Reader: Rav, Shalom and thank you. Can you tell me what to think about this?
“A person must not put on two articles of clothing at the same time since it is considered harmful for one’s memory. There is a Kabbalistic explanation for this as mentioned by Rabbenu the Ari, z"l. A person's clothing are from a holy source, however, through a person's sins, the Qelipoth (a Kabbalistic concept of husks of a bad source that hold onto and cover a holier object) grab onto the person's clothes.
Clothes have an Ohr Maqif (surrounding light [which we are unable to see]), around them. This light pushes away the Qelipoth, because they do not have the power to hold onto this light. The problem we face if a person puts on two items of clothing together is, when the two items are put on, one against the other, there is no space between the two items for the Ohr Maqif to enter between the two articles of clothing. As such, the Qelipoth are not chased away from there. Memory issues are caused by the Qelipoth and that is why we must be particular not to put on two articles of clothing at the same time.”
Rabbi: Let’s review this quote from the Ari:
• Clothing is made from a holy source
• Sins create Qelipoth, “husks of a bad source” that attach to clothing
• Clothes have a surrounding light
• This light chases away Qelipoth
• Donning 2 garments simultaneously blocks the light and traps these Qelipoth near the person which harms memory
That’s quite a theory!
Let’s learn from God’s actions to determine the truth here. God granted man senses. His will is clear: accept what your senses tell you is real, which by definition means God desires we reject what we don’t perceive. Thus, God does not wish we imagine a bridge to be sitting before a high cliff, and that we continue driving to our death. God wishes instead, that we accept our senses, that there is no bridge, and that we drive in another direction. All 5 principles in the quote above violate God’s will, as they ask us to blindly accept nonsensical ideas.
People are insecure. This belief provides some imaginary access to an “energy” that might protect a person in some manner. But God does not wish that man live in a fantasy world. For fantasies are of the same germ as idolatry, where a person imagines a power to exist, but without evidence. And again, God desires we base our lives on evidence. Our greatest teachers — Moses and Maimonides — stress that we trust our senses:
“Guard yourselves and guard your souls exceedingly, lest you forget the things your eyes saw...(Deut. 4:9)”
“All the signs and wonders which God has performed for you in Egypt as your eyes have seen (Deut. 4:34).”
“You have been demonstrated to know that God is Elokim, there is no other besides Him (Deut. 4:35).”
“From the heavens He made heard His voice to prove you, and on land He showed you His great fire and His words you heard from amidst the fire (Deut. 4:36).”
“It is not proper for a man to accept as trustworthy anything other than one of these three things:
1) clear proof deriving from man’s reasoning;
2) what is perceived through one of the five senses;
3) what is received from the prophets or from the righteous.
Every reasonable man ought to distinguish in his mind and thought all the things that he accepts as trustworthy, and say: ‘This I accept as trustworthy because of tradition, and this because of sense-perception, and this on grounds of reason.’ Anyone who accepts as trustworthy anything that is not of these three species, of him it is said: ‘The simple believes everything (Proverbs 14:15)’.” Maimonides’ “Letter to the Community of Marseille”
As Moses taught, Torah is the authoritative source of God’s truth, and nowhere in Torah, Prophets or Writings are such delusional notions suggested. Moses stressed we are to trust our senses, and reject what we do not sense. We must reject what was stated above in the name of the Ari.
God is the only source of our fate…no other powers exist. This quote you provided suggests otherwise.
Reward and Punishment is a primary Torah fundamental. If we follow God’s Torah, it is antithetical to His system of justice that we are harmed by such innocuous actions of donning 2 garments at once.
I wonder if people would believe that when eating 2 foods at once, a new power is generated, a new light, that mystically secures enormous wealth, and that we can leave our jobs. This would prove to any intelligent person that they truly do not believe such nonsense.
This quote is harmful, for it rejects God’s will that we adhere to natural design, it opens the door to idolatrous thought, and it rejects God’s system of justice.
Mysticism refers to 1) the notion of causal relationships, or 2) the imagined existence of things, when in either case, there is no supporting evidence, nor does reason comply with the claim. Thus, Judaism — a religion synonymous with reason and proof, and not founded on belief or faith like all others — truly contains no mysticism. Whatever today is called “Jewish mysticism” is in fact alien cultural influence adopted by “Jews,” but in no way is mysticism part of “Judaism” — it is not found in the Bible, Prophets or Writings, or Talmud, our fundamentals sources. If you search Mesora.org (www.mesora.org/search) you can locate explanations of such Biblical stories, like Bilam and the donkey that spoke, Saul and the witch, Rava creating a man, and other metaphors that the Rabbis scripted as riddles and subtle lessons.