Prayers of the Perfect
In the year 1960, two students came to Rabbi Patilon, a well known miracle man and kabalist, to invite him to join them in their special trip to Meron (the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai). Rabbi Patilon listened to their words, and then closed his eyes and said: "I can see now a man on the level of an angel sitting by the tomb of Beniyahu Ben Yehoyada (see Shmuel II 8). On his head is a beret hat, and he is wearing "Chaki" (beige) pants. He is a big kabalist, very important person. In his hands is a book of kavanot and he is unifying yichudim (a form of kabalistic meditation based on different permutations and combinations of the Divine names and attributes of G-d). If you promise me that you will also travel to the tomb of Beniyahu Ben Yehoyada I will join you, because I can see that he will still be there next week and I would like to see him up close".
The group traveled to Meron and then drove to the tomb of Beniyahu ben Yehoyada. As they approached, they saw a man matching exactly the description of Rabbi Patilon... This was the beginning of the revealing of the hidden tzadik Rabbi Yosef Dayan. The well known Kabalist, Rabbi Yitchak Kaduri zt'l said of him, "I know for a fact that he is one of the 36 hidden tzadikim...".
Rabbi Yosef Dayan was one of the most unusual personalities in our times. He studied under the master kabalist Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi and then found in himself a talent for doing tikunim (rectifications using prayers, torah study, and yichudim).
He spent a tremendous amount of time at tombs of ancient tzadikim throughout the land of Israel and there did the tikunim appropriate for each place. His purpose was to arouse the merit of the tzadikim to benefit the Jewish people. Sometimes he spent months alone in one place totally absorbed in his learning/tikunim/prayers and eating only local vegetation. Some of these places were in remote wilderness with hungry wolves and hyenas roaming at night. Other places were amongst hostile Arabs which tried to attack him, but he always managed to defeat them sometimes while outnumbered by 50 to 1 or more and sometimes by a clear miracle.
Some of these tombs' locations were unknown and he, with divine help, was able to find them. One time while searching unsuccessfully for a lost tomb on a mountainous terrain, he suddenly slipped and rolled quite a distance crashing into vegetation. He quickly got up saying the verse: "a tzadik falls seven times and rises.." (Mishlei 24:17). Then he saw hidden by the vegetation he fell into, the entrance to a cave. This was the tomb he was looking for.
He had a special talent in the area of tikunim and was considered singular in the generation. He was even capable of sensing whether his tikunim had the desired effects in the spiritual worlds.
For example, Reb Yosef spent some time doing tikunim for his Rebbi in Kabala, Rav Mordechai Sharabi (who was very sick). In the middle of the tikunim, he suddenly stopped and started working on other problems. One of his closest students, asked why he is praying for such and such a person and not for Rabbi Sharabi? Reb Yosef answered him an unclear answer. The student did not let go and with great insistence pushed to know the real answer. Then Reb Yosef answered him, "I strengthened myself in prayer, I toiled tremendously in supplications. I cried out on high and tried to break the great barrier which separates between us and our Father in heaven, but it was for nothing. I did not succeed in finding even the tiniest crack. Then I understood that it is a gezera (decree) from Heaven and it is impossible to annul it.. therefore I stopped".
Although each tomb had a special tikun to be done as brought down in the writings of the Arizal, the place he sensed to be the best for his prayers and tikunim was the tomb of Shmuel HaNavi. He went there at least weekly, and even had revelations from the Prophet Shmuel himself.
After he became more known, he would bring a minyan of people to the tomb of Shmuel Hanavi every thursday night for his order of prayer, learning, and tikunim. When people approached him with their problems, he would often tell them to join him in his weekly trips to the tomb of Shmuel HaNavi.
One time, a certain teenager lost his father. The teenager became increasingly closed in emotionally and quickly lost all his friends. To make matters worse, every yeshiva he tried to get in to refused to accept him on grounds that he would not fit into the yeshiva's program. Although, one yeshiva accepted him, he did not succeed in keeping the yeshiva's program and was out after a few days. His story came to Rabbi Yosef Dayan who had mercy on him and invited him to join him in prayer every thursday night until the decree will be changed. The teenager joined Rav Yosef for one month until one day Rav Yosef told him, "That's it. The matter is changed in Heaven. From now you will see that everything will be ok." And so it was.
Another time, an excellent student who had a severe stuttering problem since childhood was looking to get married. However due to his stuttering time after time, the prospective girl would turn down the shiduch. The student was broken spirited and was advised to go to Reb Yosef. Reb Yosef advised him to join him in the prayers at the tomb of Shmuel HaNavi and that after a while everything would be ok. He joined and after 4 months he was able to speak completely normally.
Another time, a yeshiva student who wanted to get married went to him asking for a blessing that he will merit to find a good shidduch (match). Reb Yosef looked deeply into the student and afterwards told him, "my friend, why are you in such a hurry to get married? What is better for you now is to sit diligently in the tent of torah, to learn well the tractates Bava Kama, Bava Metzia, and Bava Batra. After you are baki (proficient) in them, get married and you will bring kids always..."
The student was not looking for this answer. He was very surprised by the answer of Reb Yosef and sought advice from other Rabbis. They told him practical halacha to fulfill the positive biblical commandment to marry a woman. The student followed their advice and soon got married. After the first year, his wife gave birth to a son, but afterwards, she could not get pregnant. Many years passed and the woman still could not get pregnant. In his anguish he turned again to Reb Yosef for advice. Reb Yosef answered him, "if you had listened to me back then, you would have saved yourself all this anguish because your tikun was in learning those three tractates I told you...But you did not understand me and did not follow my advice which came from a deep probe into the root of your soul and the tikun of your midah of Yesod. Now it is extremely difficult to straighten the bent."
Another time, a childless couple came to him for help and advice. After a few moments, Reb Yosef answered the husband: "I see your solution can be done in either one of three ways. Either, you wait for Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi zt'l who is very ill now, to get better and do for you a special tikun. Two, you join me in the prayers at the tomb of Shmuel haNavi. Or, three, the temple is rebuilt and you bring a korban (offering)." He chose option 2, and after some time was blessed with a child.
Rabbi Yosef Waltach was also a hidden tzadik and a close friend of Rabbi Yosef Dayan. One time, one of the students of the yeshiva Porat Yosef in Jerusalem, met Rabbi Waltach on the street as Rav Waltach was headed towards the home of Rabbi Yosef Dayan. The student, eager to hear these two tzadikim converse in torah secrets, followed him to Rabbi Dayan's house. When they arrived Rabbi Waltach sat down and opened the conversation. The conversation centered on the Arab countries and their bad qualities - prosecuting, negative words on the Syrians, and the bad middot (character traits) found often among the Egyptian population. This one spoke and the other would add.., and each of the two tzadikim would add and go into detail as to the bad deeds of the arabs. They then went into great detail on each arab province and its inhabitants.
The student was thoroughly amazed at the conversation. He hoped for words of torah but heard only accusations against the enemies of Israel. He knew that the words of tzadikim are not useless chatter on politics rather certainly there must be some reason. Therefore he guarded the matter. Soon later, the war of Yom Kippur suddenly broke out with Syria on the northern front and Egypt in the south. The war was the hardest one for Israel and was almost lost. Then, the student understood what had happened. The two tzadikim saw with Ruach HaKodesh the war (and were not allowed to reveal it). They tried to arouse a katigora (accusations) in Heaven on the arabs in order to foil their evil thoughts.
Another time, on the Yahrtzeit (anniversary of death) of Yehoshua bin Nun (the Biblical chief disciple of Moses), R.Yosef Dayan, R.Yosef Waltach, and another torah scholar went to the grave of Yehoshua bin Nun near Shechem. The grave is on a mountain in the middle of Kefar Haris. Back then, there was no building on the grave, only four walls. Some say there is a cave under there and he is buried there. It was attempted to build a structure there several times, but every time it fell down.
R.Yosef Dayan went first. He approached and then stood at a certain place and began his preparations for hakafot (encircling the grave) and for supplications. The torah scholar who accompanied them asked R.Waltach where is the exact place where Yehoshua bin Nun is buried? R.Yosef Waltach answered him: look closely where R.Yosef Dayan is standing - that is the place where Yehoshua bin Nun is buried.
Both of them went after R.Yosef Dayan who was standing in one place and they slowly approached him. The torah scholar again turned to R.Waltach and asked: "how can we sense whether this is the true place of his grave?"
R.Waltach answered him: "when R.Dayan will start the Kavanot (kabalistic intents) you will feel it yourself".
While the two were talking, R.Yosef Dayan opened his mouth with wisdom and began to do Yichudim (kabalistic unions of divine names and attributes of G-d) and among them a lofty Yichud to cleave to the soul of the Tzadik.
Suddenly R.Waltach began to tremble and with holy awe, he excitedly said to the torah scholar: "nu, now do you sense the scent of Gan Eden and fragrance of besamim coming up from the grave and surrounding us?" (for Yehoshua was coming down from Gan Eden).
PRAYER AND SHEMIRA HABRITRabbi Waltach would say that the power of Reb Yosef Dayan lay in that he had never blemished his brit. He once said: "when I journey with Rabbi Dayan there is no fear in my heart. I will go with him anywhere in the world. For I trust in his holiness and righteousness of heart" (Od Yosef Chai pg.203).
Rabbi Yosef would say "He who is plagued with forgetting, this comes from the sitra achra (forces of evil) having attached itself to him. The sitra achra enclothes itself in him due to lack of shemirat habrit (guarding from lewd sights and thoughts) and damaging the midah (trait) of yesod. The torah says "do not stray after your hearts and after your eyes...in order that you remember" (Bamidbar/Numbers 15:39). When you don't stray after your heart and eyes, then the holiness of the brit is guarded properly and it's possible to merit "remembrance" (i.e. perfect memory). He who wants to merit remembrance should repent completely and say the great vidui (confession of Yom Kipur).
A man who prays for something. He should continue to say the request in the same words all the time. Any change in the wording of the request will create difficulties in the acceptance of the prayer. It is recommended when requesting something in prayer to ask for only one thing, and not many requests. This is like the talmudic saying "if you grab alot you have not grabbed (anything)".
Reb Yosef was asked: "One who is full of sins, is it permitted for him to go to the graves of tzadikim?" answer: "Of course, it is permitted for one like this to prostrate before the grave of the tzadik. Even for one who did much damage and is in the category of father of fathers of impurity and a great klipa (evil forces) surrounds him, he can come and not be concerned on any matter." The asker continued, "Should such a person immerse first (in a mikveh)?" answer: "no need for immersing! Rather he should go to the grave of the tzadik and in the tzadik's merit he will merit to rectify himself and remove the klipot from him, but only if the grave of the tzadik is secluded, and not surrounded by other graves."
Reb Yosef would be very careful to say before our Father in heaven the requests in clear words, and to explain as fitting the request. One Jew needed an apartment and he prayed to G-d in the following way "Master of the World send me money to buy an apartment". Reb Yosef who was near him and heard his request said to him, "this is not a proper request. Think and see, if a man has a lot of money and he wants to live in a specific neighborhood, all his money won't help him if there won't be in that neighborhood a good apartment for sale. Rather, understand that you need to explain in your prayer, "Ribono shel Olam (Master of the world) please help me to acquire a good and proper apartment in such and such a neighborhood." Now, if your request is accepted, and such and such apartment is now designated for you, then certainly the money will also reach you in order to buy it since the apartment was designated for you from Heaven.
Reb Yosef would greatly praise the book "Shomer Emunim HaKadmon" by R.Yosef Irgas as providing the key foundations for the study of kabala.
R.Yosef Dayan with R.Yosef Waltuch exiting an arab bus in Halhul
Lynch Mob - story of R.Yosef Dayan defeating a lynch mob
Sefer HaTikunim: The Book of Corrections
For more on guarding the brit, see:
Shmirat HaBrit by the Mekubal Eloki, Rebbi Yaakov Abuchatzeira zt'l
for more on R.Yosef Dayan zt'l see the powerful book "Od Yosef Chai":
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