Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
“What is that which has been? It is that which is, and what is that which has been done? It is that which is done, and there is not an entirely new thing under the sun. There is a thing of which one says, ‘See this, it is new’! Already it has been in the ages that were before us! There is no memory of the former neither shall there be any memory of the latter that are to come, among those that shall come after.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-11)
These verses warn us about our unchanged behavior and repetitive approach to life, as if human consciousness is doomed to remain the same no matter how much progress we may have claimed throughout the ages. Solomon’s words could refer to a general trait or trend that makes us discern, understand, assimilate and feel in the same way regardless the circumstances or times where we have lived in history.
Solomon’s reiterative remarks in this book point out to the inherent repetitive patterns in the negative traits and trends of ego’s fantasies and illusions. This reveals the obsessive and addictive tendency to the temporary nature of fantasies and illusions entrenched in a self-centered approach to life. All that our hearts and eyes desire remains unchanged since Adam and Eve transgressed God’s commandment not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that was “desirable to the eyes”.
This unchanged pattern can be replaced through a “paradigm shift” based on embracing principles and values that focus more in pursuing individual and collective goodness for the sake of goodness, than fulfilling ego’s desires under the rules of a consumer society.
“I, Kohelet, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I have given my heart to seek and probe in wisdom concerning all that has been done under the heavens. It is a bad matter God has given to the sons of man to respond about.” (1:11-13)
These verses reaffirm the context we comment on, for it is a negative pattern approaching God’s creation in general and the material world in particular, based on the vanity and futility of ego’s fantasies and illusions. Wisdom is useless as long as applied to the latter.
We said in our commentary on The Song of Songs in this blog that “there is not true wisdom without love, and there is not true love without wisdom”. These verses also confirm this, and the heaviest burden we carry is to waste the potential of human intellect and wisdom by living a meaningless or useless life.
We learn here that we put on ourselves the consequences of the choices we make, not God. He commanded us to choose the blessings of life and reject the curses that lead to death. In this context, ego’s fantasies and illusions along with their negative traits and trends are the burdens for which God makes us accountable. Hence we must understand Solomon’s message not as an unchangeable and meaningless human condition unworthy to be lived, but as a fact for us to realize that the opposites of the temporary nature of the vanities and futility of an egotistic approach to life are the transcending qualities of love’s ways and attributes.
“I have seen all the deeds under the sun, and behold all is vanity and a vexation of the spirit [soul]. A crooked thing cannot be straight [lit. fixed], and what is absent [lit. lacking] cannot be counted.” (1:14-15)
Here we understand that what is broken can’t return to its original state, simply because its fragmented state. This also refers to ego’s materialistic desires derived from beliefs and feelings of lack, for lack is the opposite of wholeness.
In love’s ways and attributes there is never lack, for love encompasses and integrates everything that is valuable, and therefore named and counted by God as part of the goodness He wants to make prevail in His creation.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
“The words of Kohelet, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1)
The book of Ecclesiastes (the one who congregates, integrates, unifies) is introduced as the thoughts and speech of the son of David who is Solomon the king of Israel that rules in Jerusalem. Let’s recall that the land of Israel was later called the kingdom of Judea with its capital Jerusalem, after its separation in two kingdoms. It is relevant to remark that the name Solomon means “he to whom peace belongs” and Jerusalem means “I will see peace or peace shall be seen”. The first interpretation refers to God “who shall appear or shall be seen in wholeness, and the second to the peace as wholeness that is experienced before God.
King Solomon calls himself “the one who congregates” (Kohelet) in this book to represent the entire community (kehilah) of Israel as a unified soul, intellect, emotion, feeling, speech and action, and also to direct his own reflections to them as fundamental lessons to understand the dynamics of human consciousness in the material world. He shares his wisdom with us to open our eyes, ears, hearts and souls to what is truly transcendent in life and to hold on it as the essence and purpose of our existence.
“Vanity of vanities! Said Kohelet. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! What profit does man have from all his labor that he toils under the sun?” (1:2-3)
We must understand vanity as the futile quality of what is temporary and unable to be attained or taken with us after we leave this world. This invites us to reflect on what ultimately remains after we die. King Solomon wants to ponder about what do we do every day that makes us believe that it is something we actually can gain or acquire.
“So [God please] teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalms 90:12)
A materialistic approach to life would answer that all we work for is toward our immediate and future benefit, regardless if it may be riches or possessions, for these provide for us not only our daily sustenance but the pleasures and delights we believe we must have. Questions arise in regards to what is more important besides fulfilling our immediate needs of food, clothing and shelter.
We often quote the oriental saying that “rich is not the one who has more but the one who needs less”, for what makes us fulfilled enough not to want more of what we need is what matters.
“Generation goes and generation comes but the earth stands forever. And the sun shines and the sun goes down, and there it shines. It goes to the south and circles to the north, on its rounds the wind returns.”
We look around and see that our lives don’t last like the sun, the earth and the winds, in spite that they also remain doing what they do without profiting. Our Jewish oral tradition considers some of God’s creations as entities that fulfill His will without questions or hesitations, while humans are the only ones He endowed with free will to choose either to do the same or not.
These verses invite us to consider the earth, the sun, the wind and the elements that comprise and sustain life also as fellow creatures with a purpose in God’s creation, and learn from them even if they appear as mechanical and repetitive as we may be particularly when trapped in the vicious circles of obsessions, attachments and addictions.
“The sea is not filled, there they [the rivers] return [to the sea in their] going. All things get [one] tired, man can’t speak nor the ear filled with hearing.” (1:7-8)
Nothing in human consciousness is completely filled or satisfied as long as everything is temporary, for temporariness by itself is limited and fights to be eternal or at least permanent as the sun and the earth appear to us. Here we understand the “sea” also as the realm of imagination that is never filled or contained.
In our pursuing of permanency we indeed get tired, for all is temporary in human consciousness. Words are not enough no matter how much we speak or hear. Thus we evoke the episode of the child that wants to pour the ocean into the little hole he dug in the beach, for such is human consciousness in its desire to assimilate the vast complexities of God’s creation.
Our limitations show us the constrains of living in the frame of time and space, thus we realize that king Solomon wants us to focus on what really matters that transcends life, for it is eternal and not bound to our limited perception, conception, fathoming or feeling.
“There are many plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s counsel will prevail.”
In this scenario God’s words in the Torah comprise the counsel that prevails, for it transcends time and space. We can summarize it as the goodness He wants us to live permanently. Goodness is what prevails while evil is always temporary and destined to disappear as God promised, although the choice between them is always ours. Either we follow ego’s fantasies and illusions as the “many plans in man’s heart”, or love’s ways and attributes inherent in goodness.
Monday, April 24, 2017
“Come away, My beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young deer upon the mountains of spices!” (Song of Songs 8:14)
God’s final words in this Song of Songs reiterate His plea to Israel for her return to Him. God’s love urges her to flee the darkness of the exile in ego’s fantasies and illusions among the nations, and haste as “gazelles” and “harts” to ascend up to the mountains of spices, where one of these excels as the summit of the Temple of Jerusalem as the symbol of Israel’s eternal bond with God.
These are the sublime fragrances emanated from the new guidelines as the traits and qualities of the new consciousness God promised Israel after His final redemption, to begin fathoming the endless dimensions of His creation.
“He does great things, unfathomable; and wondrous works without number.” (Job 9:10)
In the times of king Solomon, Israel brought the nations to her. In the Jewish final redemption, Israel will bring the nations to the Creator, for the Messianic consciousness unfolds in the infinite knowledge of God.
“The world was made for the Messiah.” (Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b)
“Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.” (Isaiah 2:5)
May this be very soon and in our times! Amen.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
“I am a wall and my breasts [are] like towers! Therefore, I have been in His eyes like one who has found peace.” (Song of Songs 8:10)
The upcoming Messianic consciousness responds to God and Israel that it is built like guarding towers to keep and fulfill God’s plans after His final redemption. God’s plans as His eyes looking forward to make the peace of love’s ways and attributes prevail for eternity.
“The One whose peace belongs had a vineyard in Baal Hamon [Owner of Multitudes]. He gave over the vineyard to keepers. Each brings for its fruit a thousand silver pieces.” (8:11)
The Messianic consciousness speaks of itself as “a vineyard” planted by God in His field. It is named after Him as the Owner of Multitudes (Baal Hamon). He gave it “to keepers” as guardians that represent future traits, trends, qualities and expressions of the new consciousness in Messianic times. Their harvest is beyond the most precious value, as producing “its fruit” a thousand-fold out of one.
These guardians are also the future multitudes of Israel as inheritors and bearers of the upcoming Messianic consciousness leading to eternity.
“My vineyard that is Mine is before Me. The thousand [is] for you, oh Solomon [he whose peace belongs]; and the two hundred for the keepers of its fruit.” (8:12)
Israel’s love keeps the vineyard joined by God’s love. Every Jew in the Messianic era will be as one whose peace belongs (Solomon) harvesting his thousand-fold, and accompanied by their helpers from the redeemed nations, who will be rewarded also for their tendering of the harvest.
“O you, who sits in the gardens; friends are attentive to your voice. Let Me hear it.” (8:13)
As God’s promise is fulfilled and Israel enters her final redemption, she will build again a place for Him to dwell among (in) us. This place on earth is the Garden of Eden as God’s field that will be fully revealed in the material world, as both the spiritual and material will share the same space.
Here Israel “sits” and is addressed by God making her notice that the nations, now “friends”, are willing to hear her “voice” as the teachings to be learned in order to assimilate the new human consciousness the Creator has established for the Messianic era. He wants to “hear” Israel’s voice as His voice for the new humankind.
Then one garden becomes many gardens for God to speak to the new consciousness and its traits and attributes that attentively will hear His voice. Israel as the reigning ruler in the eternal Messianic era will be the first to know God’s will, and communicate it to her friends, the nations.
Monday, April 10, 2017
“Many waters can’t quench the love, and rivers can’t drown it. If a man would give all the wealth of his house in exchange for love, he would be laughed to scorn.” (Song of Songs 8:7)
This ardent sacred love can’t be destroyed by anything, no matter how great or overwhelming it may be. Neither can it be conditioned, acquired or exchanged by material possessions, for the goodness of love does not cohabit with anything different from its ways and attributes.
“Can a throne of evil be associated with You, a framer of wickedness turned into decree?” (Psalms 94:20)
“Also the Lord gives goodness, and our land yields its produce.” (Ibid. 85:12)
Thus we realize that the goodness of God’s love is its own harvest, and we must assimilate that our complete redemption is goodness as the cause and end of His creation. The more we live in love’s ways and attributes, the more we live in God’s final redemption.
“Our sister is little, and she has no breasts. What shall we do for our sister on the day she is spoken for? If she be a wall, we build by her a palace of silver. And if she be a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar.” (Song of Songs 8:8-9)
These verses and the remaining ones of this poem refer to the new consciousness that awaits us in the upcoming Messianic times. It will be a new companion as a “little sister” for God and Israel that will unfold when our final redemption is completed. It will be revealed either as a new paradigm, “a wall” as a walled-protected “palace of silver”; or a new ruling principle, “a door” as an opening, to enter the Messianic era. The “panels of cedar” are an allusion to the Tabernacle or Temple of Jerusalem.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
“Set Me as a seal upon your heart, and as a seal upon your arm. For love is strong as death, jealousy is hard as the grave. Its flames are flames of fire that is the flame of God.” (Song of Songs 8:6)
God continues addressing Israel, asking her to seal their mutual love. First in her heart, for it encompasses love expression, good judgment, good feelings, and passionate intensity that invite positive thinking. Second in her arm, for it is the means to bring love into concrete actions and deeds. Thus we realize that thought, feeling, emotion, passion and deeds encompass the fulfillment of one single principle that is love.
The second sentence of this verse is intricate, yet one of the most profound principles revealed in the Song of Songs. Its complexity comes from introducing love “as strong as death”, both with equal powers by virtue of the comparative “as”. Although, in spite of this, it wants to tell us that indeed love is stronger than death as we will see in the culmination and end of the poem.
The statement evokes in our imagination two equally strong contenders in a long lasting fight in which one defeats the other and prevails forever. Here we recall Jacob’s all night-long fight with the angel of Esau (Genesis 32:24-29), ending up overcoming and emerging as Israel, the one who fights with and for God. We see Jacob/Israel as the embodiment of love and life who defeated Esau as the embodiment of evil and death.
“He has swallowed up death in victory, and has wiped the Lord God the tear from off all faces. And the reproach of His people He has turned aside from off all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 25:8)
Thus we see that after a long confrontation of thousands of years, God will make love prevail as our final redemption to reign forever in His promised Messianic era. After this statement turned into prophecy, the verse reaffirms the bonding love of God and Israel echoing the fundamental declaration of Judaism.
“Hear [understand] Israel, the Lord is your God, the Lord is One [and Unique].” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
This declaration is a sealing kiss that makes “love as strong as death”, for we recite it from the moment we return to life in our awakening in the morning and in the moment after closing our eyes to sleep. These two moments also reflect life and death in the Jewish tradition; hence we thank God when we wake up, for bringing us back to life.
The third sentence of the verse tells us that “jealousy” is part of love, for it shields and protects from anything threatening or harmful to whom or what we love. Thus we also realize that estrangement is as painful (“hard”) as death (“the grave”), for it ends the reason and purpose of love.
The fire of God’s love makes the bonding eternal as His flame that gives life and sustenance to His entire creation. We understand this “jealousy” as the burning exclusivity God’s love demands from our love for Him.
“And those who love Him are as the going out of the sun in its might.” (Judges 5:31)
Jealousy does not allow anything to meddle or interfere with whom or what we love, and its “fire” burns whatever is different or against the purpose of God’s love and the love He wants us to live. Thus we understand how He reveals Himself to us, and we ask Him so in our Jewish daily prayers to be with Him in love.
“(…) and give us an understanding heart to comprehend and to discern, to perceive, to learn and to teach, to observe, to practice, and to fulfill all the instructions of Your Torah in love.”
“(…) For You have chosen us from among all the nations and languages, and have brought us our King to the greatness of Your Name in love, to thank You and to proclaim Your Oneness, and to love Your Name. Blessed You are Lord, who chooses His people Israel in love.
It is so, because the goodness of love is the context of God’s creation, and the purpose of life is to exist in it. As the essence and destiny of our life, love is the freedom that leads us to make it prevail in all facets, aspects and dimensions of life.
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.