Monday, August 22, 2016
The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (I)
After a fourteen month hiatus, we return with our commentaries on the Hebrew Scriptures with a Chassidic view on the Song of Songs by king Solomon. It's most relevant to remark that this is a poem full of metaphors and allegories with multidimensional meanings and messages.
However, its main purpose is to awaken Israel's love to God's love as one love destined to rule and make its goodness prevail in the material world. Thus we understand that its central message is for us to return to the goodness of love's ways and attributes as our essence and true identity, and common bond with the Creator of all.
We hope our commentary on the Song of Songs inspires all our readers get closer to their own love to reach out to God's love, and create a place in themselves for Him to dwell in the material world. Enjoy the ride!
“The song of songs, that is Solomon's (the One whose peace belongs)” (Song of Songs 1:1)
This introduction says it all, for it states that indeed is God's song to praise His bond, connection and relationship with Israel. The One whose peace belongs, for peace is completion as the result of the bonding of our love and God's love. We also understand this completion as the purpose of God's promised final redemption for Israel.
In this premise we engage all levels of consciousness to assimilate the meanings of this song from its allegories and metaphors. We approach this poem simultaneously with our intellect, discernment, thought, emotion, feeling, passion and instinct, for it must be fully assimilated with all our heart, all our soul, and all our might.
It is thus for there is no other way to love our Creator. This poem is a love song in which we celebrate God's love for Israel, and Israel's love for God.
“Let Him kiss me with kisses of His mouth, for better are Your loves than wine.” (1:2)
Kissing denotes not only closeness but intimacy. There is an apparent redundancy in the first part of the verse. Although kissing is done with the mouth, Israel asks more than one of God's kisses. This request suggests some kind of multiplicity that also implies multidimensional and transcending qualities inherent only to God.
God's love is unfathomable as God Himself. Israel is aware of this, hence she asks God more than a singular or particular aspect of His love. Not just His kisses of loving kindness, or just His kisses of compassion, or just His kisses of truth, or just His kisses of forgiveness, or just His kisses of righteousness, among His ways and attributes. Israel's yearning for God's love embraces His eternal, infinite and transcending essence.
In the second sentence of the verse, Israel speaks about her God to the idolatrous nations, pointing out to them Who her God is and why she loves Him. Israel desires Him as the unfathomable Creator and Master of endless worlds and dimensions.
“He does great unfathomable works, and endless marvelous things.” (Job 9:10).
The God of Israel is not limited to just providing material needs, for His power is all encompassing beyond human comprehension or understanding.
After this defining statement of Israel about her God, she turns to Him and utters her deepest desire to bond with Him in all dimensions of His love and power.
“For fragrance Your oils are good. Oil poured out [is] Your name, therefore maidens [servers] love You!” (Song of Songs 1:3)
Our sages relate oil to several traits or qualities. Oil is fuel for fire in order to light up and dissipate darkness. Israel is usually compared to oil, while the nations are compared to water. Fire can't come out of water, but it does out of oil.
The anointment of the Jewish high priests and kings was made with olive oil. This anointment ritually represents the enlightenment of consciousness necessary to execute God's will for Israel, and from Israel to the world.
In this context, God's oils are enlightening traits and qualities with a divine purpose in human life and the material world. The verse suggests not only oil texture but also fragrance or scents, referred as qualities of goodness.
So far we have allegories related to kisses, wine, oils and fragrance. All these not only inherently good coming from God's love, but to serve a purpose in human consciousness in order to expand this goodness into the world.
In this verse “maidens” represent aspects and levels of consciousness at the service of a higher purpose in life. These are good traits and positive trends that identify themselves with the goodness of God's ways and attributes.
“Draw me after You [and we will] run together. The King has brought me into His chambers, we do joy and rejoice in You. We mention Your loves [which are better] than wine. Uprightly they love You!” (1:4)
This verse makes reference to the Divine final redemption of Israel and humankind. We have mentioned often in our commentaries on the Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy in this blog, that the final redemption begins with Israel and is led by Israel for the benefit of the nations.
Israel asks God to be drawn to Him in allusion to the dawn of the Messianic era. The final redemption comes by God's will in the time and circumstances He considers proper. As God initiates the process, Israel is first drawn to Him in order to haste together the final redemption.
This process begins with the complete consummation of God and Israel's covenant, allegorically referred as the marriage of husband and wife. The fulfillment and completion of this covenant takes place in the Temple of Jerusalem, where God and Israel are united spiritually.
In this culmination Israel later rejoices in God along with the nations into the final redemption. Together all will rejoice in the delights (the “wine”) of God's love. The nations finally will truly love God through righteousness and positive traits and trends, away from their current negative and destructive ways.
“Dark I am and beautiful, daughters of Jerusalem; as tents of Kedar, as curtains of Solomon.” (1:5)
The “daughters of Jerusalem” are wrongfully interpreted as the nations, for they indeed represent positive traits and trends that sprout from the highest level of consciousness (Jerusalem) where we achieve our permanent connection with God's love.
If the nations represent negative traits and trends in consciousness, they have no relation with Jerusalem as the connecting point between God and our highest awareness of Him. Jerusalem, by definition, is the sacred point where only good expressions (“daughters”) come out of God's love.
In this context, Israel as the “conscious self” in the Jewish identity, admits her “darkness” to the daughters of Jerusalem as her own positive traits. This darkness is the effect of Israel's negative choices throughout her history. At the same time, she promises to rectify her transgressions and return to her true essence and identity which possess the keys to her own redemption.
She comes from living in the tents of Kedar (negative traits and trends) to dwell in the holy of hollies, the inner chamber of the Temple of Jerusalem, referred as the hanging curtains of the place of the One whose peace belongs.
Israel concedes that instead of dwelling in the light and love of God's ways and attributes, she has been sullied as those who live in the darkness of lower levels and negative traits in consciousness, triggered by ego's materialistic fantasies and illusions.
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.