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Practical Kabbala Today

Keys to True Prophecy

Keys to True Prophecy

Keys to True Prophecy
Practical Kabbala Today

The prophets were able to see into the world of Atzilut, although it was completely clothed in the lights of Beriya when they saw it. Ezekiel lived after the destruction [of Solomon's Temple], and he therefore only received prophecy from Atzilut after it was clothed in Beriya, with the lights of Beriya itself clothed entirely in Yetzira. After Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi, prophecy ended completely, and only Ruach HaKodesh remained…

After this, the lights of Atzilut and Beriya were no longer revealed at all. This is the meaning of the teaching that after Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, prophecy ended completely, and only Ruach HaKodesh remained.

This [Ruach HaKodesh] consists of a transmission of the lights of Yetzira itself, as well as lower levels. Attaining this level is called "Ascending to the Orchard [Pardes]." This refers to Yetzira, which is called "the Universe of [the angel] Meta‑tron".

There are given techniques through which one can open the gates of the physical world so as to enter Asiya and Yetzira. These consist of Unifications (Yechudim) and prayers pertaining to the World of Yetzira and its ten sefirot. It is these techniques that are taught in the Chapters of Hekhalot, and these practices were used by Rabbi Nehuniah, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Ishmael, and the members of the Great Assembly. Use of techniques involving the universe of Asiya…does not bring any enlightenment…

These techniques were then forgotten. Besides this, the ashes of the Red Heifer [needed to attain ritual purity] were lost in the period of the later Talmudic sages, during the generation of Abaya and Rava [who lived in the Fifth Century], as mentioned in the Talmud. After this, they no longer made use of these techniques to ascend to the Orchard.

From then on, people only made use of techniques involving the universe of Asiya. Since this is the lowest of the universes, its angels have only a little good, and are mostly evil. Besides this, this is a level where good and evil are closely intertwined [and it is very difficult to separate them]. This does not bring any enlightenment, since it is impossible to perceive good alone, and one's perception is therefore a combination of good and evil, truth and falsehood.

This is the significance of the Practical Kabbalah. It is forbidden to make use of it, since evil necessarily attaches itself to the good. One may actually intend to cleanse his soul, but as a result of the evil, he actually defiles it. Besides polluting his soul, he will also be punished…

Even if one does gain some perception, it is truth intermingled with falsehood. This is especially true today, since the ashes of the Red Heifer no longer exist. [Since one cannot purify himself,] the uncleanliness of the kelipot attaches itself to the individual who attempts to gain enlightenment through the Practical Kabbalah.

Therefore, "he who watches his soul should keep far from them". For besides polluting his soul, he will also be punished in purgatory (Gehinom). We also have a tradition that such an individual will be punished in this world. Either he or his children will become sick, will be impoverished, or will become apostates. Learn a lesson from Joseph Della Reina and Rabbi Shlomo Molcho, who made use of the Practical Kabbala and were destroyed from the world.

All this is because of the above-mentioned reason. This involves a realm where there is no good devoid of evil. Besides this, it involves coercing angels with oaths against their will. These angels retaliate by enticing this individual, draw him into evil ways until his soul is destroyed.

Beyond this, the methods involving these oaths were concealed by earlier generations, and we are not well-versed in the proper techniques. One must therefore keep himself far from these things.

For a link to the Works of Rabbi Chaim Vital, click here. For more information on the Life of Rabbi Chaim Vital, click here.

[Adapted from Shaarey Kedusha 3:6; excerpt from "Meditation and Kabbalah" by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan]

Rabbi Chaim Vital c. 5303-5380 (c. 1543-1620 CE), major disciple of R. Isaac (Yitzchak) Luria, and responsible for publication of most of his works.
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was the Bronx-born renowned author of over 50 books. In addition to his brilliant success as a youthful prodigy in various yeshivas, as a university graduate student, he was described in a scientific "Who's Who" as the most promising young physicist in America. In the field of Kabbala in English, he translated and elucidated two of the oldest and most important texts: Sefer Yetzira and Sefer Habahir, and his Meditation and Kabbala is still the classic in the field. The Jewish people suffered a tragic loss when he passed away suddenly in 1983 at the age of 48.
From Meditation and Kabbala (Aaronson)
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Malka Libe Brockton Ma March 13, 2017

Keys There many types of keys. I wonder how many keys it takes for this world and what wonders one would find? Reply

Malka Libe Brockton Ma January 25, 2017

Rabbi Tillson Rabbi thank you for explaining Keys to true prophecy in a way that I understand this better . Thru our early Jewish history our people suffered a great deal but it seems to me now days could we be able to be strong enough to endure this ? I am not stating Jewish people do not have trouble in this world today there's a lot of racism for one towards us . Reply

david ben moshe nigeria March 3, 2015

i want to learn the keys to true prophecy Reply

Daniel Frank Toronto April 5, 2013

In the words of Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles: "Nowadays, everyone without exception is assumed to have this impurity and nothing can be done about it until the Temple and Kohanim are restored and the tenth red heifer in history is discovered. May we all together see it happen soon." Reply

Anonymous Tzefat, Israel via April 5, 2013

Re: Flemington, NJ Try Tanya, book 4, section XIX for a more complete picture. Reply

Anonymous Flemington NJ March 7, 2013

It has been my understanding that Arizal has received Ruach HaKodesh. If this indeed is the case, can you kindly help resolving an apparent diffifulty, as this article suggests that Ruach HaKodesh stopped at the Talmudic times. Furthermore, my understanding of Tanya's Chapter 39 is that the Alter Rebbe states that during the Shemoneh-Esreh prayer it is possible for one's soul (with proper kavanah) to achieve abode of Beriah, and occasionaly the level of Atzilut; yet this article suggests that after Talmudic times one can not achieve a level higher then Asiyah. Can you kindly clarify? Thank You! Reply

Jonathan Boas Berg Amsterdam, Holland via October 17, 2012

In the 10th century Rabbi Jacob ben Nissim writes; "People write comments on the books, and other foolish people come later and comment on the commentary. Between them the truth is lost".
Rabbi Saadia Gaon says about certain books; "Its not a common book, and many people have been careless in changing or transposing the text. My message; Be careful with your explanation of the truth. Reply

Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles via December 16, 2010

Re: red heifer The red heifer ashes were for every Jew, the exclusive means to purify them from the highest level of impurity in order that they may bring their Pesach lambs. Mikveh is not sufficient for this impurity.
In those days people knew to be careful to avoid contact with or stepping over dead bodies, and if it happened they could resort to the red heifer cure. Rabbi Akiva etc. did not need to resort to the red heifer ashes more often than once a year, like everyone else. In between they were careful.
Nowadays, everyone without exception is assumed to have this impurity and nothing can be done about it until the Temple and Kohanim are restored and the tenth red heifer in history is discovered. May we all together see it happen soon. Reply

Anonymous Earth, USA via December 11, 2010

can't learn prophecy without red heiffer dust? I understood the red heifer to be for the temple attendants, not for ritual purity of guys sitting on their doorstep meditating. So why not just get out of asyiah? Why not just dip in the mikvah for ritual purity? Somehow I don't think Rabbi Akiva used red heiffer ashes every time he studied or meditated. Reply

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