Friday, December 30, 2011

The Mystical Light Of The Baal Shem Tov

Art by Marcus Aurelius

In a letter[1] written by the Baal Shem Tov to his brother-in-law, Rabbi Gershon of Kitov, it states: "I asked my Master and teacher[2] to go with me, for it is exceedingly dangerous to ascend to the highest of the upper worlds and since that time I arrived at my present spiritual level, I had ascended to such places.

I went up, level after level, until I entered the palace of Moshiach, where he studies Torah with all the Tannaim[3] and the Tzaddikim,[4] and with the Seven Shepherds.[5] I beheld very great joy there, but I did not know the reason for this extreme happiness.

I thought this joy was, G*d forbid, because of my demise from this world. But they told me later that I was not deceased and that they derived tremendous pleasure when I performed yichudim[6] in the physical world by means of the Torah. But as to the meaning of this great rejoicing, I still do not know.

And I asked Moshiach, 'When are you coming, my Master?'

He answered me, 'By this you shall know it: Once your teachings become publicly known and revealed throughout the world; when your wellsprings have overflowed beyond, imparting to others what I have taught you and you have grasped; so that they too will be able to perform yichudim and Aliyahs of the Neshama[7] as you do. Then all the kelipos will perish, and it will be a time of favor and salvation."

I was bewildered at this response. I felt great anguish because of the length of time that Moshiach implied it would take until he came.

However while I was there, I learned three Segulos[8] and three Holy Names which were easy to learn and to explain to others and which would allow them to perform yichudim and Aliyahs of the Neshama. So I felt reassured, and I thought that perhaps, using these Segulos and Holy Names, my Chavurah,[9] might also be able to attain my spiritual level. That is, they would be able to practice Ascents of the Soul, and learn and understand the Supernal Mysteries as I do.

But I was not permitted and I am under oath not to reveal them during my life."[10]

[1] Called THE EPISTLE
[2] Achiyah HaShiloni
[3] Jewish Sages of the Mishnah 10-220cCE
[4] Righteous people
[5] Adam, Seth,Methuselah,Abrama,Moses and King David
[6] Contemplative unifications
[7] Ascents of the Soul
[8] Charm or remedy of spiritual potency
[9] Inner circle of followers
[10] Keser Shem Tov

1 comment:

Dov Bar-Leib said...

Hi, Devorah: You got the 7 shepherds mixed up with the 8 Adonim. The 7 shepherds are Avraham, Yitzchak, Ya'akov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef, and David. The 7 shepherds are the ushpizim during Sukkot and have a one to one correspondence with the sefirot. The 8 Adonim are a separate issue. And I believe they include Shlomo HaMelekh too, but you can check into that. It would take a little research, but it is Friday and I don't have time to look into all the names of the 8 Adonim. Yet, I am sure that Adam, Seth, and Methushalach, David and Mashiach ben David are on the list.