Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Discussion of Maggid Meisharim -- pt viii

Shadal continues his Vikuach al Chochmat haKabbalah. (See previous segment.) Here, the guest continues his mention of how references to the identity of the maggid switch off, and specifically between Mishna and Neshama. This he takes as proof that it was Rav Karo's own neshama, that is his own thoughts, that were being communicated. The text of the Vikuach follows:

The guest: In other places you will find in the book this: "I, the Mishna, am speaking in your mouth, and I an the mother who chastises man and straightens him out."

Only, in one place (Venice, 47a, Zalkwa, 51b) you will find the Mishna is switched for Neshama {soul}.

Arise, and read: "It is I who speaks with you, your soul {neshama}, not the nefesh nor the ruach, but rather the neshama herself. And is it not so, if prophesy has ceased from Israel, from you it has not ceased, for each time I come to you to direct you in which way to go."

Is this not the thing which I have told you at the start? -- that perhaps the entire matter is only said in the way of secret {sod}, and hint and riddle.

And behold, here, at the end of the book, Maran Rav Yosef Karo saw fit to reveal his secret to those who can understand {maskilim} and that secret is that the maggid who spoke with him was only his neshama; and this secret, he hinted to it in the other places, and specifically in the first speech which came to him from the maggid (is it not written in the introduction of Rav Shlomo Alkebetz which was written in the beginning of the Lublin printing), in the word Mishna, which are the letters of Neshama, and with the nickname of "the mother who chastises man." And according to this, it is well understood who the maggid said to him, "is it not that according to what is in your will, I say."

The author: All this is a false dream that you are inventing from your heart, and there is no doubt by me that the Mishna and the Neshama which are spoken of here are a hint to the Divine Presence {shechina}, she is the congregation of Israel, she is Kingship, she is Matronita, and she is the mother who chastises man, as is made clear in sefer haZohar (chelek 3, page 74); also in sefer haPardes (the gate of ordering of kinuyim) you will find that Malchut {kingship} is called Mother and Mishna.

The guest: But you will not find Malchut called Neshama.

The author: But you will find that Malchut is called Mother by virtue of the neshamot, for all of them derive {??} from it. And how is it possible to consider that the intent was on the actual neshama, when right away and immediately he says, "and is it not so that if prophecy has ceased from Israel, from you it has not ceased?" Is it possible that he would call prophecy to the words of the Neshama of man?

The guest: Perhaps he called them prophecy in the way that King David, and Heman, Asaf, Yedutun, and the rest of the poets are called prophets, for they said their words in the way of people, but there was an Upper Spirit which stirred them, as Radak wrote in the introduction to his commentary of Tehillim.

The author: Behold I see that it is a waste of time to argue with you in these matters, which are loftier than my knowledge and your knowledge. And behold I see that all your desire is to place a blemish in the consecrated and to desecrate the glory of all desirable thing.


Anonymous said...

Josh, off topic but concerning your posts regarding how gedolim get their information presented to them. I have a strong hunch we witnessed the same exact thing that you talked about regarding arab workers and tzedokah orgs etc.. with the current situation with the couple who got married and all the fuss surrounding it. I am pretty much convinced that the metzius of the situation was a one sided affair (like the other cases). And how it was presented to them, made the decision on what they said. I wonder if you have any thoughts on this matter.

joshwaxman said...

I don't know enough about the situation, from the reports. I don't know the families or people involved, or who did what. Shidduchim / dating is often very complicated matters, with many factors, which are often not revealed to the general public. I can certainly imagine scenarios where whatever the gedolim did (and it is unclear exactly what they did) would be justified.

To give examples, and I must be clear here -- I do not know that any of the following is true in this case -- For example, from cases in Chronicles of Crisis, I know that sometimes guys in Israel with emotional problems or controlling people marry girls from America, such that the family in America cannot check well into it, or intercede if problems develop. A girl just out of high school is often not very mature, but does not realize this, and if someone takes advantage of this, it is acting dishonestly. And so on and so forth. Again, we do not know the situation. It is certainly possible that there are behind-the-scenes details that makes all of this make sense. So I would hold back judgment. I don't know what they were told, or if it was one sided, or who was responsible for each action, and so on.

So in other words, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Sure nobody but the family really knows the situation. And sure plenty of times young girls make terrible decisions etc etc. However, I just don't understand why gedolim need to make pronouncements like this. Even if this guy is terrible, what will this accomplish. I believe its a misuse, almost a politicization of big talmidai chachomim for individuals agendas. And by the way in this case, the rich father is divorced. And the mother of the girl attended the wedding, and this boy is frum. Yet from all these posters its seems he is the worst person to walk on the earth, and they have gedolim to back them up on this claim. Sure this guy can be a piece of trash, but was there ever an impartial bais din that talked to the choson and kallah before throwing them under a bus?
So we for sure have individuals with access using big talmidai chachomim for their own agenda (and telling them the "metzius")!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you are still reading this but I'll post this anyway. Here is a link to the poster concerning the ban
when you read it you will notice that it claims that both the mother and father are opposed to this wedding. We have first hand knowledge that the mother was AT the wedding and the only person who was opposing it was the divorced father. Yes it is complicated, however we can see how people are trying to use gedolim for their own agenda.

joshwaxman said...

I hadn't seen the text of the letter/kol korei before.

Even so, people are complicated. Knowing situations like this, the mother could have been against the shidduch, and perhaps even threatened not to attend the wedding, in an effort to prevent this from happening. But when it came down to it, she did not want to sever the connection to her daughter, even as she felt she was making a terrible mistake -- and she did not want to miss this event in her daughters' life.

This is an extremely plausible scenario, and things like this play out like this all the time by intermarriages, or other types of situations. People are complication, relationships are complicated, and life is complicated.

Once again, I don't know the situation, and it is near impossible for me to know the situation. It is *possible* that these rabbis who signed on were not correctly apprised of the metzius. It is also possible they were. (As far as I heard, it is unclear who authorized the kol korei, and the protesters, etc.) Which makes me extremely hesitant in this case to say anything one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

I really don't either know the case or the particulars. The only thing that bothers me is that either way a psak is being rendered through semi-political means. The politics of psak bothers me. Judaism should not be used as a political tool, it should be reserved for religion, for theology/philosophy, for learning about halacha. There was a reason why in bavel their was a separation between the nassi and the reish galusa. It wasn't always perfect then, but today the Rav needs to be higher then the murky waters of politics. So again the politicization of psak bothers me more then the actual psak, whoever might be right in this case.


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