The Baal Shem and Kabballah

Editor’s Note:  

This excerpt relates the practice of magic by Eastern European Jews who are predominantly descended from Khazarian phallus worshipers of the ancient Mystery Religion fertility Cults (Gog) north of the Caucasus mountains (See: https://zaidpub.com/2012/11/13/gog-magog-by-dr-omar/).  Nevertheless, this lot of zealots truly believes they are “Jews” descended from Prophet Abraham.  Hence, the paganism (magic) professed by their Rabbes as described below is indeed in their demonically infested blood and hails from ancient times in a new transmogrified set of idioms. Furthermore, this form of theurgy (magic) found its way into Freemasonry during the 16th-17th centuries. Since then it has become Masonic grist worldwide. – oz

The Baal Shem and Kabballah

Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:44 pm

Baal Shem

Baal Shem (Hebrew plural: Baalei Shem) in Hebrew meaning “Master of the Name”, refers to the historical Jewish role of select rabbis with knowledge of using Names of God in Judaism for Practical Kabbalah healing and blessing. The unofficial title was given by others who recognise or benefit from the Baal Shem’s ability to perform wonderous deeds, and emerged in the Middle Ages, continuing until the early-Modern era. Baal Shem were seen as miracle workers who could bring about cures and healing, as well having mystical powers to foresee or interpret events and personalities. They were considered to have a “direct line” to Heaven evoking God’s mercies and compassion on suffering human beings. In Jewish mysticism, the Practical Kabbalah theurgic role of Baal Shem among the common folk was one mystical institution, contrasted with the theosophic and ecstatic roles of elite Kabbalistic study circles, who were more isolated from the populance. The communal Maggid preacher had an intermediate-level role between the Rabbinic legal and mystical elite and the common folk.

A few people received the title of Baal Shem among Eastern and Central European Ashkenazi Jewry. The name is most well known in reference to the founder of Hasidic Judaism, the Baal Shem Tov (“Master of the Good Name”)-Israel ben Eliezer (1698–1760) in the Ukraine. However, this connotation is misleading. The Baal Shem Tov started public life as a traditional Baal Shem practical mystic, but with his founding of Hasidism, introduced a different, new way into mystical thought and practice. His role is popularly distinguished from the role of other, predominantly earlier, Baal Shem by the addition of Tov-Good to the title. Hasidism popularised formerly esoteric Kabbalah into a social mysticism movement. The new mystical role of the Hasidic Rebbe leader replaced the Baal Shem institution in Hasidism, combining Kabbalistic study with Maggid communal teaching, and displacing Practical Kabbalistic theurgic methods with a new doctrine of the righteous Tzadik as Divine channel of blessing.

The activity of Baal Shem among the community as well as the influence of Kabbalistic ideas, contributed to the popular belief in Tzadikim Nistarim (Concealed Righteous). Hasidic tradition records Eliyahu Baal Shem in the 16th century, founding a “Nistarim” mystical brotherhood to offer physical and spiritual encouragement to the Jewish populance, from which Hasidism later emerged.[1]

The “Name” referred to in “Master of the Name” is the most holy Four-Letter Name of God or Tetragrammaton. In Jewish tradition, this Name was pronounced only by the High Priest on Yom Kippur. With the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in the year 70 C.E., the true pronunciation was presumably lost. (Jews today do not pronounce the Name out loud, and substitute another Hebrew word, usually Adonai, in prayers and texts.) In some accounts, a Baal Shem was believed to have re-discovered the true pronunciation, perhaps during deep meditation, and could use it in magical ways to work miracles. Some stories say he pronounced it out loud, others say he visualized the Name in his mind. He also used the names of angels in this way.

Amulets and Practical Kabbalah

There are two differentiated streams in Kabbalah, that leading Kabbalists separated over concerns of illegitimate use of Practical Kabbalah:[2]

Kabbalah Iyunit, “Contemplative Kabbalah” (Theosophical-Meditative)
Kabbalah Ma’asit, “Practical Kabbalah” (Seeking to alter Nature in holiness)

The leading Kabbalist Isaac Luria (1534–1572) forbade our generations to use Practical Kabbalah. As the Holy Temple is not standing, and we do not possess the ashes of the Red Heifer, we are unable to become pure. Without this, he said, Practical Kabbalah is very damaging. Yitzchak Ginsburgh describes the connection of Jewish amulets to Practical Kabbalah:[3]

A Jewish amulet, consisting of various Divine Names, attributed to the Hasidic Rabbi, Moshe Teitelbaum (1759-1841), the Yismach Moshe

Amulets are on the border between Practical Kabbalah and an external manifestation of Kabbalah, such as name calculation. There is a source for amulets in the Torah. When a great sage writes Holy Names, without pronouncing them, on parchment and puts it into a container which is worn by the recipient, it can possess healing and spiritual powers. At the beginning of the Baal Shem Tov’s life, since he was a healer, he used amulets. Sometimes the amulet works because of the faith of the recipient in the spiritual power of the amulet. At the end of his life, the Baal Shem Tov never wrote the Names of God, only his own signature, Yisrael ben Sara or Yisrael ben Eliezer. This was the ultimate amulet given by the Ba’al Shem Tov.

The Sages teach us that whoever receives a coin from the hands of Job (a tzadik) receives a blessing. This is the source in the Talmud that receiving a coin from a great tzaddik brings with it a blessing. Thus we see that there are amulets that are permissible. The determining factor is the righteousness and intentions of the person giving the amulet.

Recorded Baal Shems

Signpost for the grave of Seckel Löb Wormser (1768-1847), Baal Shem of Michelstadt, Germany

Not many people with this title have been recorded (outside of the Baal Shem Tov, the Baal Shem of Michelstadt was one example) and none have it today. The first recorded person to receive the title was Eliyahu of Chelm. Other Baalei Shem include Rabbi Eliyahu of Worms (the founder of the movement variously known as “Macheneh Yisrael”, the “Nistarim”, and the “Holy Brotherhood”), Rabbi Joel of Ropshitz (a student of Rabbi Yoel Sirkis), Rabbi Adam Baal Shem, and Hayyim Samuel Jacob Falk (known as the Baal Shem of London).

Hasidic replacement of the Baal Shem

Contemporary legacies

The name “Baal Shem” mainly survives in Jewish surnames of people descending from Ba’ale Shem such as Balshem, Balshemnik and Bolshemennikov.
In recent years, some new age Jewish groups have revived the term as referring to the Jewish equivalent of a shaman or folk healer.[4]

ReferencesKohler, Kaufmann; Ginzberg, Louis. “BA’AL SHEM”. JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved September 22, 11.
Some Notes on the Social Background of Early Hasidism and A Circle of Pneumatics in Pre-Hasidism, in Studies in East European Jewish Mysticism and Hasidism, Joseph Weiss, Littman Library pub.
Lubavitcher Rabbi’s Memoirs: Tracing the Origins of the Chasidic Movement, 3 Volumes, Joseph Isaac Schneersohn, translated by Nissan Mindel, Kehot publications. Traces the early Nistarim brotherhood circle of Baal Shem and associates, in which the Baal Shem Tov became a member, and from which Hasidism emerged
Der Ba’al Schem von Michelstadt. Ein deutsch-jüdisches Heiligenleben zwischen Legende und Wirklichkeit. Mit einem Neuabdruck der Legenden aus der Hand von Judaeus und Arthur Kahn, Karl E. Grözinger, Frankfurt/New York (Campus) 2010. A latter-day Baal Shem

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baal_Shem

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1886 Illustrated Article Old Jewish Families in England Montefiore Kimchi

 

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Also some interesting items in this from the same time period:

Catalogue of Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition, 1887, Royal Albert Hall, and of supplementary exhibitions held at the Public Record Office, British Museum, South Kensington Museum

http://archive.org/stream/catalogueofan … a_djvu.txt

611. AViUT, Dated 1359. Balliol College, Oxford.

Document in which Wyclif, the reformer, is declared to
be unlawfully seised of a house in London, formerly
belonging to Thippe, Jewess of Southwark.

512. Hebrew Suetaroth — Facsimiles. Lucien Wolf.

Accompanying an article of the Eev. J. T. Fowler, M.A.,
F.S.A., in Yorkshire Archaeological Journal, III. pp. 55-03.-
The signature to No. 2 is that of the celebrated ” Aaron
of York,” the prototype of Scott’s ” Isaac of York ” in
Ivanhoe.

PERSONAL RELICS.

616. Silver Salver. S. Montagu, 3LP:

Presented by Menasseh ben Israel to Oliver Cromwell,
whence it came into the possession of the First Earl of
Argyll. The main body is Dutch work of al)Out tho-
middle of the x^•I^. Cent. The border and handles have
been added later, and bear the Queen Anne mark.

617. Haxuca Lamp. Br. A. Asher, M.D.

Dutch manufacture; dated a.m. 5-il8 [ = a.d. 1657]. Said to
have been the property of the Abraham who accompanied
the Jews to England on their return — Jacob Sasporttis.
{See No. 953.)

618. Masonic Arms. W. H. Rylands.

Designed by .Jacob .Jehuda I^eon, surnamed Tem]»lo, who
visited London in 1678 with a model of the Temple.

Personal Belies. 21

which lie was permitted to exhibit to Charles II and his
Court. Templo was au ingenious draughtsman, and
designed vignettes for the illustration of the Talmud,
some of which were afterwards jmLlished Ly Surenhxisius.
The present exhibit consists of a painted mahogany
panel, with arms in gold and colour, crest, su^jporters
and masonic emblems. It was engraved by Laurence
Dermott in his ” Ahimon Eezon ” (2nd edit., London,
1664), and described as from the “collection of the famous
and learned Hebrewist, architect, and brother Rabbi Jacob
Jehuda Leon.” In the original the motto was in Hebrew.

 

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