Friday, June 12, 2009

Abuse - Sex and Kiruv II


I made a comment in the previous posting that, " The first recorded case was in fact Zimri - who was the first kiruv rabbi who fell in the line of duty - trying to convert the non-Jewish princess." RaP questioned by noting that Avraham was the first kiruv rabbi. The answer is simply that Zimri was the first kiruv rabbi who died because of his kiruv techniques.

Below are some of the discussion of Rav Tzadok of the problem of confusing lust with holiness. It is a major theme of his and he brings in such topics as Amalek and Esther's relationship with Achashveros as well as Rabbi Akiva and why ultimately the Oral Torah is from converts.

Rav Tzadok also notes that sexual lust is a major problem for those studying kabbala because there are many sexual concepts. In fact a number of years ago there was a kabbalist in the Old City who had a study group with women and it was discovered he was having intimate relations with a number of them.

Rav Tzadok[1](Machshavos Charutz #4): Zimri went to Moshe with the defense, “And who permitted the daughter of Yisro to you?” In other words Zimri was defending his sexual activity with Kosbi as being permitted to him as being a spiritual activity in the same way that Tzipora was permitted to Moshe. This is according to the explanation of the Arizal that Kosbi had the soul of Dina and Zimri was convinced that all his lusts were genuine spiritual desires in accord with the Torah…

Rav Tzadok[2](Likutei Amarim #16): Zimri went to Moshe with the defense, “And who permitted the daughter of Yisro to you?” That is when Moshe married Tzipora she had not yet converted since she was under the control of her father Yisro to the degree that the Mechilta says that Yisro insisted to Moshe that his first son should be for idolatry – conversion came later…

Rav Tzadok[3](Takanas HaShavim #6): Dina was incarnated in Kosbi whose father was the source of evil of Midian who wanted to destroy the Jews so that they would be like all the other nations. But Kosbi didn’t listen to her father and wanted to convert if Zimri was interested. This is the meaning of Zimri’s claim, “Who permitted Tzipora to you?” Zimri grabbed Kosbi by her hair in the manner of the Amorites while she was still a non‑Jew because he was the incarnation of Shechem and he sensed that there are souls of non‑Jews that come into to Jews and non‑Jews who have Jewish souls. He thought that by having intercourse with Kosbi he would collect the holy sparks that were in her while she was still a non‑Jew.

Rav Tzadok[4](Takanas HaShavim #15): Zimri meant by his defense to Moshe, “And who permitted the daughter of Yisro to you?” that the children he had with Kosbi would be considered Jews. Thus he was doing a sin for the sake of Heaven which is like a mitzva not for the sake of Heaven (Nazir 23b)…

[1] רב צדוק (מחשבות חרוץ - אות ד ע' ז:): וזמרי בא למשה רבינו ע"ה בטענת בת יתרו מי התיר לך שפירשו בו קמאי דבא בטענה שמכיר שגם היא ראויה לו כצפורה למשה רבינו ע"ה, וכנודע מטעם האריז"ל שהיה בה נשמת דינה וחשב שגם הוא כל תאוות שלו על פי התורה, ובירור התאוה הוא על ידי הקנאה שהוא היפך התאוה וקנאים פגעו בו...

[2] רב צדוק (ליקוטי אמרים - אות טז): והוא טען בת יתרו מי התיר לך היינו דבעת נשואין עדיין לא גיירה שהיה תחת ידי יתרו עד שאמרו ז"ל (מכילתא יתרו א') דהתנה עמו בן ראשון וכו' רק דסופה להתגייר, וגם הם ראו אז במדינים דסופן הטף בנשים החיו לכם דנדבקו בישראל והשאר נהרגו כולם וחשב דעתידין לידבק הכל ולהתגייר ועל ידי זה נצמח עיקר תאוה זו בהם:

[3] רב צדוק (תקנת השבין - אות ו): ועל כן דינה נתגלגלה בכזבי בת נשיא מדין שכזבה באביה שהיה נשיא ושורש כח הרע שבמדין ורצה להכשיל ישראל ולהמשיכם למקום שאין להם שייכות ולהיות ככל הגוים, אבל היא לא שמעה לו ודבקה רק במקום שהיה לה שייכות והיא היתה מתרצית להתגייר גם כן אילו רצה זמרי, וזהו טעם טענתו בת יתרו מי התיר לך כי גם היא דוגמתה חפצה לידבק בישראל לא להמשיך ישראל להם, אלא שהוא תפשה בבלוריתה שהוא דרכי האמורי וכאשר היא עדיין בגיותה כי הוא גלגול שכם והרגיש בדבר זה שיש נפשות גוים מתגלגלות בישראל ודישראל בגוים, ודימה מזה דאפשר להיות גם כן קליטה לניצוצות קדושות גם בעודן בגיותן ובפרט במדין שסמוך לעמלק:

[4] רב צדוק (תקנת השבין - אות טו): וכן זמרי שטען בת יתרו מי התיר לך חשב שגם הנולדים מאלו יחשבו על זרע ישראל והוא בא להכניס גם מהם תחת כנפי שכינה, ועבירה לשמה היא כמצוה שלא לשמה כמו שאמרו בנזיר (כג:) ובישראל אזלינן בתר המחשבה טובה ובאומות אחר מעשה הרע היפך במצוה שלא לשמה,

6 comments :

  1. Rav Tzadok also notes that sexual lust is a major problem for those studying kabbala because there are many sexual concepts. In fact a number of years ago there was a kabbalist in the Old City who had a study group with women and it was discovered he was having intimate relations with a number of them.

    Thus we find the dictate that one must be married in order to learn Kabbalah. In fact there are certain subjects that one is only supposed to learn when one's wife is tahor, and thus permitted to him, so that should the sitra achra try to twist the holy teachings of the Kabbalah into something perverse, one has an outlet that is within the bounds of kedusha.

    We also find the dictate that it is ossur to learn Kabbalah with, or to teach Kabbalah to women. The Ben Ish Hai as well as R' Ovadiah Hadayya have both dealt with this subject at length in their various works. I can look up exact references if anyone wants them.

    It should also be noted that R' Chaim Vital, in his introduction to Eitz Haim, and the RaShaSh in his introduction to Nahar Shalom, both state that if one has Shalom Bayit issues that one is also forbidden from studying Kabbalah. It is incredibly difficult to explain this to someone who does not study Kabbalah and thus understand the immense spiritual forces involved. However, to paraphrase R' Kaduri Z"L, for one to become a Kabbalist, this takes many years, not only must he learn the requisite material, but know how to put it into practice L'shem Shmayim. He must purify his soul, until he has attained a level of tzadikut, and seeing this all of the forces of the sitra achra array against him. R' Kaduri Z"l told me that even at his advanced age he still struggled immensely with the sitra achra. This was why when his first wife died in 1989, despite his already advanced age, he remarried fairly quickly.

    As far as "Kabbalists" having study groups with women, this is an on going problem, not only in the Old City, but throughout Jerusalem. There always seems to be issues of moral failures arising from these groups. There is no end to women who want to learn Kabbalah. My wife enjoys having Sem girls as guests for Shabbat. 9 out of 10 inevitably ask for me to teach them Kabbalah. I have stopped saying no. Instead I simply say, "Every time a Rav has taught to Kabbalah to a woman who is not his wife, he has ended up having illicit relations with her." There is invariable a look of shock on the girl's face, but at least I don't have to argue with them over it, the invariably drop the request after that.

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  2. We also find the dictate that it is ossur to learn Kabbalah with, or to teach Kabbalah to women. The Ben Ish Hai as well as R' Ovadiah Hadayya have both dealt with this subject at length in their various works. I can look up exact references if anyone wants them.
    ===============
    I am very interested. Does this include chassidus?

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  3. I should have known that if I offered...

    Some sources that come immediately to mind on the pre-reqs to studying Kabbalah and its laws are:

    Eitz Haim Introduction 1&2 of R' Haim Vital

    Deah VHaskel by R' Ovadia Hadayya
    helek 1, siman 1 and helek 2 siman 1

    Rav Pealim Volume 1 Yorah Deah 56.

    I know there are many others, but from those alone I believe you will find that what most people are teaching as "Kabbalah" today has serious issues.

    I will look up some more specific sources.

    As far as Chassidus goes... I am really not sure. That would make for an interesting discussion. My own thoughts are that it would depend upon the Chassidus. For instance Tanya has much of the sexual overtones of Kabbalah removed. Whereas others that stay more true to the interaction of the upper-worlds can be quite explicit.

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  4. Sorry forgot to add:
    Yechave Da'at Helek 4:47
    The Ben Ish Hai's various commentaries on Y"D 246.
    Ohr Tzadikim 22:30
    Kaf HaHaim 155:12
    Even HaShoham 246

    I will try to pin down more specific sources dealing exclusively with women, but these should start to paint a good picture.
    You have my email, feel free to send me any questions, and I will try to help you find helpful sources.

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  5. Recipients and PublicityJune 13, 2009 at 1:09 AM

    Again, I am most surprised that Rabbi Eidensohn/da'as torah misses the point:

    That kiruv is NOT about reaching out to gentiles nor is it about converting gentiles into Jews which is something entirely different.

    Indeed, of all people Rabbi Eidensohn should know the fundamental difference between forbidden proselytizing to gentiles and kiruv rechoking to genuine halachik Jews albeit secular and even atheistic ones,

    The process of proselytizing and trying to be megayer goyim IS NOT kiruv rechokim which is all about reaching out and trying to educate and make frum people who are born 100% halachically Jewish, and are at present secular, the frum-to-be potential baalei teshuva which is not what a goy is, even the most interested and beautiful ones, it is forbidden to teach a goy Torah al pi Halacha.

    In fact it is also wrong to try to locate the actual first kiruv worker/rabbi.

    Perhaps it is more helpful to see who Chazal regard as the first and greatest baal teshuva and it's not hard to know that that special position belongs to Dovid HaMelech himself according to Chazal.

    But it would still take three millenia for the world to arrive at an era of Baalei Teshuva, which really only happens on a vast scale after World War Two, when at a time when the majority of Jews are secular and removed from Torah Judaism, there begins a process of return to Judaism as a noteworthy phenomenon in Jewish history because prior to the Holocaust once Jews became secular they never returned to Toarh observance ever again. Return by secular JEWS to Torah-true Judaism was something that only began in large numbers in the 1960s.

    Perhaps one could claim that Rav Avraham Yitschok HaCohen Kook was the first great rov to recognize this and foresaw that the secular Zionist pioneers in Eretz Yisrael would one day lead the way and become chozrei b'teshuva. He went out of his way to mekarev them and took much criticism for that from other rabbonim. Or perhaps the last Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson was the first rabbi who actually organized a mass international movement of followers, the shluchim and shluchos, to go out and mekarev Jews all over the world, whcih they continue to do. Aish, Ohr Somayach, and others are all imitators of this approach. He started this in earnest in the 1960s and the Haredi world, including all the yeshivas that now follow his lead by encouraging it, all made fun of him and attacked Lubavitch for its pioneering kiruv work.

    So it is somewhat ridiculous to look for someone like Zimri in the Midbar who got himself killed for a different reason, in the heat of battle he compromised himself by fraternising with the enemy and was punished with summary execution, haboel aramis kanoi'm pog'im bo, as a halacho lemoshe misinai, and he got what he deserved for literally "sleeping with the enemy", but that episode has absolutely zero to do with "kiruv" as we understand that term today which is all about being mekarev acheinu bnai Yisroel leAvihem shebashomayim.

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