Some Wisdom from the Zohar and Commentaries

153. He asks: earth is called  Arka, when it should read,  Ar’a. He answers: because  Arka is one of the seven lands below, where the sons of Cain’s sons reside. Indeed, after being banished from the face of the earth, they descended there and fathered generations; wisdom became so lost that all understanding was lost, and this is a double land, consisting of darkness and Light.

Each of the seven Sefirot (the six Sefirot of ZA and Malchut) contain the properties of the other six. Thus, each one of them contains the seven Sefirot HGT NHYM. In other words, Malchut, too, has seven Sefirot, and the lower world contains seven lands, as well, called EretzAdamaArkaGiaNeshiaTzia and Tevel.

Our land is called Tevel and is the highest of the seven lands. Arka is the third of the seven lands. The souls of Cain and Abel descend from the word Elokim, but due to the impurity that Chava (Eve), Adam’s wife, received from the serpent, the soul of Cain emerged first from the letters ELEH, followed by the soul of Abel, which emerged from the letters MI. These two Partzufim were meant to unite and incorporate their properties in one another, which would make the name Elokim shine in both of them, as when MI is permanently present in ELEH. However, the impure force that emerged together with Cain’s soul incited him against his brother (MI of the word Elokim) to the point that he rose against Abel (MI in Elokim) and slew him. This is because the disappearance of the property of MI-Bina from ELEH is tantamount to murder.

Without the support of the properties of MIELEH (Cain’s own property) fell into the impure forces: from the spiritual level of the holy land to the impure place (of egoistic desires). And he lost his descendants (Partzufim filled with Light) because of the rule of the impure forces (the disappearance of the screen).

Thus, the holy language within him was substituted for translation, for he had lost the wisdom (Ohr Hochma). After all, the impure forces lack wisdom, as they have only the Light of HB without Daat.

The slaying of Abel, i.e., the exit of Light from this Partzuf (item 152), occurs because MI is formed in ZON exclusively by the power of MAN (raised by the pure thoughts of the righteous in the worlds of BYA). Then appear the letters ELEH, and the word Elokim becomes as complete in ZON as it is in AVIMalchut ends just like ZA, like Ima, due to the replacing of the letter Hey with Yod (item 17).

However, the letter Hey does not disappear from MA forever. Rather, it simply enters the inner part of Malchut and hides there (the will to receive receives its fulfillment from altruistic actions, from Ohr Hassadim. Hence, its egoistic aspirations are temporarily unfelt, as they are concealed in Ohr Hassadim). Meanwhile, the letter Yod is revealed in MI.

This is why the Creator’s holy name Elokim is also found in ZON, in Heaven and earth. However, Cain raised MAN not in holiness and purity, but wished to use the letters ELEH – which relate to him – for his own pleasure. This is described as, AND CAIN ROSE UP AGAINST ABEL, HIS BROTHER, for he put himself above his brother, to rule over MI (Abel).

However, AHP of Nukva (the hitherto concealed letter Hey of MA) were immediately revealed, and the word MI disappeared from Malchut. Hence, Abel’s soul, which stems from MI of Nukva (MI fill the Partzuf with Light and are considered its soul) ascends and disappears as well, as is described by the words, AND SLEW HIM, for the Light’s exit from the Partzuf is referred to as death.

This is why The Zohar describes this process in the following way: The serpent’s impure force was within Cain (Beresheet, 2:4); hence, he wished to strengthen the letters ELEH, annul MI, and govern them. That is why he revealed AHP of Nukva (MA) and MI disappeared from Nukva, whereupon Abel’s soul, which descends from MI, disappeared as well (AND SLEW HIM).

Thus, Cain himself (ELEH) fell under the rule of the impure forces, called Arka or Eretz Nod, as it is written in the Torah: “And he settled in the land of Nod” (Beresheet,4:16).

The Zohar calls it a double land, one that contains both Light and darkness. This is because Light and darkness mix and act (rule) together, as there are two rulers in that land, who divide the power equally between them. One rules over darkness, the other over Light. Hence, in this state one is unable to separate Light from darkness, and only help from Above, the descending Light of reason, enables one to tell between the true Ruler and the lord of darkness.


The Donme Credo

This version of the Donme credo was originally published by Scholem in Hebrew and later translated into English by C. Sisman (formatting and spelling match Sisman).

I believe with perfect faith in the faith of the God of truth, the God of Israel who dwells in [the sefirah] tiferet, the “glory of Israel,” the three knots of faith which are one.

I believe with perfect faith that Sabbatai Zevi is the true King Messiah

I believe with perfect faith that the Torah, which was given through our teacher Moses, is the Torah of truth, as it is written: And this is the Torah which Moses placed before Israel, as ordered by God through Moses. It is a Tree of Life to them that hold fast to it and its supporters will be happy… [here follows several biblical verses extolling the Torah]

I believe with perfect faith that this Torah cannot be exchanged and that there will be no other Torah; only the commandments have been abolished, but the Torah remains binding forever and to all eternities.

I believe with perfect faith that Sabbatai Zevi, may his majesty be exalted, is the true Messiah and that he will gather together the dispersed of Israel from the four corners of the earth.

I believe with perfect faith in the resurrection of the dead, that the dead shall live and shall arise from the dust of the earth.

I believe with perfect faith that the God of truth, the God of Israel, will send the rebuild sanctuary from above down to us [on the earth] beneath, as it is said: Unless God build the house, those that build it labor in vain. May our eyes see and our heart rejoices and our soul sings for joy, speedily in our days. Amen.

I believe with perfect faith that the God of truth, the God of Israel will reveal Himself in this [earthly] world [called] tevel, as it is said: for they shall see, eye to eye, the Lord returning to Zion. And it said: And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it, for the mouth of the Lord has promised it.

May it be pleasing to Thee, God of Truth, God of Israel who dwells in the “glory of Israel,” in the three knots of faith which are one, to send us the just Messiah, our Redeemer Sabbatai Zevi, speedily and in our days. Amen.

The Eighteen Principles

This version of the Eighteen Principles was originally published by Saul Amarillo in Hebrew and later translated into English by Scholem and quoted in its entirety by Sisman (formatting and spelling, including brackets except where noted, match Sisman).

In the name of Sabbatai Sevi.

Here is the 18 commandments of our Lord, King, and Messiah, Sabbatai Sevi, whose glory be exalted.

1-  They shall be scrupulous in the faith of Heaven, that he is one and only, and besides him there is no god, and providence does belong to any prince or ruler except him.

2-  They shall believe in his messiah, who is the true redeemer and there is no redeemer except him, namely our master, our king S.[abbatai] C[Sevi], of the seeds of the house of David, (of blessed memory)

3-  They shall not swear falsely by his blessed name or by his Messiah, for his masters name is in him and they not profane it

4-  They shall honor his Blessed Name, and so also they honor the name of the [Messiah? word omitted in Sisman] when they make mention of it, and so also [shall each do] for any greater than he in wisdom

5-  They shall advance from strength to strength in recounting and disclosing, subtleties in the mystic messianic faith, Raza Demeshiha, as also on the eighteenth day of Kislev they shall all of them assemble in one house, and there they shall recount to one another what they have heard and understood of the mythic faith of the Messiah, raza di-Mehemanutha di-Meshiaba.

6-  There shall be among them no murderers, even [of those] among the Nation, even if they detest them

7-  There shall be among them no thieves

8- There shall be among them no adulterers. Although, this is only a commandment of the Created World [Beriah], because of the thieves it is necessary to be scrupulous in observance

9- They shall not bear false witness, nor shall they speak falsely to one another; and they shall not inform among themselves, even to [against] unbelievers.

10- They are not permitted to come [bring] in anyone under the turban, even one who believes intensely. For he who is of the Warriors, will come in himself with a complete heart and a desiring spirit without any trace of coercion whatever.

11- There shall not be among them any who covet what is not theirs

12- They shall keep the feast [other texts: the fast and the feast] in Kislev with great rejoicing. [Says the copyist: it is the feast of the miracle of “He brought me up also out of the tumultuous pit, out of the miry clay,” which is on the sixteenth of Kislev, as is known, this is the day on which he was plunged into the great ocean by Samael and was delivered, as is recounted on a previous page.]

13- They shall behave graciously toward one another, fulfilling his [each other’s] desire.

14- They shall study privately the Book of Psalms, a daily measure every day.

15- Each and every month they shall look up and behold the birth of the moon and shall pray that the moon turn its face opposite the sun, face to face.

16- They shall be scrupulous in [their observance of] the precepts of the Ishmaelites, among whom they have to blind their eyes and eradicate his [their] seed. And as for the fast [of Ramadan], those who keep it shall not be concerned, and similarly about their sacrifices to the demons they shall not be concerned; and those things which are exposed to their [the Muslim] view they shall observe.

17- They shall not intermarry with them, either in their lifetime or in death, for they are an abomination and their women are creeping things, and concerning them, it is said, “Cursed be he that lies with any kind of beast.”

18- They shall be scrupulous to circumcise their sons and remove disgrace from among the holy people.

For my desire is in these Eighteen Ordinances, although some them belong [only] to the law of the Created World, for the Throne has not yet been made whole, until the vengeance of the Children of Israel is wrought upon Samael and his company. At that time all will be equal, [there shall be] no proscribed and no permitted no polluted and no pure, for they shall all know them [me], from the least of them to the greatest of them. And caution the Associates who are Believers but have not taken the turban- which is the war- that they must be scrupulous in their observance of the law of the Created World [Beriah] and Supernal World [Atzilut], they must not omit anything until the time of Revelation. Thenceforth, they shall be attired in the Tree of Life, and all will be equal. May it be his will that he [Sabbatai Sevi] soon be revealed. Amen.

The Nine Principles of the Contra-Talmudist Manifesto to the Lwów Consistory – August 2nd, 1756

1. We believe in everything that was taught and commanded by God in the Old Testament.

2. The books of Moses and the other books of the Old Testament can be compared to a richly dressed maiden, whose face is covered and whose beauty cannot be seen. These books are full of the hidden wisdom of God; they speak of things mysterious and of the future, and therefore cannot be comprehended by human reason without the assistance of Divine Grace.

3. The rabbis of old times sought to expound the Old Testament. Their explanations are known as the Talmud and contain many lies, irrationalities, and much nonsense about and hostility to God and His teachings.

4. On the basis of the Old Testament, we believe that there is one God, without beginning or end, who is the maker of heaven and earth and all things known and unknown.

5. We believe that there are three persons within one God, without division within him.

6. We believe that God manifested himself in corporeal form, in all respects like other human beings, but without sin.

7. The city of Jerusalem will not be rebuilt until the end of time.

8. Jews have waited in vain for the Messiah to come to raise them above the whole world.

9. On the basis of the Old Testament, we believe that God would himself be clothed in human form and would atone for all the sins for which the world was cursed. At his coming the world would be pardoned and cleansed of all iniquity.