March 24, 2009


From Reb Yehudah Eizik Yechiel Safrin of Komarno (1806-1874), “Heichal HaBerakha (Chamber of Blessing),” weekly portion “Va’eschanan.” The section on meditation with the Komarno Rebbe’s kabbalistic yichudim (unifications) has been newly presented in Ksav Ashuris (Torah script) by Rabbi Eliyahu Yechiel Ovadia, shlita, Kollel Shemen Sason, in a sefer entitled “Achdus HaOlamos (Unity of the Worlds),” Jerusalem 5765 / 2005.

We have translated the basic meditation, pp. 16-17, but not the more esoteric material which follows at length – although this version also touches upon the esoteric. This meditation seems kindred to that of Rabbi Chaim Vital in his “Sha’arei Kedushah” and Rabbi Pinchos Eliyahu Horowitz of Vilna in his “Sefer HaBris,” in the section “Eikhus HaNevu’a”; however, the Komarno Rebbe goes into further detail than both. It is also likely that he possessed traditions from his master, the reknowned Chassidic mystic, Rabbi Herschel of Ziditchov (1765-1831).

Reb Eizik’l of Komarno’s Meditation

First immerse in a purifying mikveh (pool or stream) and afterward find a secluded place in which you can be alone. No one should disturb you or interrupt your thoughts. Dress in clean white robes, pleasantly scented. Garb your spirit in joy, repent completely, and accept upon yourself the Torah anew.

Then clear your mind of all distracting thoughts and cast away all self-serving motives which intervene between you and your Creator.

You should intend to connect yourself in the very depth of your heart, with the greatest love, with all beings in all worlds, as well as with all that exists on the levels of mineral, vegetative, animal and human; and in particular with the holy Jewish people.

Imagine that you no longer possess any awareness of your physical surroundings; divorce yourself from all that you possess. Eradicate your ego and humble yourself completely -- as if you were the poorest of the poor, as if you were but a worm crawling on the ground, utterly nullified before the Infinite Light of God.

Continue to meditate in joy on the sublime light that spreads through the “limbs” of your nefesh (vital soul), ru’ach (spirit – seat of emotions), and neshamah (higher soul – seat of intellect), as well as the transcendent levels of chayah (“living soul”) and yechidah (“unity”). And in so doing, intend to nullify all sensory awareness of your bodily limbs.

Cleave to the sublime World of Atzilus (Emanation) by imagining yourself traversing all worlds – past the highest of all levels unto the very end of all worlds, according to their hierarchy.

Now imagine the letters of the Great Name inscribed in Ksav Ashuris (Torah script) of white fire appearing on an endless expanse.

Focus on the Holy Name and let the light of your mind and all five levels of the soul (nefesh, ru’ach, neshamah, chayah and yechidah, known by the acronym “NaRaN-ChaY”) merge into the Infinite Light that animates and illuminates them:

[The Holy Names Y-H-V-H and A-D-N-Y, letters intertwined and written in Ksav Ashuris, are presented here for the purpose of visualization.]

Contemplate that the light of the supernal Keser (“Crown”) spreads through all five levels of your soul (NaRaN-CHaY) with intense waves of energy, like a consuming fire, the flame of God coursing through all your extremities – and let this power purge and purify you of all “false gods” [i.e., self-serving desires] that might wish to ascend and latch onto your fiery resolve to cleave to the Creator.

Intend that the “feminine waters” [i.e., the immanent aspect of Divinity], which now arise from you for the sake of fulfilling the commandment of faith and cleaving to God, are naught but a holy awesome light.

The fire now burns on the “altar of your heart,” and all your deeds ascend as: [Ksav Ashuris:] “a gratifying fragrance unto God” [Y-H-V-H and A-D-N-Y, letters intertwined]

Now contemplate that your very soul takes flight due to the brilliant light it beholds while standing before the Divine Presence [Ksav Ashuris: “Before the Face of God” – Y-H-V-H and A-D-N-Y, letters intertwined]. And in the truth of your heart, be prepared to give your life in order to fulfill the commandment of cleaving to God.

Intend to unite the light of the Shekhinah (Divine Presence) garbed within you and the NaRaN-ChaY that comprises your soul with the Infinite Light of God, which illuminates, enlivens and brings into being all existence – and that it is impossible to separate from God due to your love.

Contemplate that you are praying to God for the Final Redemption of Israel and for the needs of the people. And imagine that the light of the Shekhinah is breaking out of your mouth, and that it rests upon your entire being [NaRaN-CHaY] – for your soul cannot speak or accomplish anything except by virtue of the sublime light that is garbed within it.

Contemplate that your faculties of thought, speech and action shine through all four “worlds” of Emanation (Atzilus), Creation (Beriah), Formation (Yetzirah), and Action (Asiyah), unto the Infinite Light. Every letter and effect of prayer and mystical unification shines and flashes and blazes forth, and in purity ascends to the heart of heaven, glowing like the radiance of the firmament, engraved forever in Atzilus (“Emanation”).

With all your heart, invest your entire being into the letters of the unifications (yichudim) and prayers, and intend that everything should ascend to become a crown for the head of the Supreme King, blessed be He and blessed be His Name, in a wondrous mystical cleaving.