Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XXII)

“His cheeks [are] like a bed of spices, towers of perfumes. His lips [are] like roses dripping flowing myrrh. His arms are rods of gold, set with diamonds. His body shinning ivory covered by sapphires. His legs [are] pillars of marble set upon sockets of fine gold. His appearance [is] like Lebanon, choicest among cedars.” (Song of Songs 5:12-15)

Israel continues evoking God and her bonding with His love now in the inner chamber of the Temple, allegorically described as a human body. This allegory suggests empathy and admiration for God's ways and attributes as if they were countenance, lips, arms, legs and presence. All these joined with their scents, fragrances as expressions (arms, body, legs and appearance) of His goodness as the finest gold and precious stones, and radiantly beautiful.

As we empathize with the expressions of God's ways and attributes, we also experience oneness with the place and circumstances we are in. Thus the place, the time and the elements involved become as one and the same. God is in the Temple, and is also the Temple and what is in it, as these verses suggest. This principle also extends to all His creation, if we are able to assimilate it.

Israel knows this in her soul and in her heart, for she has lived with, by and in God's love. Such is her answer to the traits and qualities of goodness set in the higher level of our consciousness, as the daughters of Jerusalem.

“His palate is sweetness, and all of Him is delightful. This is my Beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem!” (5:16)

Now these sublime traits and qualities ask Israel as the conscious self where her Beloved has gone.

“Where has your Beloved gone, O beautiful among women? Where has your Beloved turned, that we may seek Him with you? My Beloved has descended to His garden, to the beds of fragrances, to delight in the gardens and to pick up roses.” (6:1-2)

The questions are directed not only to our awareness of free will, but to our essence and true identity that make us separate from the lower levels of consciousness (the nations as “women”) and be chosen to belong to the higher levels. This essence is what distinguishes Israel as “beautiful among women”.

Israel, as conscious self-endowed with free will, must have the initiative and willingness to firmly take the steps to return to God's ways. The daughters of Jerusalem as our highest values and principles as well as the positive and uplifting traits and trends, follow through and stand by us in our firm determination to return to the permanent awareness of our connection with God.

We certainly know “where” our Creator, partner, beloved and husband is. He is not hidden or concealed from us, for it is us who separate and hide from Him and His promised final redemption. Once we have the willingness and determination to abandon ego's fantasies and negative trends, and embrace love's ways and attributes, we will be back in the garden where our Beloved delights bestowing His loving kindness and truth to His creation.

Israel knows that God has already descended to the place of our bonding with Him, waiting for us to do our part and return to Him. In the second verse the garden is an allegory of the Temple of Jerusalem, and in this instance represents the highest level of consciousness where we must ascend by enthroning love's ways and attributes to rule and lead every aspect and facet of life. It also refers to the idyllic garden of Eden where only goodness directs life, as promised by God to also be in Messianic times.

“Return to Me, and I will return to you.” (Malachi 3:7)

Our ascending love embraces God's descending love to graze together in the gardens and to pick roses. Here we see the gardens as a reference to the new dimensions in consciousness inherent to the Messianic era, where new expressions of the goodness of God's love will be gathered as the roses He will descend to pick.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XXI)

“My Beloved is clear and ruddy, preeminent above a myriad! His head [is] finest gold, His locks [are as if] flowing, black as raven. His eyes [are like] doves besides streams of water, bathing in milk, sitting in fullness.” (Song of Songs, 5:10-12)

Israel responds that she knows God quite well, and can recognize Him in the countless multitude of His creation. Israel knows that He is actually present and evident as the Creator of all that is, who controls and directs His creation.

This evident presence is what makes God “clear” and alive as the ruddy blood flowing in our body. Hence He is preeminent and conspicuous above the multitude of His creation we are able to see with human eyes.

The allegory continues describing God as the cause and source of all as the highest and exalted as the finest gold can represent. Cause and source of all as the “head” that rules above all.

The flowing hair as wavy symbolizes the eternal and endless dimensions that emanate from God's plan and will for His creation, unfathomable to us as the shinning blackness of the raven's feathers.

God's love “eyes” for goodness and its expressions in His creation, flowing and moving free as “doves” that drink the living waters of His ways and attributes, from which all is created and nurtured. This sustenance is also the “milk” with which we are also renewed and revitalized every moment, as the source of our fullness and plenitude in which we abode.

The streams of water and ponds of milk are the wisdom and knowledge of the Torah God gave to Israel as their wedlock that constitutes the fullness where we sit as Israel's love embraces God's love.

Our human perception is conditioned according to our circumstances, either filled and approached with love's ways and attributes or with the limitations of ego's fantasies and illusions. God's love indeed sustains and fills all His creation.

“All the earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)

We become aware of the perfection of God's creation when we begin to approach it through a selfless perception, realizing that everything comes from God's love; and that love is the driving force that unites all, sustains all, and fills all to perfection.

Only in our complete awareness of love as our essence and true identity, we will be able to fully relate to God's love as the source and sustenance of all that exists. We begin to relate to God's creation through the eyes of love's ways and attributes. Then we realize that love is what connects, binds, unites and harmonizes everything.

Thus we will approach each other and our surroundings with loving kindness, grace, compassion, cooperation and empathy, coexisting in harmony and peace. As this awareness becomes permanent in our consciousness, we begin to live our final redemption and enter the Messianic era.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XX)

“What is your Beloved above [any] beloved, O beautiful among women? What is your Beloved above [any] beloved, that thus you have adjured us?” (5:9)

Our good traits, qualities, thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts along with our positive speech and actions (all these “the daughter of Jerusalem”, for they come from Jerusalem as our permanent connection with God) come to question the truthfulness and fidelity of our yearning for God's love and His promised final redemption.

They ask Israel who is her God, her Beloved, over other lesser gods as idols revered by ego's beliefs and feelings of lack out of material fantasies and illusions.

They seem to ask,

“Why do you appeal to us if you yourself have desired and chosen to go after your false gods of vanity, futility, haughtiness, 'glamour', 'prestige', 'class', and 'sophistication', in the fantasy world of consumer society, 'light' culture, fashion trends, false ideologies and beliefs?”

“Are you aware that the goodness of love as a material manifestation of God's love does not cohabit with ego's fantasies and illusions?”

Our conscious self is compelled to answer to our essence and true identity, built on the truth of goodness.

Speaking of truth, living by it and making it the source and foundation for judgment are the expressions of goodness in the material world.

Thus we realize that we pursue goodness as the truth by which we apply our judgment. Hence goodness is the utmost truth of life to live by and for it in the world, and learn that the reason of justice is to make truth prevail as the embodiment of goodness.

All expressions of goodness come from the Creator. By being and doing goodness we bless ourselves as extensions and expressions of God’s goodness. Our sages call this being partners with God in His creation (Talmud, Shabbat 10a).

Thus we become channels, but also vessels of goodness. We not only do goodness for the sake of it, but to proclaim and teach its principles and make them rule all aspects of life.

This is the original meaning of the Hebrew word for correctness or righteousness, usually translated as charity; for goodness is the right thing to do.

It’s not just an act of bestowing or giving food or material goods for those in need, it is also about the ethical principle behind the action. We are good because is the right way to be and live.

“The highway of righteousness leads to life, and in its path there is no death.” (Proverbs 12:28)

In this ethical context, death represents the opposite traits and qualities of goodness. Death as the destructive traits and trends in consciousness we must transform and redirect towards love’s ways and attributes.

Thus we wipe out evil from the face of the earth, and begin to live the goodness of God’s love fully revealed in the Messianic era.

We have to realize that goodness is the source and object of our fullness. As goodness satisfies every aspect, level and dimension of life, we achieve completeness as the primordial quality of peace.

In the wholesomeness of peace there is no space for lack, deficiency, illness, disease, failure, wrongness, falsehood or sin, for there is nothing to transgress.

This completeness characterizes the Messianic consciousness as the beginning of the total redemption promised by God in Jewish prophecy. Thus we also realize the stillness of peace as the perfection of living in, by, with and for the sake of goodness.

This is the final result of completion after we end the changing process from a consciousness of lack to a consciousness of fulfillment. Hence when we hear that the straight and narrow path of righteousness is walked with eternal vigilance, we assimilate that if we look to the right or to the left we must see only the same goodness we leave behind as we walk, and look ahead for new and greater expressions of goodness God sets up for us.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XIX)

“I have adjured you, daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my Beloved. What shall you tell Him? That I am sick with love [for Him]!” (5:8)

Our conscious self, inspired by the awareness that our love is always connected with the love of God our Creator, calls His redeeming power to deliver us from the darkness of our negative choices, trends and actions.

We call the good principles and ruling positive values as our common bond with God to lead us in our return to Him. The goodness in us is what makes the call, hence we first must return to it and walk in its ways and attributes to lead us back to the greater goodness that comes from God's love.

We must be totally sick with love to intensely and passionately yearn for His love in order to return to the house we share with Him. We do it by serving His will that is being and doing goodness as the permanent source of delight, joy and happiness of our life in the material world.

This is remarked in the Jewish prayer book’s Shabbat morning service, not as an abstract or mystic convocation but as an essential fact of our spiritual and material reality. Our entire being must be totally engaged in loving God.

“Therefore, the limbs which You have arranged within us, the spirit and soul You have breathed into our nostrils, and the tongue You have placed in our mouth, they shall thank, bless, praise and glorify, exalt and adore, sanctify and proclaim the regency of Your name, our King. For every mouth shall thank You, every tongue shall swear by Your name, every eye shall look to You, every knee shall bend to You, and all who stand erect shall prostrate themselves before You, all hearts shall revere You, and every innermost part shall sing to Your name.”

Constant or at least continuous Torah study provide the refinement of this total engagement and connection by making us assimilate and integrate God’s ways in all levels of consciousness through adopting and expressing positive traits and qualities in what we say and do.

We also acquire this awareness through prayer, for it elevates our perception of God’s ways and attributes in regards to goodness in every facet and dimension of life.

In the central part of our daily Jewish prayers we integrate the goodness of God’s ways and attributes by blessing Him for them in us, as we review the nineteen blessings in the amidah. Before going through them, let’s remind ourselves that in the Jewish tradition to pray is not an active or passive verb but a reflective verb. This means that praying is done to God as a self-awareness action aimed to bond with Him, and bringing into us the blessings with which we bless Him.

This is a self-accomplished means to awaken in our consciousness God’s presence in us and in the material world. This action allows us to bond with His love through the blessings He bestows in us for every expression of life, and thus we make the blessings part of us.

Let’s begin to embrace God’s blessings by blessing His presence in us.

“Blessed are You, Lord, shield of Abraham”

We bless Him for being the God of our patriarchs whom He blessed with being and doing loving kindness, for the latter is the only means to redeem us as our helper, redeemer and shield.

In this blessing we realize that the eternal goodness of God’s loving kindness is the ruling, sustaining and guiding principle of life and all creation. Hence we bless Him as the shield of Abraham; for he, as the root of Israel, is the epitome of loving kindness.

This blessing brings us to the awareness that our goodness bonds as one with God’s goodness as the essence of our identity, as our truth and shield.

Blessing God means recognizing that goodness comes from Him, hence “blessed is God” literally means “good is God” or “goodness is God”. Thus by blessing Him, we bless ourselves with goodness in order to be, to have and manifest goodness, which is the entire purpose of God’s creation, to make goodness prevail.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who revives the dead”

We bless God for His power to create and sustain life, and bringing us to life from death by the redeeming power of His love. In this blessing we empower God’s might in ourselves to overcome our inadequacies, heal our maladies, release our bondage, and rebirth ourselves from the graves of negative traits and trends in consciousness in order to live in the flourishing fields of complete redemption.

By blessing God for reviving the death, we engage our consciousness in the goodness that life is to empower ourselves also to create and sustain life, and overcome death.

“Blessed are You, Lord, the holy God”

We bless God’s sacredness as His uniqueness beyond fathoming and comprehension, for in this blessing we also consecrate ourselves as bearers of goodness. In this consecration we praise Him for all eternity. We make ourselves holy by praising God’s holiness.

This holiness is the loftiness of goodness, by which we elevate our consciousness to acquire the proper altitude in order to have the proper attitude in regards to being and doing goodness.

Thus we realize that God’s goodness is His holiness, and by being and doing goodness we also consecrate ourselves. In this awareness we realize that the holiness of goodness separates us from anything different or opposite to it.

Hence the literal meaning in Hebrew of holiness is “separate” or “set aside”, and we understand it as exclusive in terms of difference, not as exclusion. Thus we understand the Torah’s passages where God is described as “jealous” and “fiery”, for His ways and attributes do not blend or cohabit with anything different from them.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who with grace bestows knowledge”

We bless God for giving us with grace the knowledge we need to understand His ways and attributes as His will for us, which are aimed to make goodness rule, guide and direct all aspects and expressions of life.

This knowledge is indeed the awareness of bonding with God’s love, with which He bestows grace in us. In this context we understand grace as the reflection of love in a way that its radiance makes us lovable enough to inspire, awaken and arouse love in others and in our surroundings.

With knowledge we are able to discern and differentiate between sacred and profane, light and darkness, Israel and the nations, the Seventh Day and the six work days.

In this blessing we praise God for giving us wisdom, understanding and knowledge, in that order. Hence these enable us to integrate our bonding with God’s love to manifest it within the proper ethical frame in our moment to moment approach to life.

Thus we realize that goodness is the foundation of true knowledge.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who desires returning [to Him]”

We bless God for His compassion and loving kindness that desire our returning to Him and His ways. In this blessing we renew our awareness of the Torah as our Jewish identity and purpose as well as the service of goodness with all our heart.

Hence we realize that as we do goodness we are in our way back to God, who thus desires our return to Him by following the ways and means of goodness, for it is what He wants for us.

“Blessed are You, Lord, gracious One who pardons abundantly”

We bless God for graciously forgiving our transgressions and misdeeds against the goodness of righteousness, justice, truth and loving kindness. In His gracious forgiveness we reassure our trust in Him, and in our strength to keep on going in His ways and emulate His attributes.

In this blessing we remind ourselves that our life is a process of learning and correcting aimed to ascend the highest realm of our consciousness, for there is where we bond with our Creator.

In this process God’s graceful forgiveness brings us to also forgive ourselves in the awareness that this action is completed by correcting the consequences of our transgressions and misdeeds, through bringing goodness as we remove from our thoughts, feelings, emotions, passions, instincts, speech and actions anything different from love’s ways and attributes as the source of goodness.

We are fully forgiven by God’s grace when we bring back goodness to us, for our transgressions and misdeeds are committed against goodness.

“Blessed are You, Lord, redeemer of Israel”

We bless God for He is our redeemer, and the blessing is that goodness is the means and the end for our self-redemption from the negative traits and trends that keep us captive in their materialistic fantasies and illusions.

In the awareness of our weaknesses and tendencies to transgress goodness as our essence and true identity, we bless the redeeming power of God’s love, for we are truly redeemed by His help and support in our individual and collective quest for the total freedom from the negative trends of ego’s fantasies and illusions.

In this blessing we remind ourselves that God’s love fights our battles, and we bless Him for being Israel’s redeemer.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who heals the sick of His people Israel”

We bless God for His goodness that also heals all our pains and wounds, either be physical or spiritual. God indeed knows the pain and suffering we are inflicted from ourselves and others, for His compassion is an expression of His eternal loving kindness.

Thus we realize that God’s faithfulness for goodness is the assurance for our redemption from the ordeals and trials. Let’s never forget that most of these are created by us to inflict among each other.

Goodness again is with us to provide healing for our lack, deficiencies, ailments and illnesses. We bless God for His continuous healing from the negative outcome of wicked ways and choices.

In this blessing we bring our awareness to the goodness of love’s ways and attributes as the constant source of nurturing, relief, healing and total freedom.

“Bless are You, Lord, who blesses the years”

We bless God’s loving kindness as the source of our material and spiritual sustenance and support every year of our life, as the dew and rain for the earth. In this blessing we elevate our awareness to dwell permanently in God’s love by living every moment in the goodness of loving kindness as our complete and constant well being.

We bless the Creator for blessing (meaning bestowing goodness) to our years as He gives dew and rain to the earth in order to make flourish the resources we need for our nurturing and abundance.

In this blessing we bring our awareness that good deeds and acts of loving kindness are also our dew and rain that also come back to us by the principle that goodness is its own cause and effect. Thus we realize that as we sow goodness, we reap goodness with us and for us, with others and for others.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who gathers the dispersed of His people Israel”

We bless God for gathering our dispersed fellow Jews from all corners of the world. In this blessing we realize that goodness is the banner God’s love rises to reunite His dispersed people, for goodness is the common root and identity He gave us and also our common bond with Him. It is the means to gather us all together for the sake of goodness. Hence we all have to rise and elevate goodness as the banner of our existence.

We are still living in exile among the nations, and this blessing makes us conscious of the purpose of our lives in the world. We must understand in this blessing that our dispersed fellow Jews also represent the diverse positive qualities and creative potentials that the Twelve Tribes of Israel encompass.

God fulfills His promise to gather and reunite them all as the functional harmonic unity destined to fully reveal His presence in the material world. This is the total revelation of goodness in all facets and dimensions of life.

In this blessing we also become aware that God’s love gathers in us as individual Jews and as the Jewish nation the endless potentials of goodness trapped in ego’s materialistic fantasies and illusions, represented by the nations where they (the endless potentials of goodness) live in exile.

“Blessed are You, Lord, King who loves righteousness and justice”

We bless God for His love for righteousness and justice, for these are the primordial expressions of goodness. We bring our awareness the ways and means of goodness as our judges and counselors that remove from us sorrow and sighing with loving kindness and compassion.

Thus with this blessing we empower our judgment and criterion with the ethical expressions of goodness, in order to make prevail righteousness and justice in what we are and do.

This blessing tells us that God’s loving kindness and compassion precede His judgment. Likewise, we bring into our awareness these ruling and directing principles to inspire and conduct our thoughts, feelings, emotions, speech and actions.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who crushes enemies and subdues the wicked”

We bless God for destroying our enemies and subduing the wicked. Thus He makes us aware that the goodness of love’s ways and attributes don’t dwell with evil’s ways and their negative traits, trends and effects.

Hence goodness defeats and overcomes evil by removing its destructive qualities, and correcting and redirecting its ways towards positive ends.

We realize that we must protect ourselves from betraying or sabotaging our continuous awareness of goodness as the ruling principle of our life.

In this blessing we reinforce our determination to subdue and correct negative traits and trends as enemies we must defeat and remove from ourselves and our midst, for these afflict and endanger the positive qualities and expressions of goodness in us.

“Blessed are You, Lord, the support and security of the righteous”

We bless God for making us trust in goodness as our common bond with Him and the constant expression of His love as the foundation of our relationship with Him. If we don’t trust God along with His ways and attributes, there is no meaning for us to exist in this world. With our trust in goodness we bond with God’s love.

We bless Him for supporting and protecting the righteous and the loving ones among the house of Israel, for goodness is our support and safety in which we place our trust in who we are, and goodness as the destiny God secured for us.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who rebuilds Jerusalem”

We bless God for building Jerusalem as the permanent awareness of our connection with Him. In this blessing we remind ourselves that in this connection we realize our final redemption, by enabling the redeeming power of God’s love to transform and elevate our consciousness up to the realm of the Messianic era. The latter is symbolized in this blessing by the establishing of the throne of David, His servant.

With this blessing we empower our own goodness to bring us to the complete and full awareness of our bond with God, as an eternal edifice, for goodness is the cause and purpose of His creation.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who make flourish the power of redemption”

We bless God for making flourish in us the redeeming power of His love, represented by the seed of David, His servant. This seed is the human expression of the new consciousness for the promised endless Messianic era, as the time and space of our eternal redemption in the goodness God wants to rule forever in us and in the material world.

In this blessing we become aware that by enthroning in all levels of consciousness only the goodness of love’s ways and attributes we are truly redeemed.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who hears prayer”

We bless God for hearing our prayers, for in these we are aware of God’s goodness in ourselves as the source and sustenance to be and manifest goodness also as His will for His creation.

In our prayers we embrace goodness as the source to fulfill all our needs. In this awareness God certainly hears our prayers and supplications, for goodness is what He wants us to live by, with, in and for in every aspect of life.

In this blessing we know that we ask God only for goodness, and for the purpose of goodness; and not for anything different from it. Thus we engage only in asking God’s assistance for the goodness we need for ourselves and for others, and not for ego’s materialistic fantasies and illusions.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who restores His divine presence to Zion”

We bless God for making us aware of His presence in us, for He indeed dwells in the highest level of consciousness, represented by Jerusalem and its temple. Hence we bless Him “for restoring His divine presence in Zion”.

Thus we realize that our fire offerings and prayers are expressions of the goodness we receive from God, and we elevate them back to Him in our good deeds and actions as our common bond with Him.

These are our daily continuous offerings, along with our sin offerings, guilt offerings, gratitude offerings and peace offerings, with which we constantly renew our closeness to His ways and attributes.

“Blessed are You, Lord, goodness is Your Name and to You is fitting to thank”

We bless God to thank Him for the goodness He bestows in us, beginning with the fact that He is our Creator who gives us life and sustains us.

This single fact is big enough to make our blessings to Him infused with the utmost and greatest gratitude, for recognizing this is actually the source of our existence.

As much as we thank God every moment for each breath we take, we elevate ourselves to Him in order to be worthy of His continuous sustenance.

Thus we appreciate the wonders, miracles and goodness He does for us, making ourselves fully aware that by His goodness He gives us His unceasing compassion, and that His compassion for His loving kindnesses are endless.

We also ask Him to gather us and our dispersed into the courtyard of His Temple, so we all return to His will to serve Him with a wholesome heart, because we thankfully acknowledge Him.

Hence in our gratitude we engage to His will, for we are the clay and He is the molder. Our gratitude must be permanent in order to secure goodness as our eternal bond with Him. With this blessing we also thank our own goodness as the cause and purpose of our life.

“Blessed are You, Lord, who blesses His people Israel with peace”

Lastly, we bless God for blessing His people Israel with peace, for peace is completion, perfect balance, wholesomeness and harmony as the end and purpose of goodness.

In this blessing ask God to give us peace, goodness, blessing, life, grace, loving kindness and compassion, along with righteousness, all as the traits and qualities, ways and means of God’s love in all levels of consciousness.

This is the blessing that encompasses all the previous blessings in a functional harmonic unity to perfectly fulfill God’s will, beyond our own personal expectations or desires.

We receive God’s blessing for peace to make us aware that goodness, life, graciousness, loving kindness, compassion and righteousness are the expressions God wants us to have, enjoy and experience as our material and spiritual plenitude and completion.

In conclusion, we pray to God by blessing His ways and attributes as the means to bring ourselves to their goodness, for in them we empower and enable our awareness of goodness as our essence and true identity.

Thus we understand that our Jewish prayer is a reflexive action, for in it we align all levels of consciousness to bond united in complete awareness of God’s love.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XVIII)

“The watchmen who go round about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me. The guards of the walls lifted up my veil from me.” (5:7)

In her chosen separation from God's ways, Israel faces the negative outcome of coveting, lusting, haughtiness, anger, envy, indolence and indifference. Along with cruelty, ruthlessness, discrimination, oppression, intolerance and hatred. These are the watchmen circling the city (conscience) that struck and wound the goodness in ourselves.

The guards keep the walls of the Temple of Jerusalem, and they represent the positive traits and qualities that safeguard goodness as our common bond with God. They expose to our conscience our iniquities and the consequences of negative actions. They lift the veil of our living in denial. Therefore, in such predicament we realize that our only way out is to return to the qualities of goodness as our true essence and identity (“the daughters of Jerusalem”).

The goodness with which God created the material world relies and remains with our awareness of goodness, and the goodness we must be and do in order to make it prevail continuously. In this principle goodness transcends the limitations of time and space, for it is eternal.

“Thank God, for He is good; His loving kindness is eternal.” (I Chronicles 16:34, Psalms 100:5, 145:9, 25:6)

Hence, anything that isn’t good is deficient, lack, limited and temporary; and such as it doesn’t sustain life, for life’s existence depends on the transcendence of goodness which also makes life transcend. Thus we realize that while goodness sustains life, anything different from goodness destroys life.

In practical terms, all the traits and qualities of goodness and their ethical frame protect and enhance life, while the negative traits and trends seek to destroy it.

We acquire full awareness of goodness by removing all that is opposite to it from all levels and dimensions of consciousness. This is the real refinement we achieve by Torah study, which is following God’s ways and emulating His attributes. These contain the ground rules and guidelines to live from, by, in and for goodness.

“Good and upright is the Lord, therefore He instructs sinners in the [right] path. He guides the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the Lord are loving kindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.” (Ibid. 25:8-10)

This refinement culminates in a lifestyle ruled by leading qualities to manifest goodness, also pointed out by the psalmist.

“Let integrity and uprightness help me, for my hope is in You [God].” (Ibid. 25:21)

This ethical frame defines the multiple ways to do goodness as acts of loving kindness, and thus we realize that they are indeed our own reward. This means that our benefit and reward are the fact of being God’s channel and vessel to manifest goodness.

We can’t give what we don’t have, and we can’t be what we are not. As we realize that goodness is who we are and what we have, God bestows it in us for us to be able to give it. Thus all the good things we do are continually coming to us.

We must insist that we make ourselves the vessel for goodness by removing from us all that is different from it, for it does not cohabit with anything opposed to its ways, means and attributes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XVII)

“Henna with nard, nard and saffron, cane and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices. A garden spring, a well of living waters, and streams from the Lebanon. Awake, O north [wind], and come O south [wind]! Make my garden breathe forth, its spices let flow. Let my Beloved come to His garden, and eat its precious fruit.” (Song of Songs 4:14-16)

The Messianic consciousness will be permanently attached to God's love, as it happens in the inner chamber of the Tabernacle, where the primordial spices, scents and fragrances are burned as the incense that symbolizes Israel's eternal bond with God. Those emanate from the gardens and orchards of the promised new consciousness of eternal life in the living waters from this bond, symbolized again as the Lebanon.

All aspects, levels and dimensions of consciousness will flow in the direction of love's ways and attributes, as the winds that flow from the north and the south. Both represent the duality of evil and good, that in the final redemption will blow in every direction toward the knowledge of God and His love.

This is the garden where Israel's redemption awaits God's love to enter together into the delights of the new consciousness in the Messianic era.

“I have come into My garden, My sister espouse. I have gathered My myrrh with My spice. I have eaten My honeycomb with My honey. I have drunk My wine with My milk. Eat, friends; drink abundantly, beloved ones!” (5:1)

This verse is linked to the last in the previous chapter, for they are related in content and context. God answers Israel's invitation to partake in her hidden garden, and joins her as His espouse and partner for the material world.

In this partaking of the bonding between the two loves, the delights in the Torah are like honey, wine and milk, shared with friends. The latter are the nations also redeemed from their inherent negative traits and trends, now living by the leading ways of the Messianic consciousness inherited by Israel from God. Thus His promised is fulfilled to enter a new stage for humankind in the world.

“I [was] asleep, but my heart [was] awake. The sound of my Beloved knocking! 'Open to Me, My sister, My beloved, My dove, My perfect one. For My head is filled [with] dew, My locks [with] drops of the night'. I have put off my robe, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I soil them? My Beloved sent forth His hand from the portal, and my innards stirred for Him. I rose to open for my Beloved, and my hands dropped myrrh, and my fingers flowing [with] myrrh upon the handles of the lock. I opened for my Beloved, but my Beloved had turned and gone. My soul departed as He spoke. I sought Him, but did not find Him. I called Him, but He did not answer me.” (5:2-6)

Israel as the human conscious self is asleep in the fantasies and illusions of ego's negative predicament. God calls up to Israel's essence, identity, truth and purpose, that encompass His sister, His beloved, His dove and His perfect one, as the bond with His ways and attributes. God looks for Israel to bring her back to His paths, and His call is made in the midst of the darkness (“the night”).

Figuratively speaking, God comes down to darkness “under the dew and rain of the night”.

“In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence redeemed them. In His love and in His compassion He redeemed them, and He bore them, and carried them all the days of the world.” (Isaiah 63:9)

And in the Torah He reminds us this.

“And the Lord your God shall return to your captivity and have compassion for you, and He shall return to gather you from all peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.” (Deuteronomy 30:3)

Israel sleeps dreaming in the exile of materialistic fantasies and illusions, after taking off the robe of her true identity. In her stagnating dreaming state she has difficulty to return to herself. Her nakedness reflects her alienation and assimilation into the nations.

Even coming back to God is a hard and bothering task, for she lives in emptiness and desolation after losing her real self, similar to washing her feet as changing the direction and purpose of her life.

Israel's heart as her love for God remains awaken in spite of living in the vanity and emptiness of ego's materialistic desires. She hears (understands) and feels (by her awareness) God's love as close to her as the knock on her door. The awakened heart wakes her up from her sleep and walks to embrace His affection as He tries to come to her.

She knows that God's call as His love is everywhere and every time, no matter how dark the fantasy, illusion or mirage may be. This awareness is felt by every single fiber of Israel's body that encompasses the entire Jewish people and their nation.

Israel responds bringing her offerings to the Temple destroyed by her choice to rather live in the dark side of human consciousness. The offerings with the spices, fragrances and scents, that symbolize her permanent bond with God, make Him leave her door.

These offerings are tainted by her reluctance to abandon negative fantasies and illusions she knows they can't dwell with God's ways and attributes. They are opposed to the essence she shares with God's love.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (XVI)

“You are entirely beautiful, My beloved, and there is no blemish in you. With Me from the Lebanon, O bride. With me from the Lebanon. Look from the peak of Amana, from the peak of Senir and Hermon, from the habitations of lions, from the mountains of leopards. You have captured My heart, My sister, O bride. You have captured My heart with one of your eyes, with one bead of your necklace.” (Song of Songs 4:7-9)

In this bonding there is no blemish in Israel, for her love is as pure and sacred as God's love coming from the pure whiteness (Lebanon) of the Temple of Jerusalem.

From this highest level of consciousness, every conception, idea, thought, emotion, feeling and passionate expression are as high as the mountains, above their basic nature and trends. Up there we elevate our driving life forces and instincts as the lions and leopards that also represent strength, swiftness, beauty and majesty.

God rejoices in the goodness of Israel's traits and qualities that build a place in human consciousness to manifest His ways and attributes in every facet and dimension of life in the material world. Thus Israel as God's espouse fulfills her mission as His partner in creation.

Israel's eye looks forward to make His will prevail in the world, and even one single of her traits (“a bead of her necklace”) point out to the paths God wants humankind to walk.

“How beautiful have been your loves, My sister espouse. How good your loves have been better than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than all perfumes! Sweetness drops from your lips, O espouse. Honey and milk are under your tongue. And the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. A closed garden is My sister espouse, a closed spring, a fountain sealed. Your offshoots are an orchard of pomegranates with precious fruits.” (4:10-13)

God continues praising Israel's essence and true identity, and the goodness of her contributions to humankind, as His partner (“My sister espouse”) for the material world. These are better than the sensual, temporary pleasures enjoyed by the emotions aroused by wine, perfumes and fragrances.

God's love poetically evokes the sweetening goodness of the ethical and moral principles taught by Israel from God's Torah to the nations.

The delights coming from love's ways and attributes are seen and experienced as Israel's identity reflected by her garments' fragrance, emanated from her permanent bond (the Temple of Jerusalem) with God's love.

God describes Israel's essence as a garden, spring and fountain concealed to the nations as the lower traits and negative trends of ego's fantasies and illusions. In this closed garden, spring and fountain make sprout pomegranates and precious fruits.

Again we see pomegranates and precious fruits as allegories of God's commandments, coming from this hidden splendorous orchard.

This sealed garden with springs and fountains are the source and midst of the Messianic consciousness to be revealed in Israel's final redemption. In this new consciousness evil does not exist, but only the goodness of love's ways and attributes as the ruling and directing traits that will lead humankind towards the exclusive interest of the human heart.

The Creator promises Israel to reveal even the hidden light we don't see in the darkness.

“And I shall give you the treasures of darkness, and the hidden riches of sealed places, that you shall know that I am the Lord, who call you by your name, yea, the God of Israel.” (Isaiah 45:3)

The pomegranates and precious fruits we are going to harvest in this sealed paradise of the Messianic consciousness will be beyond description or current human comprehension.

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.