Monday, February 11, 2008


Sometimes, the meandering pathways of the interwebs lead you down twisted and unexpected paths, so that, leaping from link to link like stepping stones scattered at random in the ocean of knowledge, you come upon things that just make you say huh.

(I personally most like the bit where they subtly explain away the conversions.)


e-kvetcher said...

yep. been there.


YaLHaK said...

Although flattered by the attention, I must point out that there is a difference between "explaining" something and explaining it "away."

No one is arguing that Sabbatai Zevi didn't "convert" to Islam. He did. But his REASONS for doing so -- which were not as commonly believed -- and the fact that he never PRACTICED Islam after his so-called "conversion" are an entirely different matter.

I humbly suggest that you read Gershom Scholem's monumental 1000-page historical study, "Sabbatai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah" published by Princeton University Press, in which he writes:

"The only messianic movement to engul the whole of Jewry -- from England to Persia, from Germany to Moroco, from Poland to the Yemen --weas that aroused by a young kabbalist rabbi from Smyrna, the 'messiah' Sabbatai Sevi, and his prophet, Nathan of Gaza."

and also, of Sabbatai's ultimate rejection, Scholem writes:

"Was it not a great opportunity missed, rather than a big lie? A victory of the hostile powers rather than the collapse of a vain thing?"

Zvi Go'el,


Yalhak said...

Also, please note that 75 thousand other people have "meandered" onto Donmeh West at the rate of hundreds per day, and it's consistenly rated 4th among the top-ten Kabbalah websites on the internet by Alexa.Com, the "Nielsen" of the Net.

Zai Gezunt,


Tobie said...

Yalhak: I apologize for allowing my own doubts to enter into my interpretation of your site. Biased reporting, perhaps. In addition, the term 'meandered' was meant only as a description of the pathway by which I personally reached your site and not a statement about your site and/or its readers.

Yalhak said...


That's good of you to say, and much appreciated. Todah rabah.


P.S. Yasher koach on this blog, btw. I like your writing very much: intelligent, alive, very readable and creative.

Yoni said...

wow, thats weird.

Miri said...

it's kind of a pretty idea though, the retrieving sparks from other religions thing. also the struggle of G-d to return to himself is an idea I can get behind....I don't really think people are just irrelevant pawns, however. that would seem to be an inefficient use of G-d's resources.

Yalhak said...

And then there is this side of our mouth:

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

yeah, I agree with Miri; that site may seem a bit awkward to us, but we must learn from all, and that is actually a pretty good place to do that. There are actually a lot of very legitimate ideas there, many of which are actually part and parcel of 'Luzzatoian' Theology.

Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain said...

"I don't really think people are just irrelevant pawns, however. that would seem to be an inefficient use of G-d's resources." -- Miri

I'm sorry if I gave the wrong impression. Not only isn't man "irrelevant" but he is absolutely essential. To quote C. G. Jung:

"The Jew has the advantage of having long since anticipated the development of consciousness in his own spiritual history. By this I mean the breaking of the vessels and man's help in restoring them. Here the thought emerges for the first time that man must help God to repair the damage wrought by the creation. For the first time man's cosmic responsibility is acknowledged.(C. G. Jung, Collected Letters, vol. 2, p. 155)

and Martin Buber on the same subject of man'd indespensibility to God:

"God has fallen into duality through the created world and it's deed....But it is given to the human spirit , through it's avodah, to be able to bring the Shekinha near to its source and help it to enter it." (Martin Buber, "Hasidism and Modern Man," p. 88)

Sorry if I gave the wrong impression about what we believe, teach and practice, and hope this corrects it.


Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain said...

By the way, the Israeli newspaper, Ma'ariv, just published an interview with me on Neo-Sabbatian Kabbalah at For those who don't read Hebrew, the English version is at

They're also translating and publishing my Neo-Sabbatian writings as a series of feature articles in their spirituality section. The first of these, "The Holy Sinner," has already been published at (An English version is at

Another interview with me, this one on the web-radio program "Aeon Byte"( air in two weeks. (By the way, this is the same radio program that recently interviewed Prof. Daniel Chanan Matt on the Zohar.)

Finally, Wikipedia has added a section to their article on Sabbatai Zevi about us and our work titled, "Donmeh West and the Neo-Sabbatian Revival." It's at

Zevi Go'el,

Yakov Leib HaKohain

zohar said...

Hashem Yishmor.
These sabbatean and frankist guys did terrible harm to the Jewish people.