Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Authenticity of Kabbalah pt vii

Shadal continues his Vikuach al Chochmat haKabbalah. (See previous segment.) The author agrees to continue the conversation, and suggests reading Shomer Emunim which contains a Vikuach. The guest dismisses this book. The text of the Vikuach follows:

The author: In order that you know that I am not of those who despise wisdom, I will not refrain from bringing you to my house and from hearing from your mouth all your invectives and blasphemies. And my heart is reliant and will not fear, for the God who knows my kidneys and the simpleness of my heart, He will be in my flank {?} and will guard my feet from being captured, and He will teach my hand to wage war, to fell all your claims to the earth, and also to return you from the way of ruin upon which you travel.

And it was, that we came to the place of lodging, this was the Succah, and breakfast was placed before us, and we ate and our hearts feasted, and thanks was given to He Who Sustains the entire world with His kindness and mercy. And I {=the author} opened my mouth and I said to the man who stood at my right side to oppose me: Behold how good and how pleasant, if you are a lover of truth, that we take to us the dear book Shomer Emunim and read in it the first dispute; for that Sage takes the time to bring there the claims of those who deny the kabbalah, and he answers them one by one.

And the man laughed and said: Forfend for us to waste our time reading that disputation, for the love of the author for the wisdom of kabbalah brings him to pervert the line, and to hide under his tongue bundles and bundles of claims that one can claim against the kabbalists, as well as answers that exist upon their dreams and their words.

And you should know that in truth I read and learned in it, but many times I needed to raise my voice as I read in it, to say: How great a pauper was this Shealtiel, and how many answers he could have answered and did not answer!

I {=the author} said to him: Do you not believe that there were to our Rabbis, the authors of the Mishna and the Talmud, secrets and hidden things which were not explained in the Mishna and the Talmud?

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