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.

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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.