Shomer Emunim #B6-B7

23 Nov
Shomer Emunim #B6-B7
 11-16-2015

She’altielThe confusion that I have in essential principals of Emunah cannot be because of the Seforim that I learned, because they were all authored by the true Mekubalim, the early writers of Kabballah, Z”LHH; as well as Seforim written by the holy Ari, Z”LHH. Those are all Seforim that have been accepted among Klal Yisroel, and I didn’t even touch any Seforim that were written after the Ari, Z”LHH, except for Seforim written by R’ Moshe Azariyah from Pano, Z”L.

YehoyadaIf that’s the case, then the reason you got confused has got to be because you missed out on having a knowledgeable Rebbi point out certain important things that students who begin to study Kabballah are normally made aware of. For it’s a well known fact that the early teachers of Kabballah, Z”L, have said that this Chochmah cannot be learned from books or “mute teachers”* alone, but rather from the mouths of wise living and breathing teachers. Be that as it may, explain to me those things that you question, for I will not hold back from properly enlightening you with any and all of the wisdom that I have received from authors and Seforim of Kabballah, because [Hashem says:] “Those who love me, I love; and those who seek me, shall find me”.

* [A euphemism for written documents.]

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub
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Shomer Emunim #B4-B5

16 Nov

Shomer Emunim #B4-B5

 11-12-2015
Reminder: Translation is by;
 The Horonsteipler Rav; Rabbi Mordechai Twerski, Shlita,
Edited & transcribed by his talmid, Shaul Taub.
Brackets are notes by Rabbi Twerski, Braces are editors’ notes.

She’altielMy mentor knows that once I yearned to understand the wisdom of Kabballah I broke the rules because I started learning it without a mentor. And when I came to {learning} it with all of my intensity and energy, Hashem made it possible for me to find many Seforim, which are more valuable than gold and silver. I did not remain silent and did not rest until I found among those Seforim these wonderful very important thoughts, which are really very helpful, and I crowned myself with its knowledge. I absolutely believe and understand that without Kabballah, one really cannot know what the essential principals of Emunah are, because only from Kabballah would one come to know that Hashem is loftier than all loftiness. Hashem is distant from any materiality and is not missing anything. And within that Oneness, we distant any attempt to describe Him, and we learn how to understand the various descriptions of limbs and organs [which are physical traits] that are written in the Torah. And among the benefits {of knowing Kabballah}, is being able to serve with a complete heart and a yearning soul, for he who knows his Creator can serve Him truthfully. That’s why Dovid Hamelech, A”H, said (Divrei Hayamim 1, 28:9): “Know the G-d of your father and serve Him.” And with this knowledge of Kabballah, one will find all sorts of ethical and moral guidelines, and he will not be lacking in any good mannerisms. One that learns this Chochmah for its rightful purpose will be filled with Yir’as Shamayim – The Fear of Heaven and the fear of sin. It will also help him to intensify his own serving of Hashem. And among the benefits {of knowing Kabballah}, is the knowledge of His precious names, which are mentioned in those holy books. Also among the benefits {of knowing Kabballah}, is understanding the reasons for Mitzvos and the secrets of the Torah. Also to understand why some of the letters are large and some are small, and to understand why words are sometimes written and not read as they are written, and sometimes words are read but not written the way they are read. Also to understand the secret of why sometimes letters are missing and sometimes there are extra letters. For example: “Because (in) six days Hashem made the heaven.” (Shmos, 31:17). Also: “I did not allow them to know me (by) my name; Hashem.” (Shmos, 6:3). Both of those Psukim are missing the letter Beis {meaning in or by} according to the simple meaning of the Possuk. And there are innumerable examples such as these, where those that are trying to reconcile simple interpretations have to take away or add letters or words in order to understand the simple meaning of the Possuk. But [if you understand the true knowledge of why they’re written that way, then] the truth is that they’re complete the way they are, with nothing extra and nothing missing. Among the other benefits {of knowing Kabballah}, is being able to understand Hashem’s supervision and direction. To understand how it is that The Infinite, who has no complexity whatsoever, still knows, intervenes and supervises all the details with straightforward guidance. Another benefit {of knowing Kabballah} is to understand the secrets of how the Neshamah functions. To understand what it’s all about, why the Neshamah had to come into this world and be cloaked in a human body and to understand how it’s reward and punishment works. Included in this also as a general approach of Kabballah, is understanding the secrets of Gilgul – Reincarnation, the rebirth of Neshamos and how all the different bodies will come back to life when Techiyas Hamesim – Resurrection of the dead, occurs.

And ultimately, this Chochmah is really the path of life. It’s the Neshamah of the Torah – the soul of the Torah. To understand the true intent of the Torah and to understand the true meanings of Chazal’s Agadatas, which always confused the understanding of people that tried to learn them literally. Therefore, one that never saw the light of this wisdom, never really saw true light in his life. And all those who have turned away from this Chochmah are as though they have turned away from eternal life. However, I do have many doubts that seem to center around the essentials of Emunah. I have not been able to resolve them, due to my limited knowledge and the depth of their intangibility. Therefore, I’m coming to you to be enlightened by your face and to request from you to enlighten the darkness of my thoughts. My yearning has become a yearning of darkness. [A play on the words said by Yermiyahu, 2:31 – “The earth was darkened”.] May you bring me out and quench my thirst, for there’s very few lofty people that really understand the essence of the truthfulness of this wisdom. You, I know. You have dealt with it honestly and have fulfilled what it says in Sefer Yetzirah (Chapter 1, Mishna 3): “Understand the wisdom and become wise with the understanding. Test them and delve with them. Establish with clarity, and resolve everything in its proper place.”

YehoyadaWhat you have said makes me very happy, She’altiel my brother, for your yearning to seek out the wisdom of the secrets is indeed great, and your eyes have opened with the introductions to spirituality. You have merited to understanding the purpose of this wisdom and why we are compelled to learn it. But it pains me to hear that you’re confused about the essential principals of Emunah and it’s causing me to sigh deeply. I’m worried that this might be because you got hold of the wrong kind of books and pamphlets that were composed by very sinful people who describe themselves as true believers, but are really detached from true Emunah and Emunah is really very distant from them. For they have corrupted and destroyed, thereby turning Torah into descriptions, which undermine it and have therefore caused this lofty wall to collapse. They have turned its sweetness into bitterness. Instead of wheat they came up with thorns, instead of barley they came up with putrefied food. So at least let me know which Seforim you’ve dealt with and learned from because if I know the cause for your illness, it will make it easier to find the cure.

[You either didn’t understand what you learned, or you learned from corrupted sources. In the time of R’ Yosef Irgis, that’s what they were fighting. They were fighting the corruption of Shabtai Tzvi and his followers who claimed to be teaching Kabballah.]

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

Shomer Emunim #B2-B3

16 Nov

Shomer Emunim #B2-B3

 11-12-2015

She’altielBehold, I am coming to you Yehoyada my brother, so that you can guide me with your truthfulness. Allow me to drink from the wellsprings of your knowledge, the source of living waters, in pondering the G-dly concepts which you know and comprehend, for your eyes have seen its real value. Add your righteousness to my life. Show me and teach me.

YehoyadaWhat happened to you my brother She’altiel? What is it that you’re asking of me? I’ve never held anything back from you. I see that you have intensified your study at the doors of wisdom and you’re continuously immersing in its shade; and the Torah always returns to its original habitat. [The Torah itself should have provided you with the knowledge that you needed.]

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

Shomer Emunim #B1

16 Nov

SECOND DIALOGUE

Shomer Emunim #B1

 11-12-2015
Reminder: Translation is by;
 The Horonsteipler Rav; Rabbi Mordechai Twerski, Shlita,
Edited & transcribed by his talmid, Shaul Taub.
Brackets are notes by Rabbi Twerski, Braces are editors’ notes.

Introduction: After the previous dialogue, She’altiel resolved to know the entire wisdom of Chochmas Kabballah. And because of his desire to understand every last detail about it and to come to know its ultimate purpose, he came to the decision to stop learning Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos; and to let go of the other ways of learning the simple approaches to Torah. So he secluded himself in his home and became his own student. He enjoyed progressing day by day learning the prominent Seforim that were written on the subject of Kabballah. And he got his value from Hashem, because in a very short period of time, he started amassing sack-fulls of its knowledge and he became familiar with all of its tools. He bonded lovingly with them and did not stop enjoying it until he found his real purpose in it.

However, since he learned it from Seforim, but did not receive it as a Mesorah from those who taught it, he couldn’t escape some doubts and questions that would arise from ancient words and deep concepts. That’s because he was missing some of the prerequisites and underlying premises and introductions which are really necessary in order to go into the orchard of this lofty Chochmah, to avoid misunderstanding the intent of the Mekubalim and to correctly understand their paths and the righteousness of their approaches. After getting entangled in his doubts day after day, and going back and forth between both sides of the discussion, Hashem revived his spirit by saying: “Why are you sitting and trying to do this on your own with loads of doubts hovering over you? If you really desire to understand the approaches and measures of this Chochmah, and to enjoy the fragrance of its fields and the flow of its sweetness, find yourself a Rebbi. Your conversations with him will make it sweet, he will satisfy your thirst and enlighten your eyes. His wisdom will come into your heart and the understanding will give sweetness to your soul.” And so She’altiel arose and traveled, and he went to seek Hashem in Yehoyada’s Beis Medrash. When he approached Yehoyada, he started the conversation and said…

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

Shomer Emunim #72

2 Nov

Shomer Emunim #72

10-26-2015

She’altielI have nothing more to say, nor do I have the audacity to even lift up my head to oppose the teachings of the wisdom of Kabballah, for I’ve seen my struggle, and I’ve seen pure light. A refined light, through your successful arguments. They illuminate my eyes and they give joy to the heart. May blessings be upon your head for you have satisfied me from the delights of your intellect and reasoning. You’ve given correct answers with a clear mind to lead me to the truth of Kabballah. Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all of its paths are peace.

He bowed and kissed him, and all of the people that were standing at the gate lifted up their voices with a good heart and joy and said: “Praised is Hashem for creating us to honor Him, and gave us the true Torah. May He lead us with His compassion, upon straight paths, so that we can understand the true understanding of the Torah. May He place in our hearts, that we should all be unified in our understanding and in the various different directions of our Torah, and may He remove from us all of the destructive thoughts, stubbornness and foolishness of people whose approaches are evil and have evil agendas. They are only wise in their own eyes, for they love to win arguments and pursue their own desires. They disgrace anyone that argues against them. We will then merit the fulfillment of what is written in the Possuk: “May they all call upon the name of Hashem to serve Him with one joint effort.” (Tzefaniah 3:9). And Hashem will rule over the entire world. On that day, Hashem will be truly One and His name will be truly One. May that happen speedily in our days, Amen.”

This completes the first dialogue.

Praise be to the Creator of the world.

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

Shomer Emunim #70-71

2 Nov

Shomer Emunim #70-71

10-26-2015

Reminder: the translation is by;
 The Horonsteipler Rav; Rabbi Mordechai Twerski, Shlita,
Edited & transcribed by his talmid, Shaul Taub.
Brackets are notes by Rabbi Twerski, Braces are editors’ notes.

She’altiel: If that’s true, that the Sefiros perform their functions by combining and joining together with The Infinite, then I have a question. You’re not avoiding the problem of fragmentation. Either Hashem performs all the functions, or Hashem performs SOME of the functions and some of them are performed by the Sefirah. If you say that all functions are performed by Hashem, then there’s nothing left for the Sefirah to perform. And if you say that Hashem performs only some, then apparently the remaining functions are not dependent upon Hashem because they came into existence without Him. And we can’t say that because He is imperative to all of existence and everything came into existence from Him.

[R’ Yosef Irgis is playing devil’s advocate. He’s saying that from the rational process; are there other things that are functioning other than the simple will of Hashem? If Hashem uses other things to make things happen, then is that all Hashem’s simple will? Does it all remain simple? It doesn’t look like it remains simple. If it doesn’t remain simple, then Hashem is using something else to make something else happen.

Either Hashem is pure simplicity, and His will is pure simplicity, and if so then how are there fragments? How do we see a world that has parts? Is Hashem making it all happen, or is Hashem creating something to make that something else happen? Either Hashem is pure simplicity or He’s parts, and if He is fragments, then part of it IS Hashem and part of it is NOT!

I.e.: How is it possible that these two contradictory terms can coexist?]

Yehoyada: [There’s no question that] every function that occurs is a function of Hashem’s infiniteness, and it all happens from the Sefiros. So, how does that work? That which comes from The Infinite is the primary cause, whereas the Sefirah is the vessel, for the Sefiros are relative to The Infinite, like a vessel in the hands of a craftsman. For example; when a scribe writes a book, we don’t say that some of the writing comes from the hand and some of it comes from the quill. Because if we say that all of the writing happens because of the quill, but it only happens because the hand is guiding it; the truth is that from one perspective the quill is a tool, and from another perspective the hand is the primary cause that makes the quill write. And so, we go further from the hand to the remaining intermediaries, until we arrive at the Nefesh, because truthfully, that’s really what makes the writing occur. For if you say that the writing takes place by the quill which is being moved by the hand, then the hand is being moved by the muscles, the muscles are being moved by the arteries, the arteries are being moved by the nerves, through the nerves flows the neural energy, and the neural energy is being moved by the Nefesh within it. So really, the Nefesh, the life force, is the first action and primary cause of all of it. That’s where one can truly attribute the function of writing to be coming from. It’s certainly much more than attributing it to the quill, or any one of the other intermediate steps because they’re merely tools, and the means to which the Nefesh can express its functions to go from potential to action. But really, all of their power and movement comes from the Nefesh.

The same example can be used to describe what happens by the functions of the Sefiros, because we really cannot attribute function to the Sefiros, for all that happens is really the power of The Infinite, since the Sefiros do not have the potential to perform small or large functions without the Divine connection and help from The Infinite, which is really the Neshamah for the Sefiros. For just as we say that the Sefiros were emanated from Him and are sustained by His limitless power, if that power were to be withdrawn from them, they would remain as a body without a Neshamah, as is written in the [example given in the] Tikunei Zohar, Page 17b; and in The Zohar, Parshas Bo, Page 42b. So too, all of their functions are performed by power of Hashem. Therefore, even more so, if they depend upon The Infinite for their existence and sustenance, then certainly they need Him for them to perform their functions. Therefore, we understand from this that The Infinite is the cause for all the functions of the Sefiros much more than we can attribute to the Sefiros themselves. And He is the true cause, for all the primary functions are dependent upon Him. And the Sefiros are therefore only tools and the means for the functions to occur. The Ramak gives many different types of metaphors that help us understand this in the Pardes [Rimonim], Sha’ar Atzmus VeKelim – The Gate of Essence and Vessels, Chapter 4. Study there for more research. This is a true belief that has been defined and refined through the words of the early Mekubalim, Z”LHH.

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub

Shomer Emunim #68-69

2 Nov

Shomer Emunim #68-69

10-26-2015

She’altiel: Clarify for me what you said, that The Infinite One is simple and His functions are simple, and that function, which is simple, is Keser Adam Kadmon. But [then you said] that that function of Keser branches out and that’s where “beginning and end” [the creation of process] starts, etc. For according to what you’re saying, it appears that The Infinite did NOT bring into existence everything that would come afterwards except for the aforementioned Keser alone, and after that, KESER brought Chochmah [of Atzilus] into existence, etc. What you’re saying doesn’t make any sense, because if you say that, you’re removing from The Infinite His Divine intervention and all subsequent functions/processes, except for the first function, which is Keser of Adam Kadmon.

YehoyadaAlthough I linked the function to Keser, and I said that from Keser onwards, functions begin to branch out that have a beginning and an end; I did NOT mean that the Keser itself is the one that makes it happen without the involvement and help from The Infinite, for that would suggest a duplicity of powers. But what I really meant to say was that at the level of Keser, functions begin to branch out with the limitations of beginning and end, through the power of The Infinite’s Divine intervention, influence, and power to function. And the reason why Keser was even capable of doing this was because the function actually came from The Infinite within Keser of Adam Kadmon. But the function of The Infinite is without any intermediary, and is one simple function, which as we mentioned earlier, is Keser of Adam Kadmon.

Therefore, you should know that what I just said, that the function of Keser is a function that comes [only] with the help of The Infinite, and that’s true for ALL of the functions that we attribute to the Sefiros. Because what we’re really saying is that ALL the Sefiros perform their functions with the power of The Infinite, for without that Divine connection, they cannot function at all. So really, from this we can understand that we are attributing to The Infinite the power to make everything happen. Because when we attribute the power of all functions to Him, and we then say that everything exists and can continue to exist only because of the Divine connection and His power, even if we were to distance His function through these many different means and approaches, we still couldn’t attribute this to any separation or duplicity of power, Chas Veshalom. For since all power to function comes from Him, the One that empowers all function is The Infinite. This is a basic principle of our Kabballah that you cannot remove any function from The Infinite. However, when we refer to means as being many, that’s only because it was necessary to make the end happen. And if we say for example, that there’s a certain creation that its nature is such that it has to come into existence through the element of water, we understand that water is the product of the density of mist, and mist comes from the combination of the evaporation of liquid, earth and the like, and that there are many different things that happen within nature that are both physical and spiritual and intangible physical functions and the like. But once you say that the real cause for all this is The Infinite, the One that gives life and the power to function from above, and that the power of His Divine connection is what makes it possible for that effect to occur; in effect, you’re really attributing the credit for the function to the one that makes it happen. You therefore showed how all of existence is dependent on Him and what you’re really saying is that there IS no way for any effect to occur without Him. However, attributing a function to any Sefirah, instead of attributing it to the power of The Infinite, is definitely duplicity, which is heresy, Chas Veshalom. Study also in the Sefer Alimah, in the section called Ayin Kol (The All-Seeing Eye), Section 1, Chapter 7.

Copyright © 2015 Shaul Taub