Loose ends

I’m working on a fairly long post about how to deal with the fall-out from ‘narcissist abuse’.

BH, I’ll put that up next.

In the meantime, I got sent a few things over email that are connected to all the discussion about:

  1. The Vilna Gaon’s ‘sabbatean’ leanings
  2. The Sadigura Rebbes’ ‘sabbatean’ leanings

I’m putting it up below, to tie up loose ends for more interested readers.


Here’s the posts on the Kotzk Blog – all recent from the last week or two – about the Vilna Gaon and his students. BH, he’ll be putting up more info about this subject:

Messianic Mitnagdim

Did the Vilna Gaon’s Religious Zionism precede modern Secular Zionism?

The extreme messianic mysticism of the students of the Vilna Gaon


One of the most interesting points from this discussion on the Kotzk Blog pertains to the ‘Kol HaTor’.

He’s bringing sources that suggest it’s at least possible that the ‘Kol HaTor’ was never written by the Vilna Gaon at all, and was kind of ‘introduced’ as part of an attempt at ‘revising history’ by Benjamin Rivlin’s grandson, Shlomo Zalman Rivlin.

According to Athol Bloomer, a Frankist descendent and ‘Hebrew-Catholic’, Benjamin Rivlin, the Gabia Ha’Kesef, is the ‘Frankist Tzaddik’ who stayed behind in the Jewish community to carry on corrupting from within.

So, it’s interesting for a lot of reasons.


And here’s what I got sent about the SADIGURA-SANZ dispute, again, all taken from sources online and totally in the public domain:

Here’s the link to the book Sefer Sandz where he and the whole machloket between Sadigora and Sandz is mentioned https://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/nowy_sacz/now291.html#27r .
I’m just adding to the email the paragraphs that I was telling you about:
“The Sadgora found a justification for their behavior and aspirations in the contention that, as they really are kings, as their yikhes [lineage] stemmed from the royal house of David, they automatically carried themselves like kings.
Another conviction was consistently bound with that hypothesis that they were prepared for the geule [redemption, the coming of the Messiah] and the re-establishment of their realm in Eretz-Isroyl.
According to all prophesies, the Messiah must descend from “the line of Jesse” [King David’s father].
They were the last remnants from that line of King David. It could not be otherwise, the melekh ha-meshiakh [King Savior {Messiah}] would only come from the Ryzyner Sadgora dynasty.
R’ Israeltche Ryzyner himself had already prepared a hint of that, and his sons had the same belief strengthened by the tens of thousands of their Hasidim”
“The wait for the consequences of his complete disconnection from his family and the Hasidic and Orthodox world, and going over to the camp of the Haskole [Enlightenment] as a fighter for enlightenment in Jewish life came after the public rebellious act of distributing the “open letter”.
However, for that he needed a stability of character that the aching R’ Berenyu loaded with complexes, absolutely did not possess. He could not decide to start a new life at the age of 52 and in addition a hard life in a strange neighborhood in which he would, with effort, have to fit in. H
e also could not see his ambition satisfied as a beginner in the enlightened world; while as only a rebbe, he had been the leader of an eyde [religious community] of Hasidim. 

It seemed, however, that the deciding factor in R’ Berenyu’s remorse was financial: in Chernivtsi he was cut off from his great movable and immovable possessions since his wife and brothers had laid their hands on them”

“Everywhere Sadgora Hasidim recovered their breath and celebrated with joyful repasts and noisy Hasidic dancing with music in the streets.
But even earlier when R’ Berenyu was still in Chernivtsi,, a portion of the Sadgora Hasidim had compared him to the pkhine Meshiekh [category of Messiah] who, according to the Kabala was “bad on the outside and good inside”, but excused it since he had not been alone in doing sinful things, only a person with his trouble[26], had now all maintained, that with that Chernivtsi, episode R’ Berenyu had had the intention of gathering the holy sparks that were spread among the ritually unclean.
A portion now compared him to King David, who had sinned and had done penance.
A Składer shoykhet [ritual slaughterer] had expressed the adoration of the Sadgora Hasidim thusly: “Until now our desire was to live to see our holy rebbe take us to the Maylekh Meshiakh [King Messiah]; now we do not wish for this, our only desire is that the light of the Holy Rov shall rise to greatness and that, with head held high, he would come to our land at once.”

What all these people have in common, mitnaged or ‘chassid’ alike, is that they were twisting ‘kabbalah’ to fit around and justify their own bad middot.

Today, there is so very much ‘fallen kabbalah’, especially online, being taught by people who emphasise ‘mysticism’ above simple faith, and serving Hashem with mesirut nefesh, and without sophistication.

It’s such a dangerous trap for the soul.


The only person to ‘learn kabbalah’ from is a person who spends at least 90% of his time encouraging you to work on your bad middot.

Stuff like shmirat eynayim, overcoming your anger, reducing your arrogance, being more compassionate to others, being more grateful, bitulling to Hashem.

Stuff like that.

Stuff that most people don’t like to hear or take seriously.


When you learn kabbalah, you start to learn so much about how the world really works and operates, spiritually and also materially.

It’s very, very powerful stuff.

And the vessels required to ‘hold it’, for the good’ are good middot and simple emuna.

And when a person doesn’t have those vessels, or those vessels aren’t in very good shape – then the ‘kabbalah’ they learn just explodes their souls.

They end up thinking in a very warped way, justifying their bad middot, falling away from the Torah and following God’s commandments – and so often, literally justifying the very worse things, pure ‘evil’ – all from a twisted kabbalah perspective.


This has happened to the ‘greatest ones’, the greatest Torah learners, the Jewish world produced.


Don’t think it can’t happen to you.


So, BH, we are now turning way more of our attention to developing ‘good middot’, identifying bad middot (with an emphasis on the bad middot associated with ‘narcissism’), and working on building up more simple emuna, and developing a good connection with the True Tzaddikim.

And if the people you are following aren’t challenging you regularly, and in a ‘real’ way, to improve your middot – especially, that stuff you don’t even want to think about – then you are are almost certainly not listening to a real holy person.

And that has a bunch of consequences.

Especially for you.

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