Snow has a more personal meaning to kabbalsits, Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri also noted, because they have the rare opportunity to perform a kabbalistic atonement ritual, tikkun gilgul sheleg – immersing oneself naked in snow and rolling front and back a total of nine times. "Days of snow are a days of celebration for kabbalists," Rabbi Batzri added.
Kabbalists Happy Because They Get To Roll Naked In The Snow, Israeli Rabbi Says
Shmarya Rosenberg • Failedmessiah.com
A massive wave of winter storms hit Israel and the region this week, causing widespread flooding and snarling traffic all over the country.
The storms also brought snow to some locations, including Jerusalem.
Israel, which gets snow in places like Jerusalem once or twice in a decade, is ill-equipped to handle it.
It’s road maintenance crews lack the equipment, supplies and the training to properly deal with it. People don’t have road salt or other chemicals to use on slippery sidewalks.
Slush and ice (combined with bad Israeli driving) cause accidents and pedestrians slip and fall.
Even so, a senior Israeli kabbalist wants Israelis to know that the snow is a sign that God loves them and has accepted the acts of repentance done on behalf of the Jewish people by a select band of kabbalists who fast and torture their bodies during this special time of year just for this purpose.
Speaking on behalf of his father Rabbi David Batzri, Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri said yesterday that the snow falling on Israel was "a good sign sent from God."
Quoting the biblical prophet Isaiah, Batzri said that, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool,” adding that the timing of the snow was significant, Ynet reported.
The six weeks that synagogues read the Torah portions of Shemot, Va'era, Bo, B'Shallach, Yitro and Mishpatim kabbalists customarily afflict themselves through fasting and other means twice each week on Mondays and Thursdays to affect atonement from above.
"The kabbalists torment themselves [during these six weeks] and pray for snow, which is a sign that the Jewish people's sins are being forgiven and erased," Batzri reportedly said. "Just like in the Temple, when the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and pray for the people of Israel's sins to be forgiven, the sign for forgiveness was the scarlet cord that would turn white. The same applies for kabbalists, who after the beginning of the fasting period wait for snow as a sign that God has forgiven the people's sins."
But the snow has a more personal meaning to kabbalsits, Batzri also noted, because they have the rare opportunity to perform a kabbalistic atonement ritual, tikkun gilgul sheleg, immersing oneself naked in snow and rolling front and back a total of nine times.
Tikkun gilgul sheleg atones for what Batzri called sexual transgressions.
But tikkun gilgul sheleg was really designed to atone for homosexual intercourse (and, one can assume from rabbinic understandings of it, male-on-male pedophilia involving penetration).
As Allan Nadler noted in a 2004 review of Professor Lawrence Fine’s book on Rabbi Isaac Luria, the Ari, “[m]any readers will be particularly fascinated by…the terribly unforgiving attitudes toward homosexuality prevalent in Lurianic circles. According to Luria’s most important disciple, Rabbi Hayyim Vital, Luria had instructed three of his followers how to practice the tikkun, or specific spiritual correction, for having sinned by engaging in homosexual intercourse. This remedy is not for the weak, as it requires 233 days of fasting, 161 of which are to be accompanied by what is known as tikkun gilgul sheleg — immersing oneself naked in the snow and rolling, front and back, nine times. The specific numbers here are all derived from exact kabbalistic calculations largely based on gematria, the technique that assigns numerical, mystically charged meanings to the letters of sacred Hebrew texts. In one of the book’s most shocking passages, Vital also testifies that the eminent kabbalist Rabbi Israel Najara, author of the most popular of the Sabbath zmirot (table hymns), ‘Ya Ribon Olam,’ would engage in homosexual behavior when drunk.”
Those fast days and naked-snow-rolling days are usually cumulative and do not need to be completed in the same year. Some Lurianic tikkunim can be performed multiple times in one day, meaning that if ten tikkun gilgul shelegs were needed to atone for a sin, but snow is a rare occurrence, the penitent could roll nine times, pause at least a set amount of time, and then roll nine more, doing all ten tikkun gilgul shelegs in one day.
However they’re done and for what reason, Batzri stressed that because of the risks involved in doing tikkun gilgul sheleg, only "elected" people known to the public as especially righteous men should do them.
Everyone else who insists on doing the ritual can suffice by taking a small amount of snow and “spreading” it on different parts of his body like his arms and face.
"Days of snow are a days of celebration for kabbalists," Rabbi Batzri added, quoting Jerusalem kabbalist Rabbi Salman Mutzafi.