Saturday, February 1, 2014

Parshat Terumah, (Exodus 27:9-27:19)-2/1/2014

I am interested how, in this portion, even the implements should be covered in copper, as should the pegs. We glorify G_d not just by the work we do, but by how we do it. Using copper on the implements must make then holy. We saw earlier that we don't use cut stone for an altar because the implements are made of iron, which is used for swords. My wife said that is silly, because anything can be used for anything, which doesn't make it bad by nature. I reminded her that it isn't the rules, but that they had rules that was important. Everything, though, that touches something must be intentionally made and cared for. Her grandfather would polish his shovels with oil before he put them away.

Daniel Matt told us about how in the Kabbalah G_d is in everything, but everything is not G_d. I though that was good, because we might think we got G_d “pegged” if you could say it is just “everything.” I wonder if defining G_d as the mystery in everything is really doing more that giving a name to those things that we don't understand. Is there more to this G_d thing? If so, what? Maybe someone will help me out here.

From the 13th century Kabalah:

“Human beings are so confused in their minds! They do not see the way of truth in Torah. Torah calls out to them every day in love, but they do not want to turn their heads. Even though I have said that Torah removes a word from her sheath, is seen for a moment then quickly hides away, that is certainly true, but when she reveals herself from her sheath and hides herself right away, she does so only for those who know her intimately. A parable. To what can the matter be compared? To a lovely princess, beautiful in every way and hidden deep within her palace. She has one lover, unknown to anyone; he is hidden too. Out of his love for her, this lover passes by her gate constantly, lifting his eyes to every side. She knows that her lover is hovering about her gate constantly. What does she do? She opens a little window in her hidden palace and reveals her face to her lover, then swiftly withdraws, concealing herself. No one near the lover sees or
reflects, just the lover, and his heart and his soul and everything within him flows out to her, and he knows that out of love for him, she reveals herself for just that one moment to awaken love in him.

So it is with a word of Torah: she reveals herself to no one but her lover. The Torah knows that he “who is wise of heart hovers about her gate every day. What does she do? She reveals herself to him from her palace and beckons him with a hint, then swiftly withdraws to her hiding place. No one who is there knows or reflects; he alone does, and his heart and his soul and everything within him flows out to her. That is why Torah reveals and conceals herself. With love she approaches her lover to arouse love in him.” —Zohar II, 61.99, translation by Daniel C. Matt

1 comment:

Thanks for commenting. One cannot study the Torah alone.