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An Introduction to the Talmud

by Dr. Harris Brody

Part X

We have seen in our past studies that the Zohar, a book of Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah), has much to say about the Messiah. During the days of Yeshua the Zohar was considered to be inspired and of the highest level of "Scriptures." It was not meant to be for the common man but only for certain elected ones. We see this in the following quote from the Apocrypha: "These words you must publish openly and those you must keep secret" (2 Esdras 4:6). In this reference Moses was commanded to teach the simple contents of the Law to all, but the higher mystical teachings were to be taught only to the elected ones. Who selected the "elected ones"? It was a decision made by the rabbis.

In Matthew 11:25 Yeshua, Jesus, reversed this whole scenario: "...thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." Yeshua said that His gospel is hidden from the wise and intellectual who would normally receive knowledge first by the rabbis' standards, and instead is given to the common man ("babes"). Try to picture the scene and turmoil caused among the rabbis. He said that the hidden things of God, or a true Biblical Kabbalah, is for the common person and not the wise.

The rabbis understood what Yeshua was teaching. For the wisdom of God does not come by men of great scholarship but by humility. God holds back great truth and blessing from the proud. Yeshua taught that one must empty himself so he can be filled with God's Spirit. For rabbinical Judaism, both past and present, the way to know God is by a mental search. Yeshua simply taught that if a person wants to know God he needs to come unto Him and take His yoke (Matthew 11:27-30). King David also defines how the common person can receive the hidden truth of God in his inward parts. The answer is simply to confess sin (Psalms 51:6,7).

Kabbalah teaches that one cannot know God, who is the Ein Sof, the unknowable God, by the simple content of the Scriptures but only by way of the mystical interpretation. It teaches that man atones for his own sin and can even eradicate his sin nature. Yeshua dealt with this very issue as recorded in Mark seven. In this passage the Pharisees had questioned Him as to why His disciples did not wash their hands after the "traditions of the elders (Mark 7:3,5). Yeshua was not against the hygienic care of His disciples. The issue was ceremonial. Many are not aware that the "traditions of the elders" is a Kabbalistic teaching from the Zohar that has been incorporated into the second chapter of the Shulhan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law). It teaches that when one goes to sleep, the holy soul departs from his body and an unclean spirit descends upon him. When rising from sleep, the unclean spirit departs from his body except from his finger tips. One is not permitted to walk six feet until he ritually washes his hands alternately three times with water from a vessel. If he touches his eyes or any orifice, the evil spirit will enter back into the body. Also, the water must not be thrown away where an animal or person may drink it, for if they did they would become contaminated or possessed by the evil spirit. After the use of the rest room and before eating bread a similar washing is performed. This is not a Biblical teaching and yet the Pharisees in the first century challenged Yeshua and His disciples as to why they did not keep this tradition of the elders. Yeshua responded that if one wants to get rid of evil, one must cleanse the evil from his heart. One cannot get rid of evil by washing the hands ritually (Mark 7:1-23). This is still practiced today by the religious Orthodox Jew.

The origin of the Jewish mysticism of Kabbalah is Babylonian. During the Babylonian captivity Judaism absorbed much occult influence from her captors such as reincarnation, necromancy, conjuration, astral projection, astrology, numerology and the use of charms. Eventually Babylon became the center of Talmudic learning.

The Zohar and other Jewish mystical books are full of fire and deception. They must be avoided.


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