RECLAIMING THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
I want to relate a story, from my personal experience, about how the Holy Seed of Adam becomes "lost" among what the Zohar calls the "mixed multitude" to become the "Lost Sheep of the House of Israel" -- or, as I've frequently called them, "Jews in Gentile's clothing." However, before I do that, I'll first summarize what we have discussed so far, and its significance to Neo-Sabbatian Kabbalah.
"And it is said: 'The Lord shall be king over all the earth; on that day the Lord shall be One and his name One." (Zechariah 14:9)
In the cataclysmic act of creation, according to Lurianic Kabbalah, the "Face of God" (which is to say, his One-ness) was "shattered." This is symbolized in Kabbalah by the disunity in the Holy Name, Yahweh, in which the "YH" is said to have split away from the "VH" -- hence the statement by the Prophet Zechariah that only in the Messianic era, when "the Lord shall be king over all the earth," only on that day will "the Lord be One and his name One."
This disunity in the Divine fabric of the Universe was compounded, according to the Zohar, by the "mixed paternity" of Cain and Abel --- Eve's sexual intercourse with Adam and the Serpent Satan -- because of which "she conceived from both and bore two children" (Zohar 1:36b), thus creating what the Zohar calls the "mixed multitude" which, it further states, "maintain[s] the world in the state of tohu and bohu" (Genesis 1:2), or chaotic disunity, into which it fell because of what Luria calls "the Shattering of the Vessels" (Zohar 1:25b).
So we see that Cain and Abel (because of their mixed parentage) are consistently omitted from the Biblical lists of Adam's descendants which only contain "Seth" -- born 130 after Adam and Eve left the presence of the Serpent Satan -- whom the Bible describes as follows:
"On the day God created Adam he made him in the likeness of God . . . . When Adam was one hundred and thirty years old he became the father of a son, in his likeness and his image and he called him Seth" (Genesis 5:3)
Clearly, then, only Seth -- and not Cain and Abel -- bore the "likeness and image" of God since only he was created in the "likeness and image" of Adam, who in turn, the Bible tells us, was "made in the likeness [and image] of God -- which is to say, he bore the Holy Seed. Moreover, the First Book of Chronicles begins with the following genealogy of mankind, in which the names of Cain and Abel are conspicuously missing:
"Adam, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared . . . etc." (1 Chronicles 1:1)
And even the New Testament omits Cain and Abel from the lineage of Joseph, the father of "Jesus," mentioning only Seth in the passage:
"Jesus being . . . . the son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah . . . . son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God. (Luke 3:23)
Thus, in the "mixed multitude" there are "Gentiles" who are really Jews, and "Jews" who are really Gentiles. Some of these are the result of the "mixed parentage" of Cain and Abel, and others are the result of "intermarriage" and "assimilation" among the descendants of Seth. In either case, each must be "separated" from the other -- identified and "called out" -- so that, in the words of the Zohar, "the mixed multitude shall pass away from the world and the Son of David [the Messiah] can come" (Zohar 1:28a).
Sabbatai Zevi was the first to "descend" into the Realm of Ishmael (i.e. convert to Islam) in order to retrieve from it the Holy Seed (or, to use another metaphor, the "Holy Sparks") contained therein and return them to their Source, which is God -- thus, participating in, and adding to, the repair of His "Face" or state of premundane unity. Yakov Leib (Jacob) Frank, Sabbatai's 18th century heir totally redefined and reinterpreted Sabbatianism to suit his own personality, time and place, thereby descending into the Realm of Esau by converting himself and his thousands of followers to Roman Catholic Christianity. Both of these attempted to retrieve the Holy Sparks from "inside, out" in order to Repair the Face of God. In our own time and place, Donmeh West scruples to accomplish the same goal of divine retrieval and repair, but from "outside, in". The methods and context may appear to be different than those of Sabbatai Zevi and Jacob Frank -- because we exist in a different time and place with different spiritual technologies at our disposal -- but the goal and its paradigm are exactly the same: the redemption of the universe through the repair of God.
Journalists are said to have a "nose for news." I on the other hand -- for reasons known only to God, and without intending to refer to my own, or anyone else's, Semitic physiognomy -- have a "nose for Jews." Ever since having the following dream many, many years ago I've spent the better part of my career searching for the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel and returning them to their proper "flock" (which is not necessarily the Jewish religion, but the Jewish people and their archetypal identity):
I am in a large auditorium where there are hundreds and thousands of people from all over the world, all dressed in their native costumes. They are arguing loudly among themselves shouting back and forth to each other, "I am a Jew! . . . No, I am a Jew!" I leap onto a platform at the front of the hall and begin sorting them into two groups by pointing to each and shouting, "You! You are a Jew! You to this side!" and "You! You are not a Jew! You to that side" until finally they are sorted, Jews to one side and Non-Jews to the other.
I mention this dream to make the point that my work over the past 40 years with the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel is not some self-appointed task, but a calling to which I have reluctantly, and at great personal sacrifice and cost, responded in kind. (There are current members of this Donmeh who know first-hand what I'm talking about, some of whom having been with me for as long as 10 to almost 20 years.) During this time the Lost Sheep have crossed my path in several different ways. What follows is an account of one of them over 20 years ago.
As I said, the "Lost Sheep of the House of Israel" have come across my path in a variety of ways over the past 40 years -- some by seeking me out and others by my having stumbled across them by "accident." What follows is an account of the latter circumstance. It's significance is that it illustrates how the Holy Seed of Israel can be "lost" among the Nations in only one or two generations. Even more, it is a tale of the modern "Marrano" -- the Jew who, like Sabbatai Zevi, affects to be something other than a Jew to the world, but remains a Jew to himself.
Twenty years ago a friend of mine and I were invited by her parents to spend the weekend with them in a house they were "sitting" for the owners who were on vacation in Europe. Both of the owners were Germans (Catholics, I believe) who came to this country together shortly after they were married. Because they were both well-educated people who spoke several languages and had a solid knowledge of European culture and politics, the husband was given a job with the U.S. Diplomatic Corps (most likely, I was told, in covert intelligence) and they traveled widely throughout the world. Upon their retirement, however, they purchased the large Santa Barbara house in which they had lived for a number of years by the time my friend and I spent our weekend there with her parents.
Despite the fact that the house was furnished in what I can only describe as "German Kitsch" -- that is decorated with fancy beer steins, lampshades fashioned of antique maps, animal hunting horns hanging on the walls, framed family photographs everywhere, etc. -- I had the distinct feeling, from the moment I walked into the house, that its owners were Jews. When I asked our hosts about this, they assured me (actually, they seemed rather annoyed at the suggestion) that the owners were very German and very Catholic and, as some proof, pointed to the framed photos on the walls. Indeed, on the surface these pictures should have convinced me I was wrong, but on further analysis they only raised more doubts in my mind.
What I saw in these pictures was three generations of strikingly blond and blue-eyed "Aryans" -- the owners of the house, their grown children, and their children's children -- but nothing and no one prior to that. Moreover, several of these family portraits were titled "Christmas, 19___." But what I found curious was that in none of these visual records was there any trace of Christmas itself -- no tree, no decorations, no family kresch that one associates with German Catholic families. Moreover, for people who were, as I was told by my hosts, deeply religious Catholics there was not one Crucifix or Holy Picture to be seen anywhere. This is not to say that the house didn't look and feel distinctly "German," because it did. But under that distinctly Germanic feeling there was, for me at least, and with no real reason I could put my finger on, an equally strong Jewish feeling.
One of the nice features of our visit was that we and our hosts had been given free access to the entire house, so I was free to roam from room to room sniffing around and following my hunches. Everywhere I went -- and, again, with no good reason other than my inner feelings -- the conviction grew in me that although these "Germans" may claim to be Gentiles, they were (whether they knew it or not, or wanted others to know it or not) actually Jews. Then, I discovered the small library.
Jung talks about the "four functions" by which we operate in the world -- intuition, sensation, feeling and thinking -- and he further points out that in each of us only one (or at most two) of these are used to any degree, while the remainder are undeveloped, unconscious and, therefore, what he called "inferior." It took my mentor, James Kirsch (who you'll recall from my other lectures was a member of Jung's original inner circle) very little time to determine that I, like Jung himself (at least according to James) was an "intuitive/thinking" type. That is to say, I operated primarily out of my intuition, validated by my capacity for intellectual reasoning. It's this, I think, that accounts for my peculiar skill in tracking down the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. It certainly accounts for what happened during my weekend visit in Santa Barbara.
I think it was on the second of our three-day visit that I found the owner's small office. Since it seemed very personal and private, filled with what appeared to be business papers and the like, I asked permission of my host before browsing through the bookshelves that lined its walls. He saw no reason why I shouldn't, as long as I didn't touch or read what were obviously private documents, to which I agreed. The "office" itself was actually no bigger than a large closet with room for one or, at most, two people at any given time. There was a desk, a couch and a coffee table. The walls, as I say, were lined with books.
I spent about 15 minutes skimming through the books that were there, none of which were exceptional or revealing. Then I saw it lying inconspicuously on the coffee table. It was a Christian Bible, in German, quite old and obviously a family heirloom. I picked it up. It felt unusually light. And when I opened it, I found that it was hollow and contained, hidden therein, a small book bound in black leather, the first page of which was titled "Family History," and on it were various names with dates of birth and death that had been written in ink by clearly different people at obviously different times.
Most importantly, however, it was a Jewish prayer book.