"All Pleasures Contain An Element Of Sadness"
Rabbi Yehonosan Eybeschutz
Rabbi Jonathan. Nathan Nata Eibeschutz
DESCENDED FROM GIANTS
Jonathan Eybeschütz (with Autograph).
(After a portrait by Gutekunst.)
Rabbi Eibeschitz was born to a balebatish (respected) rabbinic family of tsadiks (pious men). His great zeyde (grandfather) was the very famous scholar, author and preacher Rabbi Nathan Spira, who wrote the Megalleh Amukot (see below).
Early on in life, Yehonatan was known as an ilui or child prodigy. Even as a very young boychek he astonished adult scholars with his brilliance and insightful depth and breath of thought. He had lots of sechul (brains). While still a yingel (boy) he acquired great renown throughout Yiddishkite. His enormous scholarship in both Talmud and Kabbalah became legendary. As he grew from a boy to a young man his reputation continued to grow as well. He could daven with the best of them. While still a yingeleh (young boy) it is said that his famous Talmudist and Kabbalist tate (father), Rabbi Nathan Nata, revealed the profound secret mysteries of the Kabbalah passed down from Rabbi Yehonosan’s great-zeyde (grandfather) and master Kabbalist, Rabbi Nathan Nata Spiro, who schcriben (wrote) the Megalleh Amukot (discussed below).
DESCENDED FROM GIANTS
Rabbi Nathan Nata Solomon Spira
2013 is his 380th Yahrzeit
Rabbi Nathan Nata b. Solomon Spira was a highly renowned Polish Kabbalist, scholar of Talmud and Rabbinic literature as well as an unusually gifted pulpit orator. He also ran a highly renown yeshivah and, being from a well to do family, he did not accept a salary. He also served as head of the rabbinic court. Born into a richtigeh (prominent) rabbinic family he was widely known as a child prodigy as well.
Truly a man for his times, his spirited messianic Kabbalah teachings found a large and ardent following among Polish Jews.
Every Shabbes and festivals he would preach profound sermons on the mysteries hidden in the letters of the Torah. His zun (son), Rabbi Solomon Spira (1616-1648) who was slain by the Cossacks under Chmielnicki in 1648, schribbe (wrote) that his tate (father) was endowed with incomparable capacities and had a memory not to be seen in anyone else. His zun Solomon goes on to schribbe that his tate would awaken in the middle of the nachtkt (night) weeping over the destruction of the holy city and that our people were forced to wander the world in exile. He prayed that redemption would swiftly come and the fallen tent of David be raised up. One nachtkt after midnight the prophet Elijah appeared to him. Solomon tzugd. “ Hashem gave him di tsung (the tongue) of the learned to preach on Shabbes and festivals words of truth and righteousness, choice fruit and spices, sweet and sharp explanations with deep mysteries of accents, letters, and vowels, words that no oyer (ear) had ever heard and preached before”. A History of Jewish Literature. Israel Zinberg (1873-1938). Translated from the Yiddish by Bernard Martin 1975. Ktav Publishing House, Inc. pp112-114.
Rabbi Nathan Nata Spira was also Rabbi Jonathan Eibeschitz’s great-zeyde, which is one reason why we say that Rabbi Jonathan was Descended From Giants. But his giant intellectual lineage goes even further back in history. Rabbi Nathan Nata Spira’s zeyde (grandfather), Rabbi Nathan Nata Ashkenazi, was the rabbi of Grodno and became famous with the publishing of his books Melo Shearim and Imrei Shefer.
One of Rabbi Nathan Nata SPIRA’S books entitled Megalleh Amukkot was published posthumously in Cracow, 1637 by his zun. It was reprinted many times and became one of the Ashkenazi Kabbalah classics. I have a copy of this book. Click on the Book tab above.
The Megalleh Amukkot went on to be the classic work on Gimatriyah (Numerology), which put spiritual and mystical meaning to the relationship of words and letters to numbers. A simple example of this is the Hebrew word “Chai” which means life. The numerical equivalent of Chai is akhtzen (18). This is why many Jews give tzedakah (gifts and donations) in multiples of akhtzen. Most Jews don’t realize that their akhtzen dallah gift relating to Chai is based on Gimatriyah, or the connection of words and numbers to spirituality and mysticism. And Rabbi Eibeschitz’s great-zeyde (grandfather), Rabbi Nathan, “schribben de book” which is widely used in Kabbalistic practice even to this day.
Megalleh Amukkot is composed of tsvey hundret un tsvey un fuftzik (252) different interpretations of one single Torah passage, Deuteronomy 3:23 where Moishe (Moses) beseeches Hashem to allow him to gyb un kik (give look at) Erytz Yisroale. It was as if the author was intoxicated with numbers using them and their permutations and combinations to elucidate the single passage and relating them to spiritual, mystical and real life situations. Even to this day Rabbi Nathan is held in high regard for his extraordinary mathematical mind. Where others thought in words, he thought in numbers and his method of thinking is still used to this day. He also mentions a similar book of his in which he interprets the single letter “alef” in the word Va-Yikra in Leviticus 1:1 in, get this, un toyznt (1000) different ways!
He also wrote another mystical Kabbalistic commentary to the Pentateuch entitled Megalleh Amukkot Al Ha-Torah.
Rabbi Jonathan’s mispucha (family liniage) can be traced back from Rabbi Nathan Nata Spira to Rashi and then back to biblical times as a direct descendant of the famous King David!
Check out Rashi, our mispucha (1/15/2012 was his 810th Yahrzeit)
Rabbi Jonathan’s family liniage can be traced back from Rabbi Nathan Nata Spira to Rashi a direct descendant of the famous King David!.
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