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.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Council of Florence and Jewish Observance: A Hebrew Catholic Opinion

Anti-Jewish Catholics often refer to the Papal Bull from the Council of Florence and quote sections out of the historical context and situation of the document. I thought my readers would like to hear part of my response to one such writer:

"...You quote in your different posts on this blog the same old misunderstanding of the Council of Florence and you elevate any statements that can be read in an anti-Jewish manner to the status of infalliblity while ignoring the continuing infallible magisterium of the Church and Pope today.

The whole negative theology on the Jews and Judaism followed by many Catholics in the past has been recognised by the magisterium in Vatican II and in the magisterial documents since, to have been a false theological path that in some ways helped lead us to the horrors of the Shoah. Of course those before Vatican II may have held those interpretations in good faith but today with the further magisterial development of doctrine those who hold to such theology are not thinking with the mind of the Church.
Coptic Pope and Bishops

I might add that not everything in an Ecumenical Council's documents are infallible teaching- much of it is either pastoral or disciplinary. For example it is obviously infallible doctrine when the Council of Florence affirms that to believe that one needs to keep particular Jewish observances and customs to be saved is a mortal sin. I and all Catholics would adhere to this. However the pastoral meaning of that for the Copts whom the Council is addressing is another reality. If we read the document out of context and in a hyper-literal way we would assume that no Catholic may be circumcised under pain of mortal sin. However we know that this was not the intention of the Church as after this time the Filippino people who practiced circumcision became Catholics and continued circumcising their sons to this day. What was the difference between the Copts of that day and the Filippinos- some Copts were claiming that one had to be circumcisied to be a member of the Church (thus seeming to make an observance into a requirement for salvation) whereas for the Filippino people they practiced circumcision as a initiation rite for a boy into manhood which was a cultural custom with some spiritual significance. The Church at the time of Florence obviously thought that asking the Copts (those who came in to union with Rome) to stop circumcising their sons would be the best pastoral policy to protect that infallible doctrine that one does not require circumcision to be saved. In another age with another situation or group the Church will adapt its pastoral policy to suit that time and place. Pastoral policies may be bad or good but they are certainly not infallible.

In recent years the Church practiced a very bad pastoral policy in regard to the Tridentine Latin Mass by almost suppressing it and many clerics persecuting those who held it dear. In time the Church has come to realise this bad pastoral approach and has sought to implement a better pastoral approach in this regard. So it is with the issues relating to Jews and Judaism and Jews in the Church."

The passage they refer to is from "Cantate Domino" which is the Bull on the reunion of the Copts. "Session 11—4 February 1442[Bull of Union with the Copts]:
It [The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally. It does not deny that from Christ's passion until the promulgation of the gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it denounces all who after that time observe circumcision, the sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation..."
This bull written in the triumphalist language of the Middle Ages may be difficult for people to understand. However it clearly is referring here to those who believe it is necessary for salvation to observe Jewish observances such as circumcision, Sabbath etc. It makes an exception for those first Christians until the church clarified the issue at the Council of Jerusalem. Those early Christians who believed that such practices were necessary for salvation even after the Passion did not commit a mortal sin, just as those Catholics who did not accept the Immaculate Conception before it was promulgation as a dogma, did not commit a mortal sin but after 1854 they do. One must also realise that this bull is not adressed to Jewish Catholics but to Gentiles who were believed by the Roman Church representatives to be practicing Jewish customs as a means to salvation. That the Roman officials may have misunderstood the Coptic practice is highly likely in an era of many prejudices and thus given the Pope and Council a false impression of the coptic practice and its reasons.

The document then refers to a pastoral policy as a result of this desire of the Church to save souls from mortal sin. It asks these Christians to refrain from making these practices into part of the Christian initiation rites prior to or after baptism whether they believe it is necessary for salvation or not. The Church considered it a priority to proclaim that salvation is found in the Messiah not particular Jewish observances. Pope Benedict XIV stated that the Church could bind all the Jewish observances on Gentile Catholics under the pain of mortal sin if she so desired for a new covenant purpose- however he stated that the Church would never do this with circumcision for the Gentiles. The issue of the place of circumcision in the life of Jewish Catholics (which in the early Church was called the Church of the Circumcision)has never been infallibly defined. That the Jewish branch of the Church continued with Jewish observances including circumcision demonstrates that while they certainly from the time of the Council of Jerusalem could not believe they were necessary for salvation but they certainly believed in their value as a means of sanctification for the Jewish soul. St Justin Martyr in the middle of the second century certainly still considered Jewishly observant Judeo-Catholics to be his fellow believers which was a hundred years after the Council of Jerusalem.

Even in regard to the Copts it would seem that the rather narrow pastoral policy (based on sincere intentions) put forward to the Copts regarding circumcision may have played a part in the failure of the full reunion of the Copts with Rome. After all the Egyptians had practiced circumcision since ancient times. The Church learnt from this rigid pastoral stance and did not follow it when the evanglisation to the Phillippines began. Today the issue of Circumcision among the Copts and Ethiopan Orthodox churches does not seem to be an issue for Ecumenical dialogue. I might add that many English-speaking Catholics in America, Australia and New Zealand are circumcised by the parents as babies and I do not think the Catholic Church today considers all these Catholic parents as heretics commiting mortal sin which would be the conclusion for a too hyperliteral reading of Cantate Domino.

The Bull states:"...Whoever, after the passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally...". Thus we see that the Church annunciates three requirements for the practice of Jewish observances to be a mortal sin. Firstly if one hopes to be saved by them rather than by the grace of God. Secondly if he obligates himself to them as necessary for salvation and thirdly believing that faith in Christ is not enough to save a soul. I know of no Hebrew Catholic who observes Jewish customs with these intentions. Those who observe them do it as a means of sanctification appropriate for those who are Jewish in background. It in no way is concerned with salvation or being saved. Just as one does not attain salvation by praying the Rosary or wearing the scapular but one certainly grows in holiness by such practices and their practice may lead one to place himself in the grace of God. So it is with Jewish prayer observances- at their best they are vessels of light leading us into the infinite Light of the Grace of God. This Grace is free and unearnable, available to Jew and Gentile, circumcised and uncircumcised, male and female, cleric and lay. In this way Jesus is not only our Salvation but he is our Sanctification- for all our Jewish and Catholic observances are done in, with and through Jesus who is the Divine Light. The Jewish Catholic however does not observe the Jewish customs and observances with the intentions appropriate before the passion but he observes them with the New Covenant intention focused on the Life, Death and Resurrection of the Messiah Jesus. Nor do we observe as some kind of evangelisation ploy to proselytize religious Jews but because these now Messianic and Marian observances resonate with our souls and provide us fitting vessels to grow in holiness.

Note: There are many conflicting opinions on the status of 'Cantate Domino' among Catholics. Some believe that it is a Papal Bull- others a Conciliar Decree of the Council. Its status as infallible is also questioned by some as it seems to be expressing the theological understanding of the Roman Church on these issues which are in conflict with certain Coptic beliefs. While this text touches on infallible truths -their explications do not share in this infalliblity but are the theological understanding of that day which are fallible and open to further study, development and theological reflection and speculation. The status of this document for the Church ultimately relies on the Magisterium to discern. Until it does so, all Catholics may freely express their opinions on this topic. When it does so, I along with all faithful Catholics will accept that discernment.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hebrew Gospel of Matthew

Recently I purchased "Hebrew Gospel of Matthew" by George Howard. He presents the Hebrew text and English translation of a Hebrew version of Matthew preserved in the Jewish community and copied into "Evan Bohan" by Rabbi Shem Tob Ibn Shaprut in the 14th century. While I believe the four gospels were written originally in Hebrew (see Claude Tresmontant and Carmignac)we must be careful in accepting that this version of Matthew is the complete original primitive Hebrew text. Of course Howard does not claim this for the text- it is others who are claiming such authority for this Hebrew text. In fact Howard has done a very good job of presenting the 'Shem Tob' Matthew to a wider audience and correcting certain incorrect assumptions of past scholarship on this issue.

This version I believe is certainly based on the original text of the Hebrew Matthew but it has obviously been edited by a Jewish Christian sect in the early centuries to remove any universal elements positive towards a Gentile mission and also it seems to have a rather elevated view of John the Baptist. We also know that there were groups of Jewish Christians that did reject the other gospels and the Gentile mission and had their own version of Matthew. Obviously remnants of these Jewish Christians reassimilated back into Judaism and brought their edited Hebrew Matthew with them.

The other two versions of the Hebrew Matthew preserved in the Jewish community of Rome are known as the Munster and Du Tillet versions. The obvious puns and word connections that are made clear when the gospels are translated back into Hebrew demonstrate that Hebrew and Aramaic were the first languages the Gospels were written in and then translated into a Septuagint type Greek.

The original text was written in Hebrew and then translated into Aramaic soon after. It is probably from the Aramaic text that the Greek was based on. A possible evidence for this is the famous passage about Peter and the Rock. In the Aramaic text the rock is Kepha (kaf alef feh alef) but in the Shem Tob Hebrew text it is Eben. The Du Tillet Hebrew text also uses Kepha or kifah (kaf yod feh heh). In the Aramaic text the play on words is with the word kepha "You are Kepha and upon this kepha" whereas the play on words in the Shem Tob Hebrew version is with Eben or even (rock/stone) and evneh or ebneh ( I will build). The Shem Tob Hebrew version makes it clearer that it is on Peter that he will build his Church. That you are a Stone (she'Atah Even) and I will build upon you ( v'ani evneh alayik)my House of Prayer (beit tefilati). However caution is urged as we don't know if Jesus spoke the original phrase in Hebrew or Aramaic or which version of the Hebrew. The du Tillet Hebrew version reads You are Kifah (atah kifah)and on this kifa (ve'al hakifah hazot)I will build my community (evneh et m'kehili). The Hebrew term kifah or kipah also has the meaning of dome or covering and is the name of the dome-like head covering of the Jewish male. Perhaps Simon Peter was wearing a dome-like head covering (kipah) when Jesus spoke to him before the shrine of the demonic God Pan. Until today the successors of Peter also wear the kipah. The Aramaic reads "d'anat hu kepha veal hadei kepha evneyh l'edati". The Shem Tob and du Tillet Hebrew versions also differ on the phrase gates of hell. The Shem Tob says Gates of Gehinnom (purgatory/Hell) whereas the du Tillet says takhatiot (underworlds) and the Aramaic Sheol(Hades). As I have not seen this verse in the Munster Hebrew version I would appreciate any one who has if they could share that reading with me.

Shem Tob Our Father

Avinu, yitkadesh shimkha
Our Father may your name be sanctified
v'yitbarekh malkhutkha
may your kingdom be blessed
ratzonkha yihiyi asui bashamayim uvaaretz
your will let it be done in heaven and on earth
v'titen lakhmaynu temidit
and give our bread daily
umekhol lanu khatotenu
and forgive us our sins
kaasher anakhnu mokholim lakhotim lanu
as we forgive those who sin against us
veal tevienu liday nisayon veshomrenu mekhol rah. amen

and do not lead us into temptation and keep us from all evil. amen

du Tillet Our Father

Avinu shebashamayim, yitkadesh shimkha
tavo malkhutkha, y'aseh ratzonkha k'bashamayim
uvaaretz, usilakh lanu et khovoteynu kaasher
anakhnu mekholim l'vaali khovoteynu,
veal tevienu liday nisayon ele hatzilnu mekhol rah,
ki lakh hamalkhuta v'hagevurah ukavod,
l'olam uleolmei olamim Amen

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chanukah and the Hand of Miriam: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

I have written and given talks on the significance of the Hand of Miriam also called the Chamsa (five). The Muslims call it the Hand of Fatima. The Catholics know it as Mano Ponderosa (the Big Hand). Some Catholic writers have connected the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal with Queen Esther and the Book of Esther. Queen Esther and Mordecai were from the tribe of Benjamin. Esther's name means star and her hebrew name Hadassah is the name for the 5 pointed star shaped flower known as myrtle. In the recent apparitions of Our Lady of Light in Giza Egypt one person commented that it reminded her of the shape of the Chamsa. The five may represent the 5 Marian dogmas. [click here for an article on Fatima and Queen Esther]

The Jewish festival of light Chanukah is also linked to the chamsa or hand of Miriam by the parshat Mikeitz reading. Shirat Devorah blog states: ""And Binyamin's portion was five times as large as any of them" [Mikeitz 43:34]As is well known, said R' Naftali of Ropshitz, Chanukah always falls out during the week that we read Parshas Mikeitz. This is hinted to in the Torah, as the verse states: "And Binyamin's portion was five times (chamesh yados) as large as any of them." "Chamesh yados" alludes to the five instances that we mention the word "yad" (hand) in the special Chanukah prayer Al HaNissim: You delivered the mighty into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous, and the wanton sinners into the hands of those who occupy themselves with Your Torah."

The Parshat Mikeitz also speaks of Joseph and his dreams. Parshat Mikeitz means the Parshat 'from the end'. This alludes to the period of time known as the 'end of times'. The Zohar speaks of two periods known as the end of time. We are now in the first period of the 'end of time' before the Great Era of Peace. Mikeitz can also mean "from the thorns" alluding to the Ram caught in the thorns at the Akeidah of Isaac as well as the Rose among the thorns in the Song of Songs. The Midrash also says:"When a rose is among thorns, a north wind goes forth and bends her toward the south and a thorn pricks her, then a south wind goes forth and bends her toward the north and a thorn pricks her; yet, for all that, her core is directed upwards. The same is true with the Jewish people. Although they are oppressed and tortured from all sides by the nations, their hearts are directed towards their Father in Heaven." The mystical North Wind (Tzaphon ruach)refers to Our Lady who is snow white. It is the North wind that comes and blows on David's harp at midnight. Kabbalah associates this north wind or spirit with the ruach that hovered over the face of the Waters. It also associates her with Binah the Mother. The north wind has the five gevurot (powers) of the imma (mother/mama) and this is represented by the five wings or corners of the lungs from which ruach comes. The north wind blows on 5 of the strings of David's harp with the Song of Miriam (the song of the Redemption). She is the hidden ruach of the heart. It is said that the evil spirits roam the night but when the north wind comes at midnight they flee into a cavern in the sea. The south wind is associated with Chesed (loving kindness or charity). She is also associated with the heat or warmth of the Sun and she blows on the other 5 strings of David's harp the Song of the Future (the Song of Santification). The north wind is the Givirah (Queen Mother) of the King of Peace (Solomon)and the south wind is the Queen of Sheba- the Queen coming out of the captivity of the fallen into the kingdom of the Divine Will. They share in the wounds of love of the King and in his tikkun (reparation)for all.
Mano Ponderosa

The Baal ha Turim in discussing this Parshat Mikeitz links the ten years Joseph was in prison before the dreams with the Mikeitz of ten years of Abraham in Genesis 16:3 and the mikeitz of two years until the dream of Pharoah. The two dreamers of 'the end of 10 years' represent the two messianic figures that will rise- one a false Messiah and the other the true Messiah under the patronage of Joseph. This is in the 11th year and then after "the end of two years' [thus the 13th year]the false messiah will be destroyed and the true messiah triumphant. The baker represents the one who will abolish the true mass and replace it with the bread of demons. The cup bearer represents the one who will restore the true eucharistic cup of the Lord.

The period of thorns is also known as the time of Jacob's trouble which will end with the restoration of man to living in the Divine Will as Adam did in the 36 hours. These 36 hours are represented by the 36 lights of Hanukah and the 36 volumes of the Book of Heaven by Luisa Piccarreta. Rabbi Phincas Winston writing on Parshat mikeitz: "...Likewise was it the case with Mattisyahu and his tiny army of zealots. Surveying the developing situation around him, they sensed that a keitz, and therefore, a redemption as well, was at hand. This encouraged them, like Mordechai before them, to take a stand and fight, bringing about the Chanukah miracle we celebrate each year, with the lighting of the Menorah. For, it is the Menorah that symbolizes this very idea of how God builds into Creation what He needs for each keitz along the way. For example, long before there was even a first temple, let alone a second temple to rededicate, the Torah alludes to the miracle of Chanukah: But he got up that night and took his two wives, his two handmaids, and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Yabok. And when he took them and had them cross the stream, he sent over what was his. Ya’akov was left alone … (Bereishis 32:23-25) Rebi Elazar said: He remained for small jars. From here we learn that righteous people value their property more than their own bodies. (Chullin 91a) God said to Ya’akov, “For endangering yourself for a small container, I Myself will repay your children with a small container to the Chashmonaim!”(Midrash Tzeidah LaDerech, Maharil) Indeed, the Biblical roots of the Chanukah miracle go back even further in time, while Ya’akov Avinu was just starting his journey, not as he was finishing it: From where did Ya’akov get this jar? When he picked up the stones from under his head and returned them in the morning, he found a stone that had a jar of oil in it, and he used it to pour on the top stone. When it refilled itself, Ya’akov knew it was set aside for God. He said, “It’s not right to leave this here.” All miracles throughout Tanach occurred with this jar of oil. (Yalkut Reuveini, Vayishlach) And, apparently, even those beyond Tanach as well: What is the basis of [the holiday of] Chanukah? The rabbis taught: On the 25th day of Kislev begin the days of Chanukah, eight days during which we do not eulogize or fast. For, when the Greeks entered the Sanctuary they defiled all the oil in the Sanctuary, and when the kingdom of the House of Chashmonai proved victorious, they searched and could only find one jar of oil with the seal of the Kohen Gadol still intact,sufficient for only one day of lighting. A miracle happened to it [the oil], and they were able to light from it for eight days. (Shabbos 21b) Indeed, this is a novel way to define a keitz: an event during which the undercurrent of history rises to the top, like a geyser of water exploding through the surface of time. This is why, the number 36, which represents the revelation of the Ohr HaGanuz, the supernal Hidden Light with which God made and maintains Creation: For 36 hours the Light served … and Adam HaRishon saw with it from one end of the world to the other. (Yerushalmi, Brochos 8:5) keeps surfacing throughout history. For, every time it does, it means something to do with redemption, or the lack of it, has occurred: God called out to the man and said to him, “Aiyekah—Where are you?” (Bereishis 3:9) The word “aiyekah” is meant only as a gematria, totaling 36. (Eichah Zuta 1:1) Hence, Ya’akov Avinu was away from home for a total of 36 years, was married to a wife who died at the age of 36, and to another whose name has the gematria of 36. It is also why, after struggling with the angel for the entire night, and sustaining some bodily damage, it says: The sun shone for him—Lamed-Vav—as he passed Penuel and he was limping on his hip. (Bereishis 32:32) The word “lo” refers to the 36 candles of Chanukah. (Maharil, Avodah Zarah 3b) Each time the number 36 surfaces, it is a revelation of the undercurrent of history, a keitz, which is why Chanukah occurred in the 36th century from Creation. And, when we light our Menorahs each Chanukah, it is this that we are supposed to have in mind..."

Many of the Hamsa Hand of Miriam's have the Magen David, a Chai, an Eye or Fish on them. The Fish alludes to Joseph. The Zohar reveals that the mysterious young child who talks with the Rabbis is a son of Joseph and thus protected from the evil eye. The blessing of Jospeh in Genesis by Jacob refers to fish. Also Joshua ben Nun is descended from Joseph and Nun is fishhook in Hebrew and Nuna is fish in Aramaic. Rebbe Nachman also speaks of the sign of the fish in connection with the concept of Joseph, the Tzaddikim and Messiah son of Joseph in Likutey Moharan.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Luisa Piccarreta, shiflut, bitul and katnut: A Hebrew Catholic Understanding

The Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta is known as the little daughter of the Divine Will. She mirrors the littleness (katnut) or lowliness (shiflut) of Our Lady. Elsewhere I have discussed that the name Piccarreta means 'very little one' and the mention of this 'very little one' in the Zohar as one of the four chayot (living creatures of the Throne).“… ‘This is the Chayah which I saw under the God of Israel by the river Chabar’ (Ezekiel 10:20). Now, which chayah is here indicated? Rabbi Jose replied in the name of Rabbi Chiya that the reference is to the little Chaya. ‘But is there such a little chayah?’ ‘Yes, assuredly there is. There is a little one and a superior one and there is also a very little one. This (very little one) is alluded to in the last part of the verse under discussion: “And under his feet a likeness of a brickwork of Sapphire (or sapphire stone)’. What was this [very little one] which they saw? They beheld the precious stone which the Holy One will build the future Sanctuary, as it is written: ‘I will lay thy stones with fair colours and lay thy foundations with sapphires’(Isaiah 54:11)” (Zohar 126a). ‘His feet’ refers to the superior Chayah who is El Chai himself the God of Israel. The ‘ likeness of a brick work’ refers to the little Chayah who is the Lady of Israel (Matronita). The ‘Sapphire Stone’ is the ‘very little one’ (Piccaretta) from whom the future Sanctuary or era of Sanctification shall be built. The Zohar reveals that besides the two Chayot called the superior male Chayah (Metatron/Yeshua) and the little female Chayah (Matronita/Our Lady), there is a ‘very little Chayah’ (nukvah/Luisa). The fourth Hidden chayot not mentioned in this passage is the hidden Tzadik Joseph. These Chayot are connected with the mystery of the Galgal (wheel) in Ezekiel and Isaiah and the rounds (galgalim) in the yehiot (fiats) of Creation, Redemption and Sanctification. The concept of littleness mentioned in Luisa's writings are shiflut, bitul and katnut.

In the "Book of Heaven" Volume 16 under 10 November, 1923 Luisa writes: "I was abandoning all of myself in the arms of my sweet Jesus, and while I was praying, I saw my soul as so very little, but of extreme littleness; and I thought to myself: "How little I am. Jesus was right in telling me that I was the littlest of all. I would really like to know if I am the littlest of all. I would really like to know whether I am the littlest among all."...And He (Jesus) told me: " My dear little one, I have chosen you little, because the little ones let one do with them whatever he wants. They do not walk by themselves, but let themselves be guided; even more, they are afraid to place one foot on their own. If they receive gifts, feeling incapable of keeping them, they place them on the lap of their mama. The little ones are stripped of everything, nor do they care if they are rich or poor; they are concerned with nothing...the greater is the work I want to do in a soul, the littler I choose her. I like childlike freshness and beauty very much; I like it so much that I preserve these souls in littleness of the nothingness from which they came."

Jesus then goes on to explain the littleness of the Virgin Mary. "...I did so with my Celestial Mama. Among all generations, She is the littlest, because Her will never entered into Her as acting, but always my Eternal Will; and this not only kept Her little, beautiful,fresh, as She had come out of Us, but made Her the greatest of all. Oh! How beautiful She was, little in herself, but great and superior to all by virtue of Ourselves. And only because of Her littleness was She lifted up to the height of Mother of the One who formed Her... in order to come to redeem man, I chose my mother because She was little..."

Jesus explains the role of Luisa in bringing the Divine Will (ratzon) to reign on earth as it does in heaven. "...Now, so that My Will might be known, and Heaven might be opened to let My Will descend upon earth and reign on it as it does in heaven, I had to choose another little one among all generations. Since this is the greatest work I want to do- to restore man to his origin, from which he came, to open to him that Divine will that he rejected, to open My arms to him to receive him once again into the womb of My Will- My infinite Wisdom calls the littlest one out of nothing. It was just that she be little: if I placed a little one at the head of Redemption, I had to place another little one at the head of the Fiat Voluntas Tua (Let thy Will be done)on earth as it is in heaven. Between the two little ones I was to enclose the purpose (takhlit) of the creation of man - I was to realise my designs upon him: through one, I was to redeem him, wash him of his ugliness with my blood and give him forgiveness; through the other one, I was to make him return to his beginning, to his origin, to the lost nobility, to the bonds of My Will broken by him, admitting him once again to the smile of My Eternal Will, kissing each other and live one within the other. This alone was the purpose of the creation of man, and what I have established no one will be able to oppose. Centuries upon centuries will go by- just as in the Redemption, so also in this; but man will return to my arms as he was created by Me. But in order to do this, first I have to choose the one who must be the first to live life in my Eternal Will, bind in her all the relations of Creation, and live with her no split of wills; rather, with her will and Ours as one...she will cry for her brothers and will occupy herself with nothing else but compensating Us, for all and each one, of all the wrongs they do to Us by withdrawing from Our Will. The tears of the one who lives in Our Will will be powerful..."

Then Luisa relates a heavenly vision about these little ones similiar to the passage of the Chayot from the Zohar. "...On hearing this, I said: " My Love and my All. tell me, who will this fortunate little one be? Oh! How I would like to know her." And he immediately: "What? Have you not understood who she is? It is you, little one. I have told you many times that you are the little one, and this is why I love you." But as he was saying this, I felt as though I was being transported outside of myself, into the most pure light, in which one could see all generations, as though divided into two wings - one on the right and the other on the left of the Throne of God. At the head of one wing there was the August Queen Mama, from whom descended all the goods of Redemption. Oh! How beautiful was her littleness! Marvelous, prodigious littleness: little and powerful, little and great, little and Queen; little, with everyone hanging upon her littleness, while She disposes of everything, rules over all, and only because She is little, She enfolds the Word within Her littleness, making Him descend from heaven to earth, to let Him die for love of men. At the head of the other wing one could see another little one, and- i say it trembling and to obey- she was the one whom Jesus had called His little daughter of the Divine Will. And my sweet Jesus, placing himself in the middle of these two wings, between the two little ones who were at the head of them, with one hand took mine, and with the other that of the Queen Mama, and He joined them together, saying: " My little daughters, hold each other's hand before Our throne, and embrace the Eternal One, the Infinite One, and to enter into Him"..."

Another term used in Kabbalah and Hasidism to explain the concept of 'littleness' or 'smallness' is katnut which is a very low level to attain reserved for only the greatest Tzaddiks. It is becoming so small or little that one knows nothing and returns to the fetal stage which is called 'Smallness of smallness' (katnut d'katnut). Many have misunderstood this state which is associated with foolishness and child's play. Rebbe Nachman became one such fool for Mashiach on his journey to the Holy Land. According to Breslov writings Moses and the Baal Shem Tov descended to katnut but found it so difficult they couldn't go further until 'smallness of smallness', as Rebbe Nachman did on his journey. However for Rebbe Nachman it was only a temporary state as it was for other certain souls that attained this great descent for the sake of souls. Luisa was the first outside the Holy Family of Nazareth to achieve the permanent continuous state of katnut d'katnut as the new born of the Divine Will. This alludes to the new and divine holiness that Pope John Paul II spoke about.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Descent to the Chariot: A Hebrew Catholic Mystical Insight

In Jewish mysticism an important concept is making the spiritual descent to the chariot (merkabah). In order to ascend one must first descend to where the chariot awaits the soul. Jacob Frank and other Jewish Tzaddikim, such as Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, also speak of descending into the lower levels of the spiritual abyss in order to do the great tikkunim (reparations)for sinners who have been trapped in these lowest levels. This idea is often misunderstood as it was in the case of Jacob Frank. It is part of the mysteries of shiflut (lowliness), bitul (selflessness or nullification of the self) and mesirat nefesh (total self-sacrifice).

Rabbi Isaac Ginsburgh writes about shiflut: "...In contrast to bitul ("selflessness")... shiflut does not imply the negation of self, but rather the experience of oneself as existentially "lowly," "far away" from God. In shiflut, one experiences an innate state of sin, as David...expresses in Psalms (51:7): "and in sin has my mother conceived me." As a holy attribute of Torah, one which serves to link one's consciousness to God, it is said of shiflut that "from afar God appears to me." God's very essence is revealed to the soul who, in shiflut, feels himself "afar," more so than to he who feels himself "near."Shiflut is the ultimate source of the soul's motivation to return in teshuvah to Hashem. The above quoted psalm of David is the quintessential expression of teshuvah in the Bible. The Ba'al Shem Tov (a descendant of David) teaches that the beginning of all Divine service is to experience an existential sense of identification with all the most lowly creatures on earth, as though saying to himself: "they all fulfill God's intentions for them faithfully; were only I able to do the same."..." The virgin Miriam ha Kedosha, a daughter of David, demonstrates this concept of shiflut in the magnificat-"He has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid". One enters God's kingdom (malkhut)through shiflut. At this level one seeks to follow God's Will as his humble servant.

Rabbi Ginsburgh states in regard to bitul: "Bitul is the spiritual state associated with the inner experience of chochmah, whereby one's consciousness opens up to a continuous flow of Divine wisdom and new insight through one's nullifying his sense of autonomous and self-sustained being. Bitul is the experience of ayin, of being nothing within the omnipresent radiance of God's infinite light." In Jewish mysticism there are two levels of bitul. The lower bitul is called bitul ha yesh (nullification of the somethingness)and at this level one cooperates with divine grace in a spiritual nullification of the soul- this is a seeking to prepare one for the Dwelling in Divine Will- this is a uniting of the soul with the Divine Will which is called Devekut (clinging). One must always keep in mind that this nullification of the soul and the human will is a spiritual or mystical nullification not a literal nullification. The Alter Rebbe of Chabad Hasidism stressed that this nullification was not a form of quietism but a process that would then allow an influx of the infinite Light of God to manifest on earth. It would draw one deeper into prayer and mitzvot even when there are no more consolations from prayer but only desolation or the desert experience. This is also found in the mystical teachings of the Great Catholic mystics such as John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila. This then allows one to attain to the state of mesirat nefesh (total self sacrifice) where one lives totally for the other in a pure manner without selfish motives. One then attains to hitpashtut mi-gashmiut (shedding of wordliness)in order to focus solely on the Divine Will and the tikkunim for others. One still lives in the world but now one's actions in the world are done only for Godly purposes. One thus becomes the servant of all.

Rabbi Isaac Ginsburgh

The higher level of bitul is that of being so nullified that one Lives or dwells in Divine Will (ratzon)with no sense of independent existence or action outside the Will of God. Here one must be careful to remember that one's will or soul still exists but it no longer lives or has independent movement outside the Will of God. This allows the soul to enter into eternity and God's omnipresence in order to draw the Divine Light of God's Will into all Creation- past, present and future. This manifests a great tikun (reparation). This higher bitul is called bitul b'metziut ( mystical nullification of independent existence). All the saints in Heaven live at this stage and on earth only certain souls receive this grace of dwelling in the Divine Will by faith (emunah). The Jewish and Catholic saints of the past only knew of this grace in inklings and traces and some were granted the grace to live in the effects of this gift. As the full knowledge of this gift of Living in Divine Will had not been revealed only Jesus, Mary and Joseph lived in this state on earth. However in 1889 the full knowledge and gift of this grace was given to Luisa Piccarreta. Since then certain other souls have been granted this grace.

One such soul was Archbishop Luis Martinez who wrote: "... In the spiritual life, souls humble themselves with more or less effort, yet ever retaining the conviction that they must become little. But when they descend to a certain depth, they become dismayed and grow weary of descending. It seems to them that they are being deceived and that the time has now come for them to ascend, because they are not aware that, in the way of spirituality, one ascends only by descending, and that, to arrive at the summit, the soul must never weary of going downward. Let this "never" be understood, for, just as in the beginnings of the purgative way, so also in the heights of the unitive, the one and only secret for ascending is to descend. With the light of God, the soul makes steady progress in seeing its own misery and in sinking down into it;...We can always descend lower. We can always sink deeper in our misery. And to the measure that we descend, we ascend, because thus we come nearer to God... hence with each new revelation of our misery, our confusion inceases...Therefore, in perceiving that they are apparently descending under the impact of temptations, the weight of their faults, and the void of their souls caused by desolations, they grow confused and grieve because they forget the paradoxes of the spiritual life...Some day we will understand that among the greatest graces God has given us in our life are precisely those disconcerting ones which make us think that God is abandoning us...Our miserableness, when it is acknowledged and accepted by us, exerts an irrestible attraction on Him. What, save misery alone, can attract mercy? What, save emptiness, can appeal to plenitude? Whither shall the infinite ocean of Goodness pour itself except in to the immense abyss of our nothingness..." [from Secrets of the Interior Life].

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Lady Appearing in Giza Egypt

Virgin Mariam appearing in Egypt December 2009

On this blog on December 7 2009 I spoke of the Signs of the Times and events happening around Christmas. On December 9 2009 began incredible apparitions of the Virgin Miriam (Mariam in Arabic)in Warraq Giza Egypt on the top of the roof of the Coptic Church of St Mary and the Archangel Michael. So far about 200,000 people have witnessed the apparitions- Christians, Muslims and Jews.

They are similiar to the apparitions of Our Lady of Zeitoun in 1968 where Our Lady appeared to millions of Egyptians over a two year period including the Egyptian President Nasser. She appears as the Lady of Light- a title dear to Arabic cultures and connected with the name of Fatima. Our Lady does not appear for fun but to warn us of impending events that need our prayers. We have in the last week or so seen extreme storm and snow weather conditions in Europe and North America while the Cohpenhagen Climate conference on global warming is occuring. While Our Lady of Light has been appearing in Egypt the Jewish people have been celebrating the Festival of Lights (Hannukah).

Virgin Mary appearing at Zeitoun in 1968

Here is a link to amateur footage of the apparition Our Lady of Giza after the police turned off the electricity of the area.

Al Ahram reports of the apparitions. As does Spirit Daily Also see this Holy Bible website on the apparitions

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Nine Lamps, Raymond Lull and the Menorah: A Hebrew Catholic Insight

Blessed Raymond Lull [1232-1315] in his work "Liber de Lumine"[The Book of Light]speaks of the logoi or energies of God as the nine lamp Candelabrum which in Judaism is the menorah of Chanukah. He is also speaks of it as a Tree and as Flowers. Blessed Raymond Lull seems to have drawn on the Jewish mystical traditions. Lull's ancestors were perhaps Jews, as his surname derives from the Hebrew word Lullim used for mystical spiral staircases found in the Jewish Temple. He writes in the Book of light: "In this Book we made one Tree called the Tree or Candelabrum of Light, with nine flowers as shown, and these flowers are named after the nine letters of the Alphabet, namely B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. K. To know this Art, one must know this Alphabet by heart."

Blessed Raymond Lull

Judaism also speaks of the 36 lights of the Chanukiot (chanukah menorah)as alluding to the light of the 36 hours that Adam and Eve lived in Divine Will in the Garden of Eden. Rabbi Michael Ozair writes: "...Spiritually, the eight nights of Chanukah are a cumulative and progressive process through which the light of the menorah grows to reveal the inherent light of Creation. The total number of Chanukah lights over the eight days is 36 (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8). As Rabbi Eliezer writes, these 36 lights arouse that very same Primordial Light which illuminated Adam and Eve on the dawn of their creation, the first 36 hours of their existence. The Talmud teaches: "36 hours the Light served . . . and Adam HaRishon saw with it from one end of this world into the Other". (Yerushalmi, Brochot 8:5)..."

The Idra Zuta section of the Zohar also speaks about this light and its lamps. The Zohar Haazinu states: "Rabbi Shimeon opened and said (Song of Songs7): "I am my Beloved's, and His desire will arise." All the days that I was perfumed in this world, I was perfumed with One perfume, namely the Holy One, blessed be He, and therefore, now "His desire will arise." For He Himself and His whole holy company come, so that with joy they may hear the secret words, and the praise of Him, the Most Holy Ancient One. Mystery of all mysteries. Separate and set apart from all, and NOT separate. For everything is joined in YH, And He (Hu) is joined within all, He is all, The Ancient One of all Ancient Ones, Mystery of all mysteries, Conformed and NOT conformed. He is formed in all that endures, and NOT conformed in all that is NOT manifest. When He is conformed, He produces nine lights, which shine forth from Him, from His conformations, and those lights shine from Him and are lit from Him and they proceed and are spread out in all directions. As a lamp from which Light is spread out in all directions. And as those rays which spread out, when they are approached to know them, are NOT found, except for the lamp alone; so is He, the Holy Ancient One, the highest lamp, mystery of all mysteries. And He is NOT found, except for those rays that are extended, those that are revealed, and those that are revealed and hidden. And they are called the Holy Name, and therefore are all things One (Echad). And what our companions said in the former books, that these are degrees that had been created and the Holy Ancient One was revealed in every single one of them, because these are the confirmations of the Holy Ancient One..."

This part of the Zohar goes on to discuss the three lights which are the three Heads and their connection with the 13 aspects of Mercy. "...Because this Holy Ancient One is within One form! Everything is in joy, and He does not change His mercy forever, in thirteen measures of mercy is He found. And He, the Ancient One, includes them and rules over all..."[Zohar Haazinu]. The Chanukiot also represents these 13 aspects with the nine lamps and the four branches of the chanukiot where as the seven lamp Menorah represents the ten Sefirot- with the lower seven represented by the seven lamps and the upper three by the three branches of the Menorah. These three top of the skull shaped branches also represent the Three Heads of the Divine Will. "...This Ancient One is elder of elders.The highest Crown of above with which are adorned in YH all adornments and crowns. And from Him are all the lights illuminated, and they shine; but He, He is the Supreme Light, which is hidden and known as NOT (Ayin).(And all other lights are kindled by Him and shine.) This Ancient One is found in three heads and they are included in one Head. And He Himself is the supreme Head, highest of the highest. And because the Holy Ancient One is formed in three, so also, all the other lights that shine from Him are formed into three..." [Zohar Haazinu]

This whole section of the Zohar is revealing great mysteries of the Divine Will (ratzon) and its three heads and the three inner lights of the Godhead. "...The forehead which is uncovered in the Holy Ancient One, is called "Ratzon" (Will)." For that Supernal Head, concealed in the higher which is known as NOT (ayin), An ornamented, comely, perfumed prince which is contained in the forehead. And because the Will of all Wills is perfected in the forehead and revealed in that direction, this forehead is called "Will(ratzon)" And this Will is revealed. The Will of Wills is found in all worlds, and all the prayers of the inferiors are accepted, and the countenance of Small Face (Zeir Anpin/the Son) is illuminated. And everything is found to be mercy and all judgments are concealed, and upset on the Sabbath at the time of the afternoon prayers, which is the time when all judgments are awakened. And this forehead is revealed, and all judgments are upset and mercy is manifested in all the worlds. And because of this the Sabbath exists without heavenly or earthly judgments, and even the fire of Gehinnom is stilled in its place, and the guilty have repose. And to this is added a soul of joy on the Sabbath, and men should rejoice in the three Sabbath meals for all faith and the sum of faith is therein manifested..." Thus the three meals of the Sabbath are connected to this Mystery of the Will of Wills (raava d'raavin in Aramaic) as three heads and lights.
Psalm 67 in the form of a Menorah

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Great Monarch and Rebbe Nachman: A Hebrew Catholic Speculation

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov is often accused by scholars of believing that he was the Messiah. However this was not the case. He speaks of meeting in vision the Messiah and he also claimed that a Messiah would be his descendant. He did believe he had a Messianic mission to prepare for the coming Messianic era of Peace that would be ushered in by his son or descendant. At first Rebbe Nachman believed that his son Shlomo Ephraim would be that Messiah. However when his son died at the age of one year and 2 months in 1806 he realised that his son was a mystical type of the Messiah who would indeed be his son or descendant.

The Messiah (Anointed One) he was referring to was the Mashiach Ephraim. His son's second name Ephraim reveals that this Messiah is indeed the Messiah Ephraim of Jewish prophecy and his son's first name Shlomo or Solomon (which means peace) reveals that he is the Messiah (anointed one) who will usher in the Great messianic Era of Peace. This Messiah is the great Monarch called Henry and Charles in Catholic prophecy and Prince David in Ezekiel. The age of Rebbe Nachman's son is also part of this mystery. This connects the coming Messiah with the number 14 (1 year=12months + 2 months=14 months). This number is of great messianic significance. Also the 2 months represents the passing of 2 centuries (1806-2006) and the one year or 12 months may represent the year 2018 (12 years after 2006).  Certain events concerning the Great Monarch will begin after 2018.  However these dates depend on ones starting date, here I have taken the two centuries starting from Shlomo's death in 1806. [It is also possible that the starting date was 1810 the year of the Rebbe's death which would mean a starting date of those events as 2022.] Like the Rebbe and his son this Messiah would have red hair.

More details about this Messiah is revealed in Megilat Setarim which has been preserved by the Breslover Chasidim. In 2006 the Megilat Setarim was revealed to the world. This Messianic Prince will not begin his mission until after the ten years which may refer to 2016. Megilat Setarim: "...and he will go there with all of Israel, and he will then be king of Israel, and this will be after ten years..."This ten years is also referred to in Catholic Marian prophecies. In 2018 (12 years after 2006)  he may have a mystical consecration to his mystical bride the Shekhinah /Matronita (Our Lady) and he will enter into his kingship in 2019. Megilat Setarim:"...at first they will not know that he is the one, afterwards each one will come to the realization,that he is the messiah, until all shall know...at the age of twelve years and one day[12+1 =13]...he will become monarch over the entire world, and that same day he will enter upon the marriage canopy, and she will be eleven years and one day[ 11+1=12]..." Also it states: "...then will be sought for him a soul mate, even though it would be appropriate,that it be done through the Holy Spirit, but since ‘one who loses some thing must search for it’, he will seek a soul mate, and she will be eleven years and one day [11+1=12], the day she enters the marriage canopy with him..."

This Monarch will be the King at first over the Lost tribes of Israel and later he would lead them in establishing his kingdom in Jerusalem. He will bring a new synthesis or unity between Ephraim and Judah i.e Catholicism and Judaism. After 2020 his true mission of his reign in peace and wisdom will begin. Megilat Setarim: "...and he will reveal awesome wisdoms, new things, and he will explain all the introductions of all the wisdoms,after fourteen years..." He will be assisted in his work by a second King who is his brother Messiah Manasseh. Megilat Setarim: "...at the time when he will travel to all the kings, he will command the king to travel to him, and all the ministers to go out to greet him, and afterwards that king will travel with him,to the other kings, and similarly the second king will travel with him,and he will sanctify the holy land..." 'Perush sifra di-Tzniuta' also speaks of three Messiah's: the Messianic King, Messiah son of Ephraim and Messiah son of Manasseh. Scripture also speaks of four craftsmen or carpenters who are seen as the four Messiahs of the Psalms: Messiah Gilead, Messiah Ephraim, Messiah Manasseh and Messiah Judah. The Midrash on the verse in Psalm 60:7 and repeated in Psalm 108: "[Psalms 60:7] Gilead is mine, and Manesseh is mine, Ephraim is the helmet of my head and Judah is my spectre. Midrash Numbers Rabah 14;2: Gilead is mine: - This is Elijah who was an inhabitant of Gilead. Manasseh is mine:- This is that Messiah who will arise from the descendants of Manasseh, as it says, "Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manesseh stir up thy strength" [Psalms 80:2]. Ephraim is the helmet of my head:- This is the Annointed Leader for War who will come from Ephraim, as it says, "His Glory is like the firstling of his bullock" [Deuteronomy 33:17]. Judah is my sceptre:- This is the Ultimate Redeemer who is a descendant from the sons of David."

Prince William and Prince Harry in bowler hats

He will not be the Messiah that the Jews or the world is expecting: "...there will be great controversy over the Messiah and they will say ‘this is the Messiah? a Messiah in a fancy hat?’and there will still be an evil inclination and the supreme court and the other things that were, only each and every thing will be more beautiful than before and the eyes of each one’s mind will be opened according to his level and they will innovate with a greater understanding than before each one according to his level..."[Megilat Setarim].

Rebbe Nachman also reveals this Messiah's stategy for a just and lasting peace in the Holy Land: "...and each of the kings will give him a gift or a province or men for some will grant him a stipend and he will trade with each one, until he shall receive through exchange the land of Israel, for he will give to each one a province near his border and he will receive in exchange a province near the land of Israel, until he shall receive through exchange the land of Israel and he will travel to the land of Israel and in that year that he will travel to the land of Israel, will be the ingathering of the exiles and then all will travel to the land of Israel and the land of Israel will contain them all, afterwards the land of Israel will expand. At the time he travels to the land of Israel, he will only be king over Israel and he will first send a land map to the capital which is Jerusalem to build there palaces near his palace, for all the kings according to his wisdom..."[Megilat Setarim].

Note 1: The Messiah Ephraim or Messiah Ephriam ben Joseph is often confused with the ultimate Messiah ben Joseph (Jesus) who reigns spiritually since his Ascension into Heaven. Messiah Ephraim is the earthly representative of the Messiah in the temporal realm who will assist in bringing the mission of the Messiah as son of Joseph to its conclusion with the spiritual coming or presence of Messiah [as a thief in the night] to inaugurate his spiritual mission as son of David culminating in the final coming of the Messiah at the end of the world.

Note 2: Prince Harry's descent from Rebbe Nachman
1. Prince William and Prince Harry
2. Prince Charles Philip Arthur George
3. Prince Philip Mountbatten of Greece and Denmark
4. Princess Alice of Battenburg
5. Prince Louis of Battenberg
6. Countess Julie von Hauke (Julia Brody)[married Prince Alexander of Hesse]
7. Feiga Horodenker [married Gershon Brody son of R. Moshe ben Schneur Zalman]
8. Udel Horodenker [married Rabbi Yoske]
9. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov [married Sashia (Alexandra)Brody]

From my blog entry [16 September 2007] on the Davidic ancestry of Prince Harry and Prince William.
"There have always been persistent claims that the Mountbatten/ Battenberg family are Jewish through Julie Von Hauke. These claims are true as Julie von Hauke was the adopted daughter of Countess Sophie [de la Fontaine]von Hauke and Count Maurice von Hauke. Maurice and Sophie came from Frankist families. They adopted two children of Gershon Brody the son of Rabbi Moshe ben Zalman [who was baptised as a Catholic in 1820]. These two children were called Julie after Rabbi Moshe pseudonym Leon Yulievitch and her younger brother Aharon was also called Alexander after his great grandfather Alexander (Sender) Brody and Rabbi Moshe's use of the name Piotyr Alexandrovitch at his baptism. However in 1830 their adopted father Count John Maurice von Hauke was killed defending Grand Duke Constantine and their adopted mother Sophie died in 1831 from the shock of seeing her husband murdered. The Czar took charge of the upbringing of the children of the Von Hauke family. Julie was later made a lady -in-waiting of the Empress whose brother Alexander of Hesse fell in love with the young Polish countess. As Julie was a descendant of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov they eloped to Breslov where they were married in 1851. Rabbi Moshe Cordovero believed that the Messiah would be a Marrano and Rebbe Nachman stated that the Messiah would be his descendant who would be the Emperor of the World. What Messiah is this? This is Messiah Ephraim who is called in Jewish tradition the Messiah Anointed for War. His description in the Jewish tradition is similar to that of the promised Great Monarch Henry (some prophecies call him Charles) in the Catholic prophetic tradition. He would be a good child who later would become wayward until his deep conversion to God. The prophet Jeremiah speaks of him as Ephraim and the prophet Ezekiel as Prince David. Like the biblical Ephraim he will be the younger brother of the Messiah Manesseh (see Zechariah). Like Messiah ben Joseph he will suffer much and like Messiah ben David he is a Conqueror. He is spiritually guided and assisted by the Ultimate Messiah and his Mother (see Sefer Zerubbabel). I hold that the Messiah Ephraim is Prince Henry Charles Albert David [Harry]of Wales and his older brother Messiah Manesseh is Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales. Many Catholics of the past considered the Great Monarch as the Messenger (or angel) referred in Chapter 10 of the Apocalyse."

Note 3: The Ephraimite Messiah and the Great Monarch are an integral part of Jewish and Catholic prophecy. The identification of him with Prince Harry is my own personal speculation based on a reading of these prophecies and the signs of the times. Others may have different opinions on the identity of the great Monarch and I am open to being proved mistaken.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tikun ha Kelali: the Universal Reparation:A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

One artist's impression of Rebbe Nachman who had red-blonde hair

Yehuda Liebes in his studies on the influence of Jacob Frank on Rebbe Nachman comes to correct conclusions that the mysterious journeys and stays in certain places is connected with Rebbe Nachman's 'tikun ha Kelali' ( universal reparation) connected with the Frankists. Yehuda Liebes writes: "R Nahman's journey to Kamenets on his way to the Holy Land, as well as his journey to Lvov, seem to have some connection with his endeavours to amend the Frankist heresy." However like Gershom Scholem, Liebes lumps Frankism with Sabbateanism and thus in my opinion misunderstands both Frank and Rebbe Nachman. Jacob Frank was a former Sabbatean who led many Jews out of Sabbateanism in which they had become morally and spiritually impure. This came about by an emphasis on the mysterious 'Eleh' (Goddess of the Zohar) and realising that the only one who could remedy or repair (tikun) such spiritual pollution was the Lady of the Zohar who Frank came to realise was the Lady of Czestochowa. Those devoted to Her were able in union with her to perform complete or universal acts of reparation.
Yehuda Liebes an Israeli scholar on Jewish Mysticism

Frank's followers were divided between those who openly embraced the Catholic faith and hid their Jewishness and those who remained as religious Jews who hid their Catholicism. Rebbe Nachman was one of those hidden followers of the ideas of Frank and his concept of tikkunim for those fallen into the depth of sin, while not agreeing with Frank's open embrace of the Roman Catholicism of their day. Rebbe Nachman alludes to Jacob Frank as the'choice silver of the tongue of the Tzadik' in 'Likutey Moharan 29:11: "...All this is alluded to in the words (Proverbs 10:20) "keseF nivchaR leshoN tzadiK' [the last letters of which spell FRaNK.]" Rebbe Nachman spends a mysterious hidden 8 months in Lvov among the non-Jews. He sees that among the Gentiles of Europe are the descendants of those Israelites who worshipped the golden calves and that part of his role is to do tikkun (reparation) in order to restore the unity of the two Houses of Judah and Ephraim.

Frank and Nachman taught a general reparation for the generations that had fallen into sexual depravity of the Sabbateans. Thus they offered a spiritual way that was a forerunner of Pope John Paul II's 'Theology of the Body'. John Paul II offered a spiritual way and reparation for the modern generations who have also become morally and spiritually depraved. Rebbe Nachman also went to the Frankist Catholics in order to encourage them to continue following the true teaching of Frank rather than the distorted version being spread by the Prague Sabbateans who had joined with Eva Frank and were leading some of the Frankists back into Sabbatean errors.

Rebbe Nachman and Jacob Frank cannot be understood correctly without really understanding what tikkun (reparation) achieves. The concept of confession is also very important in this spiritual reparation. The Tzadik does not just do tikun (reparation) for himself but on behalf of his followers, on behalf of all Jews- both religious and secular and for all men tainted with the sin of Adam. He associates the Sabbatean sin with this original sin of Adam. The Sabbateans were from the cream of the Jewish people and scholars but they like Adam and Eve fell through a desire for sensual delight of experiencing knowledge. Yehuda Liebes writes: "R. Nahman's messianism entails an act of tikkun, and this is the general meaning of 'ha-tikkun ha-kelali'. This name aptly describes R. Nahman's approach in general, since he perceived his mission as the tikkun of man...and the tikkun of his community, as well as that of the whole Jewish people from all their sins; both their wordly sins, which were first and foremost sexual, and the numerous doctrinal sins of his generation that had ravaged traditional Jewish structures ("the Enlightenment"). But above all, he was concerned with the tikkun of the original sin..."

Rebbe Nachman reveals a penance or reparation for sins in general but especially for the sins of the flesh (p'gam ha brit)by the recital of the ten Psalms which he links to the mystery of the ten kinds of Song. They are Psalms 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, and 150. Prayer at the graveside of a Tzadik (a saint)and especially Rebbe Nachman at Uman is also considered very powerful and a great reparation for sin. Rebbe Nachman promised his followers: "If someone comes to my grave, gives a coin to charity, and says these ten Psalms (the Tikkun Haklali) I will pull him out from the depths of Purgatory! It makes no difference what he did until that day, but from that day on he must take upon himself not to return to his foolish ways. " He also said: "Bear witness to my words. When my days are over and I leave this world, I will still intercede for anyone who comes to my grave, says these Ten Psalms and gives a penny to charity. No matter how great his sins, I will do everything in my power, spanning the length and breadth of creation , to save him and cleanse him.... I am very positive in everything I say. But I am most positive in regard to the great benefit of these Ten Psalms."

The teachings of Rebbe Nachman and John Paul II offer a wonderful way of entering into reparation on behalf of the fallen generation of our time. When we unite these ideas with the concept of reparation and doing rounds in the Divine Will taught in the spirituality of Living in the Divine Will revealed to the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta of Corato we enter into the highest levels of sanctity.

O Most Sacred Heart[Leb] of my Yeshua, Who chose your humble servant Luisa as herald of the Kingdom of your Divine Will, and as angel of reparation [tikun] for the innumerable sins which sadden your Divine Heart, I humbly pray You to grant me the grace which I beseech from Your Mercy through her intercession, so that she may be glorified on earth as You have already rewarded her in Heaven. Amen.

Rebbe Nachman's Prayer for Peace

Lord of Peace, Divine Ruler, to whom peace belongs!
Master of Peace, Creator of all things!

May it be thy will to put an end to war and bloodshed on earth, and to spread a great and wonderful peace over the whole world, so that nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

Help us and save us all, and let us cling tightly to the virtue of peace. Let there be a truly great peace between every person and their fellow, and between husband and wife, and let there be no discord between people even in their hearts.

Let us never shame any person on earth, great or small. May it be granted unto us to fulfill Thy Commandment to "Love thy neighbor as thyself," with all our hearts and souls and bodies and possessions.

And let it come to pass in our time as it is written, "And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down and none shall make you afraid. I will drive the wild beasts from the land, and neither shall the sword go through your land.

God who is peace, bless us with peace !!!

(Attributed to Rabbi Nachman ben Feiga of Breslov, 1773-1810)
More on Jacob Frank
Rebbe Nachman and Healing