A Catholic Jew Pontificates

I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tradition, Traditionism and Traditionalism

Richard Harvey a Messianic Jewish scholar from Israel writes and speaks about the concepts of Traditionism and Traditionalism in Israeli society and how it would apply in a Messianic Jewish context. In the Israeli context Traditionism is a term that is applied to those Israelis who are neither totally secular or religious but observe certain aspects of Judaism that they feel are relevant, adapted to their lives as modern people. Traditionalism is seen in this context to be the strict adherents to Rabbinic laws and customs. 

In a Catholic context the first group sound like the so-called Cafeteria Catholics and the others are the strict Traditionalists of a certain triumphalist mentality. Harvey quotes from the sociologist Edward Shils a definition of traditionalism as: "Traditionalism, which is a form of heightened sensitivity to the sacred, demands exclusiveness. It is content with nothing less than totality ... It is satisfied only if the traditionalist outlook permeates all spheres political, economic, cultural and religious and unifies them in a common subordination to the sacred as it is received from the past. " I am like Levinas very wary of any kind of claims of totality especially in light of the horrors of the 20th century that led to the Shoah and the Gulags. 

 Richard Harvey a Messianic Jewish Scholar
However there is a third way that values Tradition and lives Tradition as part of the fullness (rather than the totality) of the Faith. Tradition must go hand in hand with the Living Word of God and thus Tradition is a dynamic and developing process as taught by Cardinal Newman. Many fail to see the difference between Tradition and traditions. The place of traditions or customs can be linked to Tradition but they do not have the same authority. The traditions or customs may be good or bad or they may have been appropriate in one time and place but not another.  One also needs to be careful not to confuse infallible teaching on faith and morals with strands of theological thought that no matter how traditional are not part of that infallible teaching. Also we must be careful that we don't confuse fallible interpretations and pastoral applications of infallible teachings and theologians fallible ideas and speculations connected to those infallible teachings with the aspect which is infallible.

Levinas himself despised totalities in all forms as they are closed and dominant systems while himself being a practicing Orthodox Jew. One can be a devout and orthodox Catholic or indeed Orthodox Jew who believes that one's Faith is the fullness of truth but not the totality of truth. This allow us to learn and dialogue with others rather than a triumphalist monologue with which we seek to bash and condemn the other. This also allows us not to despise or condemn Cafeteria Catholics or tradionist Jews but rather rejoice that they still have an attraction to some of the spiritual riches and traditions of the Church and Synagogue that may be a pathway to embracing the fullness of truth who is the Messiah himself the Living Word, Living Torah and Living Tradition. 

Today in the Catholic Church we have Pope Francis who is guiding us to not be either one extreme or the other but true and radical disciples of the Messiah who are truly open to dialogue with others. No matter if it is religion or state that seeks to impose totalities of all kinds on others by force, legal decisions or legislation, the true disciple must stand up for the freedoms and dignity of others. 

Matthew 13:5 states "He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old. " Our model is the Jewish family life of the House of Nazareth in which the full richness of traditional Jewish devotional life was lived in the context of the new thing God was doing on earth through the Holy Family's mission to restore the reign of the Divine Will on earth as it is in Heaven by doing every act in Divine Will. "Blessed art Thou, O Lord my God, who sanctifies us with His commandments (mitzvot)....".

Saturday, July 04, 2015

2015 Jews in the Church Conference in Moscow

Father Alexander Men

The most recent annual conference of Jews in the Church was held in Moscow this year on June 29-30. This is a dialogue between Messianic Jews, Hebrew Catholics and Russian Orthodox Christian Jews. Father David Neuhaus of Israel was one of the attendees as well as Mark Kinzer. There was a special focus on the life and work of the Russian Orthodox priest and Jewish Christian, Father Alexander Men, this year. The general topic of this year's discussion was "The purpose of Jewish followers of Yeshua in God's providential design"

see http://helsinkiconsultation.squarespace.com/

see Helsinki Consultation meeting in Moscow

Monday, June 08, 2015

The Role of Mary in John 1: A Hebrew Catholic Insight: Part 3

John 1:51 states: "And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." This last verse of John 1 prepares us for the openly Marian chapter of John 2. As the last verse of John 1 prepares and situates us for the unveiling in John 2 of the Woman who is the Mother of the Messiah so the last verse of John's Apocalypse 11 prepares and situates us for the unveiling of the Woman in Chapter 12. Apocalypse 11:19 states: "And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail." 

We see in John 1:51 and Apocalypse 11:19 the concept of the opening of the heavens. Apocalypse 11:19 links this to the concept of the Temple directly whereas John 1:51 alludes to the Temple by referring to the angels ascending and descending just as the angels ascended and descended upon Jacob (a type of the Son of Man) at the place which Jewish tradition believed that the later Temple was built and the place in the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant stood on the Shettiyah Stone or Rock.

Thus John 1:51 united in the light of the Resurrection analogy of reading Scripture reveals Our Lady as the mystical and spiritual Temple and Ark of the Covenant as well as the spiral Staircase or Ladder. In John 2:1 the phrase "On the Third Day" alerts us that this is a prophetic sign connected to the mysteries of the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of the Son of Man. Jesus rose "on the third day" after being in the underworld for 36 hours (he died at 3pm on Good Friday and rose at 3 am on Easter Sunday). This counterpoints the three days or 36 hours (3am Friday morning to 3pm Sabbath afternoon) that Adam and Eve lived in the Divine Will in the Garden of Eden according to Jewish tradition. The whole mystery of the Akeidah (Binding) of Abraham and Isaac (which alludes to the passion crucifixion and resurrection of the Messiah) is prefaced with this "on the third day"in Genesis 22:4.  As I wrote in my essay entitled "Resurrection of Jesus: Myth or History?":  

"...Lapide [an orthodox Jewish scholar and theologian] also points to the figure of Joseph in Genesis 42:18- “On the third day Joseph said to them, Do this and you will live…”. For the Jewish Christian this has even deeper meaning in the context of the Jewish traditions of Messiah son of Joseph who will appear in the Galilee and will be killed and rise from the dead. Lapide then refers to the three days mentioned in regards to Jonah (Jonah 1:17), Queen Esther (Esther 5:1) and Hosea 6:2. He writes: “On the third day…contains for ears which are educated Biblically a clear reference to God’s mercy and grace which is revealed after two days of affliction and death by way of redemption… thus, according to my opinion, the resurrection belongs to the category of the truly real and effective occurrences, for without a fact of history there is no act of true faith…"

The second chapter of John in a mystical manner, reveals the role of the intercession of Our Lady as the Mother of the Messiah in restoring, through her Son, fallen mankind to his lost estate. Our Lady along with St Joseph and Jesus the God -Man are the first 36ers (called Lamed vavniks in Jewish tradition) who become present in all generations as intercessors and victim souls for each generation through re-doing all the generations acts in the Divine Will. 

These lamed vavniks who live in Divine Will are alluded to in Apocalyse 11:1 where it speaks of the measuring rod (also mentioned in Ezekiel 40:5) which according to Jewish tradition was 6 cubits and each cubit was 6 hand-breaths which equals 36 hand-breaths.  

"...The length of the rod is six cubits. Each cubit is six handbreadths. See, therefore, how all the lights are bound together in this light, which is called "All," since all are contained within it. There are six directions [the six ketzavot, alluding to the six sefirot from Chesed to Yesod, all of which are included in Yesod], and when they are all connected to one another, they make thirty-six, corresponding to the length of this rod [36 handbreadths]. (see the writings of Rabbi Moshe Hayyim Luzzato (Ramchal) in "The Future Temple" ). 

John reveals that those who live in Divine Will (in the 36 hours which is also hidden in the mystery of the 36 candles of Hanukkah) are those in the heart of the Church or Temple who remain in the inner sanctuary in adoration and worship even when the rest of the Temple (Church) is being destroyed and trampled. We could also say that the Bat Kol (Daughter of All) is Luisa Piccarreta as the daughter (Bat) and Our Lady being the All (Kol). Ramchal links the concept of 36 with the light called "All". Interestingly the walls of the Temple were also 6 cubits high (36 handbreaths) and 6 cubits thick (36 handbreaths) according to Ramchal.
"...The Temple Mount has five entrances, two in the south, one in the east, one in the north and one in
the west. The height of the wall is six cubits and its thickness six..."
The five entrances of the Temple Mount may symbolise the five partzufim (personas) of Jesus (Adam {Zeir Anpin/ Son} Kadmon {Arich Anpin/ Word}) as the East Gate, Mary (Imma) as the West gate, Joseph (Abba) as the North gate, Luisa (Nukvah) and the Holy Spirit (Atik Yomim) as the South gates.
John the Beloved reveals Mary as the prophetic Woman of Genesis 3:15 in John 2 with the miracle of turning water into wine, at the foot of the Cross and in Apocalypse 12. This sorrowing woman in labour or travail is found throughout Scripture alluding to the role of Our Lady as the weeping Shekhinah and Suffering Soul of all Israel (called Miriam by Rebbe Nachman and other Jewish rabbis and mystics) who followed man out of Eden into this valley of Exile. Micah also refers to this Woman in Labour who is the Mother of the Messiah born in Bethlehem involved in the restoration of Judah and the lost Israelites (see Micah 5:3) which confirms and reinforces the Marian interpretation of John 1:31.

Father Aidan Nichols tells us that our first step in authentic Catholic Mariology is the exploration of  the sources of Revelation in the Scriptures and Tradition. The second step is an applying the analogy of faith which consists in interrelating of the fruits of our Marian exploration with the other teachings of the faith. Thus Mariology does not stand alone but must be integrated with Christology and Eccesiology and many other areas of the faith. Once we have integrated our Marian insights with the whole of the faith then we can in the third step re-explore Scripture and Tradition using other helpful philosophical tools with this fruit of analogy of the faith to plumb even deeper in to the Divine Revelation for even richer Marian insights that may reveal a more hidden Biblical basis for those Marian teachings found in Tradition, the Magisterial teachings and the liturgical and spiritual life of the Church and its faithful. 

Thus there is not just one Marian theology but a number of enriching Marian theologies that complement and enrich one another in unveiling the role of Our Lady in the fiats of Creation, Redemption and Sanctification.  In fact the whole of Marian teaching is hidden in a mystical, anagogical and Marian interpretation or reading of Genesis 1-3 and its counterparts in the New Testament- John 1-2 and Apocalyse 11-12. Both Moses and St John the Beloved like St Paul caught a glimpse of the Third Fiat or Heaven which is the realm of the Woman Clothed with the Sun (Divine Will) in Eternity (Atzilut). In a future post I will endeavour to interpret the second chapter of John's Gospel in more detail based from this Marian unveiling of John 1.


Friday, June 05, 2015

The Role of Mary in John 1: A Hebrew Catholic Insight: Part 2

John 1:23 has John the Baptist quoting Isaiah in regards to his mission as the Voice. In the Greek voice is a feminine word phone. In Hebrew the Voice of God is related to the Bat Kol (Daughter Voice). The words in Hebrew for 'voice' and 'all' are both pronounced as kol and thus Our Lady is the Daughter or Lady of All (Kol) and the Daughter or Lady Voice (Kol). 

Our Lady is the Voice of the Word. John the Baptist's whole mission has come to him and been invested in him when the voice of Our Lady greeted his mother St Elizabeth and he leaped as he was sanctified and cleansed from original sin. At the same time he received his mission as the prophet of preparation through this Voice of the Virginal and Immaculate Mother (Luke 1 :41). He prepares the way (hodon) of the Lord. In Greek hodon is in the feminine and this way is Our Lady that leads us the quickest and deepest to the Lord who is her son. This is in accord with the old Catholic saying -to Jesus through Mary.

John's baptism is connected with water and Our Lady is linked to the concept of waters (mayim) in Genesis 1:2 where her name Miriam is hidden in the well of the text beginning with the final mem of mayim counting 26 letters four times (Mem Resh Yod Mem = MRYM=Miriam). These waters also allude to the waters of the womb of Our Lady and Elizabeth in which Jesus and John dwelt. St John of Damascus taught that just as Jesus was not purified by the baptismal waters of John's Baptism but the waters were sanctified by him so Our Lady was not purified by the ritual baptisms of Judaism (mikva) but she purified them (see Fr Christiaan W. Kappes  "The Immaculate Conception"). 

The connection between waters of the mikva and Our Lady also is found in Genesis 1 in the concept of "the gathering of the waters called seas" (Genesis 1:10). In the Vulgate Latin it uses the word Maria for this gathering (congregation/ mikva/ kneset) of waters. She is the Kneset Yisrael as the mother and revealer of Israel and its Messiah. Kneset Yisrael is often identified as the Matronita and the Shekhinah in Jewish mysticism.

In John 1:32 it speaks of the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus as a dove. The dove is in the feminine and thus alludes to the synergy of the Holy Spirit united to Our Lady in Eternity as the anointing from on high. John 1:31 reveals that at the heart of the Marian mission is the revelation of the Messiah to Israel. This mission alludes to Elijah as John the Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah. Carmelite tradition links the water cloud that is foot or hand (yad) shaped with Our Lady manifesting from Eternity and the water from this blessing the Holy Land in order to prepare it for the coming of the Mother of the Messiah and her Divine Son in the fullness of time. 

Today Our Lady in synergy with the Holy Spirit is also concerned with this revelation to Israel of the Messiah and the ingrafting of the Jewish people (see Romans 11). Both Catholic and Jewish tradition speak of a "final coming in the flesh" of the prophet Elijah to complete this Marian mission. 

End of Part 2- Part 3 coming soon.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Role of Mary in John1: A Hebrew Catholic Insight: Part 1


St Bernard of Clairvaux taught that Our Lady could be found on every page of the Bible. She is there in a hidden and mystical manner. As discussed in my other blogs, Our Lady is the Lady of Wisdom connected to the first word of the Bible Bereshit. She is that Reshit (Beginning/ first) - the template for all Creation when read through a Marian or Sophia prism. This word bereshit can also be read through a Eucharistic or Messianic prism as well as a Joseph or Tzadik prism and a Luisan or Divine Will prism or paradigm. The Marian dimension of bereshit encompasses the other paradigms as the Womb of the Mother which is the created Womb before the Dawn (Psalm 110:3) and Miriam's Well (Rashi on Numbers 20:2; b. Ta'anit 9a; Song of Song Rabba 1:2; 4:14, 27; Zohar II:190b etc).

John's Gospel begins with "In the Beginning" revealing this Lady Reshit (Arche in Greek, Kadmin in Aramaic) in intimate union with the Divine Word (Dabar in Hebrew, Memra in Aramaic and Logos in Greek). John 1:1 is directly alluding to Genesis 1:1 and the Aramaic targum on Genesis 1:1. This created Lady of Reshit is the "face upon the waters" who is in synergy with the Holy Spirit in Eternity, as revealed in the beautiful literary icon of Genesis 1:2. When she is in synergy with the Holy Spirit as the spouse of the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit can be referred as 'She' instead of "He". Proverbs 8 and Wisdom 7 also link this created Lady Wisdom with Creation.  

The term synergy in regards to the relationship of Our Lady in Eternity and the Holy Spirit was made popular in Mariology by St Maximilian Kolbe. It alludes to the Hebrew concept or verb of m'rachefet in Genesis 1:2 which can be translated as moving, hovering, brooding and making fecund (fruitful or fertilising), and relaxing and fluttering or shaking. It also alludes to the eagle hovering over its young one in order to teach it to fly in Deuteronomy 32:11. The young eaglet can represent Our Lady and the Eagle the Holy Spirit (also see Apocalypse 12) when interpreted through a feminine dimension. In a masculine setting it represents the synergy between St. Joseph and the Father. 

Thus m'rachefet represents the union of two or more forces performing or generating one action or work together. The concept of the Eagle and eaglet hovering together remind us that these two 'forces' that are synergising are by no means equal in origin or in performing the task. This concept of working together (co-workers) of God and man as a synergy is referred to by St Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:9 and thus alludes to the Divine divinising the human and his acts.

John 1:3 refers to the panta (all or all things) which in Hebrew is Kol (all) who is mentioned in Wisdom 7. In Wisdom 7:22 she is called the artificer or nursling mother (amon) of all. Jewish tradition refers to her as Bakol (With All) the mystical daughter of Abraham (Genesis 24:1). The Universe is made in her image and St Paul refers to the Universe as a Woman groaning in childbirth awaiting the revelation of the Sons of God (Romans 8).

In John 1:4 it states that in the Word was Life (zoe in Greek, chaya in Hebrew). The Hebrew and Greek words zoe and chaya are feminine and this life is thus feminine-it is the Holy Spirit working in perfect synergy with Our Lady in Eternity as the light radiating from Jesus the Divine Word.  This Life who is the Holy Spirit in synergy with Our Lady radiating from the Word is the light that illumines man. Today the Divine Word made Flesh dwells in the Blessed Sacrament and sends forth this light (phos) of the Holy Spirit in synergy with Our Lady into our hearts and all creation during the Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. 

The Holy Spirit is the uncreated Chaya (Spirit of Life) and Our Lady is the created Chaya (female Living Creature).  Jesus as the Word is the Chai (life) or Chaim (lives) which are the masculine form of Life in Hebrew. The Bible and the Zohar speak of the four Chayot (Living Creatures). Jesus as the God-Man is the Supreme Chai who is known as the Man. Our Lady is the little Chaya known as the Lioness (Ariela). Luisa Piccarreta is the very little Chaya known as the Eagle. St Joseph is the hidden Chai known as the Ox (bull calf) or Unicorn.  In a sense we can say that the Life (zoe, chaya) that is the light for all men is the light of all four chayot working in union with the uncreated Chaya the Holy Spirit. Thus this Life and Light is the Divine Will and those who lived in it on earth. 

John the Baptist himself was not one of those who lived in the Kingdom of the Divine Will but he was the preparer of this Kingdom as one sent by God as a testimony to the Light (photos) who is the Divine Word. John himself was not the light (phos) as he didn't dwell in the Kingdom of the Divine Will on earth but he came to witness to the Light (photos) who was the source of this light that animates all. The Greek uses two different forms of the word for light as phos and photos. Photos seems to be the source of the Light who is the Word. Phos seems to be the light that radiates from the source in John 1:4-9. This light is connected with the "vayhi or" (and there was light) of Genesis 1 that was hidden in Miriam's well (Or haGanuz), which concealed the dual mysteries (twilight) of the Incarnation and Immaculate Conception. This was according to the Jewish mystics and rabbis the concealed created female light.This light in Judaism is called the light of the Messiah.

The Fathers of the Church such as Irenaeus, Tertullian and John of Damascus referred to a more ancient reading of John in which John 1:12-13 is read differently so that we can read it as referring to the virgin birth of Christ. These translations allowed for the use of the singular 'was' not the plural 'were' in translations of verse 13(see Father Aidan Nichols "There is No Rose" and Father Christiaan W. Kappes "The Immaculate Conception"). The word tekna (children or sons) is the Greek translation of Beni (sons), however the original text may have been ben (son) or beni (my son) alluding to the Akeidah (binding of Isaac).  Isaac is referred to as both beni (my son) and yachid (only begotten) in Genesis 22. Is John confirming a prophetic interpretation of the Akeidah as referring to the Word become flesh (the Lamb of God) who will be the beni and yachid of God himself?

I  would read John 1:12-13 as "As many as received him, he gave authority (of the Child (Beni) of God who caused all to come into being) for those believing on the Name of him. For He (the Child of God) was born not of bloods, nor the will of the flesh nor of the human will, but of God was he only-begotten (yachid)." The word in Greek for bloods is aimata which refers to menstrual bloods which the Greek Fathers taught meant that the Virgin did not become ritually impure as other women before conceiving a child. She was the all-holy and all pure one. Some of the Fathers also taught that this also meant that her hymen was intact before, during and after the birth of Jesus. Thus the Virgin had not reached the stage of fertility in puberty before the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and miraculously enabled her to conceive immaculately and virginally.

Thus from this process the Word became flesh and dwelt among us according to John 1:14. This process refers to the concept of dwelling (shekhen) which alludes to the Shekhinah (the female presence) who is the kavoda (female glory) who makes it possible for the Word in the Flesh to dwell on earth. The Greek text alludes to the Tent or Tabernacle known as the Mishkan and later as the Temple. Thus this pregnant Virgin who is the Godbearer (Theotokos)  can be referred to as the Tent, Tabernacle or Temple that houses the Divine Presence, Light or Word who is her Son the only begotten Child (yachid) of God.

The words grace (charitos) and truth are feminine and allude to the reality that the Word in the flesh is full of his mother (charitos, chen) in synergy with His Holy Spirit (alethias, emet, truth). Glory is also doxan (kavoda) in the Greek which also alludes to his mother who he glorifies or kavods according to the command of the Ten Commandments (Honour thy mother and father) as he also does in regards to his Father of whom he is the only only-begotten Son or Child (yachid). Doxan is also a feminine word in Greek. The concept of Shekhinah in Jewish mystical tradition also is linked to the concept of the All (Kol) as the 10th and unifying sefirah (attribute or emanation) of the Sefirotic array.

 In John 1:16 we again see a hint of the synergy of Our Lady and the Holy Spirit in the phrase "grace upon grace" (charin anti charitos) in which charin represents the uncreated grace of the Holy Spirit and charitos the created grace of Our Lady who is the Mediatrix of all graces. This alludes to Genesis 1 with the Spirit of God hovering (synergising) over the face (Our Lady) upon the waters (her Graces or Seas produced by this synergising process of doing all acts in the Divine Will).

End of Part One

Monday, May 25, 2015

St Joseph in the Divine Will: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

 St Joseph the husband of Our Lady

We were reading the 25th day meditation of the "Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will" of Luisa Piccarreta about St Joseph being eclipsed and inundated by the seas of the attributes of Jesus and Mary. 

...Now, you must know that for your Mama, for dear and sweet Jesus, and for Saint Joseph, the little house of Nazareth was a Paradise. Being the Eternal Word, my dear Son possessed the Divine Will within Himself, of His own virtue; immense seas of light, of sanctity, of joys and of infinite beauty resided in that little Humanity. I possessed the Divine Will by grace; and even though I could not embrace immensity, as did beloved Jesus – because He was God and Man, and I was always His finite creature – yet, in spite of this, the Divine Fiat filled Me so much, having formed Its seas of light, of sanctity, of love, of beauties and of happinesses; and the light, the love and everything that a Divine Will can possess, which came out of Us, were so great that Saint Joseph remained eclipsed, inundated, and lived of our reflections.

Dear child, in this house of Nazareth, the Kingdom of the Divine Will was in full force. Every little act of ours – that is, working, starting the fire, preparing the food – were all animated by the Supreme Volition, and were formed on the solidity of the sanctity of pure love. Therefore, from the littlest to the greatest of our acts, immense joys, happinesses and beatitudes were unleashed. And we remained so inundated as to feel ourselves as though under a pouring rain of new joys and indescribable contentments...

I immediately perceived the connection of this eclipsed state of Joseph to the ''darkness over the face of the deep'' in Genesis 1. Jesus is that face and his infinite seas are the deep (the mystery of the Incarnation of the God-man). The darkness who is Joseph in Eternity is the protecting dark cloud hiding the mysteries of the Immaculate Conception and Incarnation from Lucifer and his angels. He also hides in the darkness the synergy of the Spirit of God and Our Lady who is the "face over the waters" (the created seas of the attributes (love etc) which is the Mystery of the Immaculate Conception). 

Joseph living and dwelling in the heart of the House of Nazareth, which is the heart of the Kingdom of the Divine Will, is totally eclipsed or darkened and inundated by these seas so that he can become a pure mirror or reflector of these seas in a hidden manner to Luisa and others. In the same manner in which Our Lady is the Dark Lady (Black Madonna) and the Night (Lilah) in order to perfectly reflect the Divine Light so does the darkened or eclipsed Joseph. Our Lady was always dark and inundated or full of grace whereas Joseph had to be darkened (as he was not immaculately conceived) in order to be inundated or filled.

The Servant of God Luisa Piccarretta

I think many in the Divine Will movement have misinterpreted this as meaning that St Joseph lived in some kind of lesser reflection of the Divine Will rather than in the Kingdom of the Divine Will itself. It actually says that Joseph lived in the reflections of the seas which are the Kingdom of the Divine Will. Joseph lives in this Kingdom in a very deep way as he is totally eclipsed (has become nothing like Our Lady) and totally inundated or filled with God's attributes or reflections (emanations/ sefirot). Of course it is true in one sense that just as the seas of Jesus are greater than Our Lady's so Our Lady's seas are greater than St Joseph's as his are greater than Luisa'. 

Luisa's Book of Heaven Volume 29 states: 

...After this I continued my acts in the Divine Fiat, and my poor mind stopped in the little house of Nazareth, where the Queen of Heaven, the celestial King Jesus and Saint Joseph were in possession of and lived in the Kingdom of the  Divine Will. So that this kingdom is not estranged to the earth: the house of Nazareth, the family that lived in it belonged to this kingdom and they held it in full vigor... (May 31, 1931)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Messianic Kosher Food, Circumcision and Rebbe Nachman: A Hebrew Catholic Teaching

 Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Rebbe Nachman's mystical writings are sometimes misunderstood by his chief disciple Reb Nosan (aka Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov) and other of the Breslovers. When Rebbe Nachman writes of the eating of kosher and non-kosher food and guarding the brit (covenant) etc, he is not writing on the literal level but is using the literal as a vehicle or vessel to ascend to a higher meaning beyond kosher dietary laws and circumcision.

Rebbe Nachman's "Likutey Moharan" is a work of deep mysticism that can be read on many levels. When he speaks of eating kosher food he is referring to acts done in the Divine Will, and eating non-kosher food or meat are acts done in the human will. This alludes to Deuteronomy 8:3: "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." This can also be linked to "I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart." (Psalm 40:8). The Messiah also says in John 4:34 that his food is to do the Will of God and complete his work. Thus the Jewish discipline of eating kosher is a concrete devotional practice whose inner light is what ultimately counts in regards to the Will of God.

In Likutey Moharan 36 Rebbe Nachman speaks of Psalm 27 in the context of a mystical kavanot-meditations of Kiddush (the Jewish Sabbath evening ceremony of the blessing of wine and bread) of the term "to devour my flesh"(verse 2). He teaches: "to devour my flesh-This alludes that their eating- as it is said "Eat lovers"(Song of Songs 5:1)- namely their strengthening is "Consecrated flesh"(Haggai 2:12). This is to devour my flesh, the aspect of "The ascent of Yesod until Abba and Imma" ...". This Kiddush that is the context for all of his mystical teaching in Likutey Moharan 36 is the mystical Messianic Kiddush of the Eucharist. He refers to two lovers who never part as Abba (Joseph) and Imma (Mary). These two lovers devour the Messianic consecrated flesh and are thus strengthened to defeat the agenda of the foes of God by living in God's perfect Will and converting the fallen seventy pagan nation's wisdom to light and salvation. This light and salvation is the Davidic Messiah himself who became God in the flesh at the Incarnation.

This consecrated flesh is the Davidic Messiah himself who united in intimate virginal spousal love with his mother (Mary) and virginal father (St Joseph) are the foundation (yesod) of the Kingdom of Holiness that is also called the Kingdom of the Divine Will. In Jewish mystical thought yesod (foundation) is associated with the term of brit (covenant/ phallus/ circumcision). The Breslov Rabbis state in regard to Rebbe Nachman's writings that "the term "consecrated flesh" is a figurative reference to the brit, the flesh consecrated through the mitzvah of circumcision and guarded by a highly moral life." This alludes to the Messiah's words about his Messianic Kiddush (Eucharistic Sacrifice Meal) being a new covenant (brit) which we enter through the sacrifice of his flesh and blood.The Messiah himself went through the Jewish rite of circumcision in order to do God's Will as revealed in the Torah and mitzvot which demonstrated a true circumcision of heart. 

The concepts of heart and flesh are united in Jeremiah 31 when he refers to the new Covenant (brit) and the basar lev (heart of flesh). In fact the very term Breslov or Breslev alludes to basar lev. This heart of flesh refers to the Eucharistic Heart of the Messiah which the Messiah also offers to all his lovers. This Eucharistic food for His lovers is the bread or manna of the Divine Will- which is the deepest penetration of the Eucharist at the level of receiving the grace of living or dwelling in the Divine Will. The literary icon of Jesus the Messiah (consecrated flesh), Mary (Imma) and Joseph (Abba) in Rebbe Nachman's teaching focuses us on the purity of heart and flesh needed to receive new revelations or insights into Torah that ascends our minds and hearts to the Messianic, Marian and Josephine levels of living in Divine Will.

Reb Nosan tells us that this mystery of the mystical kavanot-meditations on the Kiddush in Likutey 36 are further revealed in Likutey Moharan 101 which uses the same verse  in Psalm 27 to discuss this mystery. There Rebbe Nachman links this mystery of the Messianic Kiddush to the mysteries of YaH and Bereshit that I discussed in my previous blog post in regards to the mysteries of the Immaculate Conception and Incarnation. Like St Paul, Rebbe Nachman has glimpsed the mysteries of the Third Fiat or Heaven and hidden them in his writings in a form that can be read on different levels. 

The Rebbe begins in Likutey Moharan 101 after quoting Psalm 27:2 - "The matter is as follows: "For with YaH, YHVH (The Lord) formed the worlds (Isaiah 26:4). This is "Bereshit created" (Genesis 1:1), since with the Torah, which is called reshit, God created and formed worlds (Bereshit Rabbah 1:1)...". The Yod (Y) is masculine and the Hah (H) is feminine representing Abba and Imma (Joseph and Mary in Eternity in the Mind of God). It is with (or in) the image of Yod (Joseph/ Abba Yosef) and Hah (Mary/ Imma Miriam) that the Universe was formed.

Joseph is the male hidden Torah as the architect (amon) and inner wisdom or intelligence (sekhel) of the Torah as revealed in all Creation. Mary is the female Torah as the blueprint (umanuta) and voice of the Torah as revealed in all Creation (or worlds). Together they are united with YHVH (the Lord) in the flesh (Jesus the Messiah) who is the revealed and living Torah or Word and Divine Will of his Father revealed through Abba and Imma.

St Paul in Romans 8 describes the Universe in the imagery of the Woman in travail given birth to the Sons of God (those who live in Divine Will). Rebbe Nachman alludes to this weeping and groaning woman in Likutey Moharan 101 as the number 101 in Judaism represents the 101 tears of the Mother. Likutey Moharan 36 of course alludes to the 36ers (Lamed vavniks) who will live in Divine Will and thus be present in all generations.