Wednesday, April 28, 2004


Eating as Tikkun

The following is a response that I got from a usually very "anti" interlocutor whom I often encounter of the Forum of the Tzfat web site . My response to it involves the moral/spiritual substrate of food and so it will be published here.

Doreen makes some interesting points, not necessarily all wrong either.

An interesting work on the creation of woman, the original androgyny of man, the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the dimunition of the Moon and womanhood's staure , the Exile of the Shekinah & the Jewish People, and the ultimate restoration to pre-Edenic times is to be found in "Kabbalistic Writings on the Nature of Masculine & Feminine" by Sarah Schneider 2001.

Sarah's site is


My response:

21:54 28 Apr 2004

Eating As Tikkun


Thank you for recommending the site above.

I went to the site you gave the URL to and found the face of a woman I’m sure is very nice and well-meaning smiling back at me.

However, I should like to point out the differences between what she’s (apparently) “on about” and what I am. I think it only right that I send her this critique as well. I’ll send a copy to Rabbi Ginsburgh as well, be’ezrat HaShem.

At the outset I should say that I read on the site that she studied under Yitzchak Ginsburgh. I bought one of his books, The Hebrew Letters, some years ago. Even then I was left unimpressed and found the book simplistic. Evidently, what Mrs. Schneider learned the art and craft of marketing books from her mentor, who knows but a smattering of Torah, something that Rabbi Ginsburgh does excel in. I have chastised Rabbi Ginsburgh before for his “ufaratzta” (and marketing) approach to teaching about האותיות. That was after I found a Xian on the net using what she found on his site and interpreting it in the perverted way that only Xians know how to do. He remained obdurate and unrepentant. Evidently his reputation and income are more important to him than that the Torah should be in Jewish hands. Forgive me, then, if I do not trust one of his disciples entirely.

In contradistinction to Mrs. Schneider and Rabbi Ginsburgh I do not use the Torah I learn as a spade to dig with. I have never received remuneration for my research and never asked for it. I do not receive money to learn and disseminate Torah. I have also been quite stern with those who tried to encourage me to make myself generally known. In actually, I expend money to share that which HaShem has granted me – lots of it – and as a result I am reduced financially to living in a slum. I don’t think that’s any great moral shakes. It is the least a Jew can do for the זכות of serving HaShem. If we were living in communal societies, such as the Isi’im did, a scholar of Torah would not have to be poor. S/he would live at the same economic level as everyone else, no better no worse, and respect would be accorded on the basis of how much Torah one had learned and internalized. However, in the Diaspora there is no choice but to be poor if one intends to remain true to Torah, because the minute that one earns an income for it s/he must compromise her or his morality. As I have written in a number of essays, diverging from Torah morality even a hairsbreadth results in a vast divergence as the resulting “time” and “space” stretch out before us and the קץ is pushed indefinitely away.

Thus, I am immediately wary of Mrs. Schneider, lovely and ingenuous though she may look.

I clicked on the link Eating As Tikkun that is on her home page. This is the URL to that page: I should like to request the reader to turn her or his attention to that site now in order to understand the rest of what I intend to write here, be’ezrat HaShem.

I was dismayed at seeing yet another misuse of the Kabbalah on the site, although I should not have been surprised. It is an avera, as it is a sneaky manipulation of people’s emotions, insecurities and confusion to hold out the promise of getting over eating disorders by learning the psuedo-Kabbalah that is so prevalent today. Chaba”d is the perhaps the worst offender of holding out the promise of solving all of one’s problems by learning their teachings, although many groups do this today. I have written about the deleterious effects of doing this. Here in Tzfat, the pseudo-Kabbalah capital of the world we see on an everyday basis that the city is cursed.

While it is most certainly true that foods are physical representations of deep spiritual truths, the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition has only scratched the surface of what the moral/spiritual substrate of the physical expression that is food is.

It is also certainly true that the addiction to food, as all addictions, is the Soul desperately trying to find the Truth that was lost. We understand innately that the sensations of all addictive substances, including food, are in essence Godliness and we try again and again, futilely, to get to that level. It is our hunger for the kernel of Torah that compels us to overeat. It is the desire for the spirit of Torah that compels some to drink excessively (thus alcohol is called spirits), it is the desire for blissful union with HaShem that makes some sex addicts, and so on with every addiction. All this is a result of the terrible galut that we are in.

Mrs. Schneider, as all Jews blindly loyal to the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition, has some inkling of the depth of what eating is, but not enough to understand. Actually, she has just enough knowledge to sell lessons to those who know even less than she does.

Let us examine what the Torah teaches us about eating:

ויצו ה' אלקים על-האדם לאמר מכל עץ-הגן אכל תאכל: ומעץ הדעת טוב ורע לא תאכל ממנו כי ביום אכלך ממנו מות תמות. בראשית ב:טז-יז

Please note that the word תאכל is written in the pasuk with a חלם חסר and not with a חולם. However, the very next letter after the word תאכל is a ו'. The word תאכל taken together with the ו' directly after it produces the word תאכלו. An anagram of the word תאכלו is כל אות. HaShem is given us a directive to ingest, as it were, every letter of the Torah. We are not talking about trees and fruits; we are talking about the basic building blocks of the Torah, which are also the basic building blocks of consciousness, and thus the creation as it appears to us. The physical trees and fruits that arise in the created world are expressions of how we learn Torah. It is because we do not know how we create the worlds that we do or even that we do, although we do, that we live in a world in which there are fruit-bearing trees and not fruit trees. We live in a world of cause and effect in which there is the artifact of time that our minds create. Thus there is a time delay. If we were not in the galut there would be no time continuum as we are now experiencing it. Creation would occur “simultaneously” concurrent and in accordance with our kavvanot in learning Torah. We would produce fruit trees, not fruit bearing trees. In fact, all creation would arise spontaneously and instantly without delay at all. That is what reality is like when we are not in galut. We can only create this completely satisfying food if we learn כל אות and טעם of Torah.

Note that every letter is the word תאכלו and, necessarily, in its anagram כל אות is an אות שמוש. The words מות and תמות as similarly comprised entirely of אותיות שמוש.
Depending upon the moral/spiritual level of the reader one will see death, another will see the secrets of how to read and permute the letters of the Torah. As Rabbi Kook wrote: “The Book is The Book, but it is the heart that does the interpretation.”

Another example of a story from Torah that is actually a lesson in how to read Torah is the (ostensible) story of the binding of Yitzchak. Without digressing, nor revealing more than those who might abuse the information should know, let it just be said that the word מאכלת is also comprised entirely of אותיות שמוש. Anyone who sees עקדת יצחק as a story about אברהם almost shechting יצחק instead of lessons in the secrets of אותיות השמוש and cannot see the fact that the word צדק is contained within the words עקדת יצחק has a serious spiritual/moral problem. Did you every notice that the letter ח' in the name יצחק is equal to ד+ד? That being the case we can clearly see that using the letter ק' in the radical עקד and the letter ק' in the name יצחק we have the root דקדק contained in the phrase עקדת יצחק. The story is actually lessons in דקדוק, which are not only the laws of Hebrew grammar, but also the very Laws of אמת וצדק that the universes should be conducted according to. Yet people see some horror story in עקדת יצחק, even as they see horror stories in their own lives, in the lives of others and in Jewish history. The Torah is called aspaklaria because it reflects who you are back at you. Understand this.

So, we see clearly that we don’t all have eating disorders, as Mrs. Schneider contends. We all have Holy Language reading disabilities, which is the result of having been given "tincture of diluted Torah" to drink by the Rabbis for so many generations.



This is a letter I sent to Sara Schneider, the owner of the site "A Small Still Voice". The subject title was: I'm sorry I had to be gruff. I also sent a copy to Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, her mentor.

Dear Sara:

I'd like to share a short passage from my book נקבה - הקרבנות והכפרות with you. I hope it will help make you understand why I reacted to your "Eating as Tikun" as I did:

Here is the passage:

Please consider the following חילופים:

השטן = 700+9+300+5 = 1014 = 15 = י-ה

The author is aware that the reader will most probably find the above חילופים for the value 15 disturbing. Upon opening our hearts and minds to the חילופים we become increasingly aware that everything, absolutely everything, without any any exception whatsoever, is ה' יתברך בהתגלמות....We have gone beyond the duality of "good" and "bad" - all is השם. We are now able to understand the meaning of the מדרש that tells us that before אדם וחוה ate the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil השטן = י-ה was external. After they ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil השטן = י-ה became internal. That is, they understood that both the "good" and the "evil" are י-ה.

Consider this חילוף too:

הנחש = המשיח

You have been taught that אדם was led into sin by חוה. How wrong your teachers are! המשיח came and taught the secrets of Torah to חוה. Your teachers have never had this truth revealed to them. They do not know and presume to teach.

It is because I am aware of this that I cannot conscience the dissemination of pseudo-Kabbalah. It is also the reason that I am not all sweetness and light. God is not all sweetness and light. How, and why, should I be? When I have to rally my yetzer hara to defend the Truth of Torah I can, and do.

Sara, I am sure that you are well-intentioned. I am also sure that you have been mislead by those who understand but a smattering of Torah. Please, be careful and responsible about what you teach.


Please allow me to demonstrate one last חילוף:

משיח = נחש = השמחה = ספר הגי = את ספר תורה = 1357 = 358

You, my dear lady, *are* the ספר תורה. Understanding this is משיח.

Everything you have been taught about what משיח is in the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition is wrong. Now go and learn from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

With blessings for a Shabbat Shalom,
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat