The Sefirotic tree of life
The ten sefirot or the ten ementions of Hashem's divine attributes is an exclusively Jewish concept. I doubt I have to explain to you the pervasiveness of this concept in kabbalistic texts. The kabbalists provide a path in which to travel up and down these sefirot and the following is the top-down path. Beginning at Keter (will of Hashem) you go to Chochmah (wisdom), then Binah (understanding), and then to Chesed (kindness goodness), and next to Gevurah (Power strength). From there you move to Tiferet (glory) and then to Netzach (endurance) and Hod (patience). You then come to Yesod (foundation, Torah, and the Zadakim) which links to the final sphere Malkut (the kingdom of Hashem).
Compare to the New Testament.
Colossians 1:9-15 “That is why we, from the day we heard, have not ceased praying for you, and asking that you be filled with the knowledge of his will (Keter) in all wisdom (Chochmah) and spiritual understanding (Binah), to walk worthily of the master, pleasing all, bearing fruit in every good work (Chesed) and increasing in the knowledge of Elohim (hidden sepherah of Da'at), being empowered with all power (Gevurah), according to the might of his glory (Tiferet), for all endurance (Netzach) and patience (Hod) with joy, giving thanks to the father who has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in the light (Yesod), who has delivered us from the authority of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the son of his love (Malkut), in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim, the first-born of all creation. (The Sepherotic tree of life.)
Rabbi Shaul not only hits every emanation, but he also hits them in order which certainly rules out any chance of coincidence.
In the kabbalistic tradition there is an aspect of the spiritual realm known as the Sitra Achrah (The other side). The phrase “the other side” is a way to reference the realm of unclean spirits or demons. In fact the phrase “the other side” appears 279 times in the Zohar.
The following quotes are passages taken from the Zohar speaking about “the other side”. After the quotes from the Zohar, we also have quotes from the New Testament.
A. Zohar, Bereshith, section 1, page 208b “The truth is that when a man walks on the right side, the protection of the Holy One, blessed be He, is constantly with him, so that the other side has no power over him, and the forces of evil are bowed before him, and cannot prevail over him. But as soon as the protection of the Holy One is withdrawn from him by reason of his having attached himself to evil, that evil gains the mastery and advances to destroy him, being given authorization to take his soul.”
The New Testament speaks of Yeshua traveling to “the other side” many times and almost every time there is some kind of spiritual battle whether it be demons or stormy winds. The following is one good example.
Mark – 5:1-8 “and they came to the other side...a man with unclean spirits...he ran and bowed down to him...”
This is exactly to a “T” what the Zohar said would happen. The unclean spirits of the other side where forced to bow down to the Zadik Yeshua.
B. Zohar Bereshith, section 1, page 14b “Where do they (unclean spirits) roam to on that night, WHEN SHABBAT IS OVER? When they (the other side) come out in haste and think that they are about to rule over the world and overcome the Holy Nation, they (instantly) see them (the good side) standing upright reciting this hymn (Tehilim 91)...Then the other side flees from there and goes roaming until they reach the desert. May the Merciful One save us and guard over us, from the other side - the Evil Side.”
Matthew 12:43 “Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.”
C.*This passage from the Zohar is speaking about the nation of Israel being tested in the desert for forty years. Zohar, Shemoth, section 2, page 60a “There in the wilderness a strange power (the devil), representing the nations of the world, the ruling spirit of the desert, appeared to them (nation of Israel), but they soon discovered that it was not the radiance of their King's glory.
Notice that the Zohar says the devil is “representing the nations of the world” now compare.
Matthew 4:1 “Then Jesus was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tried by the devil...Again the devil took him up on a high mountain and showed him all the nations of the world, and their glory...”
D. Zohar, Shemoth, Section 2, page 184a “They (Israel) saw with their own eyes the prince of the desert (Satan), a prisoner bound before them, and they took his lot and possession.”
Matthew 12:29 “...or how is one able to enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he shall plunder his house.”
E. Zohar Bereshith, section 1, page 48a “After they (unclean spirits) had been created, they were left behind the millstones of the chasm of the great abyss during the night and the day of Sabbath. When the sanctity of the day expired, they came out into the world in their unfinished state and commenced flying about in all directions.”
Zohar Bereshith, section 1, page 48a “For when the Sabbath is sanctified on Friday evening, a tabernacle of peace descends from heaven and is spread over the world. This tabernacle of peace is the Sabbath, and when it comes down, all evil spirits and demons and all the creatures which defile hide themselves within the orifice of the millstones of the chasm of the great abyss. For when sanctity spreads over the world, the spirit of uncleanliness remains inactive, since the two shun one another. Hence the world is under special protection (on the Sabbath eve)”
According to the Zohar evil spirits are banished to the abyss on Shabbat. This great abyss is then sealed shut. Then after the Sabbath the unclean spirits are released again to defile the earth.
Revelation 20:2-3 “And he seized the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and he threw him into the abyss, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should not lead the nations no more astray until the thousand years (Great Sabbath) were ended. And after that he has to be released for a little while.”
Clearly the New Testament and the Zohar are using the same source of tradition.
Hitbodedut - “(self-seclusion) is considered by many Chassidim as an essential component of prayer. In being alone with God, and giving voice to their desire for Him, believers aim to access the joy that is the essence of all being. Bratzlaver Chassidim in particular practice hitbodedut. Hitbodedut is a way to unburden the self of doubt and recover a natural state of faith. The best way to achieve this solitude is to leave civilization and society in order to be surrounded by nature and the wonders of creation. Any form of self-isolation can be effective.
The key to successful hitbodedut is total abandonment of inhibition. Prayers are direct, immediate and uninhibited, a natural outpouring of the soul of all that clouds and confuses its sight. Any natural expression is admissible. This can take the form of weeping, song, conversation, mantra or silent meditation.
Bratzlaver Chassidim practice hitbodedut at night, after the midnight lamentations over the destruction of the Temple. They go out alone to a deserted place, away from the contamination of worldly experience, to communicate with God and cry out to Him about their doubts and fears.
Talking freely and openly with God often requires practice before it comes naturally. It is therefore necessary for a Jew to set aside a dedicated, specific period of time for hitbodedut. Only by regularly stepping out of the mundane, by silencing everyday noise and distraction can one achieve the sight of the soul. By entering into solitude and isolating themselves, Jews can learn that they are never truly alone. For when they are alone, they are alone with God.”
Matthew 14:23 “and having dismissed the crowds, he went up to the mountain by himself to pray. And when evening had come, he was alone.”
Luke 6:12 “And in those days it came to be that he went out to the mountain to pray, and was spending the night in prayer to Elohim.”
Tikun Hatsot is a Jewish ritual of lamentation that is recited each midnight in memory of the destruction of the temple. It is an optional observance which is not universally observed it is only recited in Orthodox Judaism. The origin of the midnight time for prayer and study lies in Psalm 119:62 “at midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee” that psalm was attributed to David. It was said he rose to pray and study Torah at midnight. The wide spread custom was fixed as a binding Halacha. The Tikkun Hatsot is an individual service; a minyan is not needed for performing it, although some have the custom to recite it with a minyan. At the hour of midnight one sits on the ground takes off his shoes and reads from the prayer book.
Notice that the ritual of Tikkun Hatzot, that of entering a garden in the middle of the night, was a “wide spread custom that was fixed as binding Halacha.”
The following New Testament quote takes place in the garden of Gethsemane in the middle of the night.
Luke 22:39 “Jesus went out as was his custom to the mount of olives and his disciples followed him”
Zohar Bereshith, section 1, page 77a “See now, at the moment when midnight arrives and the Holy One, blessed be He, enters the Garden of Eden to disport Himself with the righteous, all the trees in the Garden sing praises before Him, as it is written, “Then sing the trees of the wood for joy before the Lord” (I Chron. XVI, 33). A herald proclaimeth lustily: “To you we speak, exalted holy ones; who is there among you whose ears are quick to hear and whose eyes are open to see and whose heart is alert to perceive, what time the spirit of all spirits culls the sweet effluence of the inner soul... Woe to those that sleep with eyes fast closed and do not know or consider how they will arise in the Day of Judgement;”
Zohar Bereshith, section 1, page 92b “It is written: Midnight I will rise to give thanks to thee because of thy righteous judgments (Ps. CXIX, 62). Since the word “at” is omitted, we may take “Midnight” as an appellation of the Holy One, blessed be He, who is addressed thus by David because He is to be found with His retinue at midnight, that being the hour when He enters the Garden of Eden to converse with the righteous.”
According to the Zohar King David would enter the Garden of Eden with his retinue at midnight. It was also said that there was “Woe” to those who were sleeping at that very special time. This kabbalistic “custom” is still being practiced today among Orthodox Jews.
Compare this to John 18:1 “Having said these words Yeshua went out with his disciples beyond the Qidron torrent, where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered...”
Luke 22:39 “Jesus went out as was his custom to the mount of olives and his disciples followed him”
Mark 14:41 “And he came to the third time and said to them are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough! The hour has come...”
According to the gospels Yeshua (gilgul nefesh David) entered into a garden late at night with his retinue or disciples and said woe to his disciples he found sleeping. Also at this special hour of judgment Yeshua was taken away to be judged.
This are far too many points of congruency for this to be coincidence. The New Testament is making a clear indication that Yeshua and his disciples preformed the kabbalistic traditions of both Hitbodedut and Tikkun hatzot.
The heavenly comings and goings of the Mashiach.
It is often said by anti-missionaries that according to Judaism the Messiah will be an ordinary man and although he will have a great role in restoring the nation of Israel he will not be doing radical miracles and weird things like you see in the New Testament (such as ascending and descending to heaven in pillars of smoke). They also claim that Messiah will only come one time and there will not be multiple appearances of the Messiah. I am not sure whether these anti-missionaries are unaware of their own faiths kabbalistic traditions or if they are intentionally hiding the fact that Judaism does teach these things about the Messiah.
Soncino Zohar Shemoth section 2 page 7b - “Then shall pangs and travail overtake Israel, and all nations and their kings shall furiously rage together and take counsel against her. Thereupon a pillar of fire will be suspended from heaven to earth for forty days, visible to all nations. Then the Messiah will arise from the Garden of Eden, from that place which is called “The Bird's Nest”. He will arise in the land of Galilee, ... “The glory of his majesty” refers to the Messiah when he shall reveal himself in the land of Galilee; for in this part of the Holy Land the desolation first began, and therefore he will manifest himself there first, and from there begin to war against the world. After the forty days, during which the pillar shall have stood between heaven and earth before the eyes of the whole world, and the Messiah shall have manifested himself, a star shall come forth from the East variegated in hue and shining brilliantly, and seven other stars shall surround it, and make war on it from all sides, three times a day for seventy days, before the eyes of the whole world. The one star shall fight against the seven with rays of fire flashing on every side, and it shall smite them until they are extinguished, evening after evening. But in the day they will appear again and fight before the eyes of the whole world, seventy days long. After the seventy days the one star shall vanish. Also the Messiah shall be hidden for twelve months in the pillar of fire, which shall return again, although it shall not be visible. After the twelve months the Messiah will be carried up to heaven in that pillar of fire and receive there power and dominion and the royal crown. When he descends, the pillar of fire will again be visible to the eyes of the world, and the Messiah will reveal himself, and mighty nations will gather round him, and he shall declare war against all the world...”
From this passage of the Zohar we learn the following.
1 – The Mashiach will reveal himself first in the land of Galilee (Northern kingdom)
2 – The Mashiach reveals and conceals himself as he sees fit.
3 – The Mashiach will travel to heaven in a pillar.
4 – The Mashiach “shall return again” in a pillar of fire to make war.
5 – The Mashiach will at times be invisible.
6 – The Mashaich will ascend to heaven in the pillar of fire “and receive there power and dominion and the royal crown.”
7 – all the world will see. “the pillar of fire will again be visible to the eyes of the world”
These seven kabbalistic concepts of Mashiach are also found in the New Testament.
1 - The New Testament also teaches that the Mashiach appeared first in the Galilee (The incarnation of the Mashiach for that generation Yeshua) I doubt I need to quote those places in the NT for you.
2 - The New Testament speaks of Yeshua concealing himself and revealing himself many different times. Again I doubt I have to show you those quotes.
3 - The New Testament says that the Mashiach Traveled to heaven in a pillar.
Acts 1:9 “and having said this, while they were looking on, he was taken up, and a cloud hid him (Yeshua) from their sight.”
4 – Just as the Zohar, the New Testament speaks of Mashaich RETURNING to earth in a pillar of fire to make war with the enemies of Hashem.
5 – As strange as it sounds the Zohar speaks of the pillar of fire, as well as the Mashiach in it, being invisible.
Luke 24:31 “And their eyes were opened and they recognized him. And he disappeared from their sight.”
6 – keeping in mind that the Zohar says this about the Mashiach “the Messiah will be carried up to heaven in that pillar of fire and receive there power and dominion and the royal crown.” lets look at the New Testament.
Luke 24:49 “And see, I am sending the promise of my father upon you, but you are to remain in the city of Yerushalayim until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Matthew 28:18 “And Yeshua came up and spoke to them, saying, All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”
7 – According to the Zohar all the world will see the pillar of fire in the heavens.
Matthew 24:30 “...and then the sign of the Son of Adam shall appear in the heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Adam coming on the clouds of heaven with power and much glory.”
The right side of the boat
The following is a quote from the kabbalistic text Kol HaTor.
“Our mission, the mission of the great Gaon, light of Mashiach ben Yosef, with regard to the final generation, is as follows: “According to Rabbi Eliyahu, all the steps, all the rules and details concerning the period from the beginning of the Redemption until its conclusion, which include the ingathering of exiles and settlement of the Holy Land--all these are the assignment of the first mashiach, Mashiach ben Yosef. They derive from the left side, that is, from the quality of Din, which prevails when the awakening starts from below, naturally, as occurred at the time of the Second Temple, during the reign of Cyrus. Later on, the redemption will be completed with the quality of Chesed (i.e., Lovingkindness)on the right side, with Mashiach ben David.”
We learn from this passage of Kol HaTor that...
1 – The Gaon of Vilna was considered a cycle of Mashiach ben Yosef and that the Mashiach has many comings or incarnations.
2 – The redemption will begin on the left side, that of judgment, and just as the time of the reign of Cyrus will yield an insignificant ingathering of exiles. Yet as soon as the the redemption begins on the right side, that of Chesed, this will be the entire ingathering of every single lost Israelite from both the house of Judah and the house of Israel.
Compare to the New Testament. My comments in ( )
John 21:1-6 “After this Yeshua manifested himself again to the disciples at the sea of Kinnereth, and he manifested in this way: Shimon Keph, and Toma called the twin, and Nethanel of Canah in Galil, the sons of Zabdai, and two others of his disciple were together. Shimon Kepha said to them, I am going to fish (search for Israelites who have strayed from the Torah in particular the northern kingdom). They said to him, we are also coming with you. They went out and immediately entered into the boat. And that night (The time of Din) they caught none at all (Just as in the time of Cyrus). But when it became early morning (going from the time of Din to the time of Chesed), Yeshua stood on the beach. However, the disciples did not know that it was Yeshua. Then Yeshua said to them, Children, have you any food? They answered him, No. And he said to them, throw the net on the right side of the boat (indicating that they had been fishing off the left side the side of judgment), and you shall find. So they threw, and they were no longer able to draw it in because of the large number of fish. (The complete redemption of both houses of Israel)”
It is clear that this passage of the New Testament is speaking of the same concept as found in the book Kol HaTor. It is no surprise since both Yeshua and the Vilna Gaon were both prime suspects for the spirit of Mashiach ben Yosef in there respective generations.
The heavenly male and female.
Soncino Zohar “A MIST WENT UP FROM THE GROUND, to repair the deficiency below, by “watering the whole face of the ground”. The rising of the mist signifies the yearning of the female for the male.”
When commenting on the story of creation the Zohar explains that Heaven is male and the earth is a female. It does so by showing that the earth had to first release a mist (female sexual lubricant) before heaven could send forth rain (male seed).
Mark 10:2-6 “And Pharisees came and asked him, is it right for a man to put away his wife? - trying him. And he answering, said to them...from the beginning of the creation, Elohim made them male and female.”
This English translation does not reveal what Yeshua truly had to say, so let us take his words back into the Hebrew.
From the beginning/ of the creation/ Elohim/ made them /male/ and /female.
Bereshith Barah Elohim Et ish V'et isha.
Yeshua used the first seven words of the Torah but, just as the Zohar, he relates heaven to male and earth to female.
To take this a step further we must now turn to Adam. According to the kabbalah Adam was created in the image of the heavenly Adam known as Adam kadmon (The ancient Adam). The earthly Adam was created with his wife inside himself. His wifes name was Havah (all living). If the earthly Adam had a
wife inside of him and he was created in the heavenly Adam's image then we can deduce that heavenly Adam ought to have a wife inside himself as well.
According to the Zohar the tabernacle was the bride of Moshe and heavenly Jerusalem is the bride of Mashiach.
The book of Revelation confirms that the Mashiach's bride is heavenly Yerushalayim.
Revelation 21:10-11 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Yerushalayim, descending out of the heaven from Elohim, having the glory of Elohim and her light was like a precious stone, like jasper stone, clear as crystal.”
Yeshayahu chapter 60 through 62 describes the future Jerusalem.
Yeshayahu 60:19-21 “No longer does your sun go down, nor your moon withdraw itself, for Hashem shall be your everlasting light...and your people, all of them righteous, shall inherit the earth forever...”
Yeshayahu 62:1 “For Tsiyon's sake I am not silent, and for Yerushalayim's sake I do not rest, until her rightousness goes forth as brightness, and her deliverance as a lamp that burns.”
Yeshayahu explains to us that the light that Jerusalem shall give forth will be the light of men, the light of their righteous deeds.
John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with Elohim, and the word was Elohim. He was in the beginning with Elohim All came to be through him, and without him not one came to be that came to be. In him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Just as the earthly Adam the heavenly Adam, Adam Kadmon, carried his wife inside of himself. And her name is Hayah (Life or living). Just as earthly Adam's wife, heavenly Adam's wife bears the name life, but unlike the earthly Havah, the heavenly Hayah does not carry the defective vav but the higher level yod. So the only question remaining is does the Zohar also refer to the heavenly Jerusalem as Hayah just as the New Testament?
Soncino Zohar “the “daughters of Jerusalem” are the twelve tribes, as we have learnt that Jerusalem is established on twelve rocks, three on each side (wherefore it is called Hayah (living one)),”
Yohanan's statement “in him was life” is a highly mystical statement in reference to the heavenly Eve or heavenly Jerusalem. It could just as easily read in him was Hayah which is the name of heavenly Jerusalem according to the Zohar. The gospel of Yohanan opens with the highest level of kabbalistic allusions thus its intended audience was initiated kabbalists. Unfortunately these texts fell into the hands of Roman politicians and from that point on the misinterpretations did abound.
Spiritual principles from Derek Hashem
Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto or the Ramchal was one of the foremost and most prolific Jewish thinkers of all time. And his magnum opus “Derek Hashem” is an exceedingly popular work and is studied in many Yeshivot and academies of higher Jewish learning throughout the world. The relatively short text is considered one of the best sources for understanding fundamental Jewish spiritual concepts. The Ramchal draws from the kabbalistic tradition and lays out, in a clear systematic manor, some of the most difficult spiritual truths. Despite the fact that the Ramchal's work was despised by other respected Jewish contemporaries (just as Yeshua), his work is today considered brilliant and entirely Jewish in nature. If then we can find several points of congruency between the concepts found in the writings of the Ramchal and those of the New Testament then we could say that, although the New Testament carries concepts despised by some Jewish contemporaries, it should still be considered a Jewish text because it remains within the confines of Jewish oral tradition.
The concept of storing up good deed as a spiritual reward.
In part two of Derek Hashem the Ramchal explains the concept of rewards and punishments in relation to mans positive and negative actions. This concept helps explain why good people suffer in this world and why evil people prosper. What is important to note is the verbiage used in describing this spiritual reward system.
Derek Hashem part 2, chapter 2 “.The good deeds of the wicked and the evil deeds of the righteous, which constitute a minority, are dealt with in this world through its gratifications and sufferings...Still, if these good deeds were totally unrewarded, the attribute of justice would be flawed. It was therefore decreed that these good deeds be rewarded in this world, as discussed earlier. Their merit is therefore used up, and does not have any effect in incorporating true excellence in such an individual.”
Matthew 6:3-4, 19-20 “But when you do a good deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your good deed shall be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret shall himself reward you openly...Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves don not break in and steal.”
Though written centuries apart the words of Yeshua and the words of the Ramchal speak of the same spiritual concept. This concept is not laid out so clearly in the Tanak. These men were drawing from the same source of Jewish oral tradition, the kabbalah.
Many anti-missionaries have stated that the New Testament concept of someone being “saved” by believing in, being faithful to, or associating with someone (in this case Yeshua) is not a Jewish concept. John 3:16 is a verse that is often under fire. “For G-d so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever shall believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
This means that whosoever does not believe in him will perish and not have everlasting life. Anti-missionaries would say that this verse is too harsh to those not believing and too limiting in who is receiving eternal life. When taken in context of the entire New Testament John 3:16 could be said this way, Whosoever has faithful association with the Mashiach will partake in the olam haba. This concept is so important in orthodox Judaism that is one of the thirteen articles of faith.
From Maimonides’ 13 Foundations of Judaism
Principal twelve - “And this is to believe that in truth that he will come and that you should be waiting for him even though he delays in coming... And he who doubts (does not believe) or diminishes the greatness of the Messiah is a denier in all the Torah for it testifies to the Messiah ...And anyone who disputes this regarding this family is a denier of the name of God and in all the words of the prophets. “
It is understood in the Jewish faith that who ever does not believe in the Mashiach denies Moshe and the whole of the Torah. Since the Torah is life itself this Jewish principal is inferring that anyone rejecting Mashiach or the concept of Mashiach is rejecting life itself. Now lets take this concept a step further with the words of the Ramchal
My comments in ( )
Derek hashem part 2, chapter 3 “When the highest wisdom considered everything needed to rectify the human race and make it into the perfected community discussed earlier, it saw that this goal would be furthered if some people could benefit others and help them attain a place in this community (For God so loved the world)...The rule of that the community of the future world be restricted only to those who attained perfection in their own right is therefore not absolute. For it was also decreed that an individual (Whosoever) can reach a level where he can partake of perfection and be included in this community as the result of his association (believeth in) with a more worthy individual (the Son or high level Zadik)...because of this, the number of those who are saved (not just a “Christian” term) from annihilation (shall not perish but have eternal life) and allowed the ultimate bliss is maximized”
I agree that Romanized Christianity has horribly misused this kabbalisitic concept by misinterpreting the New Testament but this does not mean that the concept is wrong. The New Testament statements of faith in Mashiach were never intended to be used any differently than orthodox Judaism teaches today.
One of the anti-missionaries strongest arguments against the “Jewishness” of the New Testament is that of atonement. It is claimed by anti-missionaries that the New Testament is seriously out of step with the Torah when it claims that Yeshua died for our sins or that his sacrifice makes atonement for our sins. The argument is made that the Torah never describes a human as one of the sacrificial atoning animals and therefore the New Testament claim must have been made up by illiterate gentiles.
Derek Hashem part 2, chapter 3 “...Suffering and pain may be imposed on a Zadik as an atonement for his entire generation. This Zadik must accept this suffering with love for the benefit of his generation, just as he accepts the benefits by atoning for it, and at the same time is himself elevated to a very great degree. For a Zadik such as this is made into one of the leaders in the community of the future world...”
Luke 17:25 “But first he has to suffer much and be rejected by this generation.”
John 10:11-15 “I am the good shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep...Now the hireling flees because he is a hireling and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd. And I know mine, and mine know me, even as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.”
Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were still weak, Messiah in due time died for the wicked. For one shall hardly die for a righteous one, though possibly for a good one someone would even have the courage to die. But Elohim proves his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us.”
The Ramchal explains that a Zadik who willingly suffers to make atonement and draw others into the perfect community is “elevated” or lifted up to a very high degree. This brings back to that ever popular verse in the book of John.
John 3:14-16 “And as Mosheh lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so the son of Adam has to be lifted up, so that whoever is believing in him should not perish but possess everlasting life. For G-d so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever shall believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. ”
In a similar argument as above anti-missionaries claim that the self sacrifice of a human cannot make atonement for another person's sins and certainly not for all people of all times as the New Testament claims.
My comments in ( )
Derek Hashem part 2, chapter 3 “God arranged matters, however, so that select perfect individuals could rectify things for others, as discussed earlier. The attribute of justice therefore relates to them rather than to the rest of the world in general. Individuals such as these, however, are themselves perfect, and are therefore worthy only of good. The only reason they suffer is because of others, and the attribute of justice must therefore be satisfied with a small amount of suffering on their part as with a large amount on the part of those who actually sinned. Beyond that, the merit and power of these Zaddikim is also increased because of such suffering, and this gives them even greater ability to rectify damage to others. They can therefore not only rectify their own generation, but can also correct all the spiritual damage done from the beginning, from the time of the very fist sinners. It is obvious that individuals such as these will ultimately be the foremost leaders in the perfected community, and the ones very closest to God.”
In addition to the Ramchal explaining that, yes there are a few perfect individual who can make atonement for all generations, he also explains that these individuals increase in merit and power and they are the foremost leaders in the perfected community.
Hebrews 2:9-10 “But we see Yeshua, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him...to make the princely leader of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
Further still Ramchal states that these few perfect individuals are the one who are the very closest to God. This accounts for Yeshua's many statements such as I know the Father and the Father knows me, I and my father are one.
The following passage from the Machzor Yom Kippur also illustrates the fact that a person make atonement through suffering. What is particularly interesting however is that it states that the Mashiach is the one suffering and atoning for mankind.
אָז מִלִּפְנֵי בְרֵאשִׁית. נָוֶה וְיִנּוֹן הֵשִׁית׃ תַּלְפִּיּוֹת מָרוֹם מֵרִאשׁוֹן. תִּכֵּן טֶרֶם כָּל עַם וְלָשׁוֹן׃ שִׁכְנוֹ עָץ שָׁם לְהַשְׁרוֹת. שׁוֹגִים לְהַדְרִיךְ בְּדַרְכֵי יְשָׁרוֹת׃ רֶשַׁע אִם הֶאְדִים. רַחֲצוּ וְהִזַכּוּ הִקְדִּים׃ קֶצֶף אִם קָצַף בַּאֲיוּמָתוֹ. קָדוֹשׁ לֹא יָעִיר כָּל חֲמָתוֹ׃ צֻמַּתְנוּ בְּבִצְעֵנוּ עַד עַתָּה. צוּרֵנוּ עָלֵינוּ לֹא גַעְתָּה׃ פִּנָּה מֶנּוּ מְשִׁיחַ צִדְקֵנוּ. פֻּלַּצְנוּ וְאֵין מִי לְצַדְּקֵנוּ׃ עֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ וְעוֹל פְּשָׁעֵינוּ. עוֹמֵם וְהוּא מְחוֹלָל מִפְּשָׁעֵינוּ׃ סוֹבֵל עַל שֶׁכֶם חַטֹּאתֵינוּ. סְלִיחָה מְצֹאלַעֲוֹנוֹתֵינוּ׃ נִרְפָּא לָנוּ בְּחַבּוּרָתוֹ. נֶצַחבְּרִיָּה חֲדָשָׁה עֵת לִבְרֹאתוֹ׃ מֵחוּג הַעֲלֵהוּ. מִשֵּׂעִיר הַדְלֵהוּ׃ לְהַשְׁמִיעֵנוּ בְּהַר הַלְּבָנוֹן. שֵׁנִית בְּיַד יִנּוֹן׃
Before he created anything, he established his dwelling (the temple). The lofty armoury he established from the beginning, before any people or language. He counselled to suffer his divine presence to rest there, that those who err may be guided into the path of rectitude. Though their wickedness be flagrant, yet hath he caused repentance to precede it, when he said, “Wash ye, cleanse yourselves.” Though he should be exceedingly angry with his people, yet will the holy One not awaken all his wrath. We have hitherto been cut off through our evil deeds, yet hast thou, O our Rock, not brought consummation on us. Our righteous anointed is departed from us: horror hath seized us, and we have none to justify us. He hath borne the yoke of our iniquities, and our transgression, and is wounded because of our transgression. He beareth our sins on his shoulder, that he may find pardon for our iniquities. We shall be healed by his wound, at the time that the Eternal will create him (the Messiah) as a new creature. O bring him up from the circle of the earth. Raise him up from Seir, to assemble us the second time on Mount Lebanon, by the hand of ינון.
מחזור ליום כפּור Prayer Book for the Day of Atonement.
English translation by Rev. Dr. A. Th. Philips. Hebrew Publishing Co.,
New York. 1931, p. 239.
To further reveal the ties between the New Testament and Derek Hashem I will bring out the concept of reincarnation.
Derek Hashem part 2, chapter 3 “A single soul can be reincarnated a number of times in different bodies, and in this manner, it can rectify the damage done in previous incarnations. (side notes) after a soul leaves the body, it may return to earth, to a different body.”
The Zohar contains stories of a humble donkey driver who happens to be traveling with a couple of Torah students and he listens to the Torah students conversation along the way. At a certain point the donkey driver begins to expound upon the Torah topic at hand and the Torah students are floored by his great wisdom. So overcome with joy by being in the presence of such a high level Zadik the Torah students begin to weep and ask the Zadik for his name. Another version of this kabbalistic story states that two Torah students had recently suffered the loss of their Rabbi and they are also on a journey with a donkey driver. The two students are discussing a difficult point in Torah and they are saddened that their Rabbi is no longer with them to answer their Torah question. Just then the donkey driver provides the exact answer they are looking for and the students are overjoyed. Later they realize that they were speaking with none other than the reincarnation of their beloved Rabbi.
From these mystical narratives we find a few main themes
1 – two students are traveling together
2 – in at least one version of the story the students have recently lost their Rabbi.
3 – an unrecognized Zadik just so happens to join in on their travels
4 – The unrecognized reincarnated Zadik explains the Torah in a profound way to the students
5 – the Students become greatly over joyed with the Torah knowledge they receive from the Zadik
Compare that story to the this one from the New Testament. My comments are in ( ).
Luke 24:13 “And see, two of them (Just as the kabbalistic tradition) were going that same day to a village called Amma'us (Amma'us is recognized in Judaism as the capitol for kabbalist studies at that time.) which was twelve kilometers from Yerushalayim. And they were talking to each other of all this which had taken place. And it came to be, as they were talking and reasoning, that Yeshua himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know him (unrecognized reincarnated Zadik). And he said to them, what are these words you are exchanging with each other as you are walking – and you are sad? And the one whose name was Qleophas answering, said to him, Are you the lone visitor in Yerushalayim who (The mystical Mi or who found in the Zohar) does not know what took place in it these days? And he said to them, What? (Yeshua's only word was the highly mystical Mah as discussed in the Zohar and will be elaborated on in the next topic) And they said to him, Concerning Yeshua of the Natsareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before Elohim and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and impaled him (Recent death of their Rabbi). We, however, were expecting that it was he who was going to redeem Yisrael. But besides all this, today is the third day since these matters took place...And beginning at Mosheh and all the prophets, he was explaining to them in all the scriptures the matters concerning himself (The unrecognized Zadik explains the Torah in a profound way to the students). And they approached the village where they were going, and he seemed to be going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, stay with us, for it is toward evening, and the day has declined. And he went in to stay with them. And it came to be, when he sat at the table with them, having taken the bread, he blessed, and having broken, he was giving it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him. And he dissapeared from their sight. And they said to each other, was not our heart burning within us as he was speaking to us on the way, and as he was opening the scriptures to us (The students were greatly over joyed with the Torah knowledge)?”
This reveals two clear and important facts to us. One, the New Testament is not using pagan traditions and theology, but rather kabbalistic Torah based tradition. Two, This kabbalistic story in the New Testament predates the Zohar thus one could deduce that the stories found in the Zohar could well be based on the kabbalistic traditions of the New Testament and not vice versa.
The mystical Mah (What?)
In the above story Yeshua provides a strange answer to his students question, “who does not know what took place in Jerusalem?” As any good Jewish teacher Yeshua answers a question with a question so this is not strange. What is strange is that Yeshua responds with only one word, What, in response to a question of a person's identity “who”. So “what” is this about?
Soncino Zohar “...R. Eleazar opened his discourse with the text: Lift up your eyes on high and see: who hath created these? (Is. XL, 26). ‘ “Lift up your eyes on high”...By doing so, you will know that it is the mysterious Ancient One, whose essence can be sought, but not found, that created these: to wit, Mi (Who?), the same who is called “from (Heb. mi) the extremity of heaven on high”, because everything is in His power, and because He is ever to be sought, though mysterious and unrevealable, since further we cannot enquire. That extremity of heaven is called Mi,
R. Eleazar explains that the mysterious Ancient One (Heavenly Father) is also know as Mi (Who) and that this Who is “unrevealable” or too high for man to fully commune with. Continuing with the quote...
Soncino Zohar “but there is another lower extremity which is called Mah (What? The son). The difference between the two is this. The first is the real subject of enquiry, but after a man by means of enquiry and reflection has reached the utmost limit of knowledge, he stops at Mah (What?), ...In allusion to this, it is written “I, Mah, testify against thee, etc.” (Lam. II, 13). When the Temple was destroyed a voice went forth and said: “I, Mah, have testified against thee day by day from the days of old,” as it is written, “I called heaven and earth to witness against you.” (Deut. XXX, 19.)
R. Eleazar continues his explanation of Mi by introducing a new character known as Ma (What). This Ma is not just a word it is clearly personified in this passage. R. Eleazar explains that the highest one can attain to is this personage known as Ma because Mi, as was stated earlier, is unattainable. Continuing with the quote...
Soncino Zohar “Further, I, Mah, likened myself to thee; I crowned thee with holy crowns, and made thee ruler over the earth, as it is written, “Is this the city that men call the perfection of beauty? etc.” (Lam. II, 15), and again, “I called thee Jerusalem that is builded as a city compact together”. Further, I, Mah, am equal to thee; in the same plight in which thou, Jerusalem, art here, so I am, as it were, above; just as the holy people does not go up to thee any more in sacred array, so, I swear to thee, I will not ascend on high until the day when thy throngs will again stream to thee here below. And this may be thy consolation, inasmuch as to this extent I am thy equal in all things.
The spiritual being known as Ma is the equal counterpart to Jerusalem implying a partnership or espousal relationship. And this one known as Ma apparently has the ability to “ascend on high”. Continuing the quote...
Soncino Zohar “But now that thou art in thy present state “thy breach is great like the sea” (Ibid. 13). And lest thou sayest there is for thee no abiding and no healing, “Mi will heal thee” (Ibid.). Of a surety the veiled One, the most High, the sum of all existence will heal thee and uphold thee-Mi, the extremity of heaven above, Mah, as far as the extremity of heaven below.
Remembering that Ma is speaking, the quote says that a higher being than himself, Mi, will heal the Jerusalem above and Ma will heal the Jerusalem below. Continuing the quote...
Soncino Zohar “And this is the inheritance of Jacob, he being the “bolt that passes from extremity to extremity” (Exod. XXVI, 28), that is, from the higher, identical with Mi, to the lower, identical with Mah,...”
To summarize, according to the Zohar the higher power in heaven known as Mi (who) has a lower identical image known as Ma (What). Mi is the highest possible wisdom and is unknowable and he cannot be revealed to man therefore a Ma is necessary. Ma is a lower counter part to Mi and is attainable and he can be revealed. Which brings us back to the story of Yeshua and his Torah students. When Yeshua responds to the question who (are you?), he responds Ma (What?). His claim to be Ma is further enhanced when he “reveals” himself to his students. If one inquires to Mi enough Ma is revealed.
“seeing” Even the smallest details
Derek Hashem part 3, chapter 5 “...the prophetic vision is not seen as if it were transmitted through a clear polished lens, but rather, through a dull lens. It is thus impossible to see the Glory clearly...”
1 Corinthians 13:12 “for now we see in a glass, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know...”
In Tales of the Tzaddikim (published by Mesorah publications) there is a story called “humiliation for the Torah's sake” (page 142) in which a woman must spit in the face of a Rabbi to be restored to good standings with her husband. The Rabbi finds a solution and asks her to spit in his eyes so that they might be healed.
“She approached R' Meir and was about to spit, but when she beheld his pure features and noble brow, she lost her nerve. I cannot do it. I do not know how to cure eyes by spitting, she wailed.”
It is apparent that within Jewish mystical tradition there is the idea that eye sight can be healed with spit, proving yet again the New Testament draws from the kabbalistic tradition.
John 9:6-7 “...He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and applied the clay to the eyes of the blind man...So he went and washed, and came seeing.”
Even in the smallest details the New Testament and the kabbalistic masters bear an uncanny resemblance, again proving they draw from the same source of tradition.