The Saga of a Suffering Teenage Jewess
Here's just one of example of his tenderness and holiness:
Later, in the year 5673/1912 15 Elul, a 17-year-old virtuous unmarried girl came to me and her name was Katun the daughter of Aziza and she said to me,
“I am an orphan from my father and in 5672/1911, my mother went to the land of Persia to visit my brother who was there because he was ill. And she left me and my little brother and my little sister with the sister of my mother, who was a very angry and irritable person."
One night, during an episode of profuse weeping over her awful fate, Katun says:
“I felt as if a large cat had fallen on my back between my two shoulders and was scratching my flesh with great scratches in order to make for itself a way to enter into me. And I feared to scream lest the naughty sister of my father also get angry at me. And afterwards, I felt this cat enter my left arm.”
She suffered this way until her mother returned around a year later and immediately sought help for her daughter.
"My mother took me to a Yishmaelite plil."
"After several exertions, he said that it was a very strong Christian demon and the plil exhausted himself to exorcise it and he could not overcome it.
"And we went to the grave of Yehoshuah the Kohen Gadol and I did hitbodedut there alone, and I prayed there with copious tears.
"And amid this, a great trembling seized me and my eyes closed. And I saw an awesomely venerable man dressed in white clothes and wrapped in white wool. And I couldn’t gaze at his face and he stood at a distance of four amot and he was standing and gazing at me without speaking or words.
"And when we returned from prostrating, our goal was to go to the plil. Yet without meaning to, we found ourselves standing before your home..."
“And I...when I saw Katun cry and her tears on her cheeks, my heart broke within me, and my heart went out to her.”
In fact, it took Rav Fetiyah an entire year just to get Roza to admit her name and to expel her from Katun took even longer with a lot of struggle.
Eventually, Katun got married in Iran and Roza left her then.
But it wasn’t just Rav Fetiyah’s compassion toward Katun that touched me. Any normal person would feel the same toward such a poor, innocent girl.
It was that Rav Fetiyah insisted on helping Roza to rectify herself so that she could escape the terrible torments of Kaf Hakelah.
And just as a side note:
In the stories of spirit possession, the opening for the spirit is usually made by a transgression on the part of the host. In Katun’s case, no sin is apparent. Even Roza herself admitted that was why she needed to fight so much to enter into Katun's body; Katun hadn’t sinned. However, Katun became possessed while in a state of despondency and bitterness.
Having myself been caught up in states of despondency and bitterness, I certainly don’t blame her and neither does Rav Fetiyah, but it certainly is something to consider…
It's also noteworthy to see that praying sincerely from the heart in a holy place (the gravesite of Yehoshuah the Kohen Gadol) brought Katun to the right agent of salvation.
The fact that Rav Fetiyah really wanted to help these lost souls, despite the fact that some of them had behaved horribly when alive and some even continued to do truly depraved and awful things while dead! (I know, this is so weird.)
Yet he had so much compassion on them. He even assisted souls such as Shabtai Tzvi and others to achieve rectification.
Believe me, after reading some of the reprehensible events here, I would not care about some of these souls. I’d say, Let ’em burn! But after reading Rav Fetiyah’s example, I see that I’m very wrong.
We need to help people get better and praying for them is the best (and sometimes only) way.
Rav Yehuda Fetiyah's Humble Motivation for Helping Such Awful Souls
[Yonah the spirit] said to me, “May God bestow goodness upon you for all your work and great chessed [loving-kindness], which is beyond value and it is more precious than all the treasure in the world.”
I said to him, “May the Blessed God also bestow chessed upon you all for the chessed that you all perform for me.”
And Yonah was amazed at my words and said to me, “How are we bestowing chessed upon you?”
I said to him, “I’ll give you the parable of a baby who suckles milk from his mother. And yes, she performs a great chessed by nursing him, because if she didn’t nurse him, he would certainly die.
"But indeed, the baby is also bestowing chessed upon his mother to empty the milk from her because if he wouldn’t, then the milk would dry up and [cause a lot of physical torment] and the doctor would need to lance them. Likewise, the issue in our matter.
"Because I exerted myself for a long time until God merited me to learn these yichudim. And if a buyer wouldn’t be found for them, then all the exertion would be for nothing, may God have mercy.
"But now I have found in you all a buyer, my mind is content within me that all the exertion wasn’t for nothing.
In fact, when dealing with the notorious Shabtai Tzvi, Rav Fetiyah said:
“Tell me, is it my desire to torment you with yichudim? Because I hope to receive a good reward for my efforts from this young man [possessed by Shabbatai Tzvi]?”
And he said to me, “That is not so. For isn’t this young man a poor man, and he can’t even give you a penny?”
I said to him, “If so, guess why I am straining myself and depriving myself of my business and my studies if not that I pity your soul because it is part of the Godliness Above and it shines like a pearl.
"It’s just that because of the transgressions, 'rust' has encrusted upon it.
"And the Holy One Blessed Be He, Who is the Cause of all causes and the Reason for all reasons orchestrated the matter to insert you within the body of this young man so that by this means, there will be an end and a limit to the rectification of your soul through my hands, that I will toil to rectify you.”
All the more so, the souls of those of us who may be flawed, but not nearly as flawed as the soul of the above.
The Profound Love & Compassion Within
When we see the world through the eyes of tzaddikim, we get the truth.
We also get a lot of love and compassion, because that is where true tzaddikim are coming from.
And even if we can’t be like them, allowing ourselves to be influenced by their viewpoint and attitudes enables us to be a little bit better than we were before.
The potential within each of us is definitely there.
Fall back to Part I
Spring forward to Part III