Sunday, March 18, 2018
“Who shall ascend to the mount of the Lord? And who shall rise in His sacred place?”
Again the Psalmist brings up the common trait the Creator wants us to we share with Him in order to dwell with Him, which is sacredness. The verse indicates that our approaching to God is indeed an ascending journey or process through which we detach ourselves from anything different or opposed to goodness as what makes us sacred before Him.
In goodness we not only ascend to elevate all levels and dimensions of consciousness but also rise ourselves to what God wants us to experience in His sacredness. This we are not able to fathom, conceive, discern or assimilate, for God’s sacredness belongs to a level or dimension that we only will be able to grasp when we get there.
“He who has clean hands, and a pure heart, that has not taken My Name in vain, and has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his redemption. Such is the generation of they that seek after Him, that seek Your countenance, Jacob, forever.” (24:4-6)
These verses teach us that God associates His Name with the cleanliness, purity and truthfulness of goodness. King David emphasizes once more that the sacredness of goodness is only experienced by living with the ethical principle that it embodies. This means that goodness does not compromise, blend, mix or cohabit with anything different from its ways, means and attributes.
In goodness we are blessed and God blesses us with the righteousness inherent in it, which by definition is our redemption. We understand the latter as the eternal state of consciousness free from the negative traits and trends of an evil approach to life.
The eternal freedom in goodness is the inheritance of those who pursue it as the way to live in God’s promised final redemption. This is the inheritance of the descendants of Jacob who seek to live in God’s goodness for eternity.
“I will wash my hands in innocence; so I may encompass Your altar, O Lord. To hear in the voice of gratefulness, and to tell all Your marvels. Lord, I love the habitation of Your house; and the place, the temple of Your glory.” (26:6-8)
The ascent King David mentioned before requires the innocence that is also inherent in goodness, as it rules all aspects and expressions of life. We must wash and clean our thoughts, emotions and feelings, along with refining our passions and instincts, in order to turn them into vessels to be filled with the goodness of love’s ways and attributes.
In goodness we enable our consciousness to encompass and embrace the highest goodness of all, depicted as the “altar” of God. This knowledge leads us to the gratefulness we owe to our Creator, and in this sublime awareness we will be able to fathom His magnificent marvels and the transcendence of His glory.
In love we also exalt the jubilation of dwelling eternally in God’s house and His glory, as the ultimate state of consciousness for which we came to this world to fulfill the destiny He wants for us when we choose to live only in the permanent awareness of goodness.
In this coming verse, the Psalmist makes us realize that indeed such destiny is what we all should yearn for and ask our Creator.
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the pleasantness of the Lord and to visit in His temple.” (27:4)
Once we come to this awareness, we only live to yearn with the ardent desire of being eternally close to our Creator. Hence we pray constantly to be freed from the attachments, obsessions and addictions imposed by ego’s fantasies and illusions that prevent us to embrace the freedom only goodness provides.
The lesson we learn from them is to value and appreciate goodness as the moral freedom that empower our discernment to lead our mind, thoughts, emotions, feelings and instincts with the righteousness inherent in goodness.
Sunday, March 11, 2018
“[May the Lord] Send forth your help from the altar [lit. from the sacred], and from Zion [He may] support you.” (Psalms 20:3)
All comes from God, and He sustains and supports His creation. This principle includes the help we need to fulfill our existence, especially when it is according to His will. In this verse King David is referring to a particular kind of help and support that only comes from the sacredness of God’s presence in this world, which is His chosen place known as Zion.
We realize that the Creator has multiple ways to sustain His creation, ones more sublime than others, as we see it in this verse. We have to be sacred in order to approach God’s sacredness.
This ideal requires from us to detach from the negative traits and trends derived from an egocentric approach to life, by embracing the ways and attributes of goodness that are our bond with the Creator of all. For this we need the help that comes precisely from the highest level of our consciousness also known as the altar of the Sanctuary in Zion.
The verses that follow give us the context of the Psalmist’s plea to God.
“[That may the Lord] Remember all your meal offerings and your burnt offerings forever. [To] Grant you according to [what] your heart [desires], and fulfill all your plans.” (20:4-5)
The offerings we bring to the Temple of Jerusalem are commanded by God to make us close to Him. We have mentioned that the Hebrew semantic root for “offering” is the same for “closeness”.
In this closeness we are actually redeemed from anything that prevents our well being, plenitude and self-realization. Hence our desires and plans must be aimed to pursue only goodness in life, as God wants us to experience His ways and attributes in this world.
“Only loving kindness and compassion shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever [lit. for many long days].” (23:6)
If we paraphrase this verse, we understand that in order to dwell in God’s presence manifest in His house, the Temple of Jerusalem, only loving kindness and compassion must lead every aspect and expression of life.
The previous verses in the chapter quoted here refer to what happens in us when we embrace God’s ways and attributes as the ruling ethical principles and fundamentals to experience life in this world.
The outcome is stated in this verse, as the culmination of living in full awareness of the goodness coming from our Creator.
Sunday, March 4, 2018
“That I tell all Your praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion, that I rejoice in Your redemption.” (Psalms 9:15)
Telling here “all” the praising for our Creator is a major statement that implies the pursuing of not a simple but eternal redemption.
“To tell all” is not a matter of elaborating the endless inventory of God’s deeds and actions, for which we praise Him, but an encompassing approach of God in all levels, aspects and dimensions of human consciousness.
In other words, if we ask for God’s redemption, this has to be done will “all” in us. “To tell all” also means to express entirely all that is in our heart, mind and soul, in a genuine manifestation of what occupies our discernment, thoughts, emotions, feelings and actions. In this awareness we “tell” all the praises to entreat God’s grace and compassion to show us His complete redemption.
This must happen in the “gates” of the “daughter” of Zion, which is another name for Jerusalem. Our oral tradition tells us that the city of God reflects the head of the body; hence “capital” means “head”.
The “gates” are the seven openings in the head, which are the eyes, ears, nostrils and mouth. This means that the awareness we just mentioned must encompass what we see, hear, smell, say and swallow. All our senses and awareness must be in alignment with the sacredness God demands from us to give us His complete redemption.
Jerusalem as the “daughter of Zion” is the highest awareness of God in our consciousness. This highest level of consciousness is the sacredness God wants us to share with Him in the world, and from where He wants to bond with us. This awareness is the prelude to delighting in the jubilation inherent in God’s redemption.
“Who shall give from Zion the redemption of Israel? The Lord will turn the captivity of His people. Jacob will be glad, Israel will rejoice.” (14:7)
In Judaism, the final redemption requires and implies a change in human consciousness. This change is dictated and determined by goodness in order make it prevail in all facets and expressions of life, in total absence of evil.
Thus we assimilate goodness free from any form of evil, for it is the sacredness by which we are redeemed. This sacred goodness that dwells in Zion is from which the captivity of Jacob ends, and the redemption of Israel comes.
Our “captivity” means living in the negative traits and trends we choose as the dwelling fields of our consciousness. God will “turn” our captivity under materialistic fantasies and illusions into the freedom of the positive traits and trends of goodness.
Jacob and Israel are here the innocence, purity and integrity, combined with the self-realization, strength and determination needed to approach and enter the celebration of redemption. This verse introduces the foundation of Hebrew prophecy.
“And many peoples have said, ‘Come and let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths’. For from Zion the Torah [lit. Instruction] has come, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:3)
In this primordial principle lies the foundation of the knowledge we must acquire to bind with our Creator. Thus we realize that the Torah as the instruction needed to experience God in all aspects and expressions of life comes precisely from the connecting place that Zion/Jerusalem is.
“Who shall sojourn in Your temple? Who’s presence in the mount of sacredness?” (Psalms 15:1)
Again the answer is the sacredness of goodness that God wants us to live and manifest in the world, for God’s presence also dwells in goodness.
This is the ethical foundation that makes us act according with what is just, correct and constructive, for the sake of our individual and collective well being as answered by the next upcoming verses.
“He who walks upright, and labors righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart; that has no slander in his tongue, nor does evil to his fellow, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors they that revere the Lord; he that despises evil and changes not.” (15:2-4)
These qualities embrace the positive means, ways and ends of goodness, completely free from the negative and destructive traits and trends of an egocentric or evil approach to life.
Saturday, February 24, 2018
“My voice unto the Lord calls, and He answers me from the mount of His sacredness, forever.” (Psalms 3:5)
This and the remaining verses to be quoted, reiterate what we have pointed out before. In, by and with sacredness we have to approach God, for that is the connecting link between Him and the Jewish people.
The emphasizing “forever” that we see frequently in the Psalms, is to be understood as something previously established for eternity. In sacredness God responds, bringing us to the eternity of His sacredness.
“And I, in Your abundant loving kindness, shall I come in Your house; I bow down toward the temple of Your sacredness in reverence of You.” (5:8)
King David evokes one of God’s attributes of compassion, “abundant in loving kindness” (Exodus 34:6-7) to approach Him in prayer.
This we understand also as an attribute that we must share with God in order to come to the place of His sacredness, to which we also must approach with reverence.
Here reverence means not in fear of God, but in acknowledgment of His unfathomable presence that makes us feel infinitesimally insignificant before Him.
This is not the first or the last occasion when King David invites us to adopt humbleness, for this also is one of the prerequisites to evoke God’s presence in prayer. Reverence here is an expression of utmost humility, as well as the bowing down to the magnificence of our Creator.
“Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion; proclaim among the peoples His doings.” (9:12)
In the Jewish prayer book, we recite psalms to entreat God to hear our voice, and to grant us what we need every day to live according to His will. In this entreating prelude we approach Him by recognizing His works and constant marvels and miracles for us, in order to connect and partake of the blessings of His loving kindness and truth.
We also understand “praising” Him, not only by exalting and glorifying Him with words, but also by acting according to His ways and attributes; for we honor Him more by our actions than by our words. Thus we properly proclaim His works among the peoples, while being mindful that He dwells in the sacredness of Zion.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Trying to define or describe Jerusalem is the same futile endeavor to fathom the God of the Jews. The reason is quite simple, because Jerusalem and God belong to each other.
The “place” of God’s presence in the world is as sacred as He is, and the name of the city confirms this fact. Our Jewish oral tradition offers two essential meanings.
One tells us that there were two cities opposite to each other and separated by the valley of Josephat. These were Shalem and Yieru, that many centuries later were unified by King David. Hence the Psalmist is considered the founder of the city, who established it as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel.
The other version is that the city was originally named Shalom, “peace”, and after Abraham’s offering of his son Isaac, he renamed it “Yierushalem”. This one is usually translated in two complementary ways, “shall appear in peace” or “shall be seen in peace”, in reference to God. Both are in the future tense, because this was going to be the place that He chose for His Temple, the dwelling of His presence in the world.
In this sense Jerusalem and its Temple are inherent to each other, because God’s presence dwells in the same place. This definition is accurate to describe it as eternal and indivisible, which are also attributes of the God of the Jews.
In his book of Psalms, King David reflected on these premises with his profound spiritual insight and awareness of what this city means and represents as the capital of the Jewish people in particular, and for humankind in general.
The Psalmist revealed for us ways and attributes inherent in God and in Jerusalem, intended not as definitions of both, but as qualities that we find as bonds for each other. We will reflect and expand on these as we quote the verses in the psalms where King David refers to Jerusalem, Zion and the Temple as the same place.
The Jewish oral tradition does not offer specific meanings for Zion, but only as a synonym of Jerusalem and its Temple. Thus we understand and assimilate that Zionism is the fundamental and structural belief of Judaism in Jerusalem as the divinely chosen capital of Israel.
In this context Judaism is Zionism, and the Jews are inherently Zionists. This belief is the foundation to approach God’s presence in the world.
Let’s begin King David’s journey into Jerusalem, and let us by enlightened by God’s presence in the capital, the eternal head of Israel.
“And I have established My king upon Zion, the mount of My sacredness.”
The Hebrew Bible mentions quite often that God is sacred, as a reference to follow His ways, attributes and commandments.
“Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be sacred, for the Lord your God is sacred’.” (Leviticus 19:1)
We understand sacredness not only as one of God’s attributes, but also as a precondition to be before His presence. Thus we realize sacredness as something we need to be and have in order to bond with our Creator. Hence Zion is the mount of His sacredness, where He establishes His king as the ruler who better understands and implements God’s will for His people.
It can’t be otherwise, for God’s sacredness requires both a sacred place to dwell in the world, and a sacred king to rule for the sake of sacredness. The point here is to understand it as a quality or qualities that exclude all that is alien to God’s ways, means and attributes.
Thus we assimilate that it is about goodness, and what is related to goodness as what makes us sacred and connected to the Creator.
The fact that the verses indicates “establishment” implies that all related to Zion and Jerusalem is meant to exist for eternity.
Saturday, February 10, 2018
“And further from these, my son, be warned. The making of many books has no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the whole matter let us hear, ‘Revere [lit. fear] God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man; for every work God brings into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether good or bad’.”
King Solomon ends his enlightening message as the one who congregates to unite his people, Israel, that he calls here his “son” to be guided by God’s will.
No matter how much we learn from the world and its nature, as well as from the knowledge found or amassed by human consciousness about life, most of this knowledge becomes a tiresome burden.
Kohelet’s essential message is reiterated by making us aware that what truly matters in life is goodness as the ruling principle in God’s creation, which is the purpose of all the commandments in His Torah. This is the foundation of the Jewish identity.
In goodness nothing escapes from its ethical frame, because is based on the ruling principle of cause and effect, which is the “judgment” that justifies goodness. Hence all our actions, good or bad, depend on this principle.
From this we finally are able to assimilate that goodness is the cause and also the effect of itself. As we integrate this principle in our consciousness, the Creator will respond with His final redemption as the Psalmist assures.
“I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace unto His people and to His loving ones; and let them not turn back to folly. Surely His redemption is nigh them who revere Him, so that glory may dwell in our land.” (Psalms 85:9)
In this awareness goodness is our truth and it will be united with the compassion of God’s goodness.
“Compassion and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs out of the earth and righteousness has looked down from heaven. Also the Lord will give that which is good and our land shall yield her produce. Righteousness shall go before Him and shall make His footsteps a way.” (Ibid. 85:11-14)
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne, compassion and truth go before You.” (Ibid. 89:15)
Sunday, February 4, 2018
“In the day that keepers of the house tremble, and men of strength have bowed themselves, and grinders have ceased, because they have become few. And the watchers at the windows have become dim, and the doors shall be shut in the street. When the sound of the grinding is low and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of song shall be brought low. Yes, they shall be afraid of heights, and terrors will be in the way; and the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goes to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets.” (Ecclesiastes 12:2-5)
These verses refer to evil in its darkest hour, when there is no hope to be redeemed from its ways, traits and trends that seem to seize goodness from human consciousness as the “house” where the “keepers” tremble.
These keepers and watchers along with the “strength” to “grind” become scarce when goodness must be defended in order to make it prevail against evil.
The joy in the hearts as the song of the positive traits and trends (“daughters”) become low and dim, as life at the end of its journey in the grave. The altitude required for the right attitude also become as low as the ground.
“While that the silver cord is not removed, and the golden bowl broken, and the pitcher broken by the fountain, and the wheel broken at the well. And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the soul returns to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, said the Kohelet, all is vanity!” (12:6-8)
Once death arrives as a consequence of living in the emptiness of futility under the sun, is appropriate to say that all is vanity. Ego’s fantasies and illusions seem to reign in the material world, aimed to take away the lifeline of the soul that God has given us to know Him in His ways and attributes as the source of all that is good, for in goodness we begin to know the Creator of all.
“And further, because the Kohelet was wise, he still taught the people knowledge, and gave ear, and sought out, he made right many similes. The Kohelet sought to find out pleasing words written by the upright words of truth. Words of the wise are as goads, and as fences planted by the masters of collections, they have been given by one Shepherd.” (12:7-11)
This is the wisdom as the knowledge of God that the Kohelet, King Solomon, taught to help us find the joy in the “right many smiles” of goodness, for in the one Shepherd that the Creator is, we find the pleasing “upright words of truth”.
These are the goads and fences planted by the positive ways, means, and attributes of goodness, given by God as the qualities that sooner than later will collect their fruits in the field of life in this world.
From the Book's Foreword
Let's reexamine our ancestral memory, intellect, feelings, emotions and passions. Let's wake them up to our true Essence. Let us engage in the delightful awareness of Love as the Essence of G-d. The way this book is written is to reaffirm and reiterate its purpose, so it presents its message and content in a recurrent way. This is exactly its purpose, to restate the same Truth originally proclaimed by our Holy Scriptures, Prophets and Sages. Our purpose is to firmly enthrone G-d's Love in all dimensions of our consciousness, and by doing it we will fulfill His Promise that He may dwell with us on Earth forever. Let's discover together the hidden message of our ancient Scriptures and Sages. In that journey, let's realize Love as our Divine Essence, what we call in this book the revealed Light of Redemption in the Messianic era.