Autograph Description of Famous Dream in which Nathan of Gaza Appeared to Rabbi Yehuda Ptaya Requesting a Tikkun Ritual
A handwritten description describing the
tikkun Rabbi Yehuda Ptaya performed for the soul of the false prophet, Nathan of Gaza, (assumingly) author of Chemdas Yamim, including the dreams which brought it about, handwritten and signed by Rabbi Yehuda Ptaya himself.
Rabbi Yehuda recounts how he fell asleep while studying from
sefer Chemdas Yamim whereupon Nathan of Gaza appeared to him in a dream. He revealed that he was the author of Chemdas Yamim, admitting that he had authored the
sefer so that he would succeed in luring people into believing that Shabtai Tzvi is the Mashiach. He even attempted to convince Rabbi Yehuda of this, promising that if he was convinced, he would teach him all four parts of the
sefer in one second.
Following several such dreams, Rabbi Yehuda decided to organize a
tikkun for the soul of the false prophet. He gathered twelve young boys (pure of sin) from his yeshiva,
"and we went to the beis haknesses
and we sat in the holy sanctuary, and before all else we joined the Divine Presence with us, and we unbounded his soul and spirit from excommunications, ostracisms and curses and scorns and mutations that the sages and rabbis of that generation had made him… and we circled the ark which held the sefer
Torah… and we blew three times: teki’ah, shvarim, teru’ah, teki’ah,
and we designated charity for the soul and spirit of Nathan…"
On the second night of Rosh Chodesh, a messenger of Nathan of Gaza appeared to Rabbi Yehuda in a dream. Rabbi Yehuda understood that as a result of his
tikkun Nathan of Gaza had finally been granted entry into
gehinom, thus beginning his atonement and soul redemption.
Rabbi Yehuda concludes that in that year,
"many bad tribulations have found me until I have become weary of life…"
In the margin of side two, Rabbi Yehuda argues with the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Menachem Menkin Halperin, who held that Chemdas Yamim was not authored by Nathan of Gaza, and proves that part of the
piyut frequently quoted by him hinted to the name of Nathan of Gaza.
[It is noteworthy to mention that many great leaders of Klal Yisrael were of the opinion that the author of Chemdas Yamim was righteous and had noble intentions. The opinion that it was written by Nathan of Gaza is mainly attributed to the dreams of Rabbi Yehuda Ptaya recorded in the present article.]
Rabbi Yehuda Ptaya (1859 – 1942), son of Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua, was a world renowned Torah leader of greatly elevated stature and one of the greatest Kabbalistic authorities of his time. He was fluent in both revealed and hidden aspects of Torah and dealt mainly with practical Kabbalah in matters such as
sheidim, exorcisms and re-incarcerations. He possessed holy powers with which he would heal the ill, revive the spirits of the downtrodden and depressed and fruitfully bless the childless. He was the uncontested master in writing
kameyos and people flocked to him from far and wide to receive his blessings. He was known as well for his unique ability to decipher dreams.
Rabbi Yehuda authored multiple renowned compilations on Kabbalah, popular among Kabbalists, and great Torah scholars were counted among his many disciples.
 Leaf | 17 x 25 cm | Double-sided | Cased in beautiful leather box | Fine condition