Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri (born in 1898 in Baghdad) was a Sephardic Orthodox rabbi and Jewish mystic. As a Torah prodigy, Kaduri began his studies in Jewish mysticism while still in his teens. His studies were conducted under the famed Sephardic rabbi, Yosef Chaim of Baghdad, the Ben Ish Chai.
Having moved to Israel in 1922, Kaduri’s life was characterized by poverty as well as privacy and secrecy. Although Kaduri wrote several works, he never sought their publication and limited their dissemination only to students of Jewish mysticism.
Probably the most well known event in the life of Rabbi Kaduri occurred toward the end of his life, which resulted in an encounter with the Messiah. A brief description of the events surrounding this occurrence will suffice.
In a meeting in 1990 with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Rebbe of Lubavitch, many words of blessing were spoken to Kaduri. Among the words spoken by the Lubavitcher Rebbe was the blessing that Kaduri would not pass from this world until he met the Messiah. This came to pass in a mystical vision on 9 Cheshvan, 5764 (4 November, 2003), when Kaduri spoke with the Messiah. During this encounter, the Messiah revealed his name to Kaduri. Kaduri later noted to his disciples that the revealed name of the Messiah was hidden among his writings.
Kaduri’s disciples came across a note written by Kaduri in which was encrypted the name of the Messiah. This note contained instructions saying that it was not to be opened until a year after Kaduri’s passing. After a year passed, Kaduri’s disciples opened the note and discovered the name that the Messiah had revealed to Kaduri: Yehoshua (the Hebrew form of the Aramaic Yeshua). Here is an English translation of the note done by an Orthodox Rabbi:
Regarding the acronym of Messiah. The masses will themselves arise and verify that his words and his teachings can stand. With my signature in the Month of Mercy (Elul - Edit.) 5765, Yitzchak Kaduri.
The initial Hebrew letters of the phrase “The masses will themselves arise and verify that his words and his teachings can stand” spell out Yehoshua. Although some deemed the note a forgery, others stated that it was indeed written by Kaduri. Most of the controversy surrounding the note revolved around the revealed name—that of the Master Yeshua.
Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri passed on 29 Tevet 5766 (26 January, 2006) at the age of 108. His funeral procession was one of the largest in attendance in the modern history of Israel. His yahrzeit (the anniversary of his death) this year begins on the evening of January 26th.
An article on Rabbi Kaduri that explores his life as well as what he believes the Messiah revealed to him can be found in First Fruits of Zion’s Messiah Journal 100. A PDF of the article can be found here.