms of each of the 10 sefirot. This is the circle or round that Miriam Ha Kedosha dances in Divine Will as a bride around her bridegroom.

On one level the Galgal, Teli and Leb represent the Father (the hidden Teli), the Son (the Heart) and the Holy Spirit (the Galgal)within the Godhead. At the level of Atzilut the Galgal represents the Mother united to and icon of the Holy Spirit as Queen Regent of Time, the Teli represents Joseph in Eternity as the created icon of the Father who is Viceregent of the Universe (Space) and the Heart represents Jesus in his humanity united to his Divinity as the King of Souls. At the highest level the Son is the uncreated image of the Father and the uncreated likeness of the Holy Spirit. Joseph in the Son is the created image of the Father and in the Mother Miriam he is the created likeness of the Holy Spirit. Miriam (Mary) in the Son is the created image of the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Spirit she is the created likeness of the Son. This is the mystery of male and female and of the two Cherubim. " Sat Rabbi Berekhiah and explicated: Who is the Teli? The likeness is He that is before the Blessed Holy One that is in all things. Of the Galgalim it is written [Song of songs 5:11]"His locks are taltalim (curled). And who is this Galgal? It is the Womb. And who is the Heart? It is written "Unto the heart of the Heavens" and in it are all the 32 paths of wisdom"(Bahir 106). The term Teli may also allude to the Greek word of 'telos' which means the goal or end fulfilment. St Paul speaks of the Messiah as the 'telos' of the Torah. Here we again see that the 'telos' like 'teli' is concerned with the concept of the Divine Man who is the Messiah who manifests in space and time as the living embodiment of the Torah as the Heart. In a sense this 'telos' is the Divine Will present in all things which is seeking to reach its goal by releasing the glorious praise hidden in all things that are upheld by the hidden Divine Will or Light in all creation. this is why Paul states that the whole of Creation is groaning with desire for this fulfilment [telos]which will come with the revelation of the Sons of God. They are those who will dwell in Divine Will and unite spiritually with the Divine will in all creatures and on the behalf of all sing the praise of glory to God with a "I love, thank, praise, adore and bless you'. This will bring all to its complete goal [telos]. "The Theological Dictionary of the Bible" by Botterwick and Ringgren state that teli and taleh refer to lambs. So we also have another connection that the Teli is also the Celestial Passover Lamb.

BRZL [beit, resh,zayin, lamed] also represents Miriam, Yeshua, Yosef and Luisa. Beit is House and represents Miriam ha Kedosha, Resh is Head and represents Yeshua ha Mashiach. Zayin is Male and represents Yosef ha Tzadik. Lamed is teaching and learning which represents Luisa.These are the four Chayot and the four legs of the throne.The 36 volumes of the Book of Heaven (sefer hashamayim) given to Luisa is represented as 36 rays of light. Gold and the North alludes to Yeshua, Silver and the East to Miriam, Copper and the South to Luisa and Iron and the West to Yosef.

The understanding of the Teli in Judaism has many different levels of understanding. It is connected to Esau (Edom)in Genesis 27:3 "Take your instruments, your teli and your bow". It is connected to the word 'talah' (hangs)and talal (piled). It seems that on the literal level the teli is some kind of balls on a coiled line that hangs from Esau on some kind of iron rod which he uses to ensare animals. The coiled line is thus refering to the term taltalim and the circular balls to galgalim. In the spiritual realm the Divine Man is seen to have golden- red head of hair and the taltalim may refer to his payot or to the hanging locks of his beard. It also at a deeper level refers to the curled locks of his black pubic hair which hangs (taltalim) by his erect phallus (rod of Iron/Shevet Barzel)and his scrotum are the galgalim. The Galgal however represents the womb of the Celestial female.This is a Jewish mystical 'Theology of the Body'. 'His head is a treasure of fine gold, His locks are hanging (curled), black as a raven" (Song of Songs 5:11). This is all part of the mystery of the coming Davidic Messiah as the Bridegroom who generates new life in souls with his spiritual fecundity. The human conjugal act is a type of this deep mystery of the union of the soul with God.

The Bahir speaks of the mystery of the twelve tribes connected with the teli, galgal and Leb. It reveals that shevet can mean tribe or rod. Thus it alludes to the mystery of twelve rods (see Bahir 112-114). Bahir 113 alludes to the role of Esau the brother of the father of the twelve tribes who will prepare vessels (pipes) so that the spiritual water or seed of the twelve will fecundate the whole world. Pagan Rome (Edom) was to prepare Europe for the twelve tribes of Israel. Some modern writers identify the red men of America with the Edomites who prepared America for the twelve tribes from Europe.

Thus the Pope of Rome (Edom) who would wield the 'rod of iron'(shevet barzel)in Apocalypse 12 against the Red Dragon (secularism of Pagan Edom which is the red man of communism)is associated with Barzillai ha Giladi. Giladi may refer to France, Galicia in Spain and Galicia in Poland in the prophetic scheme. Jacob Frank reveals that it is Poland that is associated with the 'field of Esau'. Pole means field in Polish and Poland is the 'Land of Fields'. John Paul the Great is the Iron hearted one of Galicia (Giladi)and his 'Theology of the Body' reveals the deep meaning of the 'Rod of Iron' with sexual imagery of the Song of Songs in a mystical spiritual way not a carnal manner. With the new understanding of the body, sex and marriage the children of the Woman Israel (Miriam)can defeat the errors of the dragon which has used sex to destroy many souls.

The 'rod of Iron (barzel)' is very much connected with the understanding of the Sefirah of Yesod (foundation). This is the phallus of the Divine Man (Adam Kadmon). "The Tzadik is the yesod of the world" represent this concept of righteousness and purity in connection with the Divine Phallus representing its generative powers of creation. This sefirah is especially associated with the Patriarch Joseph who was a righteous Tzadik and it is also linked to Messiah son of Joseph. The Jewish mystical tradition refers to the Pope of Rome as the Priest of On who was Joseph's father-in-law whom he succeded as Priest of On (Heliopolis). The Pope is in a sense the spiritual Joseph who rules over the gentilised House of Israel also known as Ephraim. Three Joseph Popes have paved the way for a greater understanding of the role of the Jews in salvation history in the past century. John XXIII who was Joseph (Guiseppe)Roncalli, John Paul II who was Carol Joseph Woytila and the present Pope Benedict XVI who is Joseph Ratzinger. The a future true Pope sometime after Benedict XVI will be a French Jewish Pope in the spirit of Elijah, Lazarus and Aaron. He is known as the Venerable Old Man as he will be an old Pope elected in exile in a time of turmoil. He will be opposed by an anti-Pope in Rome. He will return to Rome but after a year or so transfer the Holy See to Jerusalem due to the destruction of Rome (in 2013?). He will be assisted in his work by the 12 New Apostles which the Bahir refers to as twelve rods. They will further the teaching of the Pope of the Rod of Iron - they will be his disciples to the youth with the richness of the teachings of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

St.John Bosco foresaw this Pope and the Great Monarch: "War will come from the south,peace from the north.The laws of France no longer recognize the Creator. The Creator will reveal Himself by visiting her three times with the scourge of His wrath. The first time He will destroy her pride by defeat, pillage, and destruction of crops, cattle, and men. On His second visit the great whore of Babylon, which the faithful grievingly call Europe's brothel, shall lose her leader and fall prey to chaos."Paris! Paris! Instead of fortifying yourself with the Lord's name, you surround yourself with houses of ill repute. You yourself shall destroy them; your idol, the Pantheon, will be razed to the ground, so that it may truthfully be said that 'iniquity has lied to itself.' [Ps. 26,12] Your enemies will plunge you into anguish, famine, terror, and the contempt for My law, says the Lord. On My third visit, you shall fall under the foreign yoke. From afar your enemies will see your palaces in flames, your home in ruins, soaked in the blood of your heroes who are no more. But behold, a great warrior from the north appears, a banner in his right hand, his arm bearing this inscription: 'Irresistible is the hand of the Lord.' At that moment the Venerable Old Man of Rome went forward to meet him, wielding a flaming torch. The banner then grew larger and its blackness became white as snow; in its center stood out the name of the Almighty in golden letters.The warrior and his followers bowed profoundly to the Venerable Old Man and joined hands with him. Now the voice of Heaven is addressed to the Shepherd of Shepherds. You are in solemn conference with your co-workers, but the enemy of good never stands idle. He cunningly plots and sets all his wiles against you. He will sow discord among your helpers and will rear enemies among My sons. The powers of the world shall vomit fire. They would love to smother My words in the throats of the guardians of My law, but they shall not succeed. They shall do much harm, but only to themselves. Hurry! If knots cannot be untied, sever them. Do not halt in the face of difficulties, but go forth until the hydra of error has been beheaded. At this blow earth and hell shall tremble, but he world will be saved and the faithful shall exult.
Gather around you only two co-workers, yet wherever you go, carry on the task entrusted to you and bring it to completion. Days go by swiftly and your years are reaching their appointed number, but the great Queen shall always assist you, and, as in the past, She shall always be the powerful, prodigious defense of the Church. But you, O Italy, land of blessings, who has plunged you into desolation? Not your enemies, but your own friends. Do you not hear your children begging for the bread of faith, unable to find one to break it for them? What shall I do? I shall strike the shepherds and scatter the sheep so that those who sit upon the chair of Moses may seek better pastures and their flock may gently listen and be fed. But My hand shall be heavy upon both flock and shepherds. Famine, plague, and war shall cause mothers to mourn the blood of their sons and husbands shed on foreign soil. What shall befall you, ungrateful, effeminate, proud Rome? You have reached a point when you seek and admire nought in your sovereign but luxury, forgetting that both your glory and his lies on Golgotha. Now he is old, frail, defenseless, and dispossessed. Nevertheless, though captive, his words cause the whole world to tremble. O Rome! Four times shall I come to you! The first time I shall smite your regions and its people. The second time I shall bring slaughter and destruction to your very gates. Should not that make you open your eyes? A third time shall I come, and I will demolish your defenses and defenders. At My Father's command, terror, dismay, and desolation will reign. My wise followers flee, but My law is still trod underfoot.Therefore, I shall come a fourth time. Woe to you if My law again shall go unheeded. There shall be defections among both learned and ignorant. Your blood and that of your children shall wipe out your transgressions. War, plague, and famine are the scourges to smite human pride and malice. Where are your magnificent villas and palaces, you people of wealth? They have become the litter of squares and streets! And you priests, why are you not prostrate between the vestibule and the altar, weeping and praying that the scourge may cease? Why do you not take up the shield of faith and preach My Word from the rooftops, in the houses, streets, and squares, and even in inaccessible places? Do you not know that this is the terrible two-edged sword which smites My enemies and placates the wrath of God and man? These things shall inexorably come to pass, all in succession. Things follow too slowly upon each other, but the great Queen of Heaven is at hand; the Lord's power is Hers. Like mist She shall scatter Her enemies. She shall vest the Venerable Old Man with all his former garments.There shall yet come a violent hurricane. Iniquity is at an end, sin shall cease, and before two full moons shall have shone in the month of flowers, the rainbow of peace shall appear on the earth. The great Minister shall see the Bride of his King clothed in glory. Throughout the world a sun so bright shall shine as was never seen since the flames of the Cenacle until today, nor shall it be seen again until the end of time."

St John Bosco seems to allude to the time when the Pope (the Shepherd) and the Bishops (shepherds)will be struck (see Zechariah)and his flock scattered which in some mysterious way will lead to the Rabbinic Jews who sit in the chair of Moses to a new walk with their God. "I shall strike the shepherds and scatter the sheep so that those who sit upon the chair of Moses may seek better pastures and their flock may gently listen and be fed. But My hand shall be heavy upon both flock and shepherds." Matthew 23 speaks of the Chair of Moses as the authentic authority of the Rabbis.

Jacob Frank also speaks of 12 male Jewish Catholic apostles and 12 Jewish Catholic
female apostles. Blessed Anne Catharine Emmerich states ""Last night I had a vision of the Pope. I saw St. Francis carrying the church, and the basilica of St. Peter borne on the shoulders of a little man who had something of the Jew in his countenance. It looked very perilous. Mary stood on the north side of the church with her mantle extended over it. The little man was almost bent double. He is, as yet, a laic. I know who he is. The twelve men whom I always see as the twelve new Apostles ought to have help him, but they arrive too late; however, just as he was about to fall, they all ran up with myriads of angels to his assistance. It was only the pavement and the back part of the church, for all the rest had been demoslished by the secret society helped by the servants of the church themselves. They bore it to another place, and it seems as if rows of palaces fell before it like fields of wheat in harvest time..." She also speaks of the 12 male apostles in another vision: "Again I saw in the midst of these disasters the twelve new Apostles laboring in different countries, unknown to one another, each receiving streams of living water from on high. They all did the same work. They know not whence they received their tasks; but as soon as one was finished, another was ready for them." These apostles will be the proclaimers of the 'mystery of the Heart' which is the secret of the word BaRZeL. The Bahir states: "...There are twelve names, one for each of the twelve tribes...All of them in the Heart of Heavens, both male and female, who are given to the service of the Teli, Galgal and Heart.They are founts of Wisdom...Who are the twelve tribes of the Lord of Israel? This teaches us that they are twelve rods of the Blessed Holy One. Who are they?...He made twelve pipes for the fountain, and named them after his brother's children..."(Bahir 112-113). Bahir 134 reveals that God's Glory and the Heart of Heaven are identical. God's Glory on High manifests here as the Divine Heart.

St Hildegarde of Bingen one of the greatest medieval mystic saints, who was of Royal Davidic Jewish ancestry, wrote on the mysteries of Adam Kadmon. She also prophesied about the coming of a comet before cataclysmic events in England:"The time is coming when princes and peoples will reject the authority of the Pope. Some countries will prefer their own Church rulers to the Pope. The German Empire will be divided. Before the comet comes, many nations, the good excepted, will be scourged by want and famine. The great nation in the ocean that is inhabited by people of different tribes and descent will be devastated by earthquake, storm, and tidal wave. It will be divided and, in great part, submerged. That nation will also have many misfortunes at sea and lose its colonies. After the great Comet, the great nation will be devastated by earthquakes, storms, and great waves of water, causing much want and plagues. The ocean will also flood many other countries, so that all coastal cities will live in fear, with many destroyed. All sea coast cities will be fearful, and many of them will be destroyed by tidal waves, and most living creatures will be killed, and even those who escape will die from a horrible disease. For in none of those cities does a person live according to the Laws of God. A powerful wind will rise in the North, carrying heavy fog and the densest dust, and it will fill their throats and eyes so that they will cease their butchery and be stricken with a great fear." According to the prophets this comet will appear twice.

It is interesting that some believe the origin of the name Brazil comes from the Hebrew name Barzel based on the Iron axes used by the Portuguese in Brazil. Others claim it is named for the Brasil tree from which red dye is made. Brazil is the largest Roman Catholic country in the world in the far west in the New World. In fact the name of Brazil for a land West of the British Isles (known as the Tin Isles)was from ancient times. It would seem that the ancients believed in a Isles of Barzel (Iron)that was west of the Isles of Tzarephat (name connected with the refining of tin or copper). The Divine Man of the Temple and Tabernacle represents the True Messiah, the Metallic Man of Nebuchanezzar is the false Messiah.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

13 steps on how to be a Khasidic Catholic in daily life

For those who feel called to live out their vocation as a Catholic Jew in the spirit of Khasidut here is a suggested day. A gentile Catholic may adapt this to his own customs but keep the basic framework.

1. In the morning awake with the thought that I will live this day not for the things of this world but for those of the next world as I pray the Modeh Ani prayer and wash my hands with the blessing. The first three pourings on the hands we unite with the Thrice -Holy God, with the second three pourings on the hands we give thanks for Creation, Redemption and Sanctification.
2. We do our prevenient act of praying to do all our acts of the Day in his Divine Will for all and on behalf of all from the acts of Adam until the Last Man.
3. Go to the bathroom and say the blessings before and take a shower or bath uniting with the divine Will in the water (as a link with the mikveh)and all creation by praising Hashem on behalf of all. Be the voice of the whole Creation in offering, praise, adoration and thanksgiving to him.
4. Do Morning Prayer (Shacharit) - say the Shema and the Amidah. You may like to also do the Catholic morning prayer from the Breviary.If time do some spiritual reading. Unite yourself in prayer and thought with spiritual role models of the Jewish and Catholic saints (tzaddkim).Meditate on the Passion. 5. Eat breakfast in a reflective way. Eat in my eating, lord. Drink in my drinking, chew in my chewing, Lord. Eat in joy, peace and thanksgiving. Say Grace after meals.
6. Go to Mass and follow it (or predede it) with a personal holy hour of hitbodedut of talking in your mother tongue with Hashem about everything on your heart preferably in front of the Blessed Sacrament.Precede your holy hour or close it with a Rosary.If one goes to Mass in the evening then one may also wish to do their holy hour then.
7.Go to your work doing all in Divine Will and sanctifying each act of your work. Work in my working Lord. Clean in my cleaning Lord. Teach in my teaching Lord. Garden in my gardening Lord etc.
8. During the day look out for opportunities to practice the virtues in all situations. Embrace challenges and difficulties. Use difficult people and challenges as a way to avoid anger and to practice love and selflessness. Eat your lunch in the same manner as beakfast. If possible discuss something spiritual with those present.

9. Say Minchah prayer in the afternoon. You may wish to say the Afternoon prayer from the Breviary. Say a Rosary or a Divine Mercy chaplet or both. Make sure you also do some spontaneous dancing and singing to Hashem throughout the day.

10. Say Maariv and the Evening Prayer. Study some Torah or other spiritual writings. Say a Rosary.

11. Spend time with your family and eat a joyous dinner. Say Grace together after the meal.
12. Say the Bedtime Prayers invoking the protection of the angels against the Evil One and his forces and tricks. Say a Rosary or Divine Mercy chaplet or both. Reflect on your day and repent of sins and mistakes and look to the saints as role models.
13. Go to bed as early as possible so you can get up after midnight to say Tikkun Chazot. Say the Psalms or say a Divine Mercy chaplet in tikkun (reparation) for all.
Be flexible somedays you will have to rearrange your schedule. Love is a priority but don't use this an excuse for being slack. Find a rythm that suits your personality and lifestyle.