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Is Pythagoreanism the source of QBLH?

Subject: RE: Is Pythagoreanism the source of QBLH?
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 01:00:39 -0500 (EST)

On Tue, 28 Oct 1997, Jeffrey Smith wrote:

> I want to second Felicia's comments.

She wrote quite a few, I'm not sure which you mean.

  From the scholarly point of view, 

In the same way that most scholars totally ignore the Rabbinic view, I 
ignore the scholarly view. I think someone would have noticed that by now.

The story according to the Rabbis: When the Spaniards raided the library 
of Heidelberg, they plundered a set of Kuntresim  (little booklets with 
one lecture each. This has always been the traditional way the mystical 
writings were recorded. These were SAID by Rashb"i and written down by 
his students, mostly by Rb. Abba. This is how the Etz Chaiim was compiled. 
It was said by the Ari'zal and later compiled by Rb Chaiim Vital. This is 
still the way mystical knowledge is transmitted in the Chassidic sects. 
The Rebbe says a Maamar. The Chassidim write it down and disseminate it. 
Later it is compiled. Tanya was written that way, Likutey Mohara'n etc. 

It is the traditional Jewish way. 

Of these Kuntresim Rb. Moshe deLeon got one part. Another part was 
somehow acquired by the Duke of Bavaria. The largest part went to the 
Pope in the Vatican. 

The kuntresim were a big jumble. Some were in bad condition. Rb Moshe 
compiled them according to the Parshas of the Torah filled in some blanks 
and authored some cohesiveness into the Book which he called Zohar. He 
was subjected to much scrutiny by his contemporary Rabbis but finally 
everyone agreed that this was the Rashbi's Teachings. There is not a single
Orthodox Tradition whether Sephardic or Ashkenazik, Chassidik or Litvak 
which disagrees.

You can find this in Rb Yodel Rosenberg's Hebrew translation of the Zohar 
in one of the intros. This book has Haskomos (agreements) from almost all 
the major Jewish Scholars and Rebbes of that time

The Sdei Chemed
The Gerrer Rebbe
Rb Moshe Twersky
Chaiim Berlin
The Rebbe Rashab of Lubavitch
Rb Uri Shraga Feivl of Yassi - AKA The Mishneh Kessef
The Minchas Moshe
Rb. Avrohom Eiger from Lublin
and more....

In their Haskomos they seem to share my rabid dogmatic views that the 
Zohar is the teaching of Rashb"i

Further, the Merkava etc. is in the Prophets. Maaseh Beraishis is in Genesis.

I think what is bothering some of us here is the fact that we are 
claiming that these people talked to G-d and were taught by Him.

Then of course there is the crazy story about Elijah the Prophet. The man 
who wouldn't die. Some believe he is still running around teaching people.

The Jewish mystical school is an enigma to the modern scholar. And a 
thorn in the side of those who want to be Kabbalists without acceping the 
yoke of the mitzvos.

With this I end my part in this thread. It has already taken up far too 
much of my time. 

You may agree or not. It is of course up to you. 

> I am of course most interested in what you will post, although I have to 
> admit  I was somewhat nonplussed by your comments about Kaplan on ARCANA.
> Be well.

Most of Kaplans work is excellent. But when it comes to Kabbalistic 
Contemplation, much greater minds than Kaplan have erred. 

Rabbi Yossi Markel
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Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 23:51:53 -0500 (EST)
From: Jeffrey Smith 
Subject: RE: Is Pythagoreanism the source of QBLH?
In-Reply-To: <01BCE3DF.E4332320@felicia>
MIME-Version: 1.0
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Status: RO

I want to second Felicia's comments.  From the scholarly point of view, 
the best presentation of the Orthodox version of Kabbalah's antiquity is 
probably Aryeh Kaplan's--although I don't find him to answer many of the 
points raised by Scholem and others of that ilk, and which raise serious 
doubts about how old the Zohar and Kabbalah the school of mysticism (as 
opposed to Kabbalah as Jewish mysticism) actually is (to put it kindly).  
I don't need to believe that Moses was taught by the Deity every jot and 
tittle of halacha, Talmudic reasoning, and kabbalah, to believe that 
these things come out of Divine Revelation.  Moses was given the seed, 
but to see the plant in even a faint pattern of its maturity was a matter 
of millenia--and as I said in an earlier post, B"H it will blossom even 
more gloriously.  The people of this generation are as competent to this 
task as Moses or the Tannaim, if not more so (since they can draw on the 
teaching and experience of the prior three thousand years).
I am of course most interested in what you will post, although I have to 
admit  I was somewhat nonplussed by your comments about Kaplan on ARCANA.
Be well.

  Jeffrey Smith
     Hillel said:  Be among the disciples of Aaron, loving peace
     and pursuing peace, loving people and bringing them closer to Torah.
     ----Mishnah Avot 1:12
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