"'a real cheirem as prescribed by Kabbalah' requires the following: a court of seventy-two rabbis fast for forty consecutive days (excluding Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh), with six non-fast days interspersed within this period. They recite Tikkun Chatzos and other special prayers, and certain chapters of Tehillim each day. They regularly immerse themselves in the mikveh, and are careful not to speak of any subject that is not holy, even in Hebrew. After the Maariv prayer at the conclusion of the fortieth day of the fast — while they are still fasting — they spend the whole night studying Torah.
While it is still night, about two hours before dawn, the Holy Ark is opened, and the chief of the court reads the text of the cheirem three times. They then sound the shofar: tekiah shevarim teruah tekiah. They remove their shoes and sit upon the ground like mourners. Afterwards, they immerse themselves and daven with great devotion. They daven Minchah early, and only then do they eat their meal: bread dipped in salt, and water."
When this occurs, the person's soul is, (may G-d preserve us):
"cut off from the source of his soul as it once existed on High."
This has been done apparently only three times in history. To Yeravam ben Nevat, Elisha ben Avuyah (or "Acher"), and יש"ו.
The person to whom this is done, now having been cut off from "on High", inevitably converts to another religion, (or athiesm, possibly).
My questions are:
- What's the source for this?
- Are there sifrei kabbalah that describe this?
- What about the three people to whom this was done? Are they mentioned regarding this?
- Kabbalistically, what does it mean that their soul is "cut off from the source"?