The Kabbalah Master, Rav Yitzhak Kaduri And Other Secrets About Amulets

Rav Yitzhak Kaduri was known for his outstanding wisdom in Torah, including Kabbalah and Kameot.

The realm of Kabbalah is shrouded in secrecy because part of the difficulty in ascending the rungs is to reveal the least you can. Rav Chaim Vital writes in Sha’arei Kedusha that one who reveals his good deeds loses the reward for them, and can even be punished for that.

Those who aspire to ascend the levels of divine service and perfect it understand that the more they reveal, the more they risk losing. Consequently, it is a difficult task to write about the great Kabbalists (Mekubalim), who tend to reveal very little about themselves, and whose profound thoughts and devotions are beyond our limited understanding.

Nevertheless, these remarkable individuals are the ones who produce open miracles and bring about deliverance. Among the Mekubalim, Rav Yitzchak Kaduri is a rare gem.

Yitzhak Kaduri note 2950028681

A little bit about Rav Kaduri

The custom of the Mekubalim has always been to live a life of poverty and simplicity. This was done in order to minimize the weight of physicality in order to receive the spiritual flow. Rav Kaduri was known to fast frequently, speak very little, and also to visit the graves of tzaddikim.

Revered for his sagacity and piety, he was known as the Zaken HaMekubalim (the Elder of the Kabbalists). Like all Sephardic Mekubalim, he practiced the Kavanot of the Rashash, and was renowned for his ability to cure ailments and infertility through his blessings and Kameot (amulets), which were highly sought after. Although he did not write any books, a compilation of his writings was published after his passing, which some speculate occurred when he was over 110 years old.

Born in Baghdad around 1902, Rav Kaduri received a blessing for long life from the Ben Ish Chai himself, and kept one of his belts throughout his life. His funeral was attended by over half a million Jews, making it one of the largest in modern Israel’s history. During his youth, he studied under the tutelage of the Ben Ish Chai and Rav Yehuda Fetayah, and was already recognized as a destined-for-greatness prodigy.

He had an exceptional photographic memory and worked as a bookbinder, ensuring that he memorized each book he bound before returning it to its owner. It goes without saying he was a tremendous matmid (diligent student).

Rav Kaduri moved to the old city with his family around 1934 and began his bookbinding job for the Yeshivat Porat Yosef. This gave him the opportunity to study the books and amass a large knowledge of all the Talmud, including Rashi and Tosfot, as well as Kabbalistic works. This, he did on his free time.

Detachment from the world

It’s often amazing to see the degree of detachment to reality many Mekubalim have. To their credit, their lack of knowledge in mundane things we often consider basic are a testament of their great level.

In a few occasions, Rav Kaduri travelled to give shiurim (classes) on Kabbalah. Once he was going to Tzfat in a car driven by one of his attendants. The class was scheduled to start in about 15 minutes, but the car at that time couldn’t go faster. There was still a long way to go and Rav Kaduri asked him “Can’t we go faster? We are going to be late!”. The attendant replied, “Believe me Rabbi, I’m going as fast as I can! Can’t you teleport us there?”. As we know, Rav Chaim Vital wrote in Sefer HaChezionot (Book of Visions), he once saved his own life using one of the divine names and teleported himself from Jerusalem to Damascus. These techniques were known to only a few select individuals and carried great risks for using since it required a tremendous level of purity.

“I don’t make use of that for these occasions”, came the reply. Without thinking twice, Rav Kaduri took the attendant’s hand, put it on the gear stick and cried “Quick, let’s mix the gas more!”. To everyone’s astonishment, the car actually began going faster!

Someone once asked him after this episode whether Rav Kaduri used to “bind angels by oaths” (Hashba’ at HaMalachim). This is also one of the very dangerous Kabbalistic techniques to have them do one’s bidding. The problem is that while they may end up doing a person’s will, they inevitably come back for revenge for having used them for petty purposes. Again, one needs to be on a really high level to bind an angel by an oath and even so do it entirely L’Shem Shamayim (for Divine purposes). To this question, Rav Kaduri replied “I don’t, but the angels see that I’m an old man and just end up helping me without me asking”.

The Making of Kameot and his book

The following story can give us a glimpse of his legendary Tzaddikut (righteousness). Once Rav Kaduri was engaged in writing a Kamea (amulet). For those that don’t know, real Kameot are also incredibly risky for the writer, and demand tremendous Fear of Heaven and fasting to atone for making them. Not only that, but they require a few days of fasting while writing to complete them.

While engaged in it, his wife Dorit called him for lunch, which mostly consisted of the Bamba snack. Rav Kaduri was so concentrated that he didn’t respond, making his wife call him again a few times. When she came close to him, she accidentally tripped the ink container on his table, and the amulet was completely sullied with black ink.

Days of prayer and fasting supposedly went to waste.

Instead of getting angry at her, Rav Kaduri simply smiled and said “Ah, my dear wife, you always know what’s best. Thank you very much!”.

Chaim picture of a Jewish amulet on a table inside an old libra c2ab0198 698f 47da 82f1 de2dff7b5c99

Rav Kaduri’s son compiled from him a large set of books on Kameot. These are Rav Kaduri’s copied writings with chiddushim he wrote. In the Beit HaKnesset I go to pray on Shabbat, they have it and I often have a look. Not because I can understand any of it, but it’s interesting to see his Chiddushim. I will write them soon below.

Monitoring the Geulah

Rav Kaduri has also been closely monitoring the Geulah (Redemption) process unfold. Once a student asked him for a signal that Mashiach was close to revealing himself. The answered surprised everyone: “When there will be elections, but after the elections they won’t be able to form a government. This is the clear sign of the time of the Geula!”

No one knew how to explain that cryptic statement, but nowadays we see that we had 6 (or 7?) elections and no lasting government. Clearly, this and many other signs are already present for us to see there’s no time to waste.

May his memory be for a blessing.

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Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

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