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.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Miriam's Well (Be'er Miriam): A Hebrew Catholic Understanding

Judaism teaches that God gave three special gifts to the Israelites in the wilderness. These three were 1)the Manna 2)Miriam's Well and 3)the "Clouds of Glory".These three are at the mystical Messianic understanding of the Beshallakh section of the Book of Shemot(Exodus). These three gifts are of Messianic significance.

The Manna is a sign of the Messianic Living Bread who in John 6 is revealed as the Messiah Jesus himself. The "Clouds of Glory" are the Shekhinah and Rabbi Ginsburg associates them with the Messiah's Presence in the Jewish home. John 1 shows this link of the "Clouds of Glory" with the Messiah. According to the Jewish traditions Miriam's Well contain "Living Waters" (Mayyim Hayyim)which links us to John 4 and Jesus at the Well proclaiming himself as Mayyim Hayyim. We also see a connection with the New Miriam (Virgin Mary)and the miracle of the water turning into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. Among some Jews there is a custom of placing a glass of water on the Passover table as a sign of Miriam's Well.

We see three main aspects of Miriam - 1)the earthly Miriam who is a type of the Heavenly Miriam and the Miriam to come 2)the heavenly Miriam who is Mary in Eternity and 3) the Virgin Miriam who is the Mother of the Messiah. That the Miriam referred to in Jewish tradition is not just the sister of Moses is demonstrated in that Miriam's Well is said to have been created at twilight on the second day of Creation and it is seen as being filled with Living Waters. This demonstrates that the concept of Miriam as the vessel or Well who would contain the divine Wisdom and Word in her womb. This second day speaks of the living waters of the creation which is linked in the Jewish tradition with the 13 aspects of mercy (Chesed) of the Waters or sea above. Miriam means Bitter Sea or Seas Seas (Waters waters). This mystical Sea or vessel/well holds the divine Light revealed on Day One who is the Light of the Messiah according to another Jewish tradition.

Miriam ha Neviyah (prophetess) sister of Moses at the Sea of Suf singing the Song of Miriam is a earthly representation of this mystery of the heavenly Miriam. This Heavenly Miriam is associated with the Miriam who is seen as the Suffering soul of the world or Universe mentioned by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. She is also seen as Kneset Yisrael or Matronita who is the feminine aspect of Shekhinah who is seen as going with Adam and Eve in to exile from Eden. This is Mary in Eternity entering history at all stages in a mystical and mysterious manner. This is the female wisdom called Binah (Understanding), Sophia and Imma (Mama).

This suffering soul is the Lady and Mother of Sorrows who sheds bitter seas of tears for her children and the Creation as well as for her Divine Son (the male aspect of Shekhinah also known as Metatron). This linking of Miriam with the Shekhinah is seen in the Hasidic custom known as Melaveh Malka or Accompanying the Queen. On Saturday Night the Shekhinah leaves the Jewish home (she arrived as the Sabbath Queen on Friday night invoked by the L'chah Dodi song)accompanied by her royal subjects as well as the angels. This is linked to the stories of Miriam and how on Saturday night her well wanders the world giving healing waters to those in need of it. The 'Shulkhan Arukh' of Joseph Caro states: " There are those who say that one should draw water at the end of every Sabbath because the Well of Miriam moves around the world at the end of every Sabbath to all the wells, and one who is wounded may drink from it and be healed from all hurt."

Jewish tradition also speaks of Miriam as being incorrupt and her not being under the power of the Angel of Death. The first of Nisan (the month of the Passover) is called 'Ilui Miriam' the raising up or exaltation (assumption) of Miriam. This links her to the Assumption and Coronation of the new Miriam mother of the Messiah.

This Be'er Miriam is also connected with Be'er Sheva which the Mystics see as the Well of seven. This is seen as also Miriam's Well as Miriam is associated with the Imma of Binah who is the womb that brings forth the 7 lower Sefirot as Living Waters. The seven branches of the Menorah in the Temple are linked with these seven. Miriam's Well is associated with Mt Carmel and also with Elijah and the Sea of Galilee. Beshallakh Exodus refers to the 12 springs or wells and Miriam's Well is the 13th well. This links it to the 13 Attributes of Divine Mercy also called Mayyim Hayyim (Living Waters). The 70 date palms are the 70 faces of Torah understanding (or Biurim). The mystics link Be'er (Well) with Biur(Torah understanding). They show how the Morim (torah teachers) name has the same letters as the name Miriam. When Miriam dies and torah understandings associated with the oral tradition dries up. The people are thirsty for this Torah wisdom and understanding so Moses cries out "Shimu na morim! Hamin hasela hazeh notzi lachem mayim?". Without the Biurim of Miriam then getting wisdom is like striking a rock to get water.

The stories of Miriam's Well are strongly connected with Nisan and the Passover. The Midrash states that the Song of Miriam is not complete but that each generation can add to it. This leads us to the New Miriam who is the Co-redemptrix and those of us who share with her as co-redeemers or co-workers. With Miriam haKadosha we enter the single Act of Creation and redo all acts in the Divine Will (Ratzon). The parting of the Sea of Suf and Miriam leading in the song symbolises the Ain Sof of the Divine Light and Will which the Virgin Miriam enters and lives in as Adam and Eve did before the Fall. This level of the fiat of sanctification called the third heaven was opened to those of the fallen nature in 1889 with Luisa the Virgin of Rome. This new opening of the Kingdom of the Divine Will allows us to enter deeper into the mysteries with Miriam ha Kadosha who has always lived in this state from the moment of her conception. This state allows Miriam ha Kadosha to enter eternity and be spiritually or mystically present in all of History and in all Creation. In this role she is known as the Matronita or Shekhinah. One Jewish writer says; "According to rabbinic legend Miriam is a midwife. In Nisan, she midwives us into the flow of time, and on Passover she shows to us the Divine Face of dancer, drummer, musician and healer". Here we see an image of Miriam ha Kadosha as the first charismatic or Hasid. As she lives the rounds of Creation she dances to the Song of Creation which is also known as Miriam's Song and the Song of the future through which she brings healing to man and the whole creation. She is the Mother of Joyful Praise of the Heart. In the 'Ranani Miriam' (Hail Mary)we join in this joy (simchah) of the Mother's heart. This is associated with the sefirot of Binah (Understanding) which is the level of the quality (hasidus)of simchah (joy) which is prayer of the heart associated with Imma (mother/mama) in the Jewish mystical tradition.

The Jewish Tabernacle (Mishkan) was completed on Nisan 1 and prepared for the Shekhinah and this is connected with Miriam's Well and Ilui Miriam. Like the Mishkan , Miriam's well travels with the Israelites in the wilderness. The Zohar relates this connection of the completion of the Mishkan with the coming of the female aspect of Shekhinah. She is opposed by Satan and his fallen angels."When the Tabernacle was completed and the Shekhinah came down to earth, a celestial Satan stood at her side and covered her face with a veil of thick darkness to prevent her from finding her way down to earth. And a thousand five hundred myriads of accusing angels were around her. A multitude of exalted angels flew up before the throne of the Holy One, and said 'Lord of the Universe! Our splendour and radiance comes from the Shekhinah of your glory, and should she descend to those below?' But in that hour, the Shekhinah gathered up all her strength and breaking through that darkness, like one breaking through strong barriers, came down to earth. As soon as they saw this the celestial beings cried mightily together :'O God, how powerful is your Name in all the Earth!" (Zohar II. 140b).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear brother in Christ,

Thank you very much for your very clear explanation. I had read the previous posts on the well of Miriam but unfortunetly I had not grasped the meaning. Would you be so kind as to forward me the scriptural passages in the Bereshit and elsewhere? I am delighted with all you write and I thank the Lord for you and your faith. Another request,please, how many lights we light during teh Hannukah and what hey represent? thank you again and may God bless you.Eva