Abraham had to pass 10 tests or trials on his spiritual journey culminating with the Akeidah (Sacrifice) of his unique (yachid) son Isaac. Each of us must also pass these 10 tests or trials either in this world or the next if we desire to enter the World to Come. They can be linked to the ascent or descent of the 10 Sefirotic array and the 10 sayings of Genesis 1 of the Jewish mystical tradition. Unfortunately many of us have to keep repeating our tests as we fail them over and over. They cannot be passed by human will power but only by grace.
Bahir 63 teaches us that one can’t gaze directly at this Heart and its mysteries but one can gaze at the Mirror of this Heart which is the Mother-Daughter of the Divine King and her garments. One begins this Way of the Heart in union with the Mother through the quality (Hasidut) of Lowliness (Shiflut). Lowliness was demonstrated by Miriam at the Annunciation by her joyful acceptance of the Word of God. To attain this lowliness one must be familiar with the Word of God (the Torah) and then one must humble himself and obey the Word by uniting one’s ‘Yes’ with the ‘Yes’ of Miriam. One thus enters the Kingdom (Malkhut) of the Son (Heaven=Zer Anpin=Son) which is the Divine Presence (Shekhinah) in union with the Mother of the Kehilla which is Miriam as Matronita and Bride (Kallah). One offers his body as a living sacrifice in union with the sacrifice of Yeshua. This is shiflut (Lowliness). This is the inner Grace of the Sacrament of Baptism. One thus enters the Light of the Divine Presence which is also called Metatron. This first stage of the Spiritual Way can be summed up as ‘humble thyself’. This stage in the Mass is genuflecting and kneeling in preparation for the start of the Divine Mysteries.
The second stage or level which is the foundation (yesod) of the Eucharistic spiritual life can be summed up as ‘know thyself’. That is, know the truth (emet) about yourself, the truth about life, the truth about sex, the truth about the person and the truth about the heart. This foundation in truth is called Righteousness (Tzaddik). The quality to attain in this second stage is carefulness or watchfulness of the heart. This level is the stage of confession and teshuvah (repentance/return). This is a purifying and turning of the heart to the Divine Heart. One must build a solid, truthful and righteous foundation for the spiritual life by facing the truth and confessing one’s sins through the Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation. This is the level of Name, of finding one’s true identity or name in Christ/Mashiach. In order to discover this truth one must realize the necessity of placing oneself before the Divine Presence in order to adore.
Yeshua said, “Would you not watch one hour with me?” One is here called to be Watchmen (Notzrim/Christians). This is the first sorrowful mystery. This is the first level of the soul – the level of the vessel called nefesh. At this level we prepare for adoration of the Divine Heart by confessing and naming our sins and we attain to the quality of carefulness or watchfulness of the heart.
In the Mass this second level is also the rite of confession of sins. This second level is the level of Mashiach ben Joseph the Suffering Messiah taking on our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane. This 2nd level is also the Mystery of the 2nd Joyful mystery of the Visitation when in joy Elizabeth (Elisheva) names Miriam ha Kadosha as the Mother of God and the New Ark of the Covenant. Confronted with this Divine Truth she becomes aware of her own sinfulness and unworthiness of such a blessing. This level is the Light of Life (Chaim). This 2nd level is the phallus of the Divine Body associated with the righteous one (Tzaddik) Joseph and Messiah son of Joseph. It is the level of guarding the loins by purity and righteous.
In regards to the human body we have the concepts of flexion and extension, and in the soul this is called Constricted Consciousness and Expanded Consciousness. These are the 3rd and 4th levels of the spiritual ascent – the levels of mystic vision and prophecy. The 3rd stage is God’s Attribute of Splendour or Majesty (Hod) – it is the Light of Radiance (zohar). It is the level of the left side of flexion or constricted consciousness. In order to attain the grace or quality of this level one needs ‘cleanliness of heart’ and the grace one receives is sincerity of mind, heart and action. This is the level of the 2nd sorrowful mystery of the scourging in order to counteract the 39 spirits of lust. At this level is the inner grace of the sacrament of Holy Orders. It is the level associated with Aaron the High Priest. This is the prophetic level of love of God. This is the level of 1st Ranan adoration or meditation (hitbodedut). There are two levels of Ranan (joyful praise) but this is the level of 1st Ranan Adoration. It is closely associated with Hagah adoration which follows it. Ranan is a method of charismatic prayer/praise. It is emotional heart worship /adoration with ecstatic expressions such as tongues and songs. One arouses the emotions with songs of joyful praise in preparation for entering the level of Hagah adoration. One starts to focus and concentrate on the Lord by lively charismatic praise. In the Mass this is the singing of the Gloria. The 3rd level is the left leg (regel) of the Divine Body associated with mystic vision.
The 4th level is associated with the Divine Attribute of Netzach. Netzach is Divine Victory/Endurance/Perseverance. This is the level of extension or expanded consciousness. This is the level of the Light of Brilliance (bahir). This is the step of ‘zeal or diligence of the heart’. Its grace or quality is confidence or boldness. It is a boldness to proclaim the Word of God and confidently and with authority to enter into his Eucharistic Presence/Heart.
This is the level of the inner grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony. The 3rd Joyful Mystery is between this 4th level and the 3rd level – thus we can say that the Mystery of the Nativity is on the left side of Netzach and the right side of Hod. On the right side of Netzach is the 1st Glorious Mystery – the Mystery of the Victory of the Resurrection. This is the Light triumphing over Darkness.
This is the level of Hagah adoration. Hagah adoration is attained by the use of chants or mantras such as the Rosary, litanies, the Divine Mercy chaplet and the Jesus Prayer. This method of adoration purifies and clears the mind and heart so that it can focus on the Divine Heart. Its goal is to bring one into a state of resting or relaxing within the Divine Heart.
This is a state of just being with the Lord. This method of adoration induces the melting of the self/heart and being directed by the Holy Spirit. Hagah is called ‘directed existence’ by Rabbi Kaplan in his book “Meditation and the Bible”. It is a receiving from the Divine Attributes of the Divine Heart. It is the stage of gazing and receiving from the Divine Light which is the Sacred Heart.
This level is also a changing/transforming of the darkness in to light. Rabbi Kaplan explains that one reaches through Hagah to the experience of Nogah (the Meditative Light) and from there one experiences Chasmal – the speaking silence. This is the Word of God coming in the still small voice in the silence of the heart. In the Mass this level is the reading and reflecting on the Word of God and the homily. The 4th level is the right leg of the Divine Body associated with prophecy. This is the Attribute associated with Moses.
The 5th level is the level associated with the Attribute of Tiferet-Rahamim (Beauty / Compassion). This is called the inner heart or soul. It is also the emotive soul or vital soul called Nashamah (Breath). It is the step of ‘abstention or separation of the heart’. It is the compassionate Heart and measured giving. Its light is Kavod (Glory). It is the level of the inner grace of the Sacrament of Healing/Anointing. Its grace is compassion (rahamim).
On the left of Tiferet is the 3rd sorrowful mystery of the Crowning of Thorns. On the right side of Tiferet is the 2nd glorious mystery the Ascension. Its inner light ‘Kavod’ is manifested in the 4th mystery of Light the Transfiguration. This is the level connected with divine healing and the archangel of Healing St. Raphael. The angels of this Attribute are called Melakim (Kings or Dominions). Its symbol is the Sun. Its archetype is Jacob or Israel. It is called the Holy One of Israel. In a sense this is the heart within the Divine Heart. It is the Divine Centre of the Heart. Deep calling to deep.
The adoration method of this level is called Rinah (Joyous Song) or 2nd Ranan adoration. It is a deeper and higher level of ‘charismatic’ praise or emotional worship. One at this stage uses the emotions to elevate oneself to a high spiritual plane. This is the path, says Rabbi Kaplan, “where one rises to the shadow of God’s wings”. The shadow of God’s wings is also called in Judaism the ‘wings of the Shekinah’.
At this level one binds or consecrates himself to God. Through this heart-felt praise one enters into spiritual warfare against the Evil Ones and this praise acts as a protective shield (Psalm 149:5,6) against the Other Side (Sitra Ahra). This is the level from which the Holy Spirit’s gifts of ‘healings’ proceeds. The ‘gifts of healings’ comes via a compassionate heart for the sick and suffering. In the Mass this is the level of preparation leading to the Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh. This is the Heart and Torso of the Divine Body.
The 6th level is associated with God’s Attribute of Din (Judgement) also called Gevurah (power), Justice, Fear, Severity, Strength, Awe and Discernment. This is the constricted consciousness area of concentration. Concentration is also called kevanah (heart devotion). It is the level of ‘purity and perfection of the heart’. It is associated with spiritual prudence or withholding. Its archangel is St Gabriel and its angels the Seraphim (i.e. fiery serpents). This was the choir of Lucifer before his fall. He through pride and harsh judgement rejected Divine Mercy/Love and passed to the Other Side (Sitra Ahra).
This level is connected with preaching the Word of God with strength and power. It is also the 4th sorrowful mystery of the Way of the Cross. This is the heart of the Dark Night of the Soul whose light is called ‘Nogah’ or glow light. It is the inner grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation. In the Mass it is the words of consecration.
The spiritual gift (charism) of this level is Discernment of Spirits. It is also the adoration method of Siyach adoration. In this level one is moved by the Holy Spirit into spontaneous mental and verbal praises. It is the level in which one has internal conversations of the heart. Rabbi Kaplan calls this stage “inner directed, unstructured meditation whether verbal or non verbal”. One focuses on a spiritual subject and looks at it from all sides. In general it is a meditation on God’s wonders and teachings. It can also involve spontaneous singing and chanting (Psam104:33,34; Psalm 105:1). It involves spontaneous prayer forms and meditation on one’s spiritual and moral development.
This method leads to concentrating on one idea and distracting the mind from everyday thoughts. This adoration method causes the soul to float and elevate ascending the Tree of Life which is the Attributes of the Divine Body/Heart. One ascends and gazes on the Attributes of God mirrored in the Mother’s Heart. This is the left arm of the Divine Body associated with the colour red. It is the level associated with the Power of the Precious Blood.
The 7th level is associated with God’s Attribute of Hesed (Chesed). Hesed is Love, Mercy, Loving kindness and Grace. The inner light of this level is called ‘Tov’ (good). It is the 5th mystery of light – the Eucharist. This is the level of piety or saintliness which is loving kindness to the Father and to one’s neighbour. It is the level of relaxation and receiving from the Divine Heart of the Lord.
The inner grace of the Sacrament of the Eucharist is associated with this Attribute of God. The grace of this level is Love (ahavah). This is the Divine Mercy. The Divine Mercy has 13 attributes or aspects. Hesed or Love/Mercy is the life blood of the Heavenly Body (Adam Kadmon). It is the greatest (gedulah) of God’s attributes (Sefirot). It unites the Godhead as One (echad). The ten Sefirot are one Love, one Body, one Tree of Life and one Heart. The 13 aspects of Mercy are one Divine Mercy in the one Heart. The ten Sefirot are also three Lights, and the three Lights are one power of Love. The 10 Sefirot and the three Lights are the 13 aspects of Mercy and they are the one power of Love. The 10 Sefirot are one God in one Essence. The three Lights are the one God of Light. This is a deep mystery of the Triune God.
Maimonides (the Rambam) taught incorrectly that the 10 Sefirot in the Godhead are created Lights or emanations but Nahmanides (the Ramban) taught, in accord with earlier Kabbalists, that the 10 Sefirot were of the Essence of the Deity. The mirrors of the 10 Sefirot in the Creation, in the spiritual world, in Miriam ha Kadosha and in Man are the created emanations of the Divine Light. Unfortunately the Lurianic Kabbalists followed Maimonides rather than Nahmanides.
In the Mass this 7th level is Communion. On the left side of Hesed is the 4th joyful mystery of the Presentation of the Living Shekinah the Holy Child in the Temple and on the right side is the 3rd glorious mystery the descent of the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire. It is the white right arm of the Divine Man.
It is the level from which the 13 aspects of Divine Mercy blaze forth from the Divine Heart. It is the level of Shasha adoration in which one enters into tranquil rapture by the power of the Holy Spirit – “Be still and know that I am God”. The soul is unaware of outside happenings in this state. Shasha adoration is meditation of intense passion on the Love/ Mercy (Hesed) of God. It is a vision of Divine Love and Mercy. Shasha is a gazing at the Divine Mysteries and receiving. Shasha is to reach the goal of one’s meditation and to be totally absorbed and enraptured in adoration by the Divine Mercy which is the Divine Heart. It is utter sincerity and peace.
It is the level of ‘running and returning’ (see Ezekiel 1:14) and if one stayed too long the body could not survive the intensity of the burning fire of God’s Love. Shasha adoration ascends to the level of contemplation (hitbonenut) which is the adoration of the 8th, 9th and 10th levels of the spiritual ascent of the Tree of Life which is the Divine Heart and Glorious Face of the Lord. Beyond this only a person of the highest and deepest spirituality can probe beyond Hokmah (Wisdom) into the Divine Will. The highest possible level to attain while in the flesh is called ‘Living in the Divine Will’ which was the level that Miriam ha Kadosha attained. Contemplation (hitbonenut) is the level of understanding (binah) by gazing with intense concentration (kevanah/heart devotion) on a subject until one understands it completely. This can start at the level of Siyach adoration (6th level) and ascend through Shasha until the higher levels.
The 8th level is associated with the Attribute of Binah (understanding). this is the level of deep prayer of the heart. This is the level of deep joy (simcha). The fruit of this level is humility or littleness. This is the level of the Magnificat. As mentioned above this level is closely associated with the Imma-Mother and the Divine Heart. It is the level of the 5th sorrowful mystery. In the Mass it is the fruits of Communion via reflection and thanksgiving. It is an entering into Divine Joy.
The 9th level is associated with Hokmah (Wisdom) and is the level of Divinization (Divinicise). It is a high level of Fear and Awe of Divine Majesty and Fear of sin which together are Divine Wisdom. This is Beginning (Reshit). This is the level of the 4th glorious mystery of Miriam’s assumption body and soul into Heaven. It is the level of nothingness or self- nullification and selflessness.
The 10th level is that of Ruach or Spirit. It is called Keter (Crown). It is the level of the 5th glorious mystery of the crowning of Miraim ha Kadosha in Heaven. Her crown is the Divine Heart of her Son. This is the level of Divine Knowledge and Divine Union. It is the level of complete Holiness. It is the level of total unity or union with God. In Hassidut it is called ‘Yachid’. Yachid is the only begotten son mentioned in the Akeidah of Isaac. We can say that the three lights or roots which are the source of the 10 sefirot are the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is the level of emunah (faith), the Son is Will (Ratzon) and the Holy Spirit is Desire (taanug).
Thus this is a Hebrew Catholic Way of Adoration of the Divine Heart. In Judaism this Mystical way is called the ‘running of the heart’. This is the 32 paths of Wisdom /Torah. These 32 paths are mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis with the 32 times that God (Elohim) is mentioned. These 32 paths are linked to the 10 numbers that are the 10 Sefirot and the 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet which are the Alef and Tav (in Greek Alpha and Omega). The first ten utterances of ‘God said’ are seen as the ten Sefirot which created the world. They are ten utterances that are One Word manifesting over 7 days. This is linked in Jewish thought with the 10 utterances or commands on Mt. Sinai which is One Torah manifesting in 7 voices. The other 22 times God (Elohim) is mentioned is connected with the 22 letters of the alphabet.
The three ‘mother’ letters are linked to the three ‘God made’ expressions. The term ‘Mother’ is linked to Understanding (binah). This is because it is the Mother (Imma) who understands and mirrors God (Elohim) to the deepest level. ‘God made’ is connected to the concept of the Mother gazing at and reflecting the Three Divine Lights which are the Triune God. The three mother are the letters alef, mem and shin. Mem is the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is associated with the Attribute of Divine Mercy/Love (Hesed/ Ahavah) in its 13 aspects. The path of Mem is the path that connects the Divine Majesty with the Divine Victory. The mem is closely connected with the Mashiach who is born by Miriam.
The alef represents the source of Wisdom - the Father. Alef is the path connecting Divine Mercy and Divine Judgement in the Heart of the Divine Body. In the heart of the Son one can see the Father. Shin is the path connecting Divine Wisdom with Divine Understanding by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mem is associated with the spiritual waters (mayim), alef with the spiritual air (avir) or breath and shin with the spiritual Fire (esh). Mem is connected to the Hay (H) of the Divine Name, Alef with with Yod (Y) of the Divine Name and Shin with the Vav (V) of the Divine Name.
Mem in a sense envelops the whole Divine Heart or Diamond. The thirteen shining triangular Mems are the thirteen triangular paths found in the diagram of the Sefirotic Tree or Body. This appears as the Divine Diamond. This is the Son as King of Mercy.The Alef is connected with the concept of the Alef and Tav which are the paths within the Divine Heart. This is the Father as the source of Wisdom that dwells in the deepest reaches of the Divine Heart of the Son.
The Jewish mystical tradition holds much light or knowledge but it is in fragments like a jig saw puzzle. In Yeshua ha Mashiach the Hebrew Catholic is called to unify these traditions and to purify them with the spiritual waters of the Son and the spiritual fire of the Holy Spirit. Then they will reflect the Divine Beauty hidden within them. This unity is the mystery of the Divine Heart. Assess to this Divine Heart is through adoration in and with and through the heart devotion of the Mother. The mysteries of the Divine Heart is the mystery of the unification of the Divine Name Yod Hay and Vav Hay by the Shin. The Shin represents the 3 pillars of the Sefirot and thus is Adam Kadmon who is the soul of the Mashiach ben Joseph.
The letter Shin represents the Wisdom and Understanding of the Triune Godhead and the Incarnation of God becoming Man for the salvation (yeshuah) of the world. This is YHShVH (Yeshuah). This is the Divine Name of power. This the power of Love called the Divine Heart of YHShVH. Yeshuah is the name that turns darkness into Divine Light. Yeshua is also called Metatron and Yahoel. Metatron is also called Naar (Youth) and Yeled (Child). This is the Holy Child of the Zohar that raises the Cup of Yeshuah (salvation).
The seven mentions of ‘God saw’ in Genesis 1 are connected to the seven double letters of the alphabet. This is connected with the seven Sacraments and the seven mansions of St Teresa of Avila. They are the seven vertical lines or paths ascending upwards from the seven lower Sefirot. The remaining 12 mentions of Elohim in Genesis represent the 12 elemental letters of the alphabet. These are the diagonal lines of paths in the Diagram of the Sefirotic Tree or Body.
Let us adore this Heart which is so pierced by man’s indifference. Let us follow the Way of the Divine Heart by loving and adoring the Heart with the love of the Mother’s Heart. This is Eucharistic Adoration as it is the adoration of the Eucharistic Heart of Yeshua. These are the 32 paths (netivot) of ascending within the Heart and one will be led by Miriam HaKedosha along the paths best suited to their personality and level of development. This is the Heart of her Son. This is not written to try and convert Jews to the Catholic Faith but it is written to help Hebrew Catholics to go deeper into the mysteries of our Faith and to develop our own Hebrew spiritual theology that can enrich the whole Church. This is only my very poor effort to contribute to this development.
So like Ben Zoma let us ascend and gaze with the Mother at the mysteries of the Divine Heart so that we too can receive the crazy/mad/insane Love of the Heart. Our Rabbinic brothers may, like they did of Ben Zoma, say we are insane and have misunderstood the mysteries. Nevertheless let us lift up our Jewish brethren in adoration to the Light and Love flowing forth as Living Waters from the Divine Heart in the Blessed Sacrament which is the Cup of Salvation. We expectantly await the day when the veil will be lifted and we are one in the knowledge that the Divine Heart is Yeshua ha Mashiach.