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

A Hebrew Catholic Reflection on Beshallakh

"R. Y'hoshu'a ben Levi once found Elijah standing at the entrance of the cave or R. Shim'on ben Yohai…He asked him: "When will the Messiah come?" He said to him: "Go, ask him himself" "And where does he sit? "At the entrance of the city [of Rome]" "And what are his marks?" "His marks are that he sits among the poor who suffer of diseases, and while all of them unwind and rewind[the bandages of all their wounds] at once, he unwinds and rewinds them one by one, for he says, `Should I be summoned, there must be no delay.'" R. Y'hoshu'a went to him and said to him; "Peace be unto you, my Master and Teacher!" He said to him: "Peace unto you, Son of Levi!" He said to him: when will the Master come?" He said to him: "Today." R. Y'hoshu'a went to Elijah, who asked him; "What did he tell you?" R. Y'hoshu's said "[He said to me:] Peace be unto you, Son of Levi!" Elijah said to him: "[By saying this] he assured the World to Come for you and your father." R. Y'hoshu'a then said to Elijah: "The Messiah lied to me, for he said `today I shall come,' and he did not come." Elijah said: "This is what he told you: "Today , If you but hearken to His voice' (Ps. 95:7)" (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 98a)

"G-d said: If I bring Israel into the land now, each will immediately take possession of his field or vineyard, and they will neglect the Torah. Rather, I shall take them round the desert for forty years, so that they should eat manna and drink the water of [Miriam's miracle] well, and the Torah will be absorbed in their bodies. Thus Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai would say: The Torah was given to be expounded only to the eaters of manna."(Midrash Mechilta)

I have just been reflecting on what the Messiah meant by "Today I shall come" while I have been mediating on the Beshallakh section of Exodus (shemot). This is what I call the Miriam section of Exodus. Above in the Talmud quote we see that the Messiah dwells among the poor Gentiles at Rome (the Leper or Suffering Messiah). Elijah refers us to the passage. "This is what he told you, today, If you hearken to his voice." in Psalm 95. This leds us to the angel or Messenger of Exodus 23:20-26 whose name is in the divine name. Here God commands the Israelites to take heed of and listen to the voice of this Angel (which is identified in differing Jewish sources as Yahoel or Metatron) and promises if you obey his (the Angel's) voice, and do what God speaks then God will bless their Bread and bless their water and take all sickness from the midst of them. What is this Bread and water? The quote above from the Mechilta states that it is the Manna and the water from Miriam's well. This leads us to Beshallakh where this Angel is mentioned in Exodus 14. This whole section of Beshallakh is of deep mystical significance connected to the names (shemot) mentioned in the opening of Shemot and one of these names is hidden in the word for Egypt (Mitzrayim) which is Miriam. It is called Beshallakh because the section opens in Exodus 13:7 with va-yehi beshallakh (and let it come to pass). The 'yehi' is the fiat or `let it be' which leads us to the Song of Creation in Genesis I (the Fiat of Creation) and connects us with the fiat and song of the New Miriam in Luke. For this section is not to be read just in a literal sense but it is highly mystical and speaks of events in the future for which the literal story provides a vessel (well) in which to ascend to these higher mysteries which are perceived by Miriam directly by the parting of the Sea in Heaven according to Jewish tradition. The mention of healing of sicknesses in Exodus 23:25 is linked to the passage in Beshallakh "For I am the Lord that healeth thee" which was linked by the early Jewish Christians with Jesus Christ as this passage adds up to 888 in gematria and the name of Jesus in Greek is also 888.

"G-d led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines (13:17). The tribe Ephraim had erred and departed from Egypt 30 years before the destined time, with the result that three hundred thousand of them were slain by the Philistines... and their bones lay in heaps on the road... G-d therefore said: If Israel behold the bones of the sons of Ephraim strewn in the road, they will return to Egypt...Thus the verse says, v'lo nacham Elokim ("and G-d did not lead them," also translating as, "and G-d was not comforted"). This is comparable to a king whose sons were carried off as captives, and some of them died in captivity. The king afterwards came and saved those that were left. While he rejoiced over those that survived, he was never comforted for those that had died.(Midrash Rabbah)"

Here we see that this valley of bones represents a Shoah after which God delivered his people and brought them back to the land. In the future another Shoah with valleys of bones as prophecied in Ezekiel 37 preceeds a return to Israel by the Jews of Judah. This is also connected with the mention of the bones of Joseph in Exodus 13:19. Jacob Frank also foresaw this latter Shoah and warned his followers that if the Jews did not embrace their brother Esau (Rome) such a Holocaust would happen in central Europe. Another valley of bones and a Shoah of Christians(Ephraim)in Europe may occur with the seeming fall of the Church before Judah and Ephraim/Joseph will be united in peace. The enemies of God will once again be destroyed and the new Miriam who is also Rachel weeping for her children will sing her song of Triumph by the Sea which will be the triumph of her heart.

Yanki Tauber a Lubavitch Hasid who adapts the Lubavicher Rebbes teachings

"Miriam, the elder sister of Moses and Aaron, presided over the female encore to the Song at the Sea. Miriam, who was
named "Bitterness" because at the time of her birth the people of Israel entered the harshest phase of the Egyptian exile; Miriam, who when the infant Moses was placed in a basket at the banks of the Nile, "stood watch from afar, to see what would become of him" (Exodus 2:4).For it was Miriam, with her deep well of feminine feeling, who truly experienced the bitterness of galut (exile and persecution). And it was Miriam, with her woman's capacity for endurance, perseverance and hope, who stood a lonely watch over the tender, fledging life in a basket at the edge of a mammoth river; whose vigilance over what would become of him and his mission to bring redemption to her people never faltered. The image of the young woman standing watch in the thicket of rushes at the edge of the Nile, the hope of redemption persevering against the bitterness of galut in her heart, evokes the image of another watching matriarch.. As the prophet Jeremiah describes it, it is Rachel who, in her lonely grave on the road from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, weeps over her children's suffering in galut. It is she, more than the male patriarchs or leaders of Israel, who feels the depth of our pain; it is her intervention before G-d, after theirs has failed, which brings the redemption."

The galut is the Exile and this links Miriam and Rachel with the feminine aspect of Shekinah and with Mary as I posted on Feb 13 on the 'Jewish and Catholic Board'.

" `Who is She, who comes from the exile, all cleaving to her Lord? All beautiful, all holy, with the scepter of Queen? Her greatness is such that the heavens have lowered themselves to receive Her. No other creature has entered the celestial regions so adorned and so striking - so powerful as to hold supremacy over all.' This passage from the writings of Luisa Piccaretta on Divine will very much reminds me of the Zohar and other Jewish mystical writings about the Shekhinah in Exile. Here in Luisa's writings it is revealed that the 'she' is Mary (Miriam ha Kadosha). This is the feast of the Assumption -this is the Mother in Eternity. In Eternity Mary through the power of the Holy Spirit her spouse manifests in salvation history as the feminine presence of Shekhinah (also called Matronita the Warrior Queen) united to the Divine Word her son (called Metatron the Divine Presence or Angel of the Presence)the male Divine Presence. The two cherbim (male and female) on the Ark of the covenant symbolise these two who are Shekhinah and Malkut. Mary as the Queen who lives in the Kingdom of the Divine Will and Jesus as the King of the Kingdom that is the Divine Presence. This is why in Jewish mysticism Shekhinah and Malkut are seen as the same Attribute of the Divine Man."

Here in Beshallakh Exodus 13: 20 it mentions Sukkot which links us mystically with the Feast of Sukkoth and the divine Presence that it celebrates and it also speaks of the wilderness which links us to the Mystical Woman or Miriam of the Apocalypse who hides in the wilderness in Revelation 12. The Pharoah at the sea links us to the Beast from the Sea of the Apocalypse and in Exodus 13:21-22 it speaks of the Divine Presence as the Pillar of cloud and fire which leads them in "the Way". This is the Way that the Angel of Exodus 23:20 keeps them in. This is the way that would be given by the new Moses and Miriam of the New covenant - Jesus and Mary. This angel (who is the Word/Memra) would in the future be 'the prophet like unto Moses' who will be the Messiah. This why Judaism refers to Moses as a Messiah because he is a type of the New Moses who will be the Messiah. This was why the teachings of Jesus and were called the Way and his followers the followers of the Way in the New Testament.

This Angel mentioned in Exodus 14 in association with the Divine Presence is the centre of the Jewish meditation on the divine names. After this in Exodus 16 is discussed the Manna which is the Bread given by God mentioned in Exodus 23 while the well of Miriam are her Torah insights received at the Sea and revealed in the Song. Beshallakh Exodus 16 links us again with the word "Today" spoken by the Messiah in the story above. Yanki Tauber says:

"The first laws of Shabbat to be specified in the Torah appear in the 16th chapter of Exodus. This is the chapter known as "The Section of the Manna" (Parshat Ha-Man), the chapter that tells the story of the miraculous "bread from heaven" that sustained the people of Israel during their 40-year journey in the desert. Nothing in Torah is coincidental. The fact that the Torah chooses the story of the manna as the background against which to begin spelling out the guidelines for Shabbat observance means that Shabbat and manna are interrelated. Indeed, one of the very first things we are told about Shabbat, back in Genesis 2:3, is that "G-d blessed the seventh day and sanctified it," which the Midrash interprets as follows: "He blessed it with manna and sanctified it with manna." This link is also emphasized by a ruling by 10th century sage and Halachist R. Saadiah Gaon: If a group of Jews find themselves in the situation that they do not know which Torah-section is to be read on a certain Shabbat, they should read the section that pertains to Shabbat in general --The Section of the Manna. The link between Shabbat and manna is even more pronounced in regard to the Shabbat meals. The practice of eating three meals in the course of Shabbat is derived from Exodus 16:25, where the word "today" appears three times regarding the eating of the manna on Shabbat. The two challah loaves that grace the Shabbat table commemorate the double portion of manna that was provided each Friday in honor of the Shabbat; we spread a cloth under the challot and drape another cloth over them, for such was the manner in which we received the manna: protected, below and above, by two layers of dew."

Here we see that in Exodus 16 "Today" is mentioned three times and is connected to the Manna. Thus we see that the Manna is a sign of the Eucharistic Presence of the Messiah and when the Messiah says 'Today I will come" he means that each day he is present in the Eucharist which he has entrusted to his Community centred in Rome. These are the authentic expounders of Torah, those who feed on the manna that is the Eucharistic Bread and take in the deep Marian insights symbolised by the Well of Miriam. This of course links us again to the Apocalypse where the children of the 'Woman clothed with the sun' (the 'Woman in Labour' also mentioned in Micah 5 and other places) are the ones who follow Jesus' teachings or Way.

The Exile or Galut has been to prepare the Jews and all Israel to enter into the the deep Incarnational and Sacramental mysteries of the Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration which is a feeding on the Torah of Light which is also heavenly Manna or Dew - the bread of Heaven.

There is so much more to this section especially linked to meditation on the 72 letter name of the Lord found in Exodus 14.

Of course "today" is also connected to Jesus words to the good thief "Today you will be with me in paradise.". This is his word to us everytime we receive the Eucharist at Mass, as the sea of heaven is parted and heaven becomes present on our Eucharistic altars and the enemies of God are defeated and vanquished.

Of course the Pillar of Cloud by day represents the Sabbath day Presence seen as King or Lord of the Sabbath and the Pillar of Fire by night, the Sabbath Night presence who is Sabbath bride and Queen.

Exodus 14: 19-21
"19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. 21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided."

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan states that this 72 fold name was known in ancient times and it is discussed in the Zohar and the Bahir, in Rashi and the Midrash. In Hebrew each of the three verses in Exodus 14:19-21 has 72 letters. Thus in fact the concept is Triadic or Trinitarian. For the Catholic Jew the first verses represents the Father (Abba) who sent the "Angel of God" as a Redeemer, the second verse the Son (Ben or Zer Anpin ) who is the visible manifestation and light of God and the Redeemer himself, and the third the Holy Spirit (Ruach ha Kodesh) as the active wind (ruach) who open the way for the redemption. The 42 letter name of God is known as the Name of Creation whereas the 72 fold name is the name of Redemption. Thus a meditation on this name is Trinitarian and a meditation on Redemption. This meditation reveals the Redeemer. The three verses become as one in this meditation when the first letter of verse 19 is combined with the last letter of verse 20 and the first letter of verse 21 to create a new three letter word or root (vav heh vav VHV). The second letter of verse 19 with the second last letter of verse 20 and the second letter of verse 21 (yod lamed yod YLY) and so on until there are 72 three letter words. to these consonants the vowels are added in order to use them as a breathing exercise in order to enter into the meditative state. The vowel used is the natural vowel that the letter has for example Vav's natural vowel is `a' so we say for the first of these words Va He Va. Rabbi Abraham Abulafia describes this method in "Chayay Olam HaBah" (Life of the World to Come). Of course as Catholic Jews we know that the Life of the world to come is Jesus in the Eucharist who is the Bread of Life. This is also a entering unto the "Heart of Heaven" as described in Deuteronomy (Devarim) 4:11-13.

Deuteronomy 4:11-13
And you came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire until the heart of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of the words, but saw no form; you only heard a voice. And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tablets of stone."

In Hebrew "until the heart of Heaven "is Ad Lav Shemayim . The mountain burns with fire until we find the Heart of Heaven. The heart is Lav (Leb) and has 32 paths of wisdom (khokmah). Both Heart (Leb) and Glory (Kavod ) are 32 in gematria. The 32 are the ten Sefirot (Attributes) and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet making up the Alef and the Tav (Alpha and Omega) who is the Divine Man and Divine Heart. Again this passage is Trinitarian as the darkness represents the Invisible Father, the voice or words spoken the Son and the fire the Holy Spirit.

This meditation includes a breathing technique and Breath (ruach) is linked to both the Holy Spirit and the Messiah in Jewish traditions. "The breath (ruach) of our nostrils, the Mashiach of God" Lamentations 4:20. The breath of the nose is associated with the Messiah (Mashiach) and the breath of the mouth with the Holy Spirit. Rebbe Nachman of Breslov says that the two apertures of the nose allude to the two missions of Messiah as son of Joseph and son of David. This nose aspect refers to prayer and the verse about Mashiach in Isaiah 11:3 in regards to he will "breathe the fear of God". Each breath we take is a breathing in of the Life of the Messiah.

Rabbi Abulaia says in "Chay Olam HaBah" - "Prepare to meet your God...unify your heart...choose a special place...meditate alone...at this time when you prepare to speak to your Creator ...be careful to cleanse your thoughts of wordly folly...Wrap yourself in your Tallit. If the time is proper, also place your tefillin on your head and arm. This will increase your awe and trembling before the Divine Presence which will visit you at this time...clear your mind completely. Then with complete concentration and will a pleasant sweet melody, pronounce the name of 72. Using the natural vowels of each letter begin by pronouncing/breathing the six triplets.
VaHeVa YoLaYo SaYoTe
EaLaMe MeHeShi LalaHe
These six triplets of the Holy name pronounce with 18 breaths."

One then continues with the next six until you have completed the first 24 triplets -this is the stage of entering into the Holy Spirit and beholding the Divine man, who will appear as a Child or an Elder. This first 24 triplets alludes to the "my Beloved" (Dodi) of the Song of Songs which is the Holy of Holies of the Tanach as Dodi = 24 in gematria. "the sound of my Beloved (dodi) knocking" (Song of Songs5:2). This first stage is that knocking on the door who is the Divine Man the Redeemer. Then one beholds "the image of a child (naar =320) or that of a Sheik (=320). In arabic the word sheik means an elder. You see the image of an old man (Zaken) since the numerical value of 'naar' is the same as 'Elder and Elder' (zaken veZaken =320). The Mystical name of the one who appears to you is Metatron whose name is also naar"(Chay Olam HaBah). Rabbi Abulafia then refers to Enoch (khanokh ) who is a type of the Son of Man and Metatron the angel with God's name within him is seen as the heavenly Enoch as he is also seen as the heavenly Joseph etc. This linking of Enoch ,the child (christ child),Zaken (elder) and the "Way" is found in Proverbs 22:6 - "Train (chanokh) a child (naar) in his way(darko) and when is old (zaken),he will not depart from it".

Rabbi Abulafia continues:"Combine `raise' (khanokh=84) and "his way" (darko =230) and you will discover his mystery." This reveals the number 314 which is the number of Metatron and of Shaddai. Abulafia continues "when you see him (Metatron), strengthen your hearts and understand his ways. `take heed of Him and hearken to his voice- do not rebel against him, for he will not forgive your sin- for My Name is in Him" Exodus 23:21." Thus explaining that the angel in Exodus 14 is the same Angel in Exodus 23- Metatron who is also called El Shaddai the Divine Presence and the Angel or prince of the Presence. "Behold God's Name Shaddai (=314). This is Metatron. He is the prince of the Names (Sar HaShemot) who speaks with the "authority of the name"(Reshut Ha Shem)". Both phrases contain the same Hebrew letters rearranged.

When this heavenly man speaks one quotes Samuel "speak My Lord for your sevant (Avdekha) is listening". The word Avdekha is divided in to two as Av =72 and dekha =24 referring to the 72 fold name and the 24 triplet. (note:those who have the gift of speaking in tongues enter in to a similiar state and the hasidim by their lai lai and yai yais etc). Rabbi Abulafia is writing in the 13th centurylong before the Hasidic and Charismatic movements.

The second lot of 24 triplets is the next stage of uniting with the 'son of man' (divine man/christ child) and participating in his work of Redemption in a spiritual way. thisis a entering into the Holy of holies. The second set begins with
NuThaHe HeAaAa YoReTha
ShiAaHe ReYoYo AaVaMe

However this time one uses there head as they pronounce and the breathing changes. Now between each letter one takes 3 breathes which means 12 breathes for each triplet. And one moves their head according to the vowel attached to each letter. The Cholem `o' is written above the letter so our head moves upward. We begin with our head looking straight ahead "then as you draw out the sound of the letter while you pronounce it,begin to move your head so as to face upward, toward the sky. Close your eyes, open your mouth,and let the words shine...as you exhale continue to raise your head at the same rate so that you complete the exhalation ad head motion simultaneously. If you complete the head motion before the exhalation do not lower your head until you have exhaled completely"

With the kametz 'a' one does the same but now moves the head from the left to the right and finish with a slight bow. With the Tzere "e" one moves the head from right to left and with Chirek(i) own bows down the head. this for the Catholic Jew is a form of the sign of the cross and one can use the Divine names YHVH and YHShVH (yeshuah/Jesus)in the same way forming a sign of the Cross with the Head.

Rabbi Abulafia states that "with these four vowels you have crowned God as King." This makes it obvious the the missing fifth letter of the divine Name must be the "shin". The fifth vowel shurek would represent for the Catholic Jew the Divine King`s Body on the cross. Rabbi Abulafia states "when you pronounce the Nun, also make him King. Begin by looking straight ahead, stretching your neck forward as much as you can. Do not raise or lower your head, but keep it facing straight."

Through this entering into the Holy of Holies by the Cross we encounter the mystery of the cherubim and the Ark of the covenant. Here Rabbi Abulafia reveals mysteries of the Divine Presence. Here is revealed that the nose with its two nostrils reveals the two cherubim and makes the divine presence descend. "You have two nostrils whose mystery is the heaven called Aravot. Understand this for these are the nostrils of the soul and their mystery is two cherubs which make the Divine Presence descend. The divine Presence then dwells on earth,speaking to man, `from the ark cover, from between the two cherubs' (exodus 25:220). These two cherubs are male and female . They are also the Tree and the Rainbow (the Messiah and his Mother in Eternity). This reveals the work of the divine heart. This is all concerned with the Mystery of redemption. Now in union with the Son who is the divine heart all is offered to the Father in the last 24 triplets of the 72 fold name and the same process is followed as before in the second section.
VaHeVa DaNuYo Hecheshi
EaMeMe NuNuAa NuYoTha etc
Then he suggests one finished with the prayer of the ten names which he connects with the phrase `I will come " (Aboa) which is 10 in gematria.

Ehyeh asher Ehyeh, crown me (Keter)

Yah, grant me wisdom (Khokhmah)

Elohim Chaim, grant me understanding (Binah)

El, with the right hand of his love,make me great (Chesed/Gedullah)

Elohim,from the terror of his judgment, protect me (din/gevurah)

YHVH, with his Mercy grant me beauty (Rachmim/ tiferet)

Adonai Tzevat, watch me forever (Netzach)

Elohim Tzevaot, grant me beautitude from his splendour (Hod)

El chai, make his covenant my foundation (yesod/tzadik)

Adonai open my lips and my mouth will speak of your praise (Malkhut/ Shekhinah).

One could also use this prayer with the 10 Hail Marys of the Rosary. I use my Tzitzits for this. I hope this is understandable. The obvious Christian connections in this mystical tradition makes me more convinced that much of it came from Jewish Catholic sources that assimilated back into Judaism after the 4th century.


BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th) said...

ATHOL! My main man! What's up Brother?

Anonymous said...

Dear Athol, thankyou for offering your work on the web. 2010 i plan to slow down and take in HOLY information. I use some of your art for wallpaper on my computer.
I am in need of spiritual direction as I'm in very deep but sin deeply also. I know I can only move forward into my destiny with holiness. I'm interested to know about the 'princes' of Israel. I had Jewish clients in Toronto and am convinced their son is very special to the Lord, a Prince and a genius (computing). Shalom
George MI+ (north of Toronto)