The following two stories are from Rabbi Yosef Shabtai (with permission), a grandson of Rabbi Menachem Menashe who was one of the 36 hidden Tzadikim. In his book "Toldot Menachem", Rabbi Shabtai reports on his own eye witness accounts of contact with some of these great men. This was largely thanks to connections made to him through his illustrious grandfather. note: the book is copyright.
R. Yehudah Leon PatilonWhen I was 17 years old, although I studied in a Yeshiva, but when my grandfather went out on the Sabbath to speak at several synagogues, I sometimes went out to play soccer with a friend from the neighborhood.
One time, when my grandfather returned to the house and found me playing soccer (on the Sabbath), he asked me: "what is this?"
I loved grandfather and was abashed before him. For me he was a golden person. He had a merciful, loving heart. I dropped the soccer ball and went in the house with him.
The next week on thursday, he came to me and said: "do me a favor, take this letter and give it to Chacham Patilon in Yaffo. It is very important for me to receive an answer from him."
Chacham Patilon was a painter who lived in Eliezer Street next to Shavzi street in Yaffo. My father, uncle, and grandfather were very close to him and esteemed him greatly.
Among several families coming from Turkey, they considered him a hidden Tzadik and turned to him to receive blessings and advice. He appeared to be a very simple person and I was not impressed by him.
But grandfather asked me to go. I took the letter and went. The letter was written in Turkish so I would not understand it.
It read something like: "my grandson is going off, take care of him". I did not know this back then.
The trip from Jerusalem to Yaffo took about 2 hours due to construction work on the way. I arrived at his home about 2:30 in the afternoon. I found him sitting on a couch wearing a cap. He had a thin beard which looked one week old. I told him my grandfather sent you a letter and he is waiting for an answer.
After he read the letter, he told me: "come, sit next to me".
After I sat down, he started to tell me stories of reincarnations of souls ("gilgulei neshamot"). For example, he told me how in Turkey he had a neighbor who shaved with a razor and he tried to rebuke the neighbor always telling him it is forbidden (by the torah). But the neighbor would mock him.
He then told me: "one day I was working on Alanby street in Tel Aviv, and I see a donkey which left its owner and runs towards me" (this was over fifty years ago when donkeys with wagons were common there).
The donkey came up to me and told me: "listen, I am your neighbor from Turkey. Please rectify me."
In front of the eyes of everyone, I slapped the donkey and told him: "I will not give you a rectification (tikun), bear your rectification (as a donkey)".
He told me stories like this on all sorts of reincarnations and likewise on Israeli soldiers who were killed but their family does not know and the army refuses to tell them. "These (dead) soldiers came to me asking me to inform their family (of their death)".
These stories took me out of reality and into a completely different world of imaginations. I did not believe him. The stories went through my ears but I did not take them seriously. He noticed this.
All of a sudden a cat entered the room. I was not surprised since when I came to his house, I went through a large courtyard where there were geese, chickens, and cats.
Thus, when a cat enters such a one story home from the courtyard, it is completely normal and if you are used to them and speak to them, they understand you more or less. So I was not so surprised.
The cat began to miaow to him. He said to the cat, "leave and come back in half an hour".
The cat left. He asked me what time it is. I looked at my watch and told him it was exactly 3 O'Clock.
He continued to tell me his stories on souls of the dead, reincarnations, primarily on reincarnations (of dead people) inside animals.
Suddenly, the cat returned. When it returned, he asked me again what time it was. I replied that it was 3:30pm exactly. He told me: "you see, it returned after half an hour. give me a few minutes with it." I told him: "take your time".
The cat sat up opposite him leaning on its two front legs. Its head was facing his head and it was miaowing.
I heard only its miaowing. But I noticed its head was nodding just like when a human speaks. I was amazed. When it finished, it continued to sit up and look at him, waiting for an answer.
He was absorbed in his thoughts. His eyes closed. I felt like he was not present in the room. After a few minutes which appeared like an eternity, he opened his eyes and told the cat: "go, everything is rectified".
The cat went out.
I asked him: "do you speak to cats?"
He told me: "no. this was a 17 year old girl who sewed on the Sabbath and came to me for a rectification. She was reincarnated in a cat. I just told you stories of reincarnations - look here was one of them".
I asked him: "what happened?"
He replied: "the cat is already dead. Her soul is already above and I see her above giving a judgment and accounting for other things".
I immediately went outside and I saw the cat on the corner of Shavzi street about 200 meters from his home. It was crushed, run over by a truck. I recognized the cat through a white stripe on its back. We did not hear screeching of brakes or any other sound whatsoever and he had told me she already left the body (of the cat) and her soul is above.
I returned completely shocked. He saw my face and smiled. He told me: "go and tell your grandfather that everything is ok".
Retroactively, I accepted everything he had told me earlier for an hour about all sorts of reincarnations.
I returned to Jerusalem, having a lot of time to think and digest what had just happened.
When I arrived in Jerusalem, I went to my parents' home. There was a courtyard before the entrance to the home. I saw two cats standing opposite each other and groaning, not miowing. One cat was opposite the head of the second and groaning as if they were speaking to each other.
I was still under the shock of the experience of the cat and said: "Ribono shel Olam (Master of the universe), certainly these two cats are gilgulim (reincarnations)." I stood and recited chapter 91 of Tehilim (psalms), "He who dwells on High.." This Psalm is known as a special psalm for things above nature. When I finished reciting the chapter, one cat died and the other ran away.
I was completely terrified. That night I went to the synagogue "Shoshana LeDavid" in the Bucharim neighborhood of Jerusalem. At the corner sat Rav Kaduri (a great Kabalist) who was reading a book.
I approached him and asked him a certain question. He smiled to me and after answering me, he encouraged me to learn torah with diligence.
From then on, I left the games and that friend completely and I progressed in my (torah) studies. (from page 152. see the book for much more).
R. Chaim SinuaniA year after my grandfather died, Rabbi Yosef Waltach came to me and said that Moshe Yair Weinstock reported to him there is a hidden Tzadik in Yehud called Chaim Sinuani and that in Heaven he is considered the head of all the 36 hidden tzadikim.
Since he did not have time to go, he asked me to go there and examine him.. After a few days, I went to Meron with some married students who learned by me every night.
At night, we stopped at Yehud and after a not so difficult search, we found his home and knocked on the door. When I heard a voice saying: "come in", I went inside and found an old man sitting on a couch with a chumash (Bible) in his hand. I looked all around and did not see any holy books. I thought I made a mistake but since I had entered already and he asked me what I wanted, I replied that I have a question in learning and asked it to him.
He immediately entered the second room and brought out a book with the answer to my question. I stood awed but did not want to linger there too long. I asked him that my wife suffers from severe headaches for the past 3 years but the doctors are unable to find anything even after many tests, including comprehensive blood tests.
He told me: "fine. she is already healed". I asked him: "your honor will pray for her healing?" He answered: "I already prayed and she is already healed".
This was despite I did not see his lips move. I did not take his words seriously. I looked at my watch to see how long we are delaying and saw it was 11am.
I hastened my students to go to the car so that we can return to Meron and then back home as soon as possible. When I arrived at home, I asked my wife about her headaches. She said that since 11am, they had stopped completely.
When I saw this, I returned to Rabbi Sinuani by myself and I entered with him to his private room which was full of many many holy books..
After meeting the holy Tzadik, my teacher, Chaim Sinuani, I became very close to him and he in his humility drew me close and revealed to me what he had concealed from greater people than me..
He once told me that when sitting in his home in the city of Sinwan (in Yemen), a demon entered the room in the form of a man. He asked me that I do a kindness to him. For at a distance of a four hour journey from this city, they have a large village of "observant" demons and they have a large synagogue where they all pray.
Now, his family built an additional synagogue and there was a dispute among the demons whether to split up to pray in each synagogue or for everyone to remain in the same synagogue.
Rabbi Sinuani's good name reached them and they sent to ask him to come to their village and to hear their claims and rule the judgment for them. Since Rabbi Sinuani is the chief rabbi for the entire area, they claimed it is proper for him to accept their request and come.
Rabbi Sinuani told me: "I accepted to judge them and fixed with him that tomorrow afternoon he can come to take me to their village and when I finish he would bring me back."
"I told my wife that tomorrow afternoon, I would faint for a few hours and that she should not be afraid and not say anything to anyone. For after a few hours, I would return on my own".
"The next day in the afternoon, the demon came and I closed my eyes and my soul left my body. Immediately, the demon mounted me on his shoulders and ran with me to his village. A distance of a four hour journey we travelled in just a few seconds. I could see the towns and cities flying by my eyes. When we arrived, the entire village of demons honored me a great honor. As understood, I was careful not to taste anything of the honor they presented me. I judged their case and ruled that they can make an additional synagogue without the obstruction of any demon in the world. When I finished, he again mounted me on his shoulders and returned through the same journey to my house. I found my body lying on the bed and entered inside it and arose..."
Rabbi Sinuani's tremendous proficiency in the writings of the Arizal, and the Holy Spirit which never left him, I saw with my own eyes.. Rabeinu raised in his home Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi zt'l when the latter was a young orphan. His time in the home of Rabbi Sinuani undoubtedly influenced him greatly and transformed him into a very great man and master kabalist himself... (from page 178. see the book for much more. note the book is copyright).
note: contact with the spirit world was very prevalent in previous generations. In the Talmud: "it is forbidden to greet another by night (in the field), for fear that he is a demon" (Megilah 3a). Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky brings in his book (Orchot Yosher, sec.Hashgacha) stories of Mazikim (demons) and other supernatural phenomena and ends off: "only in this last generation mamash (literally) was this annulled, apparently, to increase the nisayon (trial) of ikvata d'mashiche (generation before the Moshiach)".
stories of R.Patilon by his son (hebrew)
stories of R.Chaim Sinouani (hebrew)
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