Random Spiritual Meditations 6/20/2022

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  • What matters are your good deeds, supported by your intentions and your faith in God and God alone.
  • Why was Jesus killed? MLK? John Lennon? JFK? Because all of them effectively challenged the corruption of the elites. They woke people up.
  • We are in a spiritual war between good and evil. It cannot be won on your behalf. Only you can do this. When enough of us individually repent, the suffering ends.
  • What matters are your good deeds, supported by your intentions and your faith in God and God alone.
  • It is the small things that tell you the truth about people. Leaving a gas station in a predominantly Christian area, a gentleman held the door for me politely, stepped back and said “Excuse me, ma’am.” Another time, attending an event also in a Christian area, a man holds up a small wallet and says to me, as I am walking away, “Ma’am is this yours?” It was tiny; he had picked it up from the ground near where people were playing sports; he didn’t want it to get stolen or lost. It is not only kindness, but also honesty; the Christians who call out immorality from whatever direction it appears. It is Christian charity; the determination to do what is right without regard to money. As a Jewish person, I was once disillusioned with my faith, mainly because I felt I just wasn’t good enough. I got my start coming back to faith from a Christian teaching that God loves me personally and always.
  • Because of forced conversions we no longer know who all the Jewish people are. I personally met at least two people whose maternal lineage is Jewish but they didn’t know it. If your mother, grandmother, great grandmother, etc. is or was Jewish that makes you Jewish as well, even if you converted. Similarly many people think they are Jewish because their father is or was Jewish, but they’re not.
  • In a local election a slate of “progressives” is being backed by a real estate developer. If they get voted on, the developer-backed candidates are indebted to him. All of those candidates are linked to each other. Regardless of political party, money and connections are what matter. Wherever an agenda counter to God takes root, follow the money and the social network. See who promotes the narrative — who truly empowers with honesty and integrity and unity among ordinary people, and who distracts citizens from effecting real change.
  • According to Jewish faith, the world ends at year 6000. We are at 5782. This leaves us 218 years. It ends with faith (positively) or destruction, God forbid. The Messiah, of the Davidic line, judges who is good and who is not. If bad people have a database of DNA they know who is of the Davidic line. If they control the surrogacy market (human trafficking) they can know the DNA. If manage to get babies born in tanks then they control knowledge of who the mothers are—perhaps they will artificially manage eggs. We need to wake up and work together.

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

Satan 359

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The supplemental reading on this week’s Torah portion, Behaalotecha (Numbers 8:1-12:16) is Zechariah 2:14-4:7.

In this passage, the prophet Zechariah relays a vision of the Jewish High Priest, Joshua, being judged. He is standing in front of an angel. To his right is “the Accuser,” also known as Satan.

וַיַּרְאֵ֗נִי אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֙עַ֙ הַכֹּהֵ֣ן הַגָּד֔וֹל עֹמֵ֕ד לִפְנֵ֖י מַלְאַ֣ךְ יְהֹוָ֑ה וְהַשָּׂטָ֛ן עֹמֵ֥ד עַל־יְמִינ֖וֹ לְשִׂטְנֽוֹ”׃”

“He further showed me Joshua, the high priest, standing before the angel of the LORD, and the Accuser standing at his right to accuse him.”

(Zechariah 3:1)

You don’t have to know Hebrew to see that the word “Satan” means the same thing as “Accuser.”

  • Look at the Hebrew: שָּׂטָ֛ן
  • The same root word: “And the Satan” (“Ve-HaSatan”) וְהַשָּׂטָ֛ן
  • The same root word: “To accuse him” (“Le-Sitno”) לְשִׂטְנֽוֹ

Satan has no power outside of God. God created Satan for the purpose of giving people a choice between good and evil.As part of having a choice, Satan is empowered to tempt people. Once the person is tempted, and sins, Satan can later accuse them of sinning.

You can see that it makes no sense to worship Satan, but the cognitive fallacy which lead people to think so is part of the trap he sets.

The Gematria of Satan is 359.

The Gematria of Numbers 13:10 is also equivalent to 359.

In Numbers 13:10, we learn that one of the spies–sent by Moses to gather intelligence on the Land of Israel before the Jewish people conquered it–was named “Gadiel the son of Sodi.”

This is an interesting name. It only appears one time in the Bible. It contains the word for “great” (Gadol) as well as one of God’s names. It is an indicator that the spies were the elite, “the cream of Israelite society.” Yet as we know they came back and said that the land was unconquerable. This led to a general mutiny.

God was furious. He wanted to kill all the Israelites on the spot for their lack of faith. The only reason He spared them was that Moses argued it would look bad if He did. Moses said that the world would look at the episode and gossip against God, saying that He wasn’t powerful enough to capture the land of Israel.

Ultimately the spies were punished with death – from an illness that originated in their slandering tongues. The people were punished with wandering – because they allowed the spies to destroy their faith in God’s promise.

The commentary Baal HaTurim notices that Gadiel’s father’s name, “Sodi,” (סודי) means both “secret” and “best friend,” as a best friend knows your secrets. The link here is God’s anguish that the faithful have betrayed Him, causing immense, untold, long-lasting harm:

“סודי ב’. גדיאל בן סודי תעבוני כל מתי סודי המרגלים שהיו מתי סודי ששלחו אותם לתור הארץ ולגלות כל סודותיה תעבוני שהוציאו דבה וגרמו שנקבע להם בכיה לדורות”

“Sodi, son of. The name ‘Gadiel the son of Sodi’ is a reference to “all my closest friends hate me.” [This name is a reference to God saying that] the spies, who were My most intimate friends [meaning that they were Godly], that I sent them to scout out the land and to reveal her secrets, hate me, that they slandered [the land of Israel] and caused them [the Jewish people] to be destined to mourn for the generations.”

Baal HaTurim, Numbers 13:10

The fact that this Bible verse has the same Gematria as Satan adds a few different dimensions to the meaning of “rebellion against God,” ideas which are a bit counterintuitive.

  • The most spiritually advanced people are the ones most prone to falling.
  • Spiritual failure is not just succumbing to temptation, it is a form of betrayal of God.
  • God is close to us, not distant in the Heavens like many think. When people who are highly spiritual, who have ascended to an incredible level of holiness, break away, He “experiences” (to anthropomorphize something we cannot truly perceive) extreme grief.
  • Slander is a very serious sin – much more serious than people think.

We also learn that the relationship between God and the Jewish people is like a husband and wife, so that God relays through the prophet Hosea that in the time of Redemption, the Jews will no longer cheat on God, but will return to Him – calling him “Ishi,” or “My Man,” “My Beloved,” not “Baali,” “My Master,” akin to the idol “Baal.” There will be no more sexual slavery.

“Rebuke your mother, rebuke her—for she is not My wife and I am not her husband. And let her put away her harlotry from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts. Else will I strip her naked, and leave her as on the day she was born. And I will make her like a wilderness, render her like desert land, and let her die of thirst….she thought, ‘I will go after my lovers, who supply my bread and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.’….Thus will I punish her for the days of the Baalim, on which she brought them offerings; when, decked with earrings and jewels, she would go after her lovers, forgetting Me—declares the LORD. Assuredly, I will speak coaxingly to her, and lead her through the wilderness, and speak to her tenderly. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a plowland of hope. There she shall respond as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt. And in that day —declares the LORD— You will call [Me] Ishi, and no more will you call Me Baali. For I will remove the names of the Baalim from her mouth. And they shall nevermore be mentioned by name.”

(Hosea 2:4-19)

Words with Gematria 359, related to the worship of Satan:

  • השדים – which means “the demons.”
  • הִשְׁמִיד – “he was destroyed.”
  • שטים – Shittim – this is where the Jewish people succumbed to the Moabite seductresses, ended up worshiping Baal-Peor and the sinners were killed.

Genesis 2:11 ends with the words “there is the gold” (שָׁ֖ם הַזָּהָֽב), which also has Gematria 359, indicating that the obsession with money is also Satanic.


By Dr. Dannielle (Dossy) Blumenthal. All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

God Is Good, & God Is Eternal. The Evil Ones Are Dying.

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The essence of the world is God, and God is good, and goodness is eternal.

But evil has no independent existence of its own, and it ceases to exist in the presence of unfettered holiness.

Even though it seems like they’re winning, the truth is that the evil ones are disintegrating, for the people are waking up and walking away from them.

What you see are only their spiritual shrieks, their last acts of resistance.

Our spiritual lives are complicated. Our deeds are good and bad. We have accumulated negative baggage as we have traveled through life and made mistakes.

But as we attach ourselves to God more and more consciously, we begin to move faster toward the world of Eternal Truth, of goodness, and we shed the dirty spiritual clothes of our past.

Evil is a burden. It isn’t who you are. Live by your best values.

Let the bad stuff go.

– Based on the teachings of Chabad Chassidus and the survivor account of Sarah Ruth Ashcraft, who told of her bodily fluids being stolen by her traffickers.


By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

Moshiach

The Messianic age is a promise—Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) 31:26-34:

26) “Behold days are coming, says the Lord, and I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with seed of man and seed of beasts.

27) “And it shall be, as I have watched over them to uproot and to break down, to demolish and to destroy and to afflict, SO WILL I WATCH OVER THEM TO BUILD AND TO PLANT, says the Lord.

28) “In those days, they shall no longer say, ‘Fathers have eaten unripe grapes, and the teeth of the children shall be set on edge.’

29) “But each man shall die for his iniquity; whoever eats the unripe grapes [false teachings/idol worship]- his teeth shall be set on edge.

30) “BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, and I will form a covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, A NEW COVENANT.

31) “Not like the covenant that I formed with their forefathers on the day I took them by the hand to take them out of the land of Egypt, that they broke My covenant, although I was a lord over them, says the Lord.

32) “For this is the covenant that I will form with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I WILL PLACE MY LAW IN THEIR MIDST AND I WILL INSCRIBE IT UPON THEIR HEARTS, and I will be their God and they shall be My people.

33) “And no longer shall one teach his neighbor or [shall] one [teach] his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for THEY SHALL ALL KNOW ME [they will not be susceptible to false teachings] from their smallest to their greatest, says the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will no longer remember.

34) “So said the Lord, Who gives the sun to illuminate by day, the laws of the moon and the stars to illuminate at night, Who stirs up the sea and its waves roar, the Lord of Hosts is His name.

35) “If these laws depart from before Me, says the Lord, so will the seed of Israel cease being a nation before Me for all time.

36) “So said the Lord: If the heavens above will be measured and the foundations of the earth below will be fathomed, I too will reject all the seed of Israel because of all they did, says the Lord.

37) “Behold days are coming, says the Lord, AND THE CITY SHALL BE BUILT TO THE LORD, from the tower of Hananel until the gate of the corner.

38) “And the measuring line shall go out further opposite it upon the hill of Gareb, and it shall turn to Goah.

39) “And the whole valley of the dead bodies and the ash and all the fields until the Kidron Valley, until the corner of the Horse Gate to the east, shall be holy to the Lord; IT SHALL NEVER AGAIN BE UPROOTED OR TORN DOWN FOREVER.”

Don’t Hate God Because People Act Bad

From synagogue yesterday:

The Lubavitcher Rebbe of blessed memory once wrote to a man who was angry 😡 at religion 🕍because people act bad. Boy could I relate☝️. The Rebbe’s response ✍️
✅ In any dispute both sides are wrong to some extent.
✅ Their behavior has nothing to do with the Torah being true just as 2 x 2 = 4 always
✅ The Torah was given for your benefit, so don’t miss out :-)👍
(Adapted from “L’Chaim,” 6/10/2022)


By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

How Christians Are Saving The World

https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9952/jewish/Chapter-24.htm

Here is an example of a word that needs to be read in context and used properly, but which is misused.

In the Bible (Numbers 24:20) the diviner Balaam—who took money to curse the Israelites but wound up blessing them instead—said: “Amalek was the first among nations [‘goyim’ in Hebrew], and his fate shall be everlasting destruction.”

The word “goyim” is the plural of “goy” and refers to the evil nations of the world, who practiced sorcery and witchcraft, who had ritual prostitutes and sacrificed children, and who worshiped Baal/Moloch.

It does not refer to Christians.

The nations of the world—unless they followed God—were disconnected from the Divine, our life force, and so in the end times Balaam says (with Biblical endorsement) that there will be nothing left of them. They will simply evaporate.

Maimonides credits Christians in particular with bringing God to the nations of the world. (Source: Letter of Rabbi Jacob Emden)

By doing so, the Christians saved the nations from destruction.

In fact, anyone, of whatever religion or no particular religion, who brings God to the people of the world is saving those people’s lives, in a very literal way.


By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

The Evil Legacy of Jacob Frank

“Frank had also stated that conversion to Catholicism was merely part of their journey. It was meant to be a necessary stage in the eventual revelation of a future religion called daas (based on the Hebrew word for religion or knowledge, daat).”

https://www.jpost.com/judaism/on-this-day-230-years-since-jewish-messiah-claimant-jacob-franks-death-688402

Jacob Frank was a false messiah who lived in the 18th century. He followed in the path of Sabbatai Zevi before him, but uniquely caused the public desecration of the Torah and burning of the Talmud, the desecration and exploitation of women and human intimacy, corruption of the wider society, and more.

The Frankists were excommunicated by the rabbis and converted to Christianity, but it was a false conversion just as the forced conversion by Sabbatai Zevi the century before (in 1666) had been false.

We need to be concerned about these people and those who follow the secret teachings of Sabbatianism-Frankism for the following reasons.

  1. Sabbatians and Frankists hated the faithful observance of Judaism, the rabbis and the Talmud, which is the source of Jewish law, instead distorting the teachings of the Kabbalah to develop a philosophy of sin rather than of sacred behavior.
  2. Sabbatians and Frankists actively inserted themselves into the Jewish religion, through prayerbooks and scholarship and in the larger non-Jewish culture of multiple countries, through false allegiance to Islam and Christianity and through social ties.
  3. They advocated total secrecy, and both religious and secular Jews have minimized any discussion of them for many reasons, including sheer embarrassment (Scholem).
  4. The Frankists actively persecuted observant Jews. They falsely accused the actual observant Jews of using Christian blood in religious rituals, and of being anti-Christian through the Talmud. The latter accusation led to the public burning of the Talmud, a national tragedy for the Jewish people.
  5. Frank was literally training an army and sought to lead an army of “ten million Jews and one million gentiles” (Mandel; this is portrayed in the movie “Daas” by Adrian Panek).

What follows below is a list of actual cultural artifacts of Frankism to be aware of.

Antelman, To Eliminate The Opiate, vol. 2
  1. Secret societies:
    • There were and are many secret societies throughout history that connected with one another. For example, these connections include the Sabbatians, the Illuminati, the Jacobins and the Communists (Antelman) but there are many more.
    • As a practical matter it is impossible to know who they all are or to know which people are part of a secret society, but it is possible to know and combat their symbols, linguistic codes and behaviors.
    • The notion of “no-religion one world religion” based on “knowledge” sounds a lot like what we know of as the “new world order” characterized by a fetish for desecrating the sacred, idolizing the self, and promoting the attainment of knowledge at all costs.
  2. There is a theological imperative in Judaism to reinforce authentic observance. The most prominent Hasidic movement, Chabad, recognizes this as do other Hasidic communities:
    • Jews believe that God does not take human form.
    • Jews do not believe in wonder-workers who advocate abandoning the commandments.
    • Jews believe that the commandments (mitzvot) can only properly be understood through Talmudic study.
    • The knowledge of Kabbalistic concepts should only be incorporated by people who are already observant and of a mature age (40) and then shared to deepen one’s understanding of observance.
  3. The role of women:
    • Contemporary Jews mostly do not understand how the Sabbatians-Frankists pimped the women out and called it empowerment. Jacob Frank did this with his daughter Eva and in a twisted way called that sacred, even Messianic.
    • It therefore cannot be overstated that the role of women in Judaism comes with gender-based responsibilities that include modesty in particular.
    • The Moshiach to come is male, not female.
  4. There is no such thing as a Jewish homeland outside of Israel, but this is what Jacob Frank promoted. The name he gave it was “territorialism” (Mandel).
  5. The families which actively understood and promoted Sabbatianism-Frankism will likely never be identified fully. Even if they were, it is unlikely that their living descendants today either know or believe in this philosophy. Nevertheless, two prominent descendants include Louis Brandeis and Benjamin M. Cardozo (Mandel). Brandeis apparently “considered Eva Frank a saint.”

Recommended Reading

Encyclopedia Entries

“Sacred Orgies: the Extremist Sabbatean Sect of Jacob Frank”

“Frankism”

Wikipedia Entry

“To Eliminate The Opiate” Volume 2 by Rabbi Marvin S. Antelman

“The Militant Messiah” By Arthur Mandel

https://archive.org/details/TheMilitantMessiahArthurMandelB/mode/2up

https://archive.org/details/TheMilitantMessiahArthurMandelB/mode/2up

The book “The Mixed Multitude” by Pawel Maciejko

The Book “In Praise Of The Baal Shem Tov” – translated by Dan Ben-Amos and Jerome R. Mintz

https://archive.org/details/inpraiseofbaalsh0000dobb/page/n5/mode/2up

The Movie “Daas” (2011) About Jacob Frank

Trailer (Vimeo) – English Subtitles

Full Movie On YouTube – No Subtitles

Note that the YouTube video does not have subtitles.

Read more about the movie

Posts Here With Category: “Sabbatianism – Frankism”

https://drdannielleblumenthal.wordpress.com/category/sabbatianism-frankism/

See especially:


By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

It Ends In Ukraine: Chabad Hasidism as the Antidote to Sabbatian-Frankists

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menachem_Mendel_Schneerson#/media/File:Rabbi_Menachem_Mendel_Schneerson2_crop.jpg

Karma

Right Way

“Do not add to the word which I command you, nor diminish from it, to observe the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

Deuteronomy 4:2

“If there will arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of a dream, and he gives you a sign or a wonder.”

Deuteronomy 13:2

“Moses has to warn the people that regardless of the potential seducer, even if he has authenticated himself with miracles, when his instructions contravene what is written in the Torah, you must ignore him and treat him as an imposter, as a false prophet.”

Tzeror Hamor, commentary on Deuteronomy 13:2, cited in https://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/1598725/jewish/Miracles-Prove-Nothing.htm
Graphic by the author. https://www.instagram.com/p/CdoqAzovePv/

A Rebellion By Jews Against God And Torah

The 18th-century rebellion by Jacob Frank (1726-1791) and his followers against Judaism is barely known of today.

“The figure of Jacob Frank – an 18th-century Sabbatian heretic from Podolia who led a few thousand Jews to the biggest conversion to Catholicism in Polish history – has long been part of a closed chapter of history, drawing attention only from specialists in Jewish mysticism.”

Mikołaj Gliński, “Does Jacob Frank Hold the Key to Polish Culture?” (Culture.pl, Apr 16 2015), https://culture.pl/en/article/does-jacob-frank-hold-the-key-to-polish-culture (https://archive.ph/fuuXH

Timeline

  1. 1626 – Birth of Sabbatai Zevi
  2. 1648 – Sabbatai Tsevi declares himself Messiah
  3. 1666 – Conversion of Sabbatai Zevi to Islam
  4. 1698 – Birth of the Ba’al Shem Tov
  5. 1726 – Jacob Frank born
  6. 1727 – Frank’s family moves due to accusation of being Sabbatians
  7. 1755 – Frank goes to Poland “as a Sabbatian Messiah”
  8. 1757 – Frankists force the rabbis to defend against the charge that the Talmud disparages Christianity. Frankists declared “winner.” Talmud burned in public.
  9. 1759 – Frankists accuse Jews of using Christian blood in rituals leading to a second debate which the Rabbis win (“energetically repulsed their opponents.”) The Ba’al Shem Tov participated.
  10. 1759 – Frank both declares himself messiah and leads mass conversion to Catholicisim
  11. February 6, 1760 – Frank is found out and arrested for heresy
  12. May 21/22, 1760 (first day of Shavuot) – Death of the Ba’al Shem Tov
  13. 1772 – Frank released from jail
  14. 1772-1786 – Frank holds court in Brno (social influence)
  15. 1786 – Frank moves to Offenbach, Frankfurt
  16. 1791/2 – Death of Frank

Impact

  • Excommunication
  • Mass conversion
  • Mass failure of rabbinic leadership
  • Distortion and abuse of Kabbalah
  • Blood libel against the Jewish people
  • Public burning of the Talmud
  • A hidden strata of Jews who practiced perverted rituals while hiding under the mantle of Judaism, Islam or Catholicism
  • A continuing perversion of Jewish ideals masquerading as Judaism

Complete Heresy

  • The core element of Sabbatianism is its abuse of Jewish mysticism to justify defiance of God. This is complete heresy.
  • God, throughout the Torah, told us to follow the commandments – not to add to or subtract from them. We sanctify the world by doing that.
  • God explicitly tells us not to follow the person who shows signs and wonders but advocates sin.

Belief System

Below I am condensing a lot of convoluted gobbledygook as best I can. My primary source is Gershom Scholem. See reference list for more information.

  • Essentially Sabbatians believe that it is not only possible but desirable to desecrate God’s name.
  • They start with a Jewish doctrine which says that God will redeem the world when it is all good or all bad. They argue that people can never be all good.
  • They continue on by saying that we learn in Jewish mysticism of the power of man to affect the upper worlds. They argue that man should proactively be evil to force God to redeem the world.
  • At first they said that only the messiah himself should violate the Torah. Then they said that every Jew should, and that they should hide it.

“Moderates”

Sabbatai Tsevi era

  • Bought into the cult of personality that was Shabbetai Tsevi
  • Initially many rabbis bought into it
  • Embraced Tsevi’s trumpeting of his read on Kabbalah over rabbinic authority (the Talmud) – in particular the idea that man could bring the redemption through actions that affect the spiritual world, rather than waiting for God
  • Emphasized popularly accessible devotions such as prayer and repentance
  • Had their own Sabbatean scholarship and prayer books
  • Accepted Tsevi’s heretical pronouncement that he somehow needed to enter the realm of impurity and operate there in defiance of the Jewish commandments – he even invented a blessing called “blessed is He who permits the forbidden.”
  • Accepted that Tsevi engaged women in promiscuity.
  • Justified the conversion of Tsevi by saying it was one of his duties in the world.
  • Continued to follow him after his death

“Radicals”

Jacob Frank era

  • Still a cult of personality
  • By now the movement was discredited among the rabbis
  • Extended the original heresy and called for everyone to sin
  • Added that people should sin without revealing their true intent or allegiance – the goal was to affirmatively commit sins (“descent into the realm of the kelipot”) to force God to bring the Messiah (“necessary apostasy.”)
  • Built an ideology of God incarnated in multiple successive messiahs, first Tsevi, then Jacob Frank, then a future female (I am not clear if the idea of God-in-man started with Tsevi)
https://www.commentary.org/articles/gershom-scholem/the-holiness-of-sin/ (https://archive.ph/MoZyu)

While they believed in God Himself, they also argued that the Messiah is actually three successive Messiahs which are God in human form, and who should be followed as such. These were comprised in turn of Sabbatai Tsevi, then Jacob Frank, and then a female yet to be named. (Gershom Scholem)

Daat – Knowledge

Calling this out and leaving it as a fragment due to the similarity between “knowledge” and the belief system of the Illuminati.

“Further, Frank had also stated that conversion to Catholicism was merely part of their journey. It was meant to be a necessary stage in the eventual revelation of a future religion called daas (based on the Hebrew word for religion or knowledge, daat).”

https://www.jpost.com/judaism/on-this-day-230-years-since-jewish-messiah-claimant-jacob-franks-death-688402

How Did The Rabbis Fail To Stop This?

They tried:

  • Excommunication
  • Banning the books
  • Establishing an age requirement for the study of Kabbalah
  • Burning the records of who had been involved

“As long as Sabbatianism remained a vital force within the Jewish ghetto, threatening to undermine the very existence of rabbinic Judaism, its opponents labored ceaselessly to root it out and systematically destroyed whatever of its writings came into their possession, “including [even] the sacred names of God [azkarot] which they contain,” as the bans upon them read.”

https://www.commentary.org/articles/gershom-scholem/the-holiness-of-sin/

None of it worked.

They were presented with an array of challenges:

  1. Failed leaders: Many rabbis actually followed Sabbateanism because of the brilliance of Shabbatai Tsevi and the permitted elements of Kabbalistic theology incorporated into his message (e.g. partnering with God through prayer and penitence).
  2. Disunited leadership: The rabbinic Establishment was somewhat divided. One group didn’t take him seriously. Another was forced to go along with it (literally) by the Sabbatians. Others were persuaded by the endorsement of other rabbis. Finally, the most steadfast anti-Sabbatian rabbis were told to pipe down so as not to provoke undue attention to the Jews – they didn’t need more persecution.
  3. Incorporation of into Judaism: Elements of Sabbateanism were in the prayer books themselves.
  4. False signs and wonders: The people had seen what they thought was “prophecy.”
  5. Rationalizations: The people were told that the apostasy of Sabbatai Tsevi was not to be copied

It may sound like such ideas defy common sense, but during the mid-1600s, in the aftermath of the Khmelnitsky massacres and desperate for salvation, the people fell prey to apostasy. Scholem:

https://www.commentary.org/articles/gershom-scholem/the-holiness-of-sin/

5 Reasons This History Is Buried

As Scholem notes, there are a lot of reasons why Jewish people either don’t know or don’t talk about this heresy very much.

“Bear in mind in dealing with the history of Sabbatianism that powerful interests and emotions have often been at stake. Each for reasons of his own, all those who have written on the subject in the past shared one belief: the less importance attributed to the Sabbatian movement, the better.”

https://www.commentary.org/articles/gershom-scholem/the-holiness-of-sin/

One factor Scholem doesn’t talk about is insider threat: The episode proves that Jewish people were tempted by a charismatic heretic to almost renounce our faith, and that Christian missionary activity and/or religious persecution is a nearly immaterial factor compared with our own. (In fact, during the time when Jacob Frank operated in the 18th century, the Catholic community was not trying to persuade or force Jewish people to convert.

Pawel Maciejko in his book The Mixed Multitude does bring this up, noting that the Frankists called the faithful the “Erev Rav,” intentionally trying to reverse the dynamic of who was right and who was trying to overthrow the faith.

Second, as Scholem explains, the episode was deeply embarrassing to the religious, bringing their integrity into question:

“Authors and historians of the Orthodox camp, for their part, have been anxious to belittle and even distort the overall role of Sabbatianism in order to safeguard the reputations, as they have conceived of them, of certain honored religious figures of the past. Such apologetics have had their inevitable effect upon the writing of history, as has the fundamental outlook of their proponents, tending as it does to idealize religious life in the ghetto at the expense of completely ignoring the deep inner conflicts and divisions to which not even the rabbis were necessarily immune. To acknowledge the Sabbatianism of eminent rabbis in Jerusalem, Adrianople, Constantinople, or Izmir, Prague, Hamburg, or Berlin, has been in the eyes of such authors openly to impeach the integrity of an entire body of men who were never supposed to be other than learned and virtuous defenders of Jewish tradition.”

https://www.commentary.org/articles/gershom-scholem/the-holiness-of-sin/

Third, prominent Jewish families are Sabbatians or descended from Sabbatians and so associated with their ideas.

“Secularist historians, on the other hand, have been at pains to deemphasize the role of Sabbatianism for a different reason. Not only did most of the families once associated with the Sabbatian movement in Western and Central Europe continue to remain afterward within the Jewish fold, but many of their descendants, particularly in Austria, rose to positions of importance during the 19th century as prominent intellectuals, great financiers, and men of high political connections. Such persons, needless to say, could scarcely have been expected to approve of attempts to “expose” their “tainted” lineage, and in view of their stature in the Jewish community it is not surprising that their wishes should have carried weight.”

https://www.commentary.org/articles/gershom-scholem/the-holiness-of-sin/

Rivka Levy has even argued that Britain’s “royal family” is descended from one of these families, the Shorrs.

Fourth, we are simply missing a lot of information.

“Furthermore, in an age when Jewish scholarship itself was considered to be in part an extension of the struggle for political emancipation, the climate for research in so sensitive an area was by no means generally favorable. In consequence, those Jewish scholars who had access to the wealth of Sabbatian documents and eyewitness reports that were still to be found early in the century failed to take advantage of the opportunity, while by the time a later generation arrived on the scene the sources had been destroyed and were no longer available even to anyone who might have desired to make use of them.”

https://www.commentary.org/articles/gershom-scholem/the-holiness-of-sin/

Fifth, the Sabbatians/Frankists are hiding who they are.

“The survivors of the Frankists in Poland and of Dönmeh or “apostates” in Salonika formed yet a third group having a direct interest in disguising the historical facts. These two Sabbatian sects, both of which formally renounced the Jewish religion (the Dönmeh converting to Islam in 1683, the Frankists to Catholicism in 1759), continued to adhere to their secret identities long after their defection from their mother faith; the Dönmeh, in fact, did not disappear until the present generation, while in the case of the Frankists, whose history in the course of the 19th century is obscure, it is impossible to determine at exactly what point in time they were finally swallowed up by the rest of Polish society. There is reason to suspect that until the eve of World War I many original manuscripts and documents were preserved by both these groups, particularly by a number of Frankist families in Warsaw; but how much of this material may yet be uncovered, and how much has been purposely destroyed by its owners in order to conceal forever the secret of their descent, is in no way ascertainable.”

https://www.commentary.org/articles/gershom-scholem/the-holiness-of-sin/

(Some of the Dönmeh eventually joined the Young Turks. The “Committee of Union and Progress,” “a secret revolutionary organization and political party,” part of the YT, carried out the Armenian genocide of World War I.)

A variety of approaches can be seen in contemporary Judaism in dealing with the Sabbatian past.

  1. We don’t normally teach it or talk about it – collective amnesia – rather we focus on external threats. We don’t want people to be tempted again.
  2. We don’t acknowledge which rabbis and/or families were involved several centuries ago so as not to encourage controversy or undue attention – we also don’t want to unfairly smear people who are not involved in such practices anymore.
  3. We discourage a resurgence of Sabbatianism by overemphasizing the study of Talmud and underemphasizing the meaning behind the observances – for fear of raising the specter of Sabbateanism again.
  4. We try to force women into very narrow roles to prevent them from playing a part in a resurgent Sabbateanism – thus the feminism/antifeminism debate.
  5. For the Jewish majority, which is not religious, the idea of self-help is incorporated into the culture (e.g. Zionism, focusing on persecution) while setting aside the religious elements.

A Populist Perverted Sect

The sect infiltrated all three monotheistic religions, and within Judaism aimed especially to overthrow the rule of Jewish law.

“On arriving in Poland in 1755 as a Sabbatian Messiah, Frank probably didn’t know Polish nor Yiddish, which was the language of the great majority of Polish Jews. Still, within a couple of years, he became the most influential figure of the rebellion against traditional Rabbinic Judaism in Poland.

https://culture.pl/en/article/does-jacob-frank-hold-the-key-to-polish-culture (https://archive.ph/fuuXH)

On the forced conversion of Sabbatai Tsevi in 1666, his followers then became false Muslims (Dönmeh).

When Jacob Frank got into trouble, he led his followers in converting to Catholicism (Christianity) under false pretenses.

Most Rabbis Were Glad To See Them Go

Out of character for Jewish leaders, who typically mourn a conversion out of the faith, the predominant rabbinic Jewish response to losing these troublemakers was essentially relief.

“Many Jews saw the conversion of Frank and his group as a God-given miracle and a great victory for Judaism. Entire communities celebrated.”

Pawel Maciejko, The Mixed Multitude: Jacob Frank and the Frankist Movement, 1755-1816

The Ba’al Shem Tov Lost His Life

However, the Ba’al Shem Tov (“Master of the Good Name,” or “Besht”), who had fought this group for its incorrect practices, may have died from it.

“Among early Jewish accounts of the 1759 conversion, only one departed from the prevailing triumphant mood and expressed radically different sentiments. Israel Ba’al Shem Tov, known as the BeSh”T (1698-1760), who was the founder of Hasidism, the most important spiritual movement in Judaism of the period, was said to have bemoaned the Lwow mass apostasy or even to have died of pain caused by it. According to the story recorded in the hagiographic collection Shivhe ha-BeSh”T, the Ba’al Shem Tov laid the blame for the eruption of the entire affair on the Jewish establishment; he was ‘very angry with the rabbis and said that it was because of them, since they invented lies of their own.’ The leader of Hasidism saw Frank and his group as part of the mystical body of Israel and presented their baptism as the amputation of a limb from the Shekhinah, the Divine Presence on earth.”

Pawel Maciejko, The Mixed Multitude: Jacob Frank and the Frankist Movement, 1755-1816

The anger of the Ba’al Shem Tov at the rabbis for their “lies” is not connected to the Sabbateans but rather to a charge of “false introductions” which we do not understand.

“One Yom Kippur Eve the Besht perceived a serious charge brought against the Jews that the oral tradition would no longer be theirs. He was very angry with the rabbis and said that it was because of them, since they invented lies of their own and wrote false introductions.* [* Unfortunately we could not clarify the meaning of these sentences to our satisfaction. The “false introductions” which are mentioned in the text may refer to introductions to books which the rabbis gave to new authors.] He said that all the Tannaim and Amoraim were brought before the heavenly court.”

https://archive.org/details/inpraiseofbaalsh0000dobb/page/54/mode/2up?view=theater&q=heard+still+more+from+rabbi

The death of the Besht is more likely the spiritual toll or penalty for fighting against other Jews in public, in the 1759 debate where he successfully defended against the charge that the Talmud is anti-Christian.

 “On the seventh day of the Passover Rabbi Pinhas perceived within the prayer that it was decreed that the Besht would soon pass away because of his fight against the sect of Shabbetai Tsevi.”

In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov, p. 255 https://archive.org/details/inpraiseofbaalsh0000dobb/page/254/mode/2up?view=theater&q=+Tsevi

Frankist Influence On The Elites

This entire affair could be a footnote of history if not for four things:

  1. The Frankists are religiously devoted to evil deeds.
  2. The Frankists carefully cultivated elite contacts.
  3. The Frankists got a foothold in Judaism, Islam, and Catholicism.
  4. The Frankists intermarried.
  5. The Frankists operate in total secrecy.

This means that they are an existential threat of unknown proportions.

If you can find it, Frank is depicted in the movie “Daas” (2011), featured in the 2011 New York Jewish Film Festival. One reviewer of “Daas” points out the movie’s emphasis on Frankism as an “influence” on Polish culture of the time:

“‘Daas’ ….recalls the influence Frank and his followers (Frankists) had on the upper spheres of Polish society once they had assimilated. Their philosophies are said to have had an influence on the romantic poetry of Adam Mickiewicz and other major Polish poets.

https://culture.pl/en/work/daas-adrian-panek (https://archive.ph/9b1UV)

What Hasidism Offers – An Antidote To The Heresy

The Ba’al Shem Tov, in developing the Hasidic approach to Judaism, emphasized three things:

  • Concentration
  • Communion with God
  • Constant enthusiasm about keeping the commandments

Hasidism also emphasizes closeness to the “Tzaddik” — the holy man, the righteous man, the Rebbe — as a means of drawing closer to God.

It is outside the scope of this post to develop the theology of Hasidism more fully.

Suffice it to say that Hasidism removes the “non-kosher” ideas and practices of Sabbatianism-Frankism while keeping the ones that work for the people.

Chabad Hasidism

In contemporary Jewish life, Chabad alone has taken on the task of going into spiritually devoid or challenging environments and establishing centers of Jewish observance.

Thus as a child I joined the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson) organization, “Tzivos HaShem” – Army of God.

I was fortunate enough to meet the Rebbe.

Throughout my life I have in some way been aligned with Chabad.

References / For Further Study

https://www.commentary.org/articles/gershom-scholem/the-holiness-of-sin/embed/#?secret=RFja1km68f#?secret=aPJNWwNatY

https://www.rivkalevy.com/alexander-sender-shor-and-prince-william/embed/#?secret=yJ1vuMFIPo


By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

The Baal Shem Tov Died of Grief From Sabbatian Blasphemers

The Baal Shem Tov, of blessed memory. Source: Wikipedia/Creative Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Baal_Shem_Tov.jpg

Rabbi Israel Ben Eliezer (~1698-1760), the founder of Hasidism, is a revered Jewish figure known as the “Ba’al Shem Tov” (“possessor of a good reputation”). The central tenet of Hasidism is that any person can connect to God immediately, personally and directly, particularly through prayer. Though he did not leave behind a book, his students collected stories about his life in the manuscript In Praise of the Ba’al Shem Tov (1814-1815). (Wikipedia)

The Ba’al Shem Tov was a wonder worker.

“Not alone a teacher or sage, an interpreter of the law, or a leader of his people, the Baal Shem Tov was also an adept of the secret names of God, the knowledge of which enabled him to perform wonders. He is thus clearly a figure out of theurgic Kabbalism.”

https://archive.ph/ooFFR

Yet he was an inscrutable figure, one who could literally make himself “invisible at will” (In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov, p. 193) and figuratively one who directed all attention to the lessons he taught, rather than himself.

“When people asked him direct questions, he responded by telling stories about himself; he narrated history in the guise of tales; he made his own biography into a basis of instruction; his habits, his manner of speech, and his behavior became the surety of his teaching. The living man, Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, disappeared behind the emblem of his work.”

https://archive.ph/ooFFR

You can borrow the very readable 1970 translation of the book for free at the Internet Archive.

https://archive.org/details/inpraiseofbaalsh0000dobb/page/n5/mode/2up

The Ba’al Shem Tov came of age during the direct aftermath of the Khmelnitsky massacre (1648-1657). It was a time of unbelievable tragedy.

“Within a few months almost all Polish nobles, officials and priests had been wiped out or driven from the lands of present-day Ukraine. The Commonwealth population losses in the uprising exceeded one million. In addition, Jews suffered substantial losses.” (Wikipedia)

“Khmelnytsky Uprising,” Wikipedia
“Cossack army in 1648.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmelnytsky_Uprising#/media/File:Cossack_army_in_1648.PNG

“The losses inflicted on the Jews of Poland during the fatal decade 1648–1658 were appalling. In the reports of the chroniclers, the number of Jewish victims varies between one hundred thousand and five hundred thousand. But even if we accept the lower figure, the number of victims still remains colossal, even exceeding the catastrophes of the Crusades and the Black Death in Western Europe. Some seven hundred Jewish communities in Poland had suffered massacre and pillage. In the Ukrainian cities situated on the left banks of the Dnieper, the region populated by Cossacks … the Jewish communities had disappeared almost completely. In the localities on the right shore of the Dneiper or in the Polish part of Ukraine as well as those of Volhynia and Podolia, wherever Cossacks had made their appearance, only about one tenth of the Jewish population survived.”

Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews in Russia and Poland, trans. Israel Friedlander, 3 vols. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1916), 1:156–57. [Volume 1 is available on KindleVolume 2 is available in paperbackVolume 3 is also available in paperback. Quoted in Joseph P. Schultz, Judaism and the Gentile Faiths: Comparative Studies in Religion, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1981, ISBN 0-8386-1707-7, p. 268.
“Execution of Polish captives after the battle of Batoh 1652.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmelnytsky_Uprising#/media/File:Hab_batoh_970.jpg

“Wherever they found the szlachta [Polish/Lithuanian nobility], royal officials or Jews, they [Cossacks] killed them all, sparing neither women nor children. They pillaged the estates of the Jews and nobles, burned churches and killed their priests, leaving nothing whole. It was a rare individual in those days who had not soaked his hands in blood.”

Nathan ben Moses Hannover, “The Deep Mire” (“Yeven Mezulah”), cited in Borderland: A Journey Through The History of Ukraine, p. 35. [For more information about Yeven Mezulah, click here.]
“First edition of Yeven Mezulah (1653): “I write of the Evil Decrees of Chmiel [Khmelnytsky], may his name be obliterated… in 5408 [1648] to 5411 [1651]” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmelnytsky_Uprising#/media/File:Yeven53.png

The Ba’al Shem Tov [known by the acronym “the Besht”] saw the devastation of the people and he saw as well that they could not survive religiously under the strict leadership of the Talmudic scholars. They needed inspiration. They needed to connect with God. He fought to bring them closer, he prayed for them, he walked among them, and he fought the pernicious influence of the Sabbatean-Frankists mightily, even fighting to make sure that Sabbateans didn’t slaughter the meat.

“When they arrived at the holy community of that the Besht notified the rabbi of the holy community of Byshev that his shohet was from the sect of Shabbetai Xsevi, may his name be blotted out, and that he made the meat not kosher. After showing the rabbi his knife, the shohet would hit it with a heavy hammer in order to disqualify it. The rabbi watched the shohet and found it to be true.”

https://archive.org/details/inpraiseofbaalsh0000dobb/page/192/mode/2up?q=shohet

The Evil Shabbetai Tsevi – A Sinner Even In Hell

The Ba’al Shem Tov was able to communicate with the souls of the dead, and according to In Praise Of The Ba’al Shem Tov, the soul of Shabbetai Tsevi came to him looking for redemption from the hell that was his afterlife. At first the rabbi started to help him, but then he fell asleep and Tsevi attacked him with temptation. The Ba’al Shem Tov casts him to hell. (Note: I can’t account for the mention of Jesus being there as well in the story; it could be a projection of the Ba’al Shem Tov’s anger at persecution of the Jews, since Jesus may not even have been mentioned in the Talmud at all, and there is a significant pro-Jesus line of thought in Orthodox thinking. See Rabbi Emden’s letter below – scroll down.)

“Rabbi Joel told me, in addition, that Shabbetai Tsevi came to the Besht to ask for redemption. Rabbi Joel said in these words: ‘The tikkun is done through the connection of soul with soul, spirit with spirit, and breath with breath.’ The Besht began to establish the connection moderately. He was afraid as Shabbetai Tsevi was a terribly wicked man. Once the Besht was asleep, Shabbetai Tsevi, may his name be blotted out, came and attempted to tempt him again, God forbid. With a mighty thrust the Besht hurled him to the bottom of hell. The Besht peered down and saw that he landed on the same pallet with Jesus. Rabbi Joel said that the Besht said that Shabbetai Tsevi had a spark of holiness in him, but that Satan caught him in his snare, God forbid. The Besht heard that his fall came through pride and anger. I was reluctant to write it down, but nevertheless I did so to show to what extent pride can be dangerous.”

In Praise Of The Ba’al Shem Tov, p. 87

Frankist Excommunication and Mass Conversion

Meanwhile, the evil Jacob Frank (1726-1791) was hard at work recruiting Jews to desecrate Judaism, until finally the rabbis excommunicated the sect and they sought refuge by converting to Catholicism in 1759. (Frank promoted himself as the heir to Sabbatianism.)

“Upon learning of the Frankist gatherings, Podolia’s rabbis forced Frank to leave the region and tried his followers in rabbinical courts, where many confessed to breaking marriage vows and engaging in sexually promiscuous behavior.

“A herem (excommunication) was proclaimed against members of the group, provoking a wave of persecution against them.

“In the face of persecution from the organized Jewish community, group members sought protection from the Catholic church, telling the local Catholic bishop that they rejected the Talmud and recognized only the Zohar, a Jewish mystical text.

“They also told Catholic authorities that they recognized the messiah as part of the Trinity, although they did not clarify that they considered Zevi, rather than Jesus, to be the messiah.”

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/jacob-frank-and-his-followers/

We Must Stop The Sabbatean-Frankist Influence

The problem for Judaism is the Sabbatian-Frankists who have surreptitiously embedded themselves into the mainstream and gradually taken over. (At this point I doubt that most of them even know what a “Sabbatian-Frankist” is.)

In fact, Jesus never actually committed the sin of blasphemy in the Jewish sense, e.g. he never cursed God. If anything he called on the rabbis to be more moral human beings.

Rabbi Jacob Emden (1697-1776) was a Jewish leader respected by all and intent on combating the Sabbatians. He vociferously did so. Yet community leaders wanted all sides to pipe down so as not to draw undue negative attention to the community.

https://www.amazon.com/Mixed-Multitude-Frankist-Movement-1755-1816/dp/0812223438/ref=sr_1_1?crid=IBKANUK8C18U&keywords=the+mixed+multitude&qid=1652575020&s=books&sprefix=the+mixed+multi%2Cstripbooks%2C77&sr=1-1
https://www.amazon.com/Mixed-Multitude-Frankist-Movement-1755-1816/dp/0812223438/ref=sr_1_1?crid=IBKANUK8C18U&keywords=the+mixed+multitude&qid=1652575020&s=books&sprefix=the+mixed+multi%2Cstripbooks%2C77&sr=1-1

Over the course of his life and his many writings, Rabbi Emden wrote the letter below, which in my view offers the most authentic Jewish approach to Christianity available. Essentially Rabbi Emden argued that Jesus never wanted Jews to abandon Judaism; that the purpose of establishing Christianity later on was to bring morality to the non-Jewish peoples of the world.

“For it is recognized that also the Nazarene and his disciples, especially Paul, warned concerning the Torah of the Israelites, to which all the circumcised are tied. And if they are truly Christians, they will observe their faith with truth, and not allow within their boundary this new unfit Messiah Shabbetai Zevi* who came to destroy the earth.

“But truly even according to the writers of the Gospels, a Jew is not permitted to leave his Torah, for Paul wrote in his letter to the Galatians (Gal. 5) “I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, the Messiah will do you no good at all. You can take it from me that every man who receives circumcision is under obligation to keep the entire Torah.” Again because of this he admonished in a letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7) that the circumcised should not remove the marks of circumcision, nor should the uncircumcised circumcise themselves.

“Many have asked that Paul appears to contradict himself here. In the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 16), it is mentioned that Paul circumcised his disciple Timothy. And they found this very puzzling, for this act seems to contradict the later text which seems to indicate that he considered circumcision a temporary commandment until the Messiahs arrival; but this took place after the time of the Nazarene! Therefore you must realize–and accept the truth from him who speaks it– that we see clearly here that the Nazarene and his Apostles did not wish to destroy the Torah from Israel, God forbid; for it is written so in Matthew (Mt. 5), the Nazarene having said, “Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Torah. I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. I tell you this: So long as heaven and earth endure, not a letter, not a stroke, will disappear from the Torah until it is achieved. If any man therefore sets aside even the least of the Torahs demands, and teaches others to do the same, he will have the lowest place in the Kingdom of Heaven, whereas anyone who keeps the Torah, and teaches others so, will stand high in the Kingdom of Heaven.” This is also recorded in Luke (Lk. 16). It is therefore exceedingly clear that the Nazarene never dreamed of destroying the Torah.

“We similarly find Paul, his disciple, in a letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 5), accusing them of fornication, and condemning one who had lived with his fathers wife. You may therefore understand that Paul doesnt contradict himself because of his circumcision of Timothy, for the latter was the son of a Jewish mother and a Gentile father (Acts 16), and Paul was a scholar, an attendant of Rabban Gamaliel the Elder, well-versed in the laws of the Torah. He knew that the child of a Jewish mother is considered a full Jew, even if the father should be a Gentile, as is written in the Talmud and Codes. He therefore acted entirely in accordance with the Halakha by circumcising Timothy. This would be in line with his position that all should remain within their own faith (1 Cor. 7). Timothy, born of a Jewish mother, had the law of a Jew, and had to be circumcised, just as he was enjoined to observe all commandments of the Torah (Pauls condemnation of the man who lived with his stepmother is similarly understandable, as such an act is also forbidden to Noahides), for all who are circumcised are bound by all the commandments. This provides a satisfactory reply to the question.

“This will also solve the apparent contradictions in the Nazarenes own statements. Christian scholars have assumed from certain passages in the Gospels that he wished to give a new Torah to take the place of the Torah of Moses. How could he then have said explicitly that he comes only to fulfill it? But it is as I have said earlier–that the writers of the Gospels never meant to say that the Nazarene came to abolish Judaism, but only that he came to establish a religion for the Gentiles from that time onward. Nor was it new, but actually ancient; they being the Seven Commandments of the Sons of Noah, which were forgotten. The Apostles of the Nazarene then established them anew. However, those born as Jews, or circumcised as converts to Judaism (Ex. 12:49; one law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger) are obligated to observe all commandments of the Torah without exception.

“But for the Gentiles he reserved the Seven Commandments which they have always been obligated to fulfill. It is for that reason that they were forbidden pollutions of idols, fornication, blood, and things strangled (Acts 15). They also forbade them circumcision and the Sabbath. All of this was in accord with the law and custom of our Torah, as expounded by our Sages, the true transmitters from Moses at Sinai. It was they who sat upon his seat (as the Nazarene himself attested [Mt. 23]). It was they (the Sages or Pharisees) who said that it is forbidden to circumcise a Gentile who does not accept upon himself the yoke of (all) the commandments. The Sages likewise said that the Gentile is enjoined not (fully) to observe the Sabbath. The Apostles of the Nazarene therefore chose for those Gentiles who do not enter the Jewish faith that instead of circumcision they should practice immersion (for truly immersion is also a condition of full conversion), and a commemoration of the Sabbath was made for them on Sunday. — But the Nazarene and his Apostles observed the Sabbath and circumcision as mentioned earlier, for they were born as Jews. They observed the Torah fully, until after a period of time a few of them decided to give up the Torah among themselves completely. They said that its observance was too difficult for them and agreed to remove its yoke from their necks (Acts 15).

“But even here they did correctly as far as the Gentiles were concerned, for they were not commanded to observe it. Nor is it proper to make it difficult for them, since they did not receive (accept?) the Torah and are not enjoined to observe the 613 commandments. However, it is completely different as far as the Jews are concerned, for they became obligated to fulfill the Torah because God delivered them from the iron furnace (Egypt) to be the people of His possession. Therefore they and their children became subject to it forever. This, their covenant, will not be forgotten from their mouths, nor be discontinued from their children. For it they have given their lives throughout the generations, as the Psalmist has recorded (Ps. 44:18): All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten Thee, neither have we been false to Thy covenant.

“Certainly, therefore, there is no doubt that one who seeks truth will agree with our thesis, that the Nazarene and his Apostles never meant to abolish the Torah of Moses from one who was born a Jew. Likewise did Paul write in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7) that each should adhere to the faith in which each was called. They therefore acted in accordance with the Torah by forbidding circumcision to Gentiles, according to the Halakha, as it is forbidden to one who does not accept the yoke of the commandments. They knew that it would be too difficult for the Gentiles to observe the Torah of Moses. They therefore forbade them to circumcise, and it would suffice that they observe the Seven Noahide Commandments, as commanded upon them through the Halakha from Moses at Sinai.

“It is therefore a habitual saying of mine (not as a hypocritical flatterer, God forbid, for I am of the faithful believers of Israel, and I know well that the remnant of Israel will not speak falsehood, nor will their mouths contain a deceitful tongue) that the Nazarene brought about a double kindness in the world. On the one hand, he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically, as mentioned earlier, and not one of our Sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah. And on the other hand, he did much good for the Gentiles (provided they do not turn about his intent as they please, as some foolish ones have done because they did not fully understand the intent of the authors of the Gospels. I have recently seen someone publish a book, and he had no idea about what he was writing. For if he had understood the subject, he would have kept his silence and not wasted the paper and ink. There are also found among us foolish scholars who know not their right from their left in the Written and Oral Torahs and cause the people to err with their pompous pronouncements. But there are true scholars among the Christians, just as there are the chosen few among Torah scholars; and there are few of the truly great) by doing away with idolatry and removing the images from their midst. He obligated them with the Seven Commandments so that they should not be as the beasts of the field. He also bestowed upon them ethical ways, and in this respect he was much more stringent with them than the Torah of Moses, as is well-known. This in itself was most proper, as it is the correct way to acquire ethical practices, as the philosopher (Maimonides) mentioned. We have written similarly in our Siddur. However, it is not necessary to impose upon Jews such extreme ethical practices, since they have been obligated to the yoke of Torah, which weakens the strength of the (evil) inclination without it. They have taken the oath at Sinai and are already trained in proper practice and nature. These are clear words that will not be rejected by a clear-thinking person.

“If certain Christians who consider themselves scholars would understand this secret, who believe that they are commanded to abolish the Torah of Moses from the seed of Israel, they would not engage in such foolishness. The people listen to their self-conceived words, something which was never intended by the writers of the Gospels. Quite the opposite, they have written clearly that they intended the contrary.

“Because of these errant scholars, hatred has increased toward the Jews who are blameless of any guilt and proceed innocently to observe their Torah with all their heart, imbued with the fear of God. They should instead bring their people to love the ancient Children of Israel who remain loyal to their God, as indeed commanded to Christians by their original teachers.

“They even said to love ones enemies. How much more so to us! In the name of heaven, we are your brothers! One God has created us all. Why should they abuse us because we are joined to the commandments of God, to which we are tied with the ropes of his love? We do this not to enjoy the pleasures of the (evil) inclination and emptiness of a passing world. For truly (Ps. 44) we have become a byword among the nations, and with all this (ibid.). In God have we gloried all the day, and we will give thanks unto Thy name for ever. We pray for the good of the entire world, and especially for the benefit of these lands in which we reside, protecting us and our observance of the Torah…

“You, members of the Christian faith, how good and pleasant it might be if you will observe that which was commanded to you by your first teachers; how wonderful is your share if you will assist the Jews in the observance of their Torah. You will truly receive reward as if you had fulfilled it yourselves-for the one who helps others to observe is greater than one who observes but does not help others to do so–even though you only observe the Seven Commandments. I have written similarly in my pleasant work Torat Ha-Kenaot– that the Jew who observes the Torah, but doesn’t support it, is considered among the cursed; and the Gentile who does not observe the 613 commandments, but supports it, is considered among the blessed.”

From Harvey Falk, Jesus the Pharisee, A New Look at the Jewishness of Jesus (1985), Ch. 1. Retrieved from https://eweb.furman.edu/~ateipen/ReligionA45/Emden.html (https://archive.ph/sHtIe)

I believe that intentionally or unintentionally, there is an obsessive overfocus by Jewish religious leaders on combating Christianity and an underfocus on ridding our religion of the Sabbatean-Frankist influences that are truly blasphemous. The Sabbatean-Frankists, the depth of evil, cursed God by rebelling against Him, and the authority of the rabbis.

The blasphemer is the subject of this week’s Torah portion, Parshas Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23).

In 1759, the Frankists mass-converted to Catholicism. Within a year, the Ba’al Shem Tov died.

https://www.amazon.com/Mixed-Multitude-Frankist-Movement-1755-1816-ebook/dp/B00C3K6F2M/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2DIUJEHW5GTF2&keywords=the+mixed+multitude&qid=1652575927&s=digital-text&sprefix=the+mixed+multitud%2Cdigital-text%2C76&sr=1-1
https://www.amazon.com/Mixed-Multitude-Frankist-Movement-1755-1816-ebook/dp/B00C3K6F2M/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2DIUJEHW5GTF2&keywords=the+mixed+multitude&qid=1652575927&s=digital-text&sprefix=the+mixed+multitud%2Cdigital-text%2C76&sr=1-1

He grieved that they could not be kept within the fold of Judaism.

He grieved that the rabbis had handled the situation so badly.

Ohel (Final Resting Place) of the Tzaddik (Righteous One), the Baal Shem Tov, Medzhybizh, Ukraine. Public domain photo by Eliyahu (Eli) at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ohel_Baal_Shem_Tov.jpg

By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

Gematria 415

Graphic by the author using a Google Slides template.

This past week in synagogue we read the Torah portion in Leviticus called “Kedoshim,” which means “holy” in the plural (19:1-20:27).

“Speak to the entire congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them, You shall be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy.”

Leviticus 19:2

The Hebrew word for “holiness” is “kedushah.”

  • קדושה = kedushah = holiness = 415
  • מעשה = ma’aseh = deeds = 415

From a Jewish perspective, holiness results from deeds, not intentions.

There are 613 commandments in the Torah. Less than a handful pertain to thoughts:

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/756399/jewish/The-613-Commandments-Mitzvot.htm

415 is comprised of the numbers 400 and 15 combined.

The number 400 is equivalent to the Hebrew letter “Tav” and has many associations.

Letter Tav

For example, the Talmud in Shabbat 104a relays that Tav (ת) stands for “emes” (אמת) or truth. It says that the letters in this word are spaced far out throughout the Hebrew alphabet–literally at the beginning, middle, and end–to signify that it’s extremely hard to find truth in this world.

In contrast, “falsehood” (“sheker” in Hebrew) is comprised of letters one after the other, because falsehood is plentiful.

400 means truth.

400 also means labor.

It can be slavery.

Slavery is meaningless work at best, degrading or even deadly at worst.

The Jewish people were subjected to Egyptian slavery, or the decree of slavery, for 400 years.

According to Rashi (the main Jewish commentator on the Torah), the calculation begins from the minute of Isaac’s birth.

“And He said to Abram, “You shall surely know that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will enslave them and oppress them, for 400 years.”

Genesis 15:13

400 is also mystically linked with currency, the symbolic form of labor.

The Zohar connects the 400 worlds with the 400 pieces of silver that our forefather Abraham gave to Ephron to buy a burial site for Sarah.

Genesis 23:10-17

Interestingly the name Ephron itself has a Gematria of 400. Recall that he was a merchant — he dealt in coins.

“The name Ephron, עפרן,has the gematria of 400: ayin = 70, pei = 80, reish = 200, and nun = 50″

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/137287/jewish/Tav.htm#footnote11a137287

400 also refers to the labor of war.

Esau approached Jacob, the brother he hated, with 400 men:

“The angels returned to Yaakov, saying, “We came to your brother, to Esau, and he is also coming toward you, and 400 men are with him.”

Genesis 32:7

Commentators:

  • Ohr HaChayim: Esau presents himself as a brother, but the 400 men show that his intentions are evil and not good.
  • Maggid Mesharim: The angels told Jacob that Esau was using “400 men” to dissuade those who wanted to follow his brother. These were not actual men but the “evil eye,” in Hebrew the “ayin ra,” which has a Gematria of 400. Did Esau actually cast a spell on Jacob? No. Rather, he invoked Heavenly judgment on his brother and in that way he fought him.

400 is further associated with land – specifically the Land of Israel.

As mentioned above, Abraham paid Ephron 400 silver pieces for a burial plot for Sarah in the Land of Israel.

Additionally, the actual dimensions of Israel are 400 x 400.

“The Land of Israel, according to the dimensions in the Torah, measures 400 by 400 mil (a mil is approximately 1 kilometer).”

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/137287/jewish/Tav.htm

400 can also mean virtual space, as in Heaven.

Good deeds are the Eternal currency – they get you into the “400 worlds of pleasure” in Heaven.

“400 also represents the 400 worlds of pleas­ure that the righteous people will acquire in the World to Come.”

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/137287/jewish/Tav.htm

The 400 worlds are referred to in the Zohar as the “400 worlds of longing in which the righteous ones delight.” (1:123b:9)

https://www.sefaria.org/Zohar.1.123b.9?ven=Sefaria_Community_Translation&vhe=New_Torat_Emet_Zohar&lang=bi&with=Translations&lang2=en

Add 15 to 400. See thoughts on 15 from Bet Emunah:

  1. 15 is one of the names of GodThe number is comprised of the letter Yud plus letter Heh (because it is sacred, we do not spell the combination out). We learn that God created the world with “15.” See alternate translation of Isaiah 26:4: “With the name Yah HaShem created the world.” 15 is also the first half of a longer name of God, implying that there will be completion at a point in the future, when the Messiah arrives. (Holiness = “truth” 400 + “God” 15.)
  2. 15 is the Gematria of the Godly attribute “Hod,” or “splendor.” The material world is a means through which we can perceive Him. (Holiness = “land” 400 + “splendor” 15.)
  3. 15 “always represents the elevation from physical to spiritual.” (Holiness = “slavery” 400 + “elevation” 15.)
  4. 15 “is often used to represent the bond between man and wife.” [Kli Yakar] (Holiness = “world of longing” 400 + “elevation from physical to spiritual” 15.)
  5. 15 equals the point where physical and metaphysical become one. “The physical world was created in 6 days and a spiritual dimension was added to it, the 7th day. The number 8 begins the spiritual realm beyond this world. Through the performance of certain mitzvot, one can connect the physical and spiritual realms and this is symbolized by the number 15 [7+8=15]. Thus, the number 15 represents a synthesis of heaven and earth.” (Holiness = “labor” 400 + “synthesis of heaven and earth” 15.)

Overall in the Gematria of 400 plus the Gematria of 15 we see the formula for achieving holiness.

It is not intention alone, nor is it pure effort.

It is the combination of doing what is right and having a “right mind,” focusing your efforts on Eternity.

Examples:

  1. Ethical labor practices.
  2. End of slavery.
  3. Money/currency channeled toward the public good.
  4. Weapons for defensive rather than aggressive aims.
  5. Speaking truth to elevate rather than to degrade.

Perhaps none of this was a mystery before, but it was an interesting exercise to see how Gematria confirms what we already knew.


By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal (Dossy). All opinions are the author’s own. Public domain.

I write about the things that matter to me. All opinions are my own. All individuals are considered legally innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Public domain.

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