Context and Kabbalah

Context and Kabbalah

Christian missionaries will grab hold of anything that they might be able to use to justify their belief in the trinity. Be it a Scriptural passage, an analogy from the physical world or a passage from the writings of the Jewish rabbis. The fact that the Jewish rabbis all identified the Christian veneration of Jesus as idolatrous, doesn’t seem to faze the missionary in the least. If they can find a line or a passage that can be read as a support for their cause, they will use it – regardless of the overall textual context of the book and regardless of the living context of the book; the lives and beliefs of the people who wrote these books and of the community that holds these books sacred.

Let us examine one of the more popular missionary proof-texts from the kabbalistic work; the Zohar. In Volume 2, page 43b the Zohar speaks of three that are mysteriously one. The three that are one, are the three names of God mentioned in the Shema – the central declaration of Jewish faith. Missionaries trumpet this passage as a “proof” that the ancient kabbalists believed in a trinity.

The assumption that the Jewish kabbalists believed in the trinity is about as realistic as the belief that the founding fathers of the United States were secret loyalists to George the third, King of England. The argument does not deserve a refutation. But for those who are not fully aware of the Jewish aversion to the deification of a human and for those who will believe the most fantastic conspiracy theories – I will ask them to turn one page in the Zohar.

On page 42b in that same volume the Zohar declares that God Himself is One, and is above all identification – even above His name. The Zohar goes on to explain that the names of God only describe His interaction with His creations and do not begin to describe God’s own essence. The Zohar points to Deuteronomy 4:15 and Isaiah 40:18, 25 as the Scriptural teaching on the nature of God.

It is clear that when the Zohar speaks of three that are one on the very next page, the intention is NOT that God is somehow three and one at the same time as Christians believe. But rather, the Zohar is teaching us that the three modes of God’s interaction with the world are intrinsically one.

For one who has already accepted that the Zohar preaches a trinity as a matter of faith, I don’t believe that a logical argument will convince them to reconsider their position. So if a missionary quotes the Zohar to you, don’t expect to get him to change his mind. But at least you can give him some homework. You can tell him to read the Zohar from the previous page. Then you can tell him that Thomas Jefferson was actually attempting to express his loyalty to the King of England. Somehow, he ended up with the Declaration of Independence.

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

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14 Responses to Context and Kabbalah

  1. Shomer says:

    I must confirm that Christians search every literature to find their Trinity doctrine proved. And even if on one of the next pages, even in the “NT”, the opposite is stated they pretend that the phrase in question is a proof for their pagan Trinity idea. If they only knew the passages within the “NT” that disprove Trinity – but they don’t:

    Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God (….)
    Mar 12:29-30 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

    Deu 6:4-5 שׁמע ישׂראל יהוה אלהינו יהוה אחד׃ 5 ואהבת את יהוה אלהיך בכל־לבבך ובכל־נפשׁך ובכל־מאדך׃

    As a matter of fact “God” is triune – but ELOHEynu isn’t.

  2. bography says:

    For Yisroel – I agree with you because any Christian who considers the Zohar as shedding light on the scriptures is deluded.

    For Shomer – Do you believe that Jesus really said those words or do you believe they are fabrications?

  3. Adrian Vink says:

    Well spoken Shomer and Bography. As far as what Bography stated in relation to what Shomer stated, I beg to question if Jesus really did say this. If Jesus really did say this then he must have been promoting / teaching about the One True G-D of Israel, although it is hard to find within Christian Church teaching. No matter, Jesus Christ is still not the messiah, thank G-D.
    Fancy that the Christians would dare to read and study Quabbalah (Zohar). This is not for the non-Jewish people (Goyim). There are rules (laws) for the study and practice of Quabbalah, which can be found in the Talmud. It should not be revealed to the goyim as they cannot be trusted with its power and could suffer the effects of accidentally or purposefully blaspheming the holy Name/s and thus destroy themselves and / or others. One of these rules is that they MUST be very familiar with the Torah and also the Talmudim. If they mis-quote passages from the Zohar then their is no truth in what they are saying. I would encourage all fellow Jewish people to discourage any non – Jewish person from reading / studying or practicing Quabbalah in any way shape or form.

  4. By analogy, imagine if you were trying to paint a picture that NASA was really a cover-up for a secret Russian covert operation at undermining American technological supremacy. Even though the American government, who actually set NASA up, establish it and run it; still you have doubts. So you go up and you get the rocket-science training manuals, and then you see on page 456, paragraph d, that the manual says: “and you take the Russian nail set and solder them to the outer layer of the vestibule.” You exclaim “ah ah, you see, it says the word: “Russian”, and they’re talking about Russian nails – it must be a conspiracy, it must be that the Russians are undermining NASA. Meanwhile, you don’t know anything about rocket-science, the manual is meant for rocket-scientists, you haven’t any idea what its talking about, but suddenly its a conspiracy, because of one statement taken out of context. Its laughable if it wasn’t so tragically sad, that people grasp at straws from other texts that have little to nothing to do with what they’re trying to prove to make their weak position stronger; and in so doing really reveal that their position is at best untenable, at worst misleading.

  5. Yosef says:

    The xians don’t learn Zohar. Instead, they use it for a much more nefarious purpose: To demonstrate that we ignore even our own “sacred” writings, and worse – our Rabbis purposely hide the truth from the masses in order to hide Yashke. In other words, they know the truth and purposely keep it from us. The xians don’t come out and say this explicitly, but it is most certainly their line of logic.
    It is the same logic used in their mockery of the Seder. They say that the 3 matzot represent the trinity and we are blinded to the truth, and worse, it is purposely hidden from us by the Rabbis-in-the-know.
    When I was caught up in the Messy world many years ago, I heard another speech about the Zohar. The speaker tried to equate the concept of Galgata to the xian story’s “Golgatha” hill. The audience was ooo’ing and ahhh’ing. Unbelievable.

  6. Yehoshua says:

    Honestly the New testament itself does not teach Trinity, but that Yeshua is the flesh incarnation of God YHWH. All names are titles for God modes or relationships of God with His creation. So the Son is a created flesh housing for God. Trinity was even admitted to be in the minority around late second to to early third century A.D.

    • David says:

      Actually the NT doesn’t even teach “incarnate” either; that teaching also came with the non Scriptural Trinity teaching. Not one verse says “incarnate.” In reality according to the NT, God YHWH “begat” Jesus, and NT does NOT teach that Jesus “incarnated” himself. Therefore, since the NT teaches “begat”, Jesus didn’t pre-exist, and therefore is not now and never was God.

      • Yehoshua says:

        I have to disagree Apostle Paul taught that Jesus was all fullness of the Diety bodily in Colosians. In fact Jesus replaces the temple in revelations and God’s glory shines through him. Jesus said refers to himself as I AM and I am He. John 1:1-14 expresses incarnation. If God incarnates Himself and God is one person, then the body He made for the particular portion of His Spirit( called by John the Word) then that body would be His begotten Son in the matter of being created. Though the Spirit and Soul of the mentioned Son would be Divine. Also if God does not give up His omnipresence to be made flesh you end up with 2 consciences a Spirit and a Human which in fact would be one, given Jesus always rerrering to Himself and the Father as being “one”. To deny Jesus as being God in the flesh would be denying many verses taught in the NT. let’s not forget the earliest christians were monarchians as admitted by Tertullian, and he wasn’t referring to the Untitarian adoptionists. In fact it was the trinitarians that persecuted the monarchians almost out of existence.

      • J.L. says:

        I agree that the term incarnate is totally misplaced! But Yochanan 3:16 teaches not about “begotten” either, in Aramaic it literally uses some form of bar (which means son) and yachid (which means only), the phrase being used is just like the phrase used when Avraham needed to take his only son (Bereshit 22:2, see also Yochanan 1:18). One could refer to Tehilim 2:7 but the hebrew word there is y’lidticha from yalad which means to give birth or deliver (and the Aramaic version of Acts 13:32 and Hebrews 1:5 uses that exact same wording in Aramaic; i.e. it’s pronounced in a similar way). In my opinion G-d therefore delivers Messiah to us as his only son. To deliver in English not only refers to the process of giving birth, but also to an act of handling over (to give or hand over something to the persons for whom it is intended). In such view you can see where all these verses are talking about: “G-d gave us Messiah!”. It’s plain simple in my humble opinion.

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  10. jc says:

    I read in Tanya that by Jew repenting he’s sacrifing to the name elokim? What does that mean?

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