Monday, January 30, 2017

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

“Sixty are queens and eighty concubines, and maidens without number. One is My dove, My wholesome one. One is she of her mother, she is pure to the one who begot her. Daughters saw her and acclaimed her, queens and concubines, and they praise her.” (Song of Songs 6:8-9)

God's love also yearns for Israel's love, and distinguishes her among the nations (queens, concubines, and countless maidens). He exalts her as the true inheritor of her mother Jerusalem, as the highest level of our awareness of God's love.

The Torah that defines Israel's identity introduces her to the nations to respect, acclaim and praise her for what she is and represents for humankind and the world. This respect, acclaim and praise will be complete in the advent of the final redemption, and encompassing in the Messianic era.

“Who is this [she] looking forth as [compared to] the morning? Beautiful as the moon, clear as the sun, awe inspiring as an army with banners.” (6:10)

God continues praising Israel as His chosen nation to make for Him a place to dwell in the material world. Israel is destined to be the light of the nations as clear as the sun in the morning, bright and beautiful as the moon at night. Shinning as the sun, revered for the goodness of her traits and qualities with their awe inspiring material and spiritual expressions as banners of the Messianic era.

“I descended to the garden of nuts to look on the buds of the valley, to see whether the vine has budded, the pomegranates in flower.” (6:11)

God also “descends” to evaluate how much the nations and humankind have learned from Israel's contributions to make human life a more pleasant and joyful journey in the world. In this verse God refers to Israel as His garden of nuts, vines and pomegranates to see her blossoming and flourishing amid her exile among the nations.

The Creator knows the qualities, traits and trends of human consciousness, for He endowed it with free will to choose between the goodness of love’s ways and attributes or the negative expressions of ego’s materialistic fantasies and illusions.

We have mentioned often that we truly exercise free will as long as we are properly informed about the choices we have and their effects, results and consequences. Thus we realize that life is indeed a learning process, whose ultimate destiny is to be, to have and manifest goodness as the sole purpose of God’s creation.

We also become aware that evil exists as a reference to choose goodness, and that wickedness is something we can overcome and eliminate from us and our midst. One of the most misunderstood verses in the Torah speaks about this.

“For the desire of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21)

The context of “youth” is presented here as ignorance, inexperience, clumsiness, foolishness, inability and incapacity as lack of knowledge to make the right choices, and to fully assimilate the dynamics of human consciousness in the material world.

Thus we understand evil as a negative tendency based or generated by poor judgment on what is supposed to be right or wrong. However, this may not be applicable for those who knowingly and purposely make evil a choice and not a reference, and see nothing valuable in goodness even being fully aware that they can’t live without it.

This does not mean that man has the natural tendency to be evil or do evil from his birth or youth, but to make negative choices based on immaturity, lack of knowledge or adequate information to wisely exercise his free will.

This verse is a direct admonition and warning that since early childhood we must receive and/or give the best possible intellectual, moral, ethical, mental and emotional education the Torah commands us to acquire for ourselves, our offspring and others, in order to make goodness “the desire of our heart” since the moment we are conscious of life.

Goodness is our essence, true identity and common bond with our Creator, and what we are destined to be and do in the world. Thus we also understand why God created man in His image and likeness. This is the foundation of His covenant with Israel, as an eternal bond of love, in order to harvest “the budded vine and blossomed pomegranates” as the future expressions of goodness once we enter the fields and gardens awaiting us in our final redemption. Thus we realize goodness as the light the Torah and our prophets refer to.

I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness, and I hold in your hand and keep you, and make you a covenant for the people, and a light of the nations.” (Isaiah 42:6)

And He said, ‘It has been a light thing that you are to Me for a servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and the preserved of Israel to bring back. And I have given you for a light of the nations, to be My redemption to the ends of the earth’.” (Ibid. 49:6)

Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Ibid. 60:3)

Israel is close and dear to God for precisely embracing her mission to be a light for the nations, for she has been commanded to make a place for Him to dwell among (in) us.

And they have made for Me a sanctuary, and I have dwell among [in] them.” (Exodus 25:8)

Monday, January 23, 2017

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

“I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine, who feeds among the roses.” (Song of Songs 6:3)

Israel knows her Beloved and His dwellings, for both belong to each other and share their common bonds founded on the goodness of love's ways and attributes, from which God nurtures His creation with His constant blessings as roses to pick from His garden.

As it has been mentioned, the Creator shares this garden with Israel as His partner in bestowing the blessings to make goodness prevail in the material world.

“You are beautiful, My beloved, as Tirzah. Comely as Jerusalem, awe inspiring as an army with banners.” (6:4)

God recognizes and praises Israel's love as her desire (“Tirzah”) to bond with His love. Also reiterates His love comparing her to Jerusalem. We can understand Tirzah as the motivation and determination, desire and willingness to fulfill Israel's destiny to be the guiding light for the nations.

In this sense Jerusalem represents the fulfillment of this destiny. Once achieved, it is as imposing and compelling as an army whose high banners of loving kindness, righteousness, compassion, fairness, truth and peace inspire the nations to revere them. Thus the nations make them their principles and values to live for.

God compares Israel to Jerusalem as one and the same, for the love He shares with Israel inspires the nations to follow her in the elimination of evil and negative traits from human consciousness, initiating the final redemption and the establishment of the Messianic era.

In these coming times, the highest level of consciousness where love leads all aspects, facets and dimensions of life, inspires and evokes the complying and reverence of the lower levels arousing their desire to follow its ways and directions to rejoice in their goodness.

“Turn Your eyes away from me, for they have made me proud. Your hair [is] as a flock of goats streaming down from Gilead. Your teeth [are] like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing. All of them wholesome, forming twins, and there is none missing among them. Your temples are like a slice of pomegranate from behind your veil.” (6:5-7)

Israel confesses that God's love led her to become haughty. This haughtiness turned her to materialistic desires out of ego's fantasies and illusions of grandeur. We can also understand this first sentence as Israel's difficulty to fully assimilate and bear with the overwhelming qualities of God's love for the human consciousness. Thus, leading her to follow the profane ways of the nations.

Returning to her natural humbleness, Israel evades God's love for feeling unworthy of it. At the same time, she yearns and evokes the beauty and delight of her rejoicing in bonding with His love in the inner chamber of their Temple, as metaphorically described in the previous chapters.

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.

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.