Sunday, September 4, 2016
The Song of Songs: The Love Story of God and Israel (III)
“To My joyous one (lit. mare) in chariots of Pharaoh, I have compared you, My beloved.” (1:9)
Mare, a female horse, represents a particular sensual trend as a driving passionate (bodily urgency to express and emotion), fully vibrant and moving force, motivated by love's ways and attributes.
In this context God's love calls Israel's love as a feminine ruling principle for the material world. Thus we understand God addressing Israel as His feminine companion whose loving expression in human consciousness corresponds to the material manifestation of God's love.
This is the ruling principle in God's material creation, known in Jewish mysticism as malchut (kinship), the reigning and sovereign divine rule. Hence Israel's love is God's love manifest in the world.
This mare as the vital driving force charged with fertile, life creating energy, pulls Pharaoh's chariot. The latter represents ego's choice of direction or purpose in life.
This verse makes us aware of the creative and constructive power of love God infused in Israel to become the chosen people to make the world ruled by the goodness of love's ways and attributes.
Rashi says that the expression “I have compared (you)” actually means “I have demonstrated”, in reference to confirming Israel as God's beloved and the chosen to fully reveal His love in the material world.
“Beautiful have been your cheeks with garlands, your neck with chains. Garlands of gold we do make for you, with studs of silver!” (1:10-11)
The face is the most identifying image of the human body, for it reflects one's identity. Israel's countenance is adorned with jewels as admirable traits and means to convey God's ways and attributes, and fulfill her mission in the world.
God bestowed in Israel additional qualities that enhance and highlight her character and expression. The neck holds the head, and God also blesses Israel by beautifying the foundation (neck) and principles (chains) that support her spiritual and material identity.
These verses also refer to the Temple of Jerusalem as an essential part of Israel's identity, for it represents her permanent bond and connection with the Creator.
The second verse in first person plural speaks about Israel's future after God's promised final redemption for her. All the expressions of goodness He has stored for the Messianic era speak to Israel as the inheritor of such goodness. God speaks in plural, for He is the source of goodness, and He joins His blessings to grant them to Israel.
“While the King [is] reclined [by His table], my nard has given its fragrance.” (1:12)
After God beautifies and recognizes Israel as a truthful servant and messenger of His glory and will, she responds by elevating to Him in sacred offering the fruits of the goodness He has bestowed on her. Israel's offerings in the Temple of Jerusalem are full of the same goodness God commanded her to manifest in the world.
Israel gives testimony of her service for humankind before the Creator “reclined” by the ark of the covenant in the inner chamber of the Temple. There He “smells” the fragrance of her nard, that was considered one of the ingredients for the incense at the Temple. The burnt nard's petals represent the emotional and passionate intensity of Israel's love for God.
In the offerings Israel elevates to God in the Temple, there are several expressions of her love for Him. These include the ones to express regret for sins and transgressions, and the ones to express thanksgiving and peace as encompassing qualities to celebrate Israel's bond with God.
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.