Sunday, March 11, 2007


We worship a God who is Jewish in His human form. Jesus Christ came to us through the Covenant of Abraham. For this reason the Jewish faith has always drawn me, even though I know little about it. At the same time, as the entry in the Jewish Encyclopedia on Cabala demonstrated, there is not a common faith in Judaism. Rather there are many lines of theology promoted by various Rabbis, and some of these lie in opposition to the Catholic faith.

Another line is that of the Hebrew Catholics, and it parallels what it means to be Roman Catholic as it is explained in this essay by Athol Bloomer. Here I found something of an explanation for the development in Kabbalah toward the magic trend that was obvious in the Encyclopedia entry:

The famous compiler of the Zohar, Rabbi Moses de Leon, was centred with his Kabbalistic school in Avila. That the Jewish Kabbalah is truly ancient can be seen in that St. Paul and St. John the Beloved seem to be familiar with its images and symbolism. The Egyptian theology of the Ennead is a corrupted version of this same mystical tradition. Later misuse of Kabbalah can be seen in Lurianic Kabbalah and its offspring Freemasonry. These both distort the Kabbalah into an occultic direction.

He writes that seeking power is the danger inherent in the use of Kabbalah:

When one seeks the mystical way or kabbalah to gain more power rather than love as did many of the Lurianic Kabbalists, one enters into evil ­Sitra Ahra (the Other Side) and encounters the Evil One (Satan) and his demons often as ‘angels of light’. The followers of Rabbi Isaac Luria (mid 16th century) took the authentic Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah centred on Love (Hesed) and used or misused it to gain power over spiritual entities not distinguishing between invoking angels or demons. The Scriptures forbid the occultic practice of summoning spirits- thus the Lurianic mystics generally follow occultic practices which seek power rather than love. Freemasonry and theosophy owe much to this perversion of Kabbalah. True Kabbalah (such as found in Zoharic Kabbalah) warns that to seek power (Gevurah) without Hesed is to enter in to evil ­ the Other Side. The rigid code of legalistic observance found in Shulhan Arukh, that seems to me to be lacking in love, was compiled by a Lurianic Kabbalist Rabbi Joseph Karo (1488-1575) of Safed. He was guided and instructed by a spirit guide ­ a ‘maggid’ or celestial teacher. Rabbi Morris Margolies in his book A Gathering of Angels states:

“Lurianic Kabbalists were also given to summoning angels and demons by using intricate combinations of the names of God, literally numbering in the hundreds. They did not think of this as magic (though, in effect, it was), since God himself was the means by which they were seeking certain ends.”

Thus Lurianic Kabbalism has introduced occultism into Judaism and the Jewish tale of Joseph della Reina is a warning of this perversion of Kabbalah. The movement of the false messiah Sabbetai Zvi (1626-1676) also followed Lurianic Kabbalah and fell into sexual as well as spiritual perversion. The only safe way to enter into the mystical realm is through Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament ­ the God of compassion. In the Eucharist we enter the mystical realm in and through and with the power of his Precious Blood which is the hesed of the Divine Body.

Bloomer explains in this essay that the "mystical union or marriage of the soul with the Heavenly Bridegroom" is really the Eucharist and Eucharistic adoration. Perhaps this is what John Paul II and now Benedict find appealing in Judaism and the Kabbalah.

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