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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who is the Moon? Mary or Luisa Piccarreta: A Hebrew Catholic Opinion

Today I gave a talk at the Casa de Luisa Piccarreta on the concept of spiritual and mystical littleness or smallness in the teachings of Mystical Judaism, Rebbe Nachman and Luisa Piccarreta. After the talk our priest Father Teddy asked me if Our Lady or Luisa was the mystical Moon. I answered that in mysticism symbols can have many meanings not just one and that the Moon was also a symbol of Our Lady. However thinking about it later I came to a clearer understanding in my own mind.

The Sun who is the generator of light and heat is a mystical symbol of the Infinite Light and Divine Will who manifests as the Divine Word [the face over the Deep]. The created visible light of the Sun alludes to Our Lady[the Face over the Waters/ Well of Miriam] and the created hidden heat of the Sun alludes to the Hidden Tzadik Joseph [the Face over the Rakia of the Heavens]. The light of the Sun that touches and illuminates the Moon represents Our Lady in Eternity. Luisa is the moon[the Face over the Earth/ Mouth of the Well of Miriam] that receives the divine Light and Will through Our Lady and St Joseph. The light of the Moon that radiates to the earth is the light of Our Lady and Luisa united in divine Will. The earth represents the Divine Son's created humanity that receives the light of the created Imma and the warmth of the created Abba. He also in some mystical manner recieves the light of Luisa mediated through Our Lady and St Joseph. Thus Jesus and Joseph can be symbolised by the Sun and Our Lady and Luisa can be symbolised by the Moon. These are the four Chayot of Heaven,the Four Cherubim and the four Minds of the Temple who are the four Faces and four Lights of Genesis One.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Four Lights and Rebbe Nachman: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

In past articles I have mentioned the four Minds and Faces. I have also mentioned the two lights in Genesis 1 of 'Yehi Or'[Let there be light] and 'Vay'hi Or'[And there was light] as representing Yeshua and Miriam in Eternity. However there are two other lights mentioned in Genesis 1 symbolised by the greater light the Sun (shemesh/gadol) and the lesser light the Moon (labanah/katan). In this section of Genesis is hidden the name Yeshua [beginning with the yod in verse 17 counting every 26 letters]who is the source of these two created lights. This is the fourth day which is associated with the concept of Joseph and his vision of the sun, moon and stars. In Catholic devotion the fourth day of the week Wednesday is the day in honour of St Joseph. Genesis 1:20 refers to Joseph as the face over the rakia of the heavens. This 'sun' is Joseph living in Eternity in Divine Will. The moon is linked to the face over the earth in Genesis 1:29 who represents Luisa Piccarreta as katana (little or lesser one). I have written in an earlier blog about Luisa and the concept of katnut (smallness). These four lights have their source in the Infinite Light (Ayin Sof). One of the same essence as the Infinite Light- the light of 'Yehi Or' or the light of the Messiah. Three are created lights- the concepts of Joseph haTzaddik, Miriam ha Kedosha and Luisa ha Katana.

Rebbe Nachman alludes to this mystery in Likutey Moharan VI #49. Likutey Moharan #49 is called "LaShemesh Sam Ohel Bahem"[For the Sun He set up a tent in their midst]. Rebbe Nachman here introduces this whole lesson with this famous mystical biblical passage. Psalm 19:5-8: "For the Sun he set up a tent in their midst, which is like a groom emerging from the nuptial chamber, like a warrior eager to run the course. The source is at the ends of the heavens, its circuit is to their end; nothing escapes its burning heat. The Torah of God is perfect, restoring the soul." This 'sun' [shemesh]represents the Divine Will which is the Infinite light. The tent represents that Infinite light coming to dwell in creation as the Divine Wisdom and Heart. This Scriptural passage alludes to the mysteries of the Ark of the Covenant and Temple as well as the mystical rounds in the Divine Will. Rebbe Nachman also interprets the 'sun' as the Tzaddik further in the lesson. This Hidden Tzaddik is associated by the Rebbe with the concept of Joseph in other lessons.

Rebbe Nachman reveals: ki kodem habriah hayah or hakadesh-barukh-hu ayin sof Beyond the Creation was the light of the blessed Holy One- Ayin Sof (Infinite Light) varatzah hakadesh-barukh-hu sheyitgaleh malkhuto And the blessed Holy One wants his Kingdom to be revealed v'ein melekh b'li am and there is no king without people. vehutzrekh livro b'nei adam, sheykablo ol malkhuto Thus he had to create children of Adam who would accept the yoke of his Kingdom.

Rebbe Nachman is speaking here of the mystery of this 'sun' who is Ayin Sof and the tent which is his Kingdom. The children of Adam who accept the Divine Will are Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Luisa- the four lights of Genesis One. This is also the mystery of the Holy of holies of the Temple and its four minds repesented by the four faces of the four Cherubim. This is the mystery of the 10 sefirot also called attributes [midot] in regard to the Holy Place, the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant. The concept of Chalal haPanuy (vacated or hollowed space)is represented by the interior of the Ark. Joseph is an image or icon of Ayin Sof on earth as Abba. Luisa is the image or icon of the Kingdom as Nukvah (female).

"Yet it is impossible to perceive a revelation of His kingdom except through the attributes. Through the attributes we perceive His Godliness and know there is a Lord, a Ruler and an Authority. He thus contracted the light of the Infinite One to the sides, leaving a hollowed space. And within this hollowed space He created the worlds, which are themselves the Attributes." Rebbe Nachman then alludes to this revealed light as the Chokhmah (Wisdom), Rock and Heart. The 'sides' alluding to the sides of the Ark."And the Heart is He- the designer of the Attributes that is the Wisdom that is in that Heart, as it is written[Exodus 31:6]"I have placed wisdom in the heart of all those who are wise of heart". Thus the main formation took place with Wisdom as it is written [Psalm 104:24], "You created everthing with Wisdom". We see then that the heart is the tZayaR (designer), as it is written [Psalm 73:26]"tZuR (rock) of my Heart"."

Rebbe Nachman then discusses the mysteries of Adam and his children being created with the potential for free will by having the capacity to choose good or evil in their hearts. In section 2 the discusion moves on to Our Lady as the one associated with prayer and service of the heart. She is the olah and the upper Imma (Mother). The flaming of the heart also alludes to Our Lady and the flaming sword in the Garden of Eden. Here it seems to describe the relationship between Our Lady (the upper Mother) and Luisa (the Lower Mother).

In section 5 we learn more of the role of the two women of the future era who we know as Luisa and Our Lady. The Rebbe refers to the little, small and short woman who is associated with the concept of katnut (smallness) and repentance (teshuva). This alludes to Luisa who is in a sense clothed with Our Lady. Here Luisa is called the Ktana (little) sister associated with the lesser light (katan) of Genesis 1:16.
"This is the aspect of the song that will awaken in the future. It is a simple-twofold-threefold-fourfold song, this being the Ten Kinds of Song...If your wife is short, bend down and l'chish (listen) (Bava metzia 59a). Rashi comments: listen to her counsel. In fact a godfearing woman is the aspect of advice. When the prayer- that is the aspect of David's kingdom- is lowly [shiflut] and KaTNut[constricted /smallness]- in the aspect of "your wife is short" and "we have a ktaNa [little] sister (Song of Songs 8:8]- it corresponds to "the KaTaN (lesser) light" (Genesis 1:16), in the aspect of "his counsel falls away" (Sanhedrin 22 a)...For in the future, in the Era that is entirely Shabbat, the Torah of the Hidden Ancient One will be Revealed...this is also the aspect of 'Great is Repentance". He elevates repentance (teshuva) from the aspect of the lesser light, from the aspect of "we have a little sister", to the aspect of the big, to the aspect of "the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun" [Isaiah 30:26]..."

I have only touched on the surface of this lesson of Rebbe Nachman. A book could be written based on this one lesson. It is like the layers of a onion. One however needs to know Kabbalah, Scripture and Talmud and many other Jewish sources to fully delve in to the richness of Rebbe Nachman. There are also varied and different ways of reading the text.

Summary: Beyond and before Creation is the Infinite thrice-holy Light of God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit (tzachtzachot). From this Infinite Light the Divine Light comes forth to create. This is the Son who will become the Messiah. He creates the light or concept of Mary, Joseph and Luisa in Eternity. They are revealed as four lights and four faces in Genesis 1. Later in time they will be born and live and die while totally living in Divine Will. Jesus [in his humanity] and Mary live in Divine Will from the moment of their conception, Joseph lives in Divine Will from the moment after his conception and Luisa lives in Divine Will after being given the gift in 1889. Those who live in Divine Will after 1889 are symbolised by the stars in Genesis 1.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Plate Tectonics and Psalm 136:6

Despite what the British Bishop's modern biblical scholars write in "Gift of Scripture", the Bible and the ancient Jewish Rabbis who base their views on the Bible seem fairly advanced in scientific understanding. For example the writer of Psalm 136:6 would seem to have knowledge of what modern scientists call 'Plate Tectonics'. Psalm 136:6 states: "...l'roka ha-aretz al-hamayim ki l'olam khasdo - to the One who makes the earth as plates upon the water, for his mercy endures for ever." In many translations of the Bible l'roka is translated with its meaning to spread but the Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer translates it as plates. One need only look in any Hebrew dictionary to see that rikea can mean plate. In Aramaic and Hebrew rikea can also mean hammer flat, beat flat, coat and flatten.

The Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer is a midrashic work by Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus (2nd century) on parts of the Torah. It states "The earth is made up of plates covering the depths, as a ship that floats on the sea. Similarly, the earth is made of plates above the waters, as the Psalmist (136:6) declares, '(Give thanks) to the One who makes the earth as plates on the waters." Here we see clearly the idea of plate tectonics. Rabbi Dovid Brown writes in "Mysteries of the Creation": "Once we might have wondered what a ship has to do with plates; but now we can see that this midrash is plainly expressing the idea of plate tectonics. A ship is not a plate, but, says the midrash, the plates float as a ship floats. Nor is there a contradiction in the fact that the Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer maintains that the plates float over water, while scientists declare the interior of the earth to be molten rock. Mayim in Tanach and the works of Chazal means not only water but liquid...There may be another reason that the Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer says the plates float on water. It is literally true. To quote from Walter Sullivan..."The presence of free water in the asthenosphere (a zone within the thickness of the earth) reduces melting temperatures and makes that region soft enough to lubricate plate motion."...". The modernist Bible Scholars beloved of the British Bishops have been teaching for decades a totally false view of the Hebrew idea of the universe based on their own misunderstandings of the Scriptures. In fact the Bible and the sages of Israel were quite aware that the earth was spherical in shape and not flat and square. (see Yerushalmi Avoda Zora 3:1;Bereshit Rabba 63:14;Bamidbar Rabba 13:14 and 17; Esther Rabba 1:7; Tosfot, Avoda Zara 41A and the Zohar Vayikra 10A). It is a shame that the Bishops and their biblical scholars didn't take note of the humility of St Augustine who wrote: "On my own part I confess to your charity that it is only to those books of Scripture which are now called canonical that I have learned to pay such honor and reverence as to believe most firmly that none of their writers has fallen into any error. And if in these books I meet anything which seems contrary to truth, I shall not hesitate to conclude either that the text is faulty, or that the translator has not expressed the meaning of the passage, or that I myself do not understand."

Friday, February 05, 2010

Mystical Garden and Luisa Piccarreta: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

The Bahir speaks about the garden or vineyard and the process of digging up the bad crop or wild sour grapes and planting a new crop. We saw in my last post that some interpret this in regards to reincarnation whereas Perle Besserman demonstrates that is part of the mystical work we do in meditative prayer in order to be conformed and unite (devekut)with the Divine Will. The Bahir says: "Go and see. This is like a person who has planted a vineyard in his garden, and he hoped it would bring forth cultivated sweet grapes, and it brought forth wild sour grapes [after isaiah 5:2]. He saw that he was not succeeding- so he replanted it, placed a fence around it, repaired the breaches, pruned the wild grapes and planted it a second time. He saw that he wasn't succeeding-he again fenced it off, and again replanted it after pruning it. How often? Until a thousand generations,as it is written: "He commanded a Word to a thousand generations' [Psalm 105:8]. This is what is meant by the saying[Hagigah 13b]: "Nine hundred and seventy four generations were lacking, when the Holy One, blessed be He, stood and planted them in every generation..."The 26 generations [974 + 26 =1000] refer to the mantra of reciting "Give thanks to God for his mercy is everlasting" 26 times in Psalm 136. This 26 alludes to Y-H-V-H as the God of Mercy and to the 26 letters between each letter of the names Terumah [beginning with the tav of bereshit], Miriam [beginning with the final mem of the first mayim] and Yeshua [beginning with the yod of elohim in verse 17] hidden in the text in Genesis 1 as a hidden mystical garden. The Rabbis also connect this with the 26 generations of Exile from the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve lived in Divine Will until the giving of the Torah or Word on Sinai which was a manifestion of the Divine Will as Divine Mercy by revealing the Torah 974 generations sooner.

Luisa Piccarreta in the "Book of Heaven writes about this mystical garden: "Afterwards, I found myself in a vast garden, and to my surprise, I found the Queen Mama who, approaching me, said to me: "My daughter, come with me to work in this garden. We must plant celestial flowers and fruits. It is now almost empty: and if there is any plant at all, it is terrestial and human; therefore it is appropriate for us to pull it up, so that this garden may be all pleasing to my son Jesus. The seeds we must plant are all my virtues, my works, my pains, which contain the seed of the 'fiat voluntas tua'. There was nothing I did which did not contain this seed of the Will of God...The whole of Creation, all beings, recognised me as ruler over them, because they saw the Supreme Will reigning in me. So, we will unite all that I did together with all that you did with this seed of the Supreme Will, and we will plant it in this garden."...But while we were doing this, from behind the walls of the garden, which were very high, we heard the noise of weapons and of cannons, which roared in a horrible way; so we were forced to run out and give help. As we arrived there, we could see people of various races, of different colours, and many nations united together, which were waging battle and striking terror and fright..." [Volume 17 August 4 1925] This mystical garden is the garden of our soul in which it is empty except for a few deeds done in our own selfish will rather than in union with the Divine Will. It would take at least a thousand lifetimes to achieve any significant spiritual progress. However God in his mercy and grace speaks a word or seed into every generation (soul)which is the seed of Joseph (in a very hidden way), Mary and Luisa united to Jesus that will lead to all being replanted in the Will of God as it is in heaven so on the earth. Those who live in the Divine Will will redo or replant all generations in his Will with the four Minds. Through this process all souls who seek truth and the good will be surrounded by many mystical divine Lives which makes it unnecessary to have a literal thousand lifetimes to advance spiritually and produce good fruit. Even our bad fruit is replanted or redone in Divine Will and is transformed into eternal fruitfulness.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Bahir and Reincarnation: A Hebrew Catholic Opinion

As I have mentioned in a previous blog the idea of gilgul as reincarnation is a misintrepretation of Jewish meditative and mystical concepts through the penetration of pagan eastern ideas into Judaism increasing in recent centuries. Many writers following Gershom Scholem claim that it is taught in the mystical book "Bahir". "In contrast with the conspicuous opposition of Jewish philosophy, metempsychosis is taken for granted in the Kabbalah from its first literary expression in the Sefer ha-Bahir (published in late 12th century). The absence of any special apology for this doctrine, which is expounded by the Bahir in several parables, proves that the idea grew or developed in the circles of the early kabbalists without any affinity to the philosophic discussion of transmigration. Biblical verses (e.g., "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh" (Eccles. 1:4), taken as meaning that the generation that passes away is the generation that comes) and talmudic aggadot and parables were explained in terms of transmigration. It is not clear whether there was any connection between the appearance of the metempsychosic doctrine in kabbalistic circles in southern France and its appearance among the contemporary Cathars, who also lived there. Indeed the latter, like most believers in transmigration, taught that the soul also passes into the bodies of animals, whereas in the Bahir it is mentioned only in relation to the bodies of men.

After the Bahir the doctrine of gilgul developed in several directions and became one of the major doctrines of the Kabbalah, although the kabbalists differed widely in regard to details. In the 13th century, transmigration was viewed as an esoteric doctrine and was only alluded to, but in the 14th century many detailed and explicit writings on it appeared. In philosophic literature the term ha'atakah ("transference") was generally used for gilgul; in kabbalistic literature the term gilgul appears only from the Sefer ha-Temunah onward; both are translations of the Arabic term tanāsukh. The early kabbalists, such as the disciples of Isaac the Blind and the kabbalists of Gerona, spoke of "the secret of ibbur" ("impregnation"). It was only in the late 13th or 14th centuries that gilgul and ibbur began to be differentiated. The terms hitḥallefut ("exchange") and din benei ḥalof (from Prov. 31:8) also occur. From the period of the Zohar on, the term gilgul became prevalent in Hebrew literature and began to appear in philosophic works as well."
This however demonstrates a total misunderstanding of the original meditative and mystical nature of the concepts of gilgul and ibbur. Gershom Scholem makes many mistakes because he perceives Kabbalah as part of Gnosticism- rather than Gnosticism as a perversion of the authentic mystical traditions of Judaism and Christianity.

Perle Besserman a student of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan and Rabbi Zvi Yehudah Kook and a descendant of the Baal Shem Tov writes about this in her book "Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism". "Gershom Scholem cites the twelfth-century Sefer Bahir as the first kabbalistic reference to the idea that the soul travels from one body to another after physical death. Identifying Jewish mysticism as an antiphilosophical, antiaristolean phenomenon and likening it to its Christian and Islamic counterparts, he links the three dualistic (and therefore heretical) traditions under the common heading of "Gnosticism". Defining the kabbalistic term gilgul as, "literally, 'turning over' or 'rolling over', " he asserts that the underlying assumption in all three dulaistic belief systems is the desire for redemption outside the physical body. Impeccable as his scholarship is, however, Scholem's literal interpretation of the term distracts him from its symbolic function. To the practitioner of Kabbalah, the soul is neither a physical or an ethereal entity, but a figurative representation of a level of consciousness. Whether it is referred to as ruach, neshamah, or nefesh, the soul corresponds to a stage in the meditation process. Therefore, rather than transmigrating, literally, from body to body after death, the soul (consciousness) "rolls" and 'skips" from one world (sefirah)to the next as it "ascends" in meditation to the highest realm of nonthought. In their instruction manuals, mystics from the Merkavah period to the present point out that the ruach level of the soul is synonymous with the breath, and that 'planting" alludes to a meditative technique which demands a lifelong commitment to the practice of permuting and chanting the sacred Names."

Besserman then quotes the two passages in the Bahir that Gershom believes speak of reincarnation and demonstrates that they are a hidden set of meditation instructions. "In the first passage, the "rest" that follows the image of the souls flying out corresponds to the period assigned to holding the exhalation while permuting the letters of the sacred Name a thousand times." In the Zohar this flying out of the souls imagery is linked to the divine song and melody connected with the nekudim and the musical cantillations. Besserman continues by discussing the allegory of the the vineyard: "The second passage gives prepartory instructions for the mediation technique known as the planting.. One is enjoined to 'place a fence' around the area (isolate oneself from worldly affairs in meditation, hitbodedut): to engage in "repairing" the breaches around the grapevines (perform a tikkun meditation linking one's consciousness to one of the red or green lower or upper sefirot); and to prune' distracting thoughts before reciting the Names no less than a thousand times. Where Scholem goes on to argue that the Bahir's references to 'garments' stands for the numerous impure bodies assumed by the human soul in transmigration (including those of animals!), we ought to see these as prefiguring the Zohar, which warns aspirants not to be fooled by the "garments" (i.e. the exoteric level of the Torah) that hide the Skekhinah from the uninitiated." The Shekhinah sometimes refers to the concept or aspect of the Mystical Mother who is clothed with all the garments of the Divine King as Matronita (Virgin Mother),G'virah (Queen Mother)and Ark of the Covenant, Sovereign of the whole Universe (see the Zohar) among others.

These insights of Perle Besserman seem to be confirmed by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in Likutey Moharan Vol.1:2 [Emor El ha Kohanim]on the mystery of prayer. He speaks about entering into mystical union with the spirit or aspect of Joseph in prayer and the spirit or aspect of Moses through righteous connectedness. By entering into the charisms of Joseph and Moses one enters into aspect of the Messiah. We know that this has nothing to do with reincarnation as all the scholars referred to each other as Moses. "Therefore, before praying it is necessary for each individual to attach himself to the true saints of the generation. For each true saint is an aspect (type/sign/behinat)of Messiah, an aspect of Moses. Thus we find the saints addressing each other as Moses (shabbat 101b): "Moses, you said it well". And Moses is a type (behinat) of the Messiah..."[Likutey Moharan Vol.1:2;6]This is further demonstrated in the next section (2:7) where Rebbe Nachman refers to the teachings contained in the Sefer haGilgulim. He also confirms what Besserman wrote about the garments having nothing to do with reincarnation but is a prayer state of the soul. " Now all the Torah a person studies for the purpose of observing and fulfilling-all these are sparks of souls, and they are clothed within prayer. There they are renewed in an aspect of pregnancy (ibbur). As is brought in the Sefer haGilgulim: All souls enter Malkut (the Sefirah of kingship/kingdom)in the aspect of pregnancy (ibbur) and are renewed there...Thus these souls together with prayer are termed 'glory' on account of prayer's clothing them. Just as Rabbi Yochanan called his garments 'my glorifiers'..." Rebbe Nachman then alludes to the souls clothed in glory through the prayer and praise ascent uniting with the Mystical Mother's female waters (mayin nukvin)in her mystical womb. This mystical pregnancy brings to birth new insights of Torah represented as mystical maidens of the Mother. These new insights can only be embraced when united with one's saintly spiritual guide (tzadik of the generation). "...The souls shine to prayer in an aspect of raising female waters and prayer shines to the souls in the aspect of new insights. For She [the Mystical Mother] renews them in an aspect of pregnancy. And the souls, when clothed in prayer and brought to the Tzadik of the generation, are an aspect of "maidens, Her companions who follow Her, shall be brought to you"(Psalm 45:15)." Unfortunately many followers of Breslov have also read back into Rebbe Nachman's writings the doctrine of reincarnation and thus polluting the pure Mother's milk of the Torah with the flesh of the demonic goat. Rebbe Nachman is a true master of the Zohar and Bahir. He was a True Master of Prayer for his generation and teaches cryptically at times the deep mysteries of prayer and the Kingdom and not the impure klippot of reincarnation and eastern occultic wisdom. These impure and pagan demonic teachings mixed with Kabbalah are found today unfortunately in many books even by orthodox Jewish Rabbis including Breslov Rabbis.
see Reincarnation and Judaism