Wisdom or Prophecy?


« Sefer ha-Zohar »

The Jewish Kabbalah pits the Prophet against the Wise man, and puts the Wise man above the Prophet. Why this hierarchical order? Is it justified? What does it teach us? What can we expect from this vision of things?

Let’s start with some elements of argumentation, against prophetism.

« The Wise man always prevails over the Prophet, for the Prophet is sometimes inspired and sometimes not, while the Holy Spirit never leaves the Wise men; they have knowledge of what has happened Up-There and Down-Here, and they are under no obligation to reveal it. » i

The Wise men « know ». Their wisdom is such that they even dispense with the risk of speaking about it publicly. There would only be blows to be taken, trouble guaranteed. And for what benefit? In their great wisdom, the Wise men are careful not to « reveal » what they « know ». It is precisely because they are « wise » that they do not reveal what is the basis of their « wisdom ».

What do they do then, if they do not reveal their knowledge to the world? Well, they continue to deepen it, they study to climb the ladder of knowledge constantly.

« Those who study the Torah are always preferable to the prophets. They are indeed of a higher level, for they hold themselves Above, in a place called Torah, which is the foundation of all faith. Prophets stand at a lower level, called Netsah and Hod. Therefore, those who study the Torah are more important than the prophets, they are superior to them. » ii

This frontal antagonism between sages and prophets has a long history. It can be summed up in the age-old rivalry between prophetic Judaism and rabbinic Judaism.

Gershom Scholem, who has studied the great currents of Jewish mysticism, notes « an essential point on which Sabbatianism and Hasidism converge, while moving away from the rabbinic scale of values, namely: their conception of the ideal type of man to whom they attribute the function of leader. For rabbinic Jews, especially at that time, the ideal type recognized as the spiritual leader of the community was the scholar, the Torah student, the educated Rabbi. From him, no inner rebirth is required. (…) In place of these masters of the Law, the new movements gave birth to a new type of leader, the seer, the man whose heart was touched and changed by God, in a word, the prophet. » iii

The rivalry between the scholar and the seer can be graduated according to a supposed scale, which would symbolically link the Below and the Above. For rabbinic Judaism, the talmudic scholar, the student of the Torah, is « superior » to the seer, the prophet, or the one whose heart has been changed by God.

Once a sort of scale of comparison is established, other hierarchies proliferate within the caste of the « masters of the Law ». They are based on the more or less proper way of studying the Law, on the more or less proper way of approaching the Torah.

The texts testify to this.

« Why is it written on the one hand, ‘For thy grace is exalted to the heavens’? (Ps 57:11) and on the other hand: ‘Your grace is greater than the heavens’ (Ps 108:5)? There is no contradiction between these two verses. The first refers to those who do not care about the Torah in a selfless way, while the second applies to those who study in a selfless way. » iv

One might conclude (probably too hastily) that it is therefore in one’s interest to be disinterested (as to the purpose of the study), and to be disinterested in any interest (for the purpose of the Torah), if one wants to know the grace that « transcends the heavens ».

But another avenue of research opens up immediately.

Rather than only concerning those who ‘study the Torah’, the grace that ‘ascends to heaven’ and the grace that ‘transcends heaven’ could apply respectively to the masters of the Law and the prophets, – unless it is the other way around? How do we know?

We have just seen that the Zohar resolutely takes sides with the superiority of the masters of the Law over the seers and the prophets. But the ambivalence of the texts of the Hebrew Bible undoubtedly allows for many other interpretations.

Perhaps we can draw on the sayings of the Prophets themselves to form an opinion about them, and try to see if what they have to say can « reach beyond the heavens »?

Isaiah states about his own prophetic mission:

« Yes, so spoke YHVH to me when his hand grasped me and taught me not to follow the path of this people, saying :

‘You will not call a conspiracy all that this people calls a conspiracy, you will not share their fears and you will not be terrified of them. It is YHVH Tsebaot whom you will proclaim holy; it is He who will be the object of your fear and terror.

He will be a sanctuary, a rock that brings down, a stumbling block for the two houses of Israel, a net and a snare for the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Many will stumble, fall and break, and they will be trapped and captured.

Enclose a testimony, seal an instruction in the heart of my disciples’.

I hope in YHVH that hides His face from Jacob’s house. » v

According to Isaiah’s testimony, YHVH declares that He himself is a ‘rock that makes fall’, a ‘stumbling block’, a ‘net and snare’. But a little further on Isaiah radically reverses this metaphor of the ‘stone’ and gives it the opposite meaning :

« Thus says the Lord YHVH:

Behold, I am going to lay in Zion a stone, a granite stone, a cornerstone, a precious stone, a well-established foundation stone: he who trusts in it shall not be shaken. » vi

Contradiction? No.

To paraphrase what was said above about self-serving and selfless study of the Torah, let us argue that the ‘well-grounded foundation stone’ applies to true prophets.

On the other hand, the ‘stumbling block’ refers to the ‘insolent’, those who have ‘made a covenant with death’, who have made ‘lies’ their ‘refuge’ and who have ‘hidden in falsehood’vii, as well as false prophets, priests and all those who claim to ‘teach lessons’ and ‘explain doctrines’….

Isaiah eructs and thunderstruck. His fury bursts out against the pseudo-Masters of the Law.

« They, too, were troubled by the wine, they wandered about under the effect of the drink. Priest and prophet, they were troubled by drink, they were taken with wine, they wandered with drink, they were troubled in their visions, they wandered in their sentences. Yes, all the tables are covered with abject vomit, not a clean place! » viii

The false prophets and priests are drunk and roll around in their abject vomit… Their visions are troubled… Their sentences are rambling… They stutter, they donkey absurd sentences, but YHVH will give them their derisory lessons and knock them off their pedestals :

« Who does He teach the lesson to? To whom does He explain the doctrine? To children barely weaned, barely out of the teat, when He says: ‘çav laçav, çav laçav; qav laqav, qav laqav; ze ‘êr sham, ze ‘êr shamix. Yes, it is with stuttering lips and in a foreign language that He will speak to this people (…) Thus YHVH will speak to them thus: çav laçav, çav laçav; qav laqav, qav laqav; ze ‘êr sham, ze ‘êr sham‘, so that as they walk they may fall backwards, be broken, be trapped, be imprisoned. » x

As we can see, Isaiah had, more than a millennium beforehand, already warned of the subtle contempt and the self-satisfaction of the Kabbalistic scholars, and of the pseudo-sapiential sentences of rabbinic masters.

Today, what has become of the ancient bipolarity of prophetic and rabbinic Judaism?

It seems that rabbinic Judaism now occupies almost all the ideological terrain. The time of the (true) prophets has indeed been over for more than two millennia. The (false) prophets have been particularly discredited since the recurrent proliferation of multiple « Messiahs » (ranging from Jesus Christ to Isaac Luria, Sabbatai Zevi and Nathan of Gaza…).

There is little hope that the Messiah will risk to come again on the world stage any time soon. We know now what it cost the daring ones who ventured to take the role.

What future, then, for the Eternal People? What future for Judaism in a shrinking, suffering planet, threatened from all sides, especially by war, injustice, biological death?

I don’t know, not being wise enough.

I only know that, in truth, probably only a prophet would be able to answer these questions…

_________________

iZohar II 6b (Shemot). Quoted by Rabbi Hayyim of Volozhyn. The soul of life. Fourth portico: Between God and man: the Torah. Verdier 1986, p.215.

ii Zohar III 35a (Tsav). Quoted by Rabbi Hayyim of Volozhyn. The soul of life. Fourth portico: Between God and man: the Torah. Verdier 1986, p.215.

iiiGershom Scholem. The great currents of Jewish mysticism. Trad. M.-M. Davy. Ed. Payot et Rivages, Paris, 2014, pp.483-484

ivRabbi Hayyim of Volozhyn. The soul of life. Fourth portico: Between God and man: the Torah. Ed. Verdier 1986, p.210.

vIs 8, 11-17

viIs 28.16

viiIs 28, 14-15

viiiIs 28, 7-8

ixLiterally: « Order to order…measure to measure…a little here, a little there ». This can be interpreted as a derogatory imitation of the self-nominated « masters of the Law ».

xIs 28, 9-13

Une réflexion sur “Wisdom or Prophecy?

  1. What separates and distinguishes Tefilla from prayer?

    Bryan Wagner asks a most excellent question concerning how to pray? His question: “It’s interesting if you are a person who is focused on documents explaining wisdom. I subscribe to Gautama’s reflection that we must be a lamp unto ourselves in seeking what’s truthful. I have a question: Why not sit in silence and ask God directly? Why rely on others knowledge to complete the circle?”

    Response made to his direct question:
    When all Israel accepted the Torah revelation at Sinai, by which HaShem directly revealed the first 2 Commandments, Israel – the entire nation – feared if they received any more of this revelation of HaShem that they would all die. The entire nation demanded from Moshe the prophet to ascend Sinai and receive the rest of the commandments. Prophets serve as the primary medium by which HaShem speaks to bnai brit Israel.

    At the time of the golden calf, Israel received and accepted only the first 2 commandments at Sinai. The 2 tablets represent the 2 commandments accepted and received by Israel. Because all Israel assumed that they would soon die, by extension Moshe who ascended Sinai – after 40 days and nights – he too must have died. An inaccurate assumption which the men of Israel made. Therefore the people presented Aaron with a problem: “Moshe is dead, who will teach us the rest of the Torah”?

    Moshe returned, broke the 2 tablets, and once again neither eat or drank for another 40 days. On Yom Kippur\the Day of Atonement/HaShem revealed the Oral Torah logic format which permitted Moshe to interpret 611 commandments as precedents by which to understand the k’vanna of the opening first two commandments revealed at Sinai.

    The sages in the Talmud, they employ the same exact Oral Torah logic format wherein the Sanhedrin Courts ruled thousands upon thousands of judicial legal rulings/halachot. To what does this Sanhedrin judicial process compare? The British Parliament. England unlike the United States and the 1st Commonwealth Republic of Israel in the days of the prophet Yehoshua, England has no Written Constitution. The Written Torah functions as the written Constitution of the Israelite Republic of Tribes.

    The legalism of British Courts differs from that of American Courts. Britain has no Written Constitution. Every law passed by Parliament – these laws define the Constitution of Great Britain. As a consequence … no British Court has the authority to declare a law passed by Parliament as “Un-Constitutional”. The US by contrast has a written Constitution. Therefore American courts can declare laws passed by Congress and the Executive Branch of the Federal Government as “Un-Constitutional”.

    The 5th Book of the Torah – D’varim, goes by a 2nd name. Mishna Torah, the 2nd name of the Book of D’varim. Mishna Torah means ”repeat the din/law”. What does the concept of repetition of the law mean? In a word, the legal term: “legislative review”. The Sanhedrin Federal Courts (6 small Sanhedrin Federal Courts in the 6 cities of refuge), possess the Constitutional power\authority to not only declare a law passed by the government authorities within each and every tribe\State within the larger Republic as “Un-Constitutional” – like as can the American courts. But this legal concept of “legislative review”, learned from the Book of D’varim, means that the Federal Sanhedrin courts possess the Constitutional mandate to rewrite Un-Constitutional laws, such that these rewritten laws comply with the intent of the Framers of the Written Constitution and impose these Sanhedrin Court re-written laws as the laws of the land.

    Private individuals can contemplate upon the Torah … but Governments have the obligation to rule the land and people.

    Bryan Wagner1d ago I understand, but that leaves my question unanswered. Why not speak to God directly?

    mosckerr Who speaks directly unto HaShem, (as opposed to God{s})? Monotheism violates the 2nd Torah commandment at Sinai. Answer: Prophets da’aven directly to HaShem. How do prophets da’aven directly to HaShem? This question definitively proves the Jesus son of Zeus as a counterfeit fraud.

    According to the Yerushalmi Talmud, over 247 “prophets”, occupied their resources, wisdom, and knowledge of speaking directly to HaShem as opposed to the “Father of the Gods”, as Jesus addressed and spoke directly unto Zeus. The prayers of Jesus – they too violated the 2nd Commandment of Sinai. This most basic fundamental distinction the opening Mishna of Gittin, teaches that Jews of g’lut lost the knowledge of how to do mitzvot לשמה\in the Name.

    The primary mussar which all prophets command – how to da’aven directly to HaShem… da’avening takes precedent priority over offering sacrifices. The T’NaCH refers to this House as the house of tefilla and not as the house of sacrifices. None the less, korbanot dedications, they teach a central משל\נמשל definition of blessings. (Oral Torah logic stands upon the יסוד\foundation of making דיוקים\logical inferences). The prophet Ya’acov swore an eternal oath to his father Yitzak, that he would command the eternal chosen Cohen seed of Avraham to bless HaShem directly. Herein defines the definition of da’avening. According to the oath sworn by Avram, HaShem judges the contending Yatzirot within bnai brit Hearts. The Name of HaShem lives within our hearts, and not in Heaven, by the terms of the oaths mutually sworn at the brit between the pieces.

    How to da’aven, a kabbala tradition that predated Avraham da’avening directly to HaShem to open the closed wombs of all the women of the kingdom of Avi-melech. (The king to took Sara for a wife, based upon the assumption that her relationship with Avraham, a brother\sister family connection). Rabbi Yochanon, in the Gemara of ברכות, teaches that to bless HaShem, meaning to “swear” a blessing – as opposed to “say” a praise, like for example saying Tehilem\Psalms – – – a blessing most essentially requires שם ומלכות. Jesus son of Zeus, when asked to teach his disciples how to pray, totally ignorant of this ancient kabbala – known as מעשה בראשית .

    שבאו בניו מבית המשתה ואמרו לו לא קרינו את שמע” (משנה, מסכת ברכות – פרק א, משנה א)

    It happened that came his children/students to a wedding. (When occupied in a mitzva, a person enjoys exemption from doing other mitzvot.) They said to him, we did not (yet) da’aven kre’a shma. (First Mishna of Blessings/ברכות).

    The mitzva of kre’a shma – defines how the Torah understands – love of HaShem. The mitzva of kre’a shma: acceptance of responsibility for the blessings and curses of the Torah revelation of Sinai and Horev. Moshe the prophet commanded a strong mussar, his last Will and Testament, on the last day of his life on this earth. D’varim 30:19 [https://biblehub.com/deuteronomy/30-19.htm].

    Jesus son of Zeus (1) totally ignorant of the kabbala which separates and distinguishes itself from repeating Tehillem\Psalms. Tehillem do not qualify as swearing a Torah blessing because Tehillem lack שם ומלכות. The term “kingship\מלכות” refers to the dedication of tohor middot, such that the “king” fights the wars in the heart between the opposing Yitzirot. The prayer which Jesus son of Zeus taught to his disciples, upon their specific request, had no knowledge of the kabbala commanded and taught by the prophets of Israel, even before Yehoshua caused the nation of Israel to invade and conquer the kingdoms of Canaan. (2) That imaginary man/mythical person, who according to the Gospels amazed Torah scholars touching his Torah knowledge – even as a youth, never learned the two most basic and fundamental kabbalot/traditions (The T’NaCH has the name kabbala) of [1] מעשה בראשית and [2] פרדס.

    The organization of the Jewish Siddur\book of da’avening (tefilla different from non Jewish prayer), spins around the central axis of the kabbala of מעשה בראשית. Jesus son of Zeus had absolutely know knowledge of this ancient kabbala, learned from hundreds of prophets. So much for “fulfilling the words of the prophets”, an empty and totally vain and repeated New Testament boast! A person lives mussar in his life walk before HaShem. A person never “fulfills” mussar in his life walk before HaShem. Neither the sermon on the mount nor the violent attack in the Temple where merchants offered animals for sacrifice for sale, stand upon Torah commandments.

    The Torah commands 3 re’gal’im, comparable to making the Hajj to Mecca. If a person travels to Jerusalem on a regal, (Pesach, Shevuoth, & Sukkot), if his first fruits offerings will become damaged, due to the length of the journey to Jerusalem, the Torah commands an alternative 2nd tithe. That person can convert his first fruits tithes into money and when he makes aliya to Jerusalem, he then uses that money to buy offerings, to dedicate upon the alter on Zion. The Talmud asks a pertinent question: “Whom does the Torah exempt from the obligation to make the re’gel?” Answer: a person who lives outside of the “Old City” walls of Jerusalem.

    Jesus violently condemned merchants in Jerusalem selling animals for sacrifice. His unexpected force, in context compares to what happened to Moshe, when he expressed his anger and frustration against Israel at the stone which he later struck with anger. Moshe’s actions – the Torah – HaShem directly condemned. HaShem directly spoke to Moshe a simple command. That he, (Aaron and Miriam would die, together with the entire cursed generation who believed the slander made by the spies sent to search out the land), in g’lut\exile. The Talmud compares intense expressions of anger, directly to the worship of other Gods – a direct violation of the 2nd Commandment of Sinai.

    The Jesus prayer has no knowledge what distinguishes between “swearing a blessing” from “saying a praise”. As mentioned above, rabbi Yochanon taught the accepted halachic tradition, as taught by the prophets. Swearing a blessing requires שם ומלכות. The New Testament bible never once includes שם\the 1st Commandment Name revealed at Sinai; likewise that forgery has absolutely no knowledge of מלכות\kingship — the dedication as holy to HaShem of middot דאורייתא ודרבנן\tohor attributes from the Torah and rabbis.

    This total and complete ignorance of the revelation of middot revelation of the Oral Torah at Horev – 40 days after the sin of the golden calf – definitively proves that the ancient kabbala known as מעשה בראשית – Jesus son of Zeus had never learned. That imaginary mythical man had absolutely zero knowledge of how the sages organized the Siddur, the Jewish book of da’avening. He lacked basic Torah education which teaches the exact prophetic traditions which define the k’vanna of tefilla — the t’shuva dedication of remembering social interactions made by both the Yatzir HaTov and the Yatzir HaRah.

    This foreign alien non Jewish, wolf dressed in sheep clothing, had no knowledge that tefilla dedicates directly to HaShem “tohor middot”, as derived from prophetic mussar instruction, as learned from T’NaCH primary sources. (In the days of Ezra, the sages sealed the masoret\traditions of the T’NaCH). The dedication of “tohor middot”, a direct kabbala commanded by over 247 prophets! This T’NaCH based kabbala – known as מעשה בראשית – Jesus son of Zeus never learned, and did not know.

    It goes without saying that the Gospels has no education in the kabbala tradition known as פרדס. All the hundreds of rabbis in the Talmud obeyed this kabbala of the Oral Torah revelation of Horev. The chag of Hanukkah dedicates the lights of that 8 branch menorah. Specifically the sacred dedication to only interpreting the Written Torah by means of relying only upon the Oral Torah logic system format, as the eternal t’shuva of Israel for the sin of the golden calf, which HaShem revealed to Moshe on Horev as the most essential and defining character of the revelation of the Torah at Sinai. The sealing of T’NaCH literature and Hanukkah predates the imaginary birth & life of Jesus. That imaginary mythical false messiah had no knowledge of the foundations upon which stands all Yiddishkeit!

    J’aime

Votre commentaire

Choisissez une méthode de connexion pour poster votre commentaire:

Logo WordPress.com

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte WordPress.com. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Google

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Google. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s

Ce site utilise Akismet pour réduire les indésirables. En savoir plus sur la façon dont les données de vos commentaires sont traitées.