Category Archives: Rabbi Albotini Teachings

Divine Names – Albotini

“Through the use of Divine Names in meditation, one can channel extremely powerful
spiritual forces. Albotini writes that Moses made use of this to save Israel, and that “with
the power of the Divine Names, which he pronounced in his prayers, he was able to turn
back the anger and fury.” More remarkable, he states that the Ten Martyrs could have
saved themselves by using these Names, and that the sages could have prevented the
destruction of Jerusalem at the hand of the Babylonians and Romans. But, seeing that
this had been God’s decree, they refrained from doing anything.

…In general, Albotini warns against pronouncing any of the Divine Names, even those
discussed by Abulafia. Anticipating the Ari, he understands that, while earlier generations
may have been able to purify themselves sufficiently so that they could actually
pronounce the Names, later generations are no longer able to do this. But still, he
maintains that it is not actually necessary to pronounce the Names, and that much can
be accomplished by merely knowing them and pondering their significance.

This is evidenced from the verse, “He was enraptured in Me, I will bring him forth; I will
raise him up, because he knows My Name” (Psalms 91:14). Albotini notes that the verse
does not say, “he pronounces My name,” but rather “he knows My name.” He concludes,
“from this we see that the main things is the knowledge of the Divine Names, of their
existence, essence, and meaning.” A similar explanation is also provided to the verse,
“Before they call I will answer them” (Isaiah 65:24). “Even though one concentrates on a
given name and only thinks about it, without ‘calling’ and actually pronouncing it, he will
be answered.”’  -Meditation and Kabbalah, Aryeh Kaplan

Chatzivah and Chakikah – Albotini

“[Rabbi Yehud] Albotini also expands on Abulafia’s discussion of hewing (chatzivah) and engraving
(chakikah), mentioned in the Sefer Yetzirah. When a person reaches a high meditative
level, “the mind is no longer concealed in the prison of the physical faculties, and it
emerges… entering the spiritual domain.” In this domain, the individual may see various
visions or letter combinations, and the connotation of hewing is that he “splits” and
analyzes these visions while still in a meditative state. Engraving then implies that he
“engraves” these revelations in his soul so that they are never forgotten.”  -Meditation and Kabbalah, Aryeh Kaplan

Hishtavut – Albotini

“An important prerequisite for attaining the meditative experience is stoicism (hishtavut),
and this is discussed at great length by [Rabbi Yehuda] Albotini. The has been discussed by a number of
later kabbalists, but Abulafia only speaks about it in passing, writing, “One who has
attained true passion (cheshek), is not influenced by the blessings or curses of others. It
is as if they were speaking in a language that he does not understand.”’  -Meditation and Kabbalah, Aryeh Kaplan

Hitbodedut – Albotini

“… [Rabbi Yehuda] Albotini speaks of a number of standard meditative techniques, he maintained
that any proper teaching could serve as the subject of one’s meditation. He thus writes,
“These who meditate (hitboded), concentrate on an idea or on a very deep lesson. They
close their eyes, and virtually nullify all their faculties in order to allow their hidden
intellect to emerge from potential to actual. They then absorb the lesson, permanently
engraving it in their soul.”  -Meditation and Kabbalah, Aryeh Kaplan