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.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Likutey Moharan 29:11 and Jacob Frank

As I have written elsewhere Rebbe Nachman of Breslov and the Alter Rebbe were accused of being Sabbateans and Frankists. In fact Rebbe Nachman and the Alter Rebbe were opposed to the antinomian teachings of the Sabbateans and of those later called Frankists influenced by the Prague Sabbateans after the death of Jacob Frank. These Prague Sabbateans distorted and corrupted the teaching of Jacob Frank who in fact became a devout Catholic and his Zoharists the advocates of a new Marian movement in the Church. Frank and his Jewish followers reveal that the Zohar was a book of Marian and Trinitarian mysticism.

Frank and Rebbe Nachman were the forerunners of the phenomenological approach made popular in the Catholic Church today by St Edith Stein and Pope John Paul II. Pope John Paul's 'theology of the body' owes much to these Jewish sources coming to him through the descendants of the Polish Frankists such as Adam Mickiewicz. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov's 'theology of the body' is called 'shmiras ha brit' (Guarding the Covenant). Mixing mysticism with sexual depravity is a dangerous mix and is the error that the Sabbateans and some of the later Frankists fell into which takes one to the Other Side (the side of Evil). True mysticism leads one to sexual purity through the healing of the woundedness of the soul by the Divine. The reparation for sexual sins (pagam habrit) is called in Hebrew 'tikun haYesod' and is at the heart of Breslov spirituality. Jacob Frank's initial mission was to lead those Jews influenced by the Sabbatean teachings (as he had been) to a focus on the Zohar and its teachings on 'pagam ha brit'. Both Rebbe Nachman and Frank proposed a reparation (tikun) for those who had been defiled by sexual sins to return to purity of soul.

Rebbe Nachman in "Likutey Moharan 29:11" reveals in his highly mystical discussion on the "bat mazleh" [(daughter of destiny)who is associated with the Mother of All- daughter of Abraham (Bakol)]that his teachings have their source in those of Jacob Frank. Rebbe Nachman often writes of the Hidden Tzadik who is associated with the Messiah son of Joseph and he refers to Frank as "choice silver of the tongue of the Tzadik". So here in "Likutey Moharan" he, in a hidden way, reveals that Jacob Frank is a true messenger of the Hidden Tzadik. Rabbi Moshe Mykoff translation of the Likutey Moharan states; "And this is: That one, too, has found bat maZleh- this corresponds to 'noZlim from LeBaNon'- from the LiBuNa (whiteness) of the mind...All this is alluded to in the words (Proverbs 10:20) "keseF nivchaR leshoN tzadiK' [the last letters of which spell FRaNK.]" Here we see clearly Jacob Frank described as the one that has found devotion to the Daughter of Destiny (the Mystical Miriam, the Lady of Sorrows) and the way of sexual and intellectual purity flowing (nozlim) from her. It is through devotion to this mysterious Lady that sinners find a way to repair for their past and the damage it has done.

Rebbe Nachman is clearly negative to the perversion of the Kabbalah by Sabbatai Zevi who he alludes to as "Saturn, the black vessel" [shabtai patya ecama] and criticises those who build houses in the sky as do the Gnostics. Shabtai is the Hebrew name for the planet Saturn. Rebbe Nachman opposes the Sabbatean antinomian moral perversion by stressing the centrality of moral purity by guarding the Brit (covenant). Rebbe Nachman refers to certain Jewish Rabbis as Jewish scholar demons who pervert the Torah to their own rationalistic and Gnostic ends. The rings or circles of Saturn are associated by Rebbe Nachman with the evil encirclements of the Other Side. These are opposed by the divine circles or rounds (Galgalim) associated with the concept of hair in a circle. These refer to the locks and hair of the Beloved in the Song of Songs.

In Jewish lore Shabtai/Saturn is associated with the black abode of demons (also see Testament of Solomon). Also ancient texts speak of Solomon and his adversary Prince Shabtai (Saturn) of Babylonia (Chaldea). (Also see the Anglo-Saxon text Solomon and Saturn). Rebbe Nachman alludes to this tradition about Saturn/ Shabtai and links this with the Sabbateans. He sees the two sides of the followers of the Tzadik and those of the wicked ones in Proverb 10 as refering to the opposition between the teachings of Frank and Sabbatai Zevi (the Wolf of Saturn who masquerades as the Sabbath Deer). This demonic Shabtai is linked with the demoness Lilith- the false maiden/handmaid spoken of by Rebbe Nachman. Here he seems to allude to Eva Frank as a false handmaid who united with the Prague Sabateans and betrayed the teachings of her father Jacob Frank. The uniting of Lilith (as a false Eve) and Shabtai (Saturn)is seen as a type for the uniting of Eva Frank with the Sabbateans of Prague. We see this mixing of the rich teachings of Jacob Frank with the distortions and perversions of the Sabbateans in the collections of the sayings of Frank that has come down to us.(see my article on Jacob Frank on this blog).

The God/demon Saturn

The Zohar in a number of places speaks of the false handmaid of Shabtai (called Lilith) and her opposite the true handmaid of the Lord the Sabbath Queen. Zohar ki Tetze states:"The moon was created on the fourth day and when it is waning, when there is poverty, Lilith was created, who is Saturn (Shabtai), which is hunger and thirst and the eclipse of the luminaries... There is another star, which is a small dot over the moon, which is a luminary. This is the dot Cholam a King's daughter, Queen Shabbat. And the dominion of both (Shabtai and Sabbath) is on the seventh day, of which it says, "that your manservant and your maidservant may rest" (Devarim 5:14)...." Zohar Phinchas also refers to Lilith as Shabtai and associates her with the lower part of Sheol. The Zohar alludes to Sarah (mother of the Israelites) as a type of the true handmaid representing the Sabbath Queen and the full moon is her symbol. Hagar (mother of the Ishmaelites)as a type of Lilith/Shabtai and the crescent/waning moon as her symbol.

The Israeli Jewish scholar Yehuda Liebes in his work "Studies in Jewish Myth and Jewish Messianism" also believes that Rebbe Nachman was influenced by the writings and teachings of Jacob Frank. He lists a number of parallels in their writings. "I shall ...remark on the several other parallels, beginning with those between R. Nahman and Jacob Frank, who, I believe, had a profound influence on R. Nahman. During his youth, in the years of his Hitbodedut...R Nahman may have come across Frankists who had remained Jews, of whom there were many in Podolia." (Yehuda Liebes in 'Studies in Jewish Myth and Jewish Messianism')


Frater A.M. said...


If possible could you post or possibly email me this section of Rebbe Nachman's Likutey Moharan 29:11? I would truly appreciate this.

Thank You.



Anonymous said...

i looked in the standard reprint and chap.29 ends at 10.

Aharon (Athol Bloomer) said...

I use the Bergman and Mykoff edition