Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Authenticity of Kabbalah pt xxi

Shadal continues his Vikuach al Chochmat haKabbalah. (See previous segment.) The guest continues his critique of the prayer attributed to Rabbi Yishmael Kohen Gadol:

"'By the greatness of Your arm they are as still as a stone,' as is written תִּפֹּל עֲלֵיהֶם אֵימָתָה וָפַחַד בִּגְדֹל זְרוֹעֲךָ יִדְּמוּ -- כָּאָבֶן "Terror and dread falleth upon them; by the greatness of Thine arm they are as still as a stone" (this verse one should say three times)

{a reference to Shemot 15:16}

that they not see me, and if they see me that they not harm me, as is written {Bereishit 19:11, about the men of Sodom at Lot's door}
יא וְאֶת-הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר-פֶּתַח הַבַּיִת, הִכּוּ בַּסַּנְוֵרִים, מִקָּטֹן, וְעַד-גָּדוֹל; וַיִּלְאוּ, לִמְצֹא הַפָּתַח. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great; so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
{Now in reverse:}
The door to find so that they wearied great and until from small with blindness they smote the house door that the men and to.

(Three times forwards and backwards one should say this verse.)"

And he said: This is not the way of prayer, but rather the way of incantation.

"And if they call me {?} they should not reach me. King of Heights, castigate them and close and seal their mouths with a stone."

And he said: With a stone! And who will give, that the mouth of this forger be closed with dirt!

"And lop of their hands and their feet so that they do not harm me and that they do not cause me evil, and turn upon them their evil counsel from me so that it does not panic me, nor any person who is with me and by be, whether in the house or in the field, whether on the sea or on dry land, to my nefesh, ruach {spirit}, neshama {soul}, and might. And Your Name which is Great, Mighty, Awesome, Powerful, and Strong, the Ineffable Name, the Name of 72, should travel and come and pitch {=dwell} with me, Ploni son of Plonit, and not with them; and they should be shamed and I should not be shamed; and they should be terrified and I should not be terrified; my enemies should be ashamed with terror and fear and trembling and horror, and I should dwell securely with you in happiness and goodness of heart, for I trust in You. And they should be scattered like straw before the wind, as is written {Bemidbar 10:35} קוּמָה ה, וְיָפֻצוּ אֹיְבֶיךָ, וְיָנֻסוּ מְשַׂנְאֶיךָ, מִפָּנֶיךָ -- 'Rise up, O LORD, and let Thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee.'

{Then say Tehillim 121:}
א שִׁיר, לַמַּעֲלוֹת:
אֶשָּׂא עֵינַי, אֶל-הֶהָרִים-- מֵאַיִן, יָבֹא עֶזְרִי.
1 A Song of Ascents. {N}
I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: from whence shall my help come?

I implore you, Metatron minister of the interior {sar hapanim}, whose name is like the name of your Master, and Azriel and Refael, Michael and Gavriel the ministering angels, that you should stand before the King, King of Kings, Hakadosh Baruch Hu, God of Gods and Master of Masters {Adonei haAdonim}."

And the man said: This is forbidden according to our Torah, and is one of the forms of idolatry.

"That you should request for me mercy via the aspect of grace, kindness, and mercy, before the Master of Mercy."

And the man said: al tzad hachen is a poetic phrase which is new in the later generations.

"To hear and to influence my prayer and my supplication, that it should be favored and accepted in holiness and purity, and all the accusers should be subdued and affected {mushpaim} under me."

And he said: ומושפעים תחתי! See that this is new.

I said to him: Perhaps one needs to say ומושפלים {and degraded}.

"That there should not be to them permission to come close to any of my borders, whether at time of prayer, whether at the time of study, or whether during any of the rest of me needs."

And he said: לימודי! He should have said תלמודי. For our teachers were very careful with these two words, and they did not say limmud except for something which was regular, such as when they said "and he seeks his limmud and does not find," and so too "do not seek honor greater than your limmud," its meaning is only more than comes to you and you are used to.

I said to him: I do not know.

"And to do by request to forgive and pardon me on all my iniquities, sins, guilts, and transgressions that I sinned, perverted, and transgressed before you."

And the man said: "Before you!" And before whom is he speaking? Is it not to the ministering angels? And yet he says "that I have transgressed before you!"

I said to him: Perhaps it is a scribal error, and one needs to read "that I have transgressed before Him."

"Whether accidentally or willfully, whether unintentionally or deliberately, whether in passing thought {hirhur} or consideration, whether in this gilgul or in another gilgul, I, Ploni son of Plonit." And perform for the sake of Your Great Name, the Ineffable Name, the Name of 72 and the Name of 42, the holy ones, pure, which are magnificent and unequivocal {?} in cleanliness and purity."

And he said to me: This is no scribal error, but rather it is complete idolatry, or at the very least it is confusion of the intellect and error of the thoughts on the part of the foolish composer, who did not know between his right and his left, and he was blessed in his heart to ascribe his craziness to holy ones who are in Heaven.

"that you {plural} all the keys of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge."

And he said: "That you {plural} take!" "Do for the sake of Your {singular} Great Name that you {plural} should take!" It is apparent that all the keys of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, were taken from the composer, and the keys of stupidity and foolishness fell to him as an eternal inheritance."

"And the key of livelihood."

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin