Sunday, December 28, 2014
“I have brought them unto My holy mountain, and caused them to rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices are for a pleasing thing on My altar, for My house 'A house of prayer' is called for all the peoples.” (56:7)
God brings the dispersed and assimilated members of His people throughout history back to His sacred mountain, which is the eternal bond with Him as the rejoicing in His house. Thus the goodness in their being and doing becomes the pleasing elevated offerings in His altar. Therefore goodness as the cause and effect of righteous deeds is the premise for all peoples to come to God's house of prayer. We call prayer the offering we elevate to Him as the goodness He wants us to be, to have and to do.
“An affirmation of the Lord God, who is gathering the dispersed of Israel: 'Again I gather to him [Israel] to his gathered ones'.” (56:8)
God reiterates His promise in the Torah “that then the Lord your God will turn your captivity and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples where the Lord your God has dispersed you.” (Deuteronomy 30:3-5). He then spoke to Israel as one person, and now through the Prophet referring to Israel also in singular, mentioning his dispersed to be gathered for His Final Redemption.
“Every beast of the field come to devour, every beast in the forest. His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge. They are all mute dogs, they can't bark, dozing, lying down, loving to sleep.” (Isaiah 56:9-10)
The Prophet calls our attention regarding negative traits and trends in consciousness as the wild beasts that devour the goodness that makes life meaningful. These are also our inner and outer enemies that do as they please when our higher knowledge and principles become dormant as blind watchmen and mute dogs.
Isaiah also refers to the leaders of his generation that didn't care for the spiritual well being of their people, behaving as ignorant and blind guardians. The lessons from the past and the present are to keep eternally vigilant against the predicament of ego's fantasies and illusions.
“And the dogs are strong of desire, they have not known satiety, and they are shepherds! They have not known understanding, all of them to their own way they did turn. Each to his dishonest gain from his quarter: 'Come ye, I take wine, and we drink, quaff strong drink, and as this day has been tomorrow, great exceeding abundant!'” (56:11-12)
As we allow our negative trends to lead our thoughts, feelings, emotions, passions and instincts, they become the insatiable dogs that are our shepherds. There is no understanding or knowledge of what is proper and right as expressions of Love's ways and attributes. Ignorance provides its payoffs as the corrupted cause and effect of envy, coveting, greed, lust, haughtiness, wrath, indifference and indolence. These become the motivation for dishonest gains that don't last more than their fleeting moments.
Every day turns the same as yesterday and tomorrow, for they are as futile as their cause and effect. We even believe that there is abundance in futility, even if we already know that fantasies and illusions do not last. Thus we come to realize that only the goodness from Love's ways and attributes transcends, for it sustains life and transcends life.
Sunday, December 21, 2014
“Thus said the Lord: 'Keep ye judgment, and do righteousness. For near is My redemption to come, and My righteousness to be revealed'.” (Isaiah 56:1)
God reminds us that the common principle we share with His Redemption is righteousness, and it is the “nearness” between both. Hence He commands us to direct our judgment as discernment towards doing what is right. Again He calls our attention to understand righteousness as the cause, purpose and effect of being and doing goodness as Love's ways and attributes. Thus God reveals His righteousness in His Redemption as a fundamental principle for the Messianic Era. We bring it near as we do what is right.
“O the happiness of a man who does this, and of a son of man who keeps hold on it, keeping the Shabbat from polluting it, and keeping his hand from doing any evil. Neither let the foreigner, who has joined himself to the Lord, speak saying, 'The Lord will surely separate me from His people'; neither let the eunuch say, 'Behold, I am a dry tree'.” (56:2-3)
In this context righteousness is our happiness, for it is the goodness God wants us to be and to pursue. Interestingly, He encompasses righteousness into the Shabbat, for this day is the culmination of goodness as the eternal principle in His Creation. Keeping the Shabbat sacred is keeping righteousness in all levels and expressions of consciousness.
It is also essential that God refers to the foreigner as the outsider who finds his way and reason for living part of His will. Once as outsiders we embrace God's ways and attributes, He doesn't reject us. Hence, even in the most adverse situations and circumstances, we must never believe or say that God separates from us. This also applies for those who have lost essential organs or limbs. The lack or need of them are not basis to assume God's separation, nor to assume that our cripple prevents our relationship with Him. God makes this clear through the words of the Prophet.
“For thus says the Lord, 'To the eunuchs who keep My Shabbats and choose the things that please Me, and hold fast My Covenant: I have given to them in My house, and within My walls a station and a name, better than sons and than daughters, an eternal name I give to him that is not cut off'.” (56:4-5)
As long as we maintain our bond and connection with God by being and doing what pleases Him (His ways and attributes as expressions of His righteousness) in addition to keeping His Shabbats, He also holds fast His Covenant (His bond and connection with us). This means that we are never cut off, for He has named us in eternal bond. This bond occurs in His house as the place, time and name that unite us to Him, far better than being sons or daughters, for in this bond there is no separation or cut off.
“And sons of the foreigner who are joined to the Lord to serve Him, and to love the Name of the Lord to be to Him for servants, every keeper of the Sabbath from polluting it and those keeping hold on My Covenant.” (56:6)
God reaffirms in this verse His earlier words regarding the foreigners who join His Covenant and its implications of service and love for the righteousness of His ways and attributes, included again the observance of the Shabbat. This is the basis of the love of God as our reason to exist, for by loving Him we realize the His Love is our Essence and true identity.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
“Forsake does the wicked his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts. And he returns to the Lord and He pitied him, and unto our God for He multiplied to pardon. For not My thoughts are your thoughts, nor your ways My ways. An affirmation of the Lord. For high have the heavens been above the earth, so high have been My ways above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:7-9)
The first of these two verses reaffirms the eternal grace, compassion and loving kindness that encompass God's Love to liberate, to redeem and transform our consciousness from the negative traits and trends to the goodness of Love's ways and attributes. He reminds us that our negative ways and iniquities are destined to be forsaken as we return to Him.
In our return His forgiveness heralds the expansion of our consciousness to learn His revealed and concealed ways and attributes. Thus we understand that His thoughts are not our thoughts, and our ways are not His ways. Hence the imperative to know Him as He wants us to in the final stage of His promised Redemption.
“For as the rain comes down and the snow from the sky, and doesn't return there but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So is My word that goes out of My mouth. It turns not back unto Me empty, but has done that which I desired. And prosperously effected that for which I sent it.” (55:10-11)
God wants us to be aware that His will has a purpose, beyond the evident sustenance for His Creation. He indicates that such purpose will flourish as He desired, and tells us that we are the bearers of the seed, the field and the harvest that will be multiplied in quantities only possible to be conceived in the Messianic Era. God is the sower and the harvester of His entire Creation.
“For with joy ye go forth and with peace ye are brought in. The mountains and the hills break forth before you with singing, and all trees of the field clap the hand. Instead of the thorn come up does fir, instead of the brier come up does myrtle. And it has been to the Lord for a name, for an eternal sign. It is not cut off!” (55:12-13)
Once more God refers to the new consciousness He is planting in us, filled with joy to live and peace as plenitude to be raised. Mountains and hills as values and principles to be delighted in, and trees as all good deeds that become a celebration of life.
The lower levels and negative trends in consciousness as thorns and briers will be turned into strong and fragrant plants and trees as constructive and positive deeds. These as expressions of the goodness of God's Love will be eternal, and never ending.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
“Ho, every thirsty one, come ye to the waters. And he who has no money, come ye, acquire and eat, yea, come, acquire without money and without price, wine and milk. Why do ye weigh money for that which is not bread? And your labor for that which is not for satiety? Hearken diligently unto Me, and eat good, and your soul does delight itself in fatness.” (Isaiah 55:1-2)
God reminds us again that He is not only our Creator but our sustenance, to Whom we don't have to pay for support. These verses make us aware that our purpose in life is to know the source of His sustenance (“the waters”) by knowing Him.
As we have indicated often, in our Jewish tradition wine represents happiness and milk vital sustenance. Our connection and relationship with God is free of charge, for everything comes from God and He is accessible always and everywhere. Hence He questions our interests and motives in the material world, pointing out to our real needs in contrast to ego's fantasies and illusions.
Should we work to pay for what is not our basic needs? And what are those things that are not basic and not fulfilling? God repeats that His guidance is our complete satisfaction and satiety, for His counsel is goodness. Thus we realize that our material fulfillment (“fatness”) must be consonant with our soul's delight.
“Incline your ear, and come unto Me. Hear and your soul does live, and I make for you an eternal Covenant, the loving kindness deeds of David that are steadfast. Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples.” (55:3-4)
These are two of the emblematic verses heralding the Final Redemption and the Messianic Era. Our transition from the mirages of ego's fantasies and illusions towards Love's ways and attributes begins with hearing (understanding) and attaching our hearts to the Creator.
Here our true life begins to transcend through the eternal Covenant of living in God's Love, which become manifest as the strong and constant goodness of loving kindness. This committed and determined Love is the cause, means, purpose and end of the Messianic consciousness represented by kind David, as the regency of Love in all aspects and dimensions of life.
“Lo, a nation you do not know you call. And a nation who does not know you does run unto you, for the sake of the Lord your God and for the Holy One of Israel, because He has beautified you. Seek the Lord while He may be found, call you on Him while He is near.” (55:5-6)
The Messianic consciousness is the promised new permanent awareness that embark us into the endless journey of knowing the Creator. This nation we don't know and doesn't know us will lead our consciousness for the sake (“in the name”) of God and His Love for Israel, the chosen nation He has beautified.
Israel is referred again as the positive creative potentials destined to rule and guide all levels and facets of life. Thus we realize that the pursuit of goodness is the way to seek God, the way to call on Him, the means and the nearness to find Him.
Sunday, November 30, 2014
“For, the waters of Noah is this to Me in that I have sworn. The waters of Noah do not pass again over the earth, so I have sworn. Wrath is not upon you, nor rebuke against you. For the mountains depart and the hills remove, but My loving kindness from you departs not. And the Covenant of My peace removes not, said has your loving One, the Lord.” (54:9-10)
God compares His promise not to bring back again the Flood over the earth to not removing His loving kindness from His people, nor His Covenant of peace, for He loves us. God's Love never departs from us. He doesn't judge us in wrath or rebuke after decreeing His Redemption.
“O afflicted, storm-tossed, not comforted! Lo, I am laying with cement your stones, and have founded you with sapphires. And have made of agate your towers, and your gates of carbuncle stones. And all your border of stones of delight, and all your sons are taught of the Lord, and abundant is the peace of your sons.” (54:11-13)
The goodness from which God created us is our essence and true identity, and also our common bond with Him. Goodness is afflicted and shaken in discomfort when negative traits and trends take over our consciousness. Once again God reaffirms that goodness will prevail forever by making it rule and direct all levels and expressions of consciousness. These are the precious stones as the higher traits and trends that are our delight. As evil is removed from our consciousness, only goodness leads our discernment, thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts towards the knowledge of God.
This necessary premise in the prelude to learn from the fully revealed Presence of God. Then the sons of Jerusalem will learn from the total awareness of their connection with God, and abundant peace will be their harvest. All the inner and hidden dimensions of the Torah will be fully revealed in our Final Redemption.
“In righteousness you established yourself, be far from oppression, for you feared not, and from ruin. For it came not near unto you. Lo, he does diligently assemble without My desire. Who has assembled near you? By you he fell!” (54:14-15)
Righteousness is the goodness God established for us as the foundation of all aspects and expressions of life. In goodness there is no oppression, fear or ruin that could come to us. If evil comes is not by God's desire, but by our own choice. In His Redemption, God gathers and assembles us around and near Him. Our full awareness of this dissipates all evils, and in this realization wickedness ceases to exist.
“Lo, I, I have prepared a blacksmith, blowing on a fire of coals and bringing out an instrument for his work. And I have prepared a destroyer to destroy. No weapon formed against you prospers, and every tongue rising against you in judgment you condemn. This is the inheritance of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness from Me, says the Lord!” (54:16-17)
God tells us about the strength and determination of the new consciousness He reserves for us in His Final Redemption. He refers to it as a blacksmith that feeds the transforming fire that will remove all evils from us. Thus we understand that God's Love is the fire that transforms our consciousness as we allow Him to rule and conduct all aspects and dimensions of life. This happens when we embrace Love's ways and attributes as the material manifestation of God's Love.
Love is the prepared destroyer to destroy all that is different from its ways and attributes. In this awareness there is nothing that could be against us. As we embrace God's Love as our Essence and true identity, we come to the realization that we are His children and His servants, and that the goodness of our righteousness comes from Him. Thus says the Creator of all.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
“Sing, O barren, she has not borne! Break forth with singing, and cry aloud, she [that] has not brought forth! For more are the sons of the desolate than the sons of the married one, says the Lord.” (Isaiah 54:1)
The Creator refers to Jerusalem as the barren one, for it has been abandoned and desolated for a long time. He reminds us that she is the city as the principle and the foundation of our bond and connection to Him. She is the goodness we share with our Creator, with which we grow and multiply. She is barren as long as we don't let her bear children as the good deeds expected from goodness as our essence, cause and motivation.
The Jewish people are also the sons that abandoned her, and left her barren ever since. God's fulfills His Redemption by gathering back her children to her land. These are the sons that are more numerous than the sons of the “married one” that represent the nations. God's Redemption is the singing and crying aloud, for is the culmination of God's Love for His Creation.
“Enlarge the place of your tent, and the curtains of your tabernacles they stretch out. Restrain not, lengthen your cords, and your pegs make strong.” (54:2)
God's promise is fulfilled by commanding us to expand our consciousness into the goodness of Love's ways and attributes as the rulers of every aspect of life in the Messianic Era. This expansion includes our intellect, discernment, thoughts, feelings, emotions towards new dimensions revealed to us by God's Love.
“For right and left you break forth, and your seed do nations possess. And desolate cities they cause to be inhabited. Fear not, for you are not ashamed or blush, for you are not confounded. For the shame of your youth you forgot, and the reproach of your widowhood you do not remember any more.” (54:3-4)
As our awareness expands in all possible ways and means to acquire a higher knowledge of the Creator, every trait and trend in our consciousness will serve this end. These are the nations that our seed (our creations as well as our children) will possess. Our once abandoned and desolated creative potentials under the influence of negative traits and trends will be occupied and conducted by the goodness God will make prevail in the material world.
This will lead us to excel in our creativity to generate greater goodness among the diverse and multifaceted expressions of human consciousness. In order to fully achieve this destiny, evil and negativity will cease to exist. Therefore there won't be fear, shame or suffering, for there won't be affliction or confusion. God also reaffirms His promise by even making us forget the negative experiences we have lived throughout long centuries, that are our reproach and widowhood.
“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His Name. And your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, 'God of all the earth' He is called. For as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit called you has the Lord, even a youthful wife when she is refused, said your God.” (54:5-6)
God recalls His eternal Love for His chosen people that He gathers in the complete realization of our permanent connection with Him, making Israel His “wife”. He reminds us that our husband is the Creator of all, the Lord of multitudes, for His Creation is without measure: “He does great and unlimited things, and wonderful things without number.” (Job 9:10). He is the Holy One of Israel and God of all the earth to make us aware that our Redemption comes directly from Him. He also knows our grief and abandon as the result of our separation from His ways and attributes.
“In a small moment I have forsaken you, and in great mercies I do gather you. In overflowing wrath I hid My face for a moment from you, and in endless loving kindness I have loved you, said your redeemer the Lord!” (Isaiah 54:7-8)
God calls our separation from Him as His own. Let's always be aware that our estrangement is from us, not Him. Hence in His eternal loving kindness He gather us back to the permanent awareness of our connection with Him. Thus He fulfills His Redemption for us.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
“It has been exacted, and he has answered. And he opens not his mouth as a lamb to the slaughter he is brought. And as a sheep before its shearers is dumb, and he opens not his mouth.” (53:7)
We have said that goodness is the expression of Love as the material manifestation of God's Love. Goodness is not haughty, and does not boast or pretend. Like truth, goodness does not need to defend itself. Thus we understand that the shearers of goodness find it dumb. Such is the way of ego's fantasies and illusions before Love's ways and attributes.
Ego's materialistic desires find no reason or meaning in goodness. Likewise, in spite of Israel's contributions to humankind, he has been silenced and slaughtered without even defending himself. Oppression in his land (by Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome), exile (Egypt, Babylon, the Diaspora), persecution and extermination (by Muslims “holy” wars, Christians Crusades and Inquisition, Pogroms, the Holocaust).
“By restraint and by judgment he has been taken, and of his generation who does meditate that he has been cut off from the land of the living? By the transgression of my people he is plagued. And it appoints with the wicked his grave, and with the rich are his high places. Because he has done no violence, nor is deceit in his mouth.” (53:8-9)
Humankind has not meditated quite enough about removing goodness from life. How can we find a transcending meaning in existence without living in goodness? Goodness is the cause, reason and purpose of life! How can it be cut off from life? At the same time the Prophet points out the consequences of restraining or removing goodness from human consciousness.
Goodness fails and dismays by negative traits and trends. These are the plagues we bring to Love as our Essence and true identity. Our transgressions lead us to share the same grave with the wicked. Goodness as our richness shares the high places with those who are also good. As long as we allow goodness to conduct all aspects and dimensions of life, there will never be violence or deceit.
“And the Lord has delighted to bruise him, He has made him sick. If his soul does make an offering for guilt, He sees seed, -- he prolongs days. And the pleasure of the Lord in his hand does prosper.” (53:10)
This painful metaphor must be understood in the proper context, which is that God does not delight Himself by inflicting pain on others. God takes for Himself the pain and suffering of His people. He takes Israel's oppression by the nations as His own, for in every defeat, humiliation and affliction, Israel's mission remains and transcends. For every sacrifice Israel does, there is a planted seed aimed to protect the goodness in life. God find pleasure in goodness, and makes it prosper despite the opposition of negative trends in consciousness.
“Of the labor of his soul He sees, he is satisfied. Through his knowledge he gives righteousness, the righteous one My servant to many. And their iniquities he does bear.” (53:11)
God sees the goodness Israel provides to humankind, by which he is pleased. Israel's knowledge and wisdom come from the Torah and his bond with the Creator. Anything opposite to that, Israel has to bear until the cause of evil will be finally removed from the face of the earth.
“Therefore I give a portion to him among the many, and with the mighty he apportions spoil, because that he exposed to death his soul. And with transgressors he was numbered, and he the sin of many has borne. And for transgressors he intercedes.” (53:12)
God is Israel's portion. This premise justifies Israel's mission in the world as stated in the Torah. Hence the “spoil” Israel gets is with the “mighty”, for God is the strength with which Israel prevails. This in addition to Israel's facing death in his endurance to maintain the Covenant with God. This endurance have also faced Israel's own transgressions as well as others' transgressions for which he is counted as bearer of their sins.
Therefore Israel is the middle man between sin and redemption from sin, the catalyst from the materialistic consciousness to the spiritual awareness that makes us realize our true identity and purpose in life. As we indicated earlier, Israel represents our highest level of consciousness from where we are able to transcend the lower traits and trends that separate us from the goodness of Love's ways and attributes as material manifestations of God's Love.
Again we must remark that the Final Redemption and the Messianic Era promised in the Torah (Deuteronomy 30:3-10) and reiterated by the Prophets will manifest through Israel, the people of the Covenant with God. It has been decided and decreed by God.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
We are going to reflect on Isaiah's chapter 53, which became the foundation for the worst face of anti-Semitism and judeophobia that ever existed in history. Other western religions have used their own interpretations of this chapter to condone, justify and promote the persecution and extermination of the Jewish people. Such interpretations are wrongly based on the complexities of Isaiah's phrasing of his words in this particular chapter. Fortunately, the Prophet already have given us previous clear contextual references that lead us to understand his words according to the traditional Jewish interpretation.
Isaiah presents his words interchanging Israel as a single person and as a people, juxtaposing his own words with God's words, and the interaction of Israel as a people with Israel as an individual. Israel as the ideal primordial Jew in contrast to Israel as the secular people far from emulating the ideal primordial Jew. With this clarifying preamble we begin to reflect on the verses of this chapter.
“Who has given credence to that which we heard? And the arm of the Lord on whom has it been revealed? Yea, he comes up as a tender plant before Him, and as a root out of a dry land. He has no form nor honor when we observe him, nor appearance when we desire him.” (Isaiah 53:1-2)
The Prophet speaks to the nations, questioning their credence to what the people of Israel have heard from the Creator. Have the nations really believed the teachings of the Torah that Israel understood from God? Do they believe in the God of Israel that have revealed His words, and in Israel as the arm to which He gave His revelation? Isaiah compares Israel to a sprout rooted in a dry land.
The metaphor tells us that the shoot represents life in the harshness of a dry land as the dead field from which it is destined to sprout and fructify. Goodness destined to prevail amid the barrenness of evil. The goodness of Love's ways and attributes over the futility of ego's fantasies and illusions. There is nothing that can shape the Jewish identity except the Torah.
Israel doesn't need to have a particular form of reference outside of the Torah, or a special honor in his appearance to be perceived by the nations. The external appearance of the Jewish people is the same as the rest of humans. Israel does not boast for having exterior form, sign or honor.
“He is despised, and left of men. A man of pains, and acquainted with sickness. And as one hiding the face from us, he is despised and we esteemed him not. Surely our sicknesses he has borne, and our pains he has carried them. And we, we have esteemed him plagued, smitten of God and afflicted.” (53:3-4)
Israel became the despised and outcast by the mission God gave them as His chosen people to build a place for Him to dwell in the world. This treatment by the nations have caused Israel pain and suffering throughout history. There has not been sincere appreciation or esteem for the people that have shared their Godly instruction with humankind. The Prophet joins the nations to call the ideal preeminence of Israel disesteemed and plagued, as if smitten and afflicted by God Himself.
“And he is pierced for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace is on him, and by his bruise there is healing to us.” (53:5)
Israel as the ideal primordial human consciousness to manifest God's will in the material world is indeed oppressed and harmed by our own transgressions, including Jews and non-Jews. Our highest level in consciousness is harmed by our iniquities and negative trends, for these oppose the goodness our highest awareness yearns for to fulfill God's will. We must reiterate that all we do against our goodness affects our peace. There is no peace while we let iniquities running our consciousness.
Let's be aware that peace also means wholesomeness, completion, and totality. A fractured consciousness is the result of our inability to harmonically integrating all its aspects, dimensions and expressions as a functional unity whose purpose is to make goodness prevail in the material world. Our punishment for transgressing against goodness is on our peace. In this context Israel represents the encompassing harmonic unity destined to serve God's plan for this world.
The oppression of Israel by the nations is also a lesson for them to learn about the effects of harming goodness. This intricate allegory must be understood not as implying that harming one person heals the offender, but a positive lesson to learn after we realize the harm caused to those who have not harmed others. This is not about atoning for someone by harming oneself. Harming Israel does not provide atonement for the nations, but the opposite, as it is written: “I'll bless those who bless you, and I'll curse the one who curses you, and through you all the people of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3).
“All of us like sheep have wandered, each to his own way we have turned. And the Lord has caused to meet on him the punishment of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Again the Prophet underlines Israel's responsibility as the Light to the nations: “And I give you [Israel] for a Covenant of a people, and a light to the nations.” (42:6), “And I have given you for a light to the nations, to be My redemption unto the end of the earth.” (49:6). Isaiah includes himself among the Jews and non-Jews who have strayed from God's ways, and follow the negative ways of ego's fantasies and illusions.
As we already mentioned, our iniquities are carried by our goodness. Our higher consciousness bears the weight of all our deeds. The iniquities and transgressions we allow in the world come back to confront our goodness. In a deeper level, we are responsible of every belief, idea, thought, feeling, emotion, passion and instinct in our consciousness. Hence ultimately our goodness is responsible for what we do.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
“How beautiful upon the mountains have been the feet of the One proclaiming tidings, sounding peace, proclaiming good tidings, sounding redemption; saying to Zion: 'Reigned has your God'!” (52:7)
God proclaims His good tidings, peace and Redemption in the heights of our consciousness. These are the mountains where His feet (His ways and attributes) rest upon. In these high levels He speaks to Zion as our eternal bond with Him, comforting us by saying that He always has been the King. Goodness is the name of His reign.
“The voice of your watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing. For eye to eye they see in the Lord returning to Zion.” (52:8)
Our watchmen are the positive qualities, traits and trends that rejoice to recognize God's Love as our Creator. Goodness is the tower from where we are destined to see life and every aspect, dimension and expression of consciousness. In this reference and approach we also see God's Love revealing within ourselves.
Our Love and God's Love meet in Zion, and both loves see each other in their long awaited and yearned final encounter. This is the culmination of our Final Redemption, and the beginning of the Messianic Era. With our Love we return to God's Love, and we will see Him returning to us in Zion.
“Break forth into joy, sing together, O wasted places of Jerusalem. For the Lord has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has made bare His holy arm before the eyes of all the nations. And all the ends of the earth have seen the redemption of our God.” (52:9-10)
All aspects and dimensions of consciousness are destined to be a harmonic functional unity, expressing itself with the joy of singing along before God's revealed Presence among (in) us. In this awareness we realize that His Love is our comforter and Redemption from the fantasies and illusions we have created out of the material world. God's arm is His will that all His Creation will accept as the absolute truth that is, and all that exists will see His Redemption.
“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from there. Touch no unclean thing, go ye out of the midst of her. Be ye clean, ye that bear the vessels of the Lord. For not in haste do ye go out, for going before you is the Lord. And gathering you is the God of Israel!” (52:11-12)
Through the Prophet, God is urging us to leave the unclean things that contaminate our Essence and true identity as the foundations of our connection with Him. These are God's vessels in which He pours His blessings, for our Essence and identity are the source of His blessings.
Trusting God's Love is more important than our hurry to be redeemed from centuries of negative fantasies and illusions. First we must realize that God is our Creator, and we don't belong to ourselves but to Him. Thus we understand that He goes before us. God is gathering us from all the corners of the world to reveal His Redemption before the eyes of the nations. They will know that the only God is the God of Israel.
“Behold, My servant [Israel] does act wisely, he is high, and has been lifted up, and has been very high. As astonished at you have been many, so marred by man his appearance, and his form by sons of men.” (52:13-14)
Again God reminds us that Israel is His servant ever since He took us out of Egypt to be His chosen people. He made us wise with His Torah, and elevated us to be the Light for the nations. In His Final Redemption God gathers us back into our land, after being assimilated among the nations, and “marred by man his appearance, and his form by sons of men”.
We must begin our individual and collective in gathering from among the nations and return to our land, that also represents the goodness God wants us to live and make prevail in all aspects and dimensions of life.
“So does he sprinkle many nations. Concerning him kings shut their mouth. For that which was not recounted to them they have seen, and that which they had not heard they have understood!” (52:15)
In their dispersion around world, the children of Israel have enlightened many nations with the teachings of the Torah, striving to make goodness prevail. Since Abraham and Moses through kings David and Solomon, and up to our times, the contributions of the Jewish people to the nations have been essential and indispensable. All these in spite of constant persecution, harassment, humiliation, oppression and extermination. Jewish contributions to humankind are unquestioned and uncontested.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
“Awake, awake, put on your strength, O Zion. Put the garments of your beauty, O Jerusalem, the holy city. For enter no more into you again the uncircumcised and the unclean.” (Isaiah 52:1)
There is a necessary awakening through the highest levels of discernment and understanding in our consciousness, which are the foundations of the awareness of our permanent connection with God (represented by Jerusalem and its Temple). This awakening requires obstinate determination and relentless willfulness as the required strength to return and regain such awareness.
In this awakening we adorn our consciousness with the qualities, traits and trends of the goodness out of Love's ways and attributes, for these are our real beauty and intrinsic holiness. In this awakening and awareness there is no place for anything different or opposite to them, which are referred here as the uncircumcised and the unclean. The verse above reiterates implicitly that the awakening of Jerusalem is the renaissance of Israel as the advent of the Messianic Era. The in gathering of the exiled Jews in the Land of Israel is the prelude to this Divinely announced final stage in human consciousness.
“Shake yourself from the dust. Arise, sit, O Jerusalem. The bands of your neck have loosed themselves, O captive daughter of Zion. For thus said the Lord: 'For nothing ye have been sold, and not by money are ye redeemed'.” (52:2-3)
God reminds us again that He has taken the burden of negative traits and trends from our consciousness. Therefore now depends on us to shake ourselves from the dust and dirt we do not need to bear anymore. We have to arise from the dust and sit in the throne of goodness as our true essential identity. We are not captives anymore, for our Creator is saying so.
God's Love is so good to us that He is telling us that our ransom does not cost us the same amount for which we sold our goodness. God speaks giving us His eternal loving kindness, even if we are undeserving. We have sold our consciousness for the nothingness and futility of ego's fantasies and illusions, and He redeems it without asking us to pay. God does not pay us with the same coin we sold our consciousness.
“For thus said the Lord God: 'To Egypt My people went down at first to sojourn there, and Asshur for nothing he has oppressed it. Now therefore what do I here, says the Lord, seeing that My people is taken away for nothing? They that rule over them do howl, said the Lord, and My Name continually all the day is despised.” (52:4-5)
God makes a difference between the subjugation in Egypt that He decreed, and the oppression by Assyria that was unnecessary. Indeed we were punished for our inclination to idolatry by being conquered and ruled by other nations, but the case of Assyria was exceptional. This nation not only oppressed Israel, but continuously desecrated God's Name.
Once again we must remark that the events in Isaiah's times also represent situations that are also reflections of what is happening in our consciousness. Even if negative things happen to us without apparent reasons, we still have to face them as the learning process God wants us to experience in the material world. Besides, we still live within the parameters of cause and effect.
Everything we have done or created not only has outcomes and consequences in our immediate surroundings, but also in the rest of God's Creation at large. The so called “butterfly effect” looks pale compared to the real effect of the mere fact of being living entities created by an infinite and inconceivable God.
“Therefore do My people know My Name, therefore in that day surely I am the One who speaks, behold Me.” (52:6)
As long as we recognize the ways and attributes of the Creator, what is meant to be understood as “knowing” His Name, we are able to realize that His will is the one that is being done, not ours. The Messianic Era is the time and space in which God's will and our free will are united together in consonance. That is “the day” when we all will realize that He is the One who speaks, and none else. Ego's agenda and all that is opposed to the goodness He wants us to guide and direct all aspects of life, will disappear and we will be able to see His will fully revealed in His Creation.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
“And I have put My words in your mouth, and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and to say to Zion: 'You are My people'.” (Isaiah 51:16)
God reiterates His Love for Israel, underlying again the Torah as the encompassing principle of the Jewish identity. God's words (the Torah) are meant to be in Israel's expression in all dimensions of life, and they are the protecting hand on which His Creation is sustained. Thus we understand the Torah as God's blueprint of both the material and spiritual worlds. Being called His people by God is another reiteration of the same principle.
God's words are the foundation and purpose of His Creation, and these are put in Israel's mouth as expressions of being Jewish. These are meant not only to be uttered in our speech but also in all our actions, in order to “plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth”.
Let's be mindful that here He refers to Israel as Zion, for this is the awareness of our permanent connection with God. This verse is another one of many in the Hebrew Bible that make us aware that the Jewish identity lies in Zion as our eternal bond with the Creator. This reminder for Israel is the preamble for God asking us to return to Him.
“Stir yourself, stir yourself, rise Jerusalem, who have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of His fury. The goblet, the cup of trembling you have drunk, you have wrung out. There is not a leader to her out of all the sons she has borne, and there is none laying hold on her hand out of all the sons she has nourished.” (51:17-18)
God asks us to shake our consciousness, remove the fantasies and illusions were we have trapped our selves, and return to the elevated place of our permanent connection with Him (Jerusalem). He calls up to our common bond with Him, which is our Love and His Love. The Creator is telling us that the cup of His fury is nothing more and nothing less than our separation and distance from His ways and attributes. We have drunk until the last drop of our separation from Him, that makes us tremble in the suffering of living away from Love as our essence and true identity. All we have created out of ego's fantasies and illusions have not served to bring us back to Love's ways and attributes.
“These two things are meeting you, who is moved for you? Desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword. Who? I comfort you.” (51:19)
Desolation and destruction are the cause and also the effect of lack (famine) and violence (the sword). God asks us again what can save us out of the negative traits and trends we chose to believe, create and do. None would move to save us from them, for they make us become like them (we become the idols we have made from our hands). Hence God reminds us that He is the only One who comforts us with His Love by waiting for our return to goodness as the cause and purpose of His Creation.
“Your sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild ox in a net. They are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of your God.” (51:20)
Our negative addictions, attachments, obsessions, beliefs, thoughts, speech and actions make faint the goodness in us that leads us to live in the freedom of Love's ways and attributes. We end up in the streets of materialistic fantasies and illusions, in which ego as a wild ox is trapped. Our negative trends set the separation and distance from God's ways, and become His anger and rebuke.
“Therefore hear now this, you afflicted and drunken, but not with wine. Thus says your God the Lord, and your God that pleaded the cause of His people: Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, the goblet, the cup of My fury you do not drink it any more.” (51:21-22)
God makes us aware that our drunkenness is not by the joy and cheer that come from wine, but from the predicament of frustration, haughtiness, greed, coveting, indifference, depression, anger, additions, obsessions, attachments, etc. God repeats twice here that He is not only our Creator but also the Father and King that is always on the side of goodness for the sake and purpose of goodness. He already announced His Final Redemption, which means that He never separated from us and that it is up to us to return to His ways and attributes as the foundation of His Redemption.
“And I have put it into the hand of them that afflict you, who have said to your soul: 'Bow down, and we pass over', and you have made your body as the ground, and as the street to them passing over.” (51:23)
God tells us that affliction and suffering belong to those who cause them. Negative deeds belong to their predicament and consequences, and those who live by them are afflicted by them. They make us bow to them as their slaves, and thus we are trapped and passed over as downtrodden to the ground, and turned into the ground itself. With this principle of cause and effect God makes us aware that the choice is only ours.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
“Hearken unto Me, ye who know righteousness, a people in whose heart is My Torah. Fear ye not the reproach of men, and for their insults be not broken.” (51:7)
After the previous introductory verse regarding righteousness, God summons us to return to His ways and attributes as the ones whose heart follows them. These are in the Torah that instructs us to assimilate them as our Jewish identity, with which there is nothing to fear before the darkness of negative trends in consciousness. These are the “reproach of man” that pursue our defeat by ego's fantasies and illusions that insult the intrinsic goodness of Love's ways and attributes.
“For like a garment the moth shall eat them up, and like wool the worm shall eat them. But My righteousness shall be forever, and My redemption for all generations. [Isaiah says] Awake, awake, put on strength, arm of the Lord. Awake, as in the days of old, the generations of ancient times. Isn't it You Who cuts Rahab in pieces, Who pierces a dragon!” (51:8-9)
Negative traits and trends in consciousness, derived from ego's fantasies and illusions, by definition are temporary and destined to disappear. They are not permanent and do not transcend, unlike Love's ways and attributes that are our cause, reason and purpose to live. The latter are the expressions of righteousness that transcends as the Redemption God gives us to live in forever. Hence we have to trust in what transcends in the life God wants us to have in the material world. This trust is the strength to which we must awaken, for it is the driving force that open every level and dimension of consciousness to God's Redemption. Righteousness is the strong arm with which Love directs and guides ego (“pierces the dragon”) along with negative traits and trends (“cuts Rahab in pieces”).
“Isn't it You Who dries up the sea, the waters of the great deep; Who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over? The ransomed of the Lord [the children of Israel] return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy is on their head, they attain gladness and joy. Fled away have sorrow and sighing.” (51:10-11)
God is the Creator of all, and He controls and directs all that exists, which includes His power to transform for the sake of freedom and redemption. The verse alludes to the Exodus from Egypt (“the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over”), as a reference that He also will redeem us from the dark side of our consciousness. From darkness we will return to God with a joyful heart that will rejoice forever.
“I, I am He your comforter, who are you and [why] you are afraid of man? he dies! And of the son of man, grass he is made! And you do forget the Lord your Maker, Who is stretching out the heavens, and founding earth! And you do fear continually all the day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as he has prepared to destroy. And where is the fury of the oppressor?” (51:12-13)
God questions the attachment and dependence on our addictions, obsessions and negative beliefs, emotions, feelings and actions as the works (creations) of man. These are our own inventions out of ego's fantasies and illusions. We fear being away from them, for we believe that they are stronger than our will to abandon them. In this sense we understand our fear of them, even if they are as ephemeral as grass, and as temporary as material life. As long as we depend on them, they are the oppressor prepared to destroy us.
God calls our attention to realize that anything coming out of our own fantasies and illusions have no anger, fury or power to destroy us, unless we let them. Ultimately we become the oppressors of our true identity, by allowing our negatives traits and trends to take over our discernment, thoughts, mind, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts.
“Speedily the captive is set to be free, and he does not die at the pit, and his bread is not lacking. And I am the Lord your God, quieting the sea when its waves roar. The Lord of Multitudes is His Name.” (51:14-15)
God reminds us again that His Redemption has always been near and in our reach. He also makes us aware that His promise will be fulfilled, in spite of our negligence to return to His ways and attributes as the cause and effect of our total freedom. God's Love is never lacking and goodness never dies, even in the depths of darkness. We come from God's Love, which is our peace, wholesomeness, completeness and plenitude, and quiets the upheavals of our struggles against the darkness of negative trends, “quieting the sea when it waves roar”. God's Love creates the immeasurable multitudes of His Creation that proclaim Him as our Maker and King, for the sake of His Name.
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.