Friday, November 2, 2012

Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum: Chasid & Miracle Worker!

I recently paid an extensive visit to Hungary. During the last days of the trip, two fellow Companions and I visited the gravesites of a couple of two highly esteemed Kabbalists. One in particular, Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum(1759 - 1841), is particularly well remembered for his skills in the realm of "Practical Kabbalah." Rabbi Teitelbaum, nicknamed the "Yishmach Moshe" ("Moses Rejoiced") after the title of one of his works, signed himself "Tamar," this Hebrew term being equivalent to the Yiddish "Teitelbaum" (Dattelbaum in German), all referring to the date palm.In his early years Rabbi Teitelbaum was a Misnaged, a staunch opponent of Chassidism. We are told that as a young boy Rabbi Teitelbaum visited Elijah, the Gaon of Vilna, who was the greatest opponent of the rise of the Eastern European Chassidim. Apparently the young man was allowed entry into the presence of the Gaon, and he requested to be admitted as a student [see "In Our Leaders Footsteps" Volume 2 by Menachem Gerlitz]. Some reports have it that the Yishmach Moshe was returned home, whilst others maintain that the Gaon of Vilna recognised the genius of the young man and that he "was given custody in Hagra's Beit Midrash in Vilna."
Rabbi Teitelbaum commenced his rabbinical career in Przemysl, his birth city in south-eastern Poland, and was later appointed Rabbi of nearby Sieniawa. In 1808 he migrated to the Hungarian town of Satoralja-Ujhely, where he spent the rest of his days, and his successors became the founders of the Sighet and Satmar chassidic dynasties. In this regard, it should be noted that Rabbi Teitelbaum himself became a Chassid at a relatively late age. This occurred after his daughter married Rav Aryeh Leib Lipshitz. The odd religious behaviour of his son-in-law attracted the attention and disapproval of the Yishmach Moshe. We are informed that Rav Aryeh Leib acquiesced to relinquish his Chassidic ways, but would do so only after Rabbi Teitelbaum travelled with him to visit his Rebbe, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzhak ("the Seer") of Lublin. This visit to the famous Polish Chassid resulted in Rabbi Teitelbaum having a change of heart, and to him becoming a Chassid himself. Hence it was in the town of Satoralja-Ujhely that the Yishmach Moshe established a Chassidic community, one which was quite independent from the Galitzianer Chassidim, i.e. those who were residing in Poland and the Ukraine and who were calling the shots, so to speak.
The Yishmach Moshe was a remarkable leader who was highly esteemed as "the Light of all of Hungary." He had a profound comprehension of the meaning of "Now." In this regard he said that "were we to ask someone 'How long will you live?' he would likely take a total of the years he has already lived, add on to them an estimate of how long he figures he will still live, and give you a rough total. If you were to ask me, however, I would answer you, 'One second.' After all, what has already past is of no consequence. And as far as the future: how am I to know if I will even live to see tomorrow? What I do know is that this very moment, I am being given the gift of life. This moment is all I have. So, right now, this is my whole life." We are told that the great Rabbi considered this a "mussar haskeil," i.e. "penetrating insight," regarding which Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann of commented that "were a person to really value each moment, to realize that all he has in life is this very moment, which fool would while away his 'moments' with idleness and meaningless distractions. One who adapts this approach, his life becomes a collection of thousands of meaningful moments, threads of time, which, when woven together, yield an exquisite fabric, the likes of which could not have been produced by anyone else but him." The commentator reminds us that "man receives his moments one at a time. 'The past is gone, the future is yet to be, and the present is as quick as the blink of an eye.' The nature of man is to underestimate the significance of a minute. What is a minute, anyway? Many people seem to feel that a minute is not so terrible a thing to waste. Yet, as life 'flies' by, these are the minutes that must be utilized. They are our life. And using them properly and constructively is all we have to show for ourselves." [Mashal ve-Nimshal, Likutei Peshatim]
The grandson of the Yishmach Moshe maintained that his grandfather had total recollection of three earlier incarnations. Rabbi Teitelbaum apparently recalled being a sheep in the flock of Jacob, the Biblical Patriarch, and taught his disciples a song which he maintained Jacob sang as he looked after his sheep. As you probably know, kabbalistic tradition has it that Jacob's sheep were comprised of the root souls of the nation of Israel. The second incarnation apparently pertained to the time of Moses, specifically to the "Dor Ha-Midbar" (Generation of the Desert), i.e. the Israelites who wandered in the desert after being freed from slavery in Egypt. In this regard, the good Rabbi recalled witnessing the famous rebellion of Korach against Moses as recounted in the Bible, and in this regard he related details to his grandson, whom he scolded for expressing his dislike for Korach, maintaining that we do not comprehend just how great Korach really was. In fact, the Yishmach Moshe maintained that since the mentioned conflict between Korach and Moses was between the greatest minds of the time, he himself had difficulty deciding which side he was on. We are informed his grandson asked whose side he was on, and apparently received the reply "My child, you cannot imagine what a revered man Korach was. He was held in great esteem by many important people, and had a large following. And on the other side was the holy leader Moshe Rabbeinu! I decided that the best way to deal with such a division was to stay out of it. Throughout the entire controversy, until Moshe and his brother Aharon, the High Priest, were affirmed as the leaders, I remained inside my tent. I did not go out even once. And you, my dear grandson, should do the same. Learn a lesson for life: Whenever there is divisiveness, keep away. Lock yourself in your house if necessary so that you are not forced to join one side!"
Apparently this advice stood the grandson of Rabbi Teitelbaum in good stead. Some years later, when he witnessed a dispute between his own Rebbe (the Sanzer) and the children of Rabbi Chaim Halbertstam of Sanz, he refused to get involved in the incident, and would not support either of the disputing parties. When quizzed on why he did not support his own Rebbe, he replied "The Rebbe is great, but he is not greater than Moshe Rebbeinu! I learned from my grandfather not to get embroiled in quarrels, even if it involves Moses himself!" [see "Reincarnation and Judaism: The Journey of the Soul" by DovBer Pinson, and "Gut Woch" by Avrohom Barash]. Regarding the third incarnation, it appears that the Yismach Moshe lived at the time of the desolation of the First Temple, but we are informed that he did not disclose anything regarding this to his followers. However, we are told that he was identified as having been the Prophet Jeremiah who prophesied the destruction of the Temple, and his contemporaries maintained that the soul of the Prophet still resided in him.
As said, Rabbi Teitelbaum was considered a most remarkable miracle rabbi, i.e. wonder-working tzaddik or simply a "practical kabbalist." In this regard, we might recall the saga of his meeting with the 9 year old Lajos Kossuth whom he cured from a childhood illness. Kossuth became Governor General of Hungary in 1848, and was also leader of the Hungarian Revolution. He is not only considered a great hero, but was greatly beloved for his fair behaviour towards all the citizens of his country, Jews and gentiles alike. As it is, when the Hungarian War of Independence failed, Kossuth was exiled to Turkey where he died in Rodosto in 1894. Regarding the meeting of the good Rabbi with the young Kossuth, a rather self-indulgent newspaper reporter, who wrote as if he had personally witnessed the incident he delineated, and whose beligerent intentions to besmirch the Rabbi is plainly visible, wrote the following article titled "Kossuth and the Rabbi" which was published in the Jewish Chronicle (December 14, 1849), and afterwards republished in several British Papers. The article reads:
"The following sketch, taken out of Kossuth's boyhood, which he derived from an authentic source, affords a characteristic illustration of that sympathy which the old and pious Jews manifested for their agitator up to the last hour of his dictatorship. Whilst patriotism animated the younger branches, whilst considerate calculations stimulated middle-aged men, cabalistic interpretations actuated the hoary and the aged.
Kossuth's father was an attorney, and resided in a northern department of Hungary, chiefly inhabited by Jewish emigrants from Poland, who have settled there. Among these settlers there is a sect called 'Chassidim' (the pious), who are known by their long gowns, fur caps, and curly locks - their appearance being altogether different from that of native Jews. Kossuth's father conducted a vexatious lawsuit against the Chief Rabbi of Aphely. The cause of it is not known, but it lasted many years, and was carried on with great obstinacy by both parties. In the course of the process, two sons of the attorney died, and, very shortly after, the father also. Prejudice and bigotry spread a report to the effect that this heavenly visitation was in consequence of a curse by the Rabbi; and even the Catholics and Calvinists began to dread the power of the Jewish ecclesiastic. The sick and unfortunate of all religious professions flocked to the Rabbi's house, to be cured and assisted by his wondrous spells.
The Rabbi enjoyed the greatest respect and reverence: he was a shrewd and experienced man, and turned the ignorance of the people to his advantage, as is not unfrequently done by political and ecclesiastical leaders of other creeds. The widow of the attorney, fearing that her last boy, Louis Kossuth, would also fall a victim to the curse of the Rabbi, was induced by maternal love to pay a visit to the bearded Rabbi, and seek his pardon for the offence given to him by her late husband. The Rabbi received the sad widow very graciously, and even favorably, which emboldened the mother to request a blessing for her son. The shrewd Rabbi hesitated, gazed at the boy, and conversed with him. Veracity and high spirit then already distinguished the lad, and the respectful confidence with which young Kossuth surveyed the Rabbi and his suite, had a favorable effect on the venerable ecclesiastic. We omit to portray the state of mind of the wise Rabbi, the anxious mother, and the high-minded lad at that moment - we leave this to a more poetical pen than ours. We will but state the fact, that the Rabbi laid his hands on the head of the child and blessed him. This was considered so great an event in the country, that the family of Kossuth carefully noted down the Psalm quoted by the Rabbi, which was the 60th, and the passage, verse 4, 'Natutta liraecha nes lehisnoses mipne Koshet Selah.' - ('Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth.') The Rabbi then impressed on Kossuth's youthful mind not to entertain hostile feelings towards the poor Jews: this injunction was obeyed, and even at school Louis Kossuth distinguished himself by tolerance. These little traits, connected with the boy's growing up a bright and vigorous man, gave the Rabbi a great name and authority.
When Kossuth commenced his political career, he expressed himself at once liberally towards the Jews, who understood how to keep Kossuth's attachment alive, by continually chanting the renowned verse in the synagogues and on all solemn occasions. Kossuth soon promised the Jews the boon of emancipation. He loved the Jews, and they loved him. They shed their best blood in the struggle for Hungary's independence; they rendered him many services, and even his private secretary was a Jew. The emancipation of the Jews in Hungary was proclaimed at Szegedin just before the Russian invasion. The Austrian Government saw the necessity of soothing the fermenting element. Stadion, who had an opportunity, during his residence in Poland, to study the Jewish character, recognised the danger of driving the Jews ( a body of people full of mind and courage), back into their Gheto. It was known at Vienna that Pillersdorf's fall was owing to the non-execution of the principles of religious liberty embodied in his constitution. The Cabinet of Schwarzenberg have acted more wisely, and have carried out the principle to its fullest extent; but the attachment of the Jews to Louis Kossuth remains unabated. The enlightened adore him for his capacious mind, whilst the orthodox revere him on account of the blessing of the Rabbi."
Be that as it may, whilst this report is heavily embellished with unfounded conjectures regarding Rabbi Teitelbaum's motives, the important point is that the good Rabbi did not only cure the young Lajos Kossuth, but that he placed his hands on the head of the child and blessed him with Psalm 60:6 (4), the Hebrew text of which transliterated reads "Natata lirei'echa nes l'hitnoses mipnei koshet selah" ("Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah"). Apparently the Yishmach Moshe was punning on the term "Koshet" ("truth") in reference to "Kossuth." We are informed that Rabbi Teitelbaum did not only bless the child, but also "prophesied his future greatness." I am reminded of a remark I recently chanced upon, which was made by an individual who wanted "to show somewhat more clearly the religious opinions of the great chief, who so successfully roused the spirit of his countrymen to endeavour to achieve a glorious freedom." In this regard he extracted "from the New York Tribune a prayer, which Kossuth is said to have made on the field of battle," and added "we rather think that pious churchmen will hereafter throw doubts on Kossuth's orthodoxy, as he appears to pray in the manner of Jews, to the 'Almighty God of heaven, earth, and seas'." Here is the prayer which was published on July 28, 1849 in the New York Tribune, and which we are told was offered by Kossuth as he knelt "amid the multitude, at the graves of the Magyar heroes who fell in the battle of the Rapoylna, and was originally published in the Opposition, a journal of Pesht." It reads:
“Almighty Lord! God of the warriors of Arpad! Look down from Thy starry throne upon Thy imploring servant, from whose lips the prayer of millions ascends to Thy heaven, praising the unsearchable power of Thine omnipotence. O God, over me shines Thy sun, and beneath me repose the relics of my fallen heroic brethren; above my head the sky is blue, and under my feet the earth is dyed red with the holy blood of the children of our ancestors. Let the animating beams of Thy sun fall here, that flowers may spring up from the blood, so that these hulls of departed beings may not moulder unadorned. God of our fathers, and God of the nations! hear and bless the voice of our warriors, and with the arm and the soul of brave nations thunder to break the iron hand of tyranny as it forges its chains. As a free man I kneel on these fresh graves, by the remains of my brothers. By such a sacrifice as theirs, Thy earth would be consecrated were it all stained with sin. O God! on this holy soil above these graves no race of slaves can live. O Father! Father of our fathers! Mighty over myriads! Almighty God of the heaven, the earth, and the seas! From these bones springs a glory whose radiance is on the brow of my people. Hallow their dust with Thy grace, that the ashes of my fallen heroic brethren may rest in peace! Leave us not, Great God of battles! In the holy name of the nations, praised be Thy omnipotence. Amen.”
Getting back to Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum and his activities as "Practical Kabbalist," we are informed the Rabbi wrote many amulets amongst the services he rendered to the community. I am currently analysing two kameot attributed to him, which, like the following one, were included in "The Book of Seals and Amulets":
I have also noticed recently an "incantation against the evil eye" attributed to the Yishmach Moshe for sale on a website auctioning Judaica. We might note that Rabbi Teitelbaum's amulet writing skills did not always result in good returns, so to speak. In 1822 he was accused of suppying amulets to individuals jailed on libel charges, in order to aid them in escaping their incarceration. When confronted with this matter, the Yishmach Moshe responded that the amulets were actually substitutes for mezuzot, the purpose of which were to protect those who carried them against dark forces, e.g. demons. Whatever the case may be, I am certainly most grateful to have had the opportunity to pay homage at the gravesite of Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, the Yishmach Moshe, and to have done so in the company of a wonderful Companion!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Talismanic Mishmash Online

I have been perusing a variety of written amulets being sold online, and noted in several instances a great mishmash of differing amulets being conjoined in a single Kamea, and sold at hefty prices as a legitimate item which would bring the bearer great fortune. The fact of the matter is that in several instances, the variety of Divine and Angelic Names, including magical seals, merged in such a willy-nilly manner, are respectively applied for a number of quite divergent purposes, hence they should not be intermingled in a single amulet. Of course, it is perfectly clear that there are "soferim" (scribes) who are not only keen to devote themselves to writing and selling amulets, but all too eager to impact the minds of potential clients with impressive seals and signs. It would seem they think this approach would generate the best possible prices for their fanciful talismanic constructs, and they appear to be wholly indifferent to the fundamental influences of the active "psycho-spiritual potencies" triggered and channelled by the amulets in question.
It is worth noting that much of this amalgamated material was derived directly from the "Shorshei ha-Shemot" by Moses Zacutto. As it is, the author of this seminal text on Jewish Magic, delineated in the greatest detail the construction and employment of each of its listed amulet, hence there is nothing to be said in mitigation of a mindless approach to Hebrew amulets. For the sake of interest, let us consider the following set of Hebrew words and angelic names aligned with magical seals, which were conjoined with several divergent magical signs and seals in a complex contemporary amulet said to bring "good luck," etc.
This amulet is basically recommended to individuals wishing to rise in prominence. So if anyone wishes to increase his or her social status, etc., they could create this amulet by tracing the magical seals and writing the words and names on a piece of deerskin parchment. Regarding the latter, which may be hard to acquire today, I have noted that a clean sheet of high quality paper will do nicely. The amulet is then worn on the person of the individual requiring this support, and, we are informed, the said individual will then be perceived by all and sundry with great love and affection.
We are further told that if anyone should desire to grow and succeed in all his or her endeavours, then that individual should draw the seals and write the names of this amulet on the lines of the palm of his or her hand. In this instance the procedure is concluded by uttering the following incantation:
Y’hi ratzon milfanecha YHVH Elohai v’Elohei avotai Elohei ha-tzva’ot b’choach eilu ha-shemot v’ha-chotamot sh’tatzlichuni b’chol mah she’ertzeh
May it be your will YHVH My God, and God of my fathers, God of the Hosts, in the power deriving from the names and the seals for me to have success in all that I want to.
As said, there are Hebrew amulets doing the rounds in which this Kamea is combined with unrelated material, in fact, conjoined with certain seals and signs which many might loath wearing on their persons. Maybe I am just overly fussy, but I personally prefer to be informed regarding the methods of construction and actual meanings of amulets I select to wear on my person or carry in my wallet!

Hebrew Amulets: Let's drink 'em.....bottoms up!!

In "Practical Kabbalah" there are literally thousands of Divine Names, many of which were derived from biblical verses, etc., by means of highly specialised techniques. Notwithstanding this, there are many "Divine Names" the origins of which appear to have been lost in the mists of time. Take the following set of amulets as a case in point. All comprise variant formats of the same set of Divine Names, and are employed with slight variation for virtually the same purposes. Another common factor amongst all of them is the fact that one has to literally "drink the amulets." In this instance the procedure requires one to dissolve the "Divine Names" in water, which is afterwards imbibed by the individual requiring this unique support. As it is, the latter action is not altogether unique, since it is recommended not too infrequently in a number of primary Jewish magical writings dealing with Kameot, Segulot, Refuot, etc.
Now, the first set of the mentioned mysterious Divine Names, was created to defend an individual against the offensives of injurious spirits, e.g. those who strangle humans, or of any malevolent force for that matter. Here the instruction is for one to write the following set of Divine Names in ink on a piece of paper with the right hand:
The writing is then, as mentioned, dissolved in a glass of water, which is afterwards consumed by the one who is afflicted. Next, in order to prevent these malevolent forces from returning, one has to write the following seals with ink on a clean piece of paper to be carried on the victim’s person:
I was informed the letters in the top right and bottom left triangles of the large Magen David, are abbreviations of the Ineffable Name () which, in combination with the expression below, reading v’lech (“and go”), are meant to “inhibit” the power of the baneful spirit forces, and direct the “goodness” of the Eternal Living Spirit to the one carrying the amulet.
As indicated, the peculiar set of Divine Names listed above are employed in variant formats, all for purposes of protection against man, spirits, etc. In the next instance it is recommended the following version of the Divine Names in question being employed as a safeguard against negative thoughts and fantasies, especially those acting in a most powerful corrupting manner on ones personal being. These are said to be particularly powerful on a Tuesday (the day of Mars pertaining to fury) and a Saturday (the day of Saturn pertaining to melancholy and despondency). Here the format of the said Divine Names is:
The instruction is for a man to write this particular set of Divine Names on a piece of paper with his left hand, and for a woman to do the same with her right hand. The writing is again dissolved in a glass of clean, fresh water, which is afterwards consumed by the individual requiring the special support rendered by this activity. It is said, that with the help of the Divine One, the action will be effective, especially if one drank the infused water from a kosher glass.
Elsewhere again, the set of Divine Names is listed as:
In this instance the application pertains to special protection when one is being threatened by humans intent on taking ones life. We are informed to write the listed set of Divine Names in ashurit, i.e. the standard square Hebrew letters, on a sheet of paper with the right hand. The writing is again dissolved in a glass of water, to be consumed by those whose lives are being threatened. Afterwards the set of Divine Names is rewritten and carried on the person of those requiring this unique protection.
Considering the three variant formats of the Divine Names in question, I have been told that all of them could be and were successfully employed interchangeably for exactly the same listed purposes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

An Amulet to Break Evil Spells

It always comes as a surprise to me that the instant one is concentrating on a specific magical application, a query would seem to appear, seemingly out of nowhere, in direct relation to the very topic one is engaged in. In the current instance I am referring to an individual quizzing me on the possible use of amulets to counteract "evil spells." As it is, I was just writing a short insert on this very topic to be included in "The Book of Seals and Amulets." Whilst I have subsequently shared the amulet pertaining to this matter with the mentioned querant, I thought I would share the same here. The item referred to is the following simple Kamea:
This curious amulet, employed to cancel all magical spells of both the written and spoken varieties, is constructed from the three words of Exodus 22:17 [16] reading
m’chashefah lo t’chayeh
"Thou shalt not suffer a sorceress to live."
Note there is an additional (yod) in the amulet, this being included in the word . The reason for this appears to be the "harmonising" of, as it were, the "incantational order" of the letters comprising:
Line 1. Four sets of letter combinations incorporating three letters each formed from the said biblical verse;
Line 2. The reverse of line 1;
Line 3. Six two letter combinations, arranged in the following manner:
a. the initial of the first word of the verse in question conjoined with the concluding letter of the third word;
b. the second letter of the first word coalesced with the penultimate letter of the third word;
c. the third letter of the first word combined with the additional (yod) in the amulet;
d. the fourth letter of the first word correlated with the second letter of the third word;
e. the concluding letter of the first word coupled with the first letter of the third word;
f. the interchange of the two letters comprising the second word.
Line 4. The reverse of line 3.
In conclusion, the entire construct is hedged in by the well-known conjugation of the Divine Names (YHVH) and (Adonai), i.e. (YAHDVNHY—"Yahadonahi"), the component letters of which having been divided into four groups of two letters respectively located in the four corners of the Kamea. Commencing top right, the entire word can be traced, right-left-down-right, around the construct.
On sharing this amulet on the "Concepts of Kabbalah" Yahoo egroup (, I was queried as to whether the fact that the term m'chashefa (sorceress) in the Biblical verse employed in this Kamea, would pertain to a man casting the "evil spell." In this regard, we might recall that in the overtly "sexist times" when that portion of the Bible was written, it was generally believed that sorcery was mainly practiced by women.
However, in Practical Kabbalah there is no particular interest in whether the verse in question refers to a male or a female, since the actual Hebrew text is considered a powerful incantation against ALL magical spells of the malevolent kind, whether perpetrated by men or women. The fundamental reasoning here is that the Hebrew letters comprising the verse in question, are basically the "bodies," so to speak, of powerful "Spirit Intelligences," these being "channelled" in the mentioned manner in order to obliterate all "baneful psychic influences."
Curiously enough, the amulet in question was tried and tested successfully by a woman who was impacted malevolently by a male "sangoma" (African medicine man). According to the lady in question "the Kamea worked like a dream!"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sterility and the Twenty-four Permutations of Adonai

I am deeply embroiled in the "race" to complete "The Book of Seals and Amulets," the third volume of the "Shadow Tree Series." As might be expected, the contents of this text is of great personal interest to me, and I am having a difficult time deciding exactly what to include in the mentioned text, and naturally not very keen to exclude anything.
Be that as it may, I am currently perusing the use of the twenty-four permutations of the Name Adonai in Hebrew amulets. The information I have at my disposal pertains mainly to their conjoined employment in a "magic square" as an aid against infertility in women. In this regard I am consulting two primary texts, i.e. "Shorshei ha-Shemot" by Moses Zacutto and the anonymous "Refuah v'Chayim m'Yerushalayim." I am aware that the twenty-four permutations of Adonai are employed in a variety of ways in Jewish mysticism, magic and meditation, but I am currently specifically dealing with its use in Hebrew amulets.
In reference to the mentioned topic, I thought I might share with you the details on the utilisation of the twenty-four permutations of Adonai in Hebrew amulets. As you probably know, the Name corresponds to Malchut (Kingdom) on the Sefirotic tree. The letters comprising this wonderful Divine Name, are permuted in twenty-four different ways as shown below:
Each of these twenty-four permutations are respectively associated with three portions of the "Name of Seventy-two Names," i.e.
The twenty-four permutations of Adonai combine in a "magic seal," of which there are a number of configurations. However, the correct combination is as shown below:
This "magic seal" is employed as a Kamea (amulet) in order to cure a barren woman of sterility. In this regard the instruction is to inscribe the square comprising the twenty-four permutations in the format of this magic "word square." Since this chotam (magic seal) is understood to receive an influx of "power" from the "Name of Seventy-two Names," one is instructed to state the purpose of the amulet below the "magic seal," and to do this in the name of the "Seventy-two Names of Chesed" (Lovingkindness). Hence this Divine Name is listed in full, also referencing the combination . This special "Name," pertaining to both Chesed (Mercy) and Gevurah (Strength), is said to battle the Klipot (demonic shards). The gematria of this peculiar Hebrew letter combination is 216, which we are told relates to the 216 letters of the "Name of Seventy-Two Names." It is also said that the entire construct comprising the "magic seal," pertains to the word (Ibur — "impregnation" or "gestation"), this being the fundamental purpose of the amulet in question. As it is, the gematria of this word is 288, i.e. 4 x 72, hence this term is also included in the amulet we are considering.
In conclusion, there are further instructions to add Genesis 21:1 as well as Genesis 30:22 to the amulet, these verses being traditionally employed in Jewish magic to promote fertility and to ease childbirth.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sacred Writ & Kameot: Psalms.....Psalms.....Everywhere! - Part 5

As far as its employment in Hebrew amulets is concerned, Psalm 67 features particularly prominently in protection amulets, and whilst we have thus far looked at complete Psalms or large sections comprising several verses being used in Kameot, entire Psalms or verses therefrom are often employed in abbreviated formats in Hebrew amulets. Such condensations are considered equally as effective as the Psalm it represents. Taking Psalm 67, the “Menorah Psalm,” as a case in point, we note that the entire Psalm was abbreviated, with its traditional menorah format maintained, in order to fit on fairly small metal amulets, as indicated in the following Shiviti Kamea:
This amulet comprises a superscript from Psalm 16:8 reading (Shiviti YHVH l’negdi tamid—“I have set YHVH before me always”), hence the appellative “Shiviti” amulet. The right outer, bottom, and left outer border of the construct comprise an abbreviation of Numbers 8:4, with the left border including both the conclusion of the said verse, as well as an abbreviation of Genesis 49:18, as shown below:
v’zeh ma’aseh ha-menorah mikshah zahav ad y’rechah ad.....
“And this was the work of the candlestick, beaten work of gold; unto the base thereof, and unto.....”
Transliteration: pir’chah mikshah hiv kamar’eh asher.....
“.....unto the flowers thereof, it was beaten work; according unto the pattern.....”
.....her’ah YHVH et Moshe ken asah et ha-menorah (Genesis 49:18) lishu’atcha kiviti YHVH
“.....which YHVH had shown Moses, so he made the candlestick.” (Genesis 49:18) “I wait for Thy salvation YHVH.”
The method of abbreviation employed here is “Serugin” or “trellis writing,” which is affiliated to the Kabbalistic system of Notarikon, which I have defined in “The Book of Sacred Names” to be “a sort of short-hand, or system of acronyms. Notarikon is therefore a method in which the single letters of a word, become words themselves.” In the case of the Serugin method, an entire chapter can be condensed by employing the initials or the first two letters of a word. In this regard, Psalm 67 was compressed in the Shiviti amulet in the following manner:
Verse 1: [First three letters of the first three words; and first two letters of the concluding word]
Verse 2 [1]: [First two letters of the first five words; the initial of the next word; and the first two letters of the concluding word]
Verse 3 [2]: [First two letters of the first five words; and the initial of the concluding word]
Verse 4 [3]: [First two letters of the first five words; and the initial of the concluding word]
Verse 5 [4]: [First three letters of the first word; first two letters of the succeeding nine words; and the first letter of the concluding word]
Verse 6 [5]: [First two letters of the first word; and the initials of the following five words]
Verse 7 [6]: [Initial of the first word; first two letters of the following two words; and the initials of the concluding three words]
Verse 8 [7]: [Initials of the first six words; and the first two letters of the concluding word]
The remaining portions of the Shiviti amulet comprise:
[Right] (Sanoi)
[Left] (Sansanoi)
Initial letters of the first nine words comprising Genesis 49:22 reading:
ben porat Josef ben porat alei ayin benot tza’adah.....
“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a fountain; its branches run.....”
The initials of the concluding two words of Genesis 49:22 reading (alei shur—“over the wall”); (Argaman—Divine Name constructed from the initials of the names of the angels Auriel [Oriel], Rafael, Gavriel, Michael and Nuriel); and concluding with the initials of the phrase (Chen y’hi ratzon—“Be it willed” [“So mote it be”]).
Each of the items constituting this amulet, are dealt with separately in "The Book of Seals and Amulets," and much of the mentioned material has been fairly extensively addressed in "The Book of Sacred Names."
Be that as it may, it should be noted that whilst this Shiviti Kamea was created to protect a woman in childbirth, against the “evil eye” and the demoness Lilith, the “Menorah Psalm” is also abbreviated on Hebrew amulets, as a call for help by individuals who find themselves in grievous circumstances. In this regard there are Kameot constructed from only the initials of the words comprising this Psalm, all of which were configured into a set of eighteen letter combinations as shown below:
Whilst this presentation is certainly a lot simpler than the method employed in the Shiviti Kamea, those who prefer an even quicker and somewhat easier “call for spiritual help” when they find themselves in dire need, have noted that single verses from the same Psalm can equally be employed on Hebrew amulets in the same abbreviated manner, e.g.
verse 2 is abbreviated ;
verse 1 and 2 reduced to ;
and verse 2 and 3 to .
Any of these abbreviations could be applied for the very same purpose assigned to the entire Psalm.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that a very special Divine Name, , was constructed from the initial of the first words of verses 2 to 8 of Psalm 67. This Name is said to pertain to the wonders of the sacred incense (k’toret).