December 10, 2009


From Rabbi Menachem Recanati(1223-1290), Commentary on the Torah, “Vayechi,” 37d; also cited in Rabbi Chaim Vital’s “Shaarey Kedushah,” Part IV. Translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, “Meditation and the Bible” (Samuel Weiser or Jason Aronson editions), p. 88.

Prophecy and Visualization

The prophets would meditate (hitboded) on the highest mysteries of the Sefirot, as well as on the Supernal Soul, which includes all attributes. They would depict these things in their mind with their imaginative faculty, visualizing them as if they were actually in front of them.

When their soul became attached to the Supernal Soul, this vision would be increased and intensified. It would then be revealed automatically through a state where thought is utterly absent . . .

It was in this manner that the early saints would raise their thoughts, reaching the place from which their souls emanated.

This was also the method of attaining prophecy. The prophet would meditate (hitboded), directing his heart and attaching his mind on high. What the prophet would visualize would depend on the degree and means of his attachment. He would then gaze and know what would happen in the future. This is the meaning of the verse, “To Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 10:20).