Sunday, August 28, 2011

Parshat Shoftim: Living in God's Justice

The best guidance and counsel we have in consciousness is our judgment, and we have to endow it with the highest awareness of love's ways and attributes.

Our consciousness encompasses multiple facets, layers, dimensions and expressions that in the Torah are represented by our Tribes (the best human traits and qualities to fulfill the Creator's will), the Promised Land (our individual and collective lives with their entire potential in God's ways and attributes), cities (material knowledge, habits, customs, ideologies, beliefs, convictions, tendencies) that we must direct with the wisdom God teaches us when we follow His ways.

This direction is the judgment, the discernment that only the righteousness and justice of God's love must be the conductors of all aspects of life in plenitude, abundance, happiness and peace.

"You shall set up judges (shoftim) and [law enforcement] officials for yourself in all your cities that the Lord, your God, is giving you, for your Tribes, and they shall judge the people [with] righteous judgment." (Deuteronomy 16:18)

Hence the best judges in our consciousness are love's ways and attributes, not only to guide all dimensions of life but also the way we approach our surrounding material reality.

"Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live and possess the land the Lord, your God, is giving you." (16:20)

This is the justice of love, the only one that we must pursue in order to live in our Promised Land.

We have indicated that righteousness, justice, truth, peace and loving kindness are all inherent qualities of themselves, as it is reminded by our wisest kings and prophets.

"Loving kindness and truth have met, righteousness and peace have kissed", "Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; loving kindness and truthfulness go before You.(Psalms 85:11, 89:15)

"Let love and truthfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the table of your heart." (Proverbs 3:3)

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be tranquility and confidence forever." (Isaiah 32:17)

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act with justice and to love loving kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

"Thus said the Lord of hosts has said: 'Administer true justice; do loving kindness and compassion to one another." (Zechariah 7:9)

We have to understand them all as the primordial ways and attributes of love, as well as clear reflections of God's love in us.

The portion continues emphasizing the inspiring, guiding and teaching role of our highest awareness of God's love, represented by the high priest and the tribe of Levi, as our best judgment to approach life and the world.

"According to the law they [priests and Levites] instruct you [and] according to the judgment they say to you, you shall do; you shall not divert from the word they tell you, either right or left. (…) For the Lord, your God, has chosen him [Levi] out of all your Tribes, to stand and serve in the Name of the Lord, he and his sons, all the days." (Deuteronomy 17:11, 18:5)

We need the best judgment when we have to confront ego's materialistic desires in the battlefield of illusions.

"And it will be, when you approach the battle, that the kohen [high priest] shall come near, and speak to the people." (20:2)

This discernment also reminds us that when we live in love's ways, God's love is also fighting in our wars to freedom from the attachments to ego's fantasies and illusions.

"For the Lord, your God, is the One who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to redeem you." (20:4)

It is thus, for He is our sole redeemer from the traps of the illusions that we create with our feelings of lack.

These wars and battles are about regaining love in every aspect of our life, love as our essence and true identity. In order to set up love in all dimensions of consciousness we first must work with the traits that have taken us down into the darkness of negative thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts.

These traits are the cities that represent our mistaken beliefs and ideas, negative thoughts and emotions, lower desires and passions, and instincts out of control. We have to confront them not necessarily as mortal enemies that we must destroy, but as traits that we can transform or redirect into the positive and constructive ways of love's attributes.

"When you approach a city to wage war against it, you shall propose peace to it. And it will be, if it responds to you with peace, and it opens up to you, then it will be, [that] all the people found therein shall become tributary to you, and they shall serve you." (20:10-11)

We must be persistent until we refine them enough to make them part of our intellectual, mental, emotional and physical strength.

"(…) and you shall build bulwarks against the city that makes war with you, until its submission." (20:20)

Again, the prophet recalls in the haftarah that God's love is with us in our wars to regain the freedom that love is, in order to leave behind the negative consequences of ego's materialistic illusions, the nothingness for which we sale our true identity.

"Shake yourselves from the dust, arise, sit down O Jerusalem; free yourself of the bands of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For so said the Lord, 'you were sold for nothing, and you shall not be redeemed for money'." (Isaiah 52:2-3)

God's love teaches us that though we sale our consciousness for the nothingness of illusion, not with another illusion ("money") we regain it, in order to return to love.

Thus we know that it is up to us our return to His love, because He always speaks to us even in our darkest illusions.

"Therefore, My people shall know My name; therefore, on that day, for I am He who speaks, here I am." (52:6)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Parshat Re'eh: Seeing God's Love

The purpose of the three major Jewish festivals (Pesach, Shavuot and Succot) is to see the Creator to whom we bring our offerings in the Temple of Jerusalem.

We have said in our commentaries on Vayikra (the book of Leviticus) that the offerings are the ways to elevate our main human traits and qualities in order to devote them to His service. Only throughout this divine service we achieve our unity with God.

The name of this portion, as well as its first word, reminds us that by choosing His blessing we indeed see Him.

"See (re'eh), I set before you today a blessing and a curse." (Deuteronomy 11:26)

The following verses make clear that we are blessed by cleaving to His ways and attributes, and the curse is the consequence of attaching to the idols we make out of ego's fantasies and illusions. The commandment to destroy such idols is unambiguous.

"You shall utterly destroy from all the places where the nations, that you shall possess, worshiped their gods, upon the lofty mountains and upon the hills, and under every lush tree." (12:2)

We have to make our individual inventory of the material illusions in which we live, and to which we dedicate every aspect of our consciousness. These aspects are the "places" that encompass our higher awareness ("the top of the mountains and hills") and our lower traits (the underground) where we have to examine what compels us to think, speak and act the way we do.

The goal of this inventory is to transform and redirect our thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions, and instincts into love's ways.

"And you shall tear down their altars, smash their monuments, burn their woods with fire, cut down the graven images of their gods, and destroy their name from that place." (12:3)

This transformation occurs when we refine the ways we approach life in the material world through the blessings of God's love.

"And there you shall eat before the Lord, your God, and you shall rejoice in all your endeavors you and your households, as the Lord, your God, has blessed you. (…) and He will give you rest from all your enemies surrounding you, and you will dwell in safety." (12:7, 10)

As we said above, the ways to see the Creator and dwell in His ways are our willingness to assume love as our true identity, and to live in His attributes.

"And you shall eat them before the Lord, your God, in the place the Lord, your God, will choose you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, and the Levite who is in your cities, and you shall rejoice before the Lord, your God, in all your endeavors."(12:18)

We have to implement and incorporate ("to eat") the best of who we are in the presence of love ("the place" of God's loving kindness) all aspects of consciousness (us and our creations [oneself, sons, daughters], our motivations [servants] to deeds and actions, and our highest awareness of divine love [the Levite priesthood]) in order to exult with love in all we are, have and do.

This is the blessing, our blessing.

"For you are a holy people to the Lord, your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a treasured people for Him, out of all the nations that are upon the earth." (14:2)

The portion ends reminding us again to see the Creator in our festivals.

"Three times in the year, every one of your males shall appear (lit. shall see) before the Lord, your God, in the place He will choose: on the festival of matzot and on the festival of weeks, and on the festival of succot, and he shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed." (16:16)

We come to see Him and be united to Him with our love that is also His love, the essence with which He created us. We see Him when we elevate all dimensions of consciousness with, in and for His love because God's love is what is revealed in His creation, and is what we have to reveal from its concealment under the darkness of the negative aspects and expressions of our consciousness.

Let's keep in mind that the portion, the lot that He has given us individually is measured and limited by our own awareness of His Love, and this lot is also our relationship with Him.

Let's not be mistaken thinking that He gives more to some and less to others, because the love we have is directly proportional to the love we want to have in our life. Thus we understand this coming verse.

"[Every] man [shall bring] as much as he can afford, according to the blessing of the Lord, your God, which He has given you." (16:17)

In the haftarah for this portion, the prophet invites us again to fulfill the commandment to cleave to the Creator.

"Hearken to Me and eat what is good, and your soul shall delight in fatness. Incline your ear and come to Me, hearken and your soul shall live, and I will make for you an everlasting covenant, the trusted loving kindness David. Incline your ear and come to Me, hearken and your soul shall live, and I will make for you an everlasting covenant, the trusted loving kindness of David." (Isaiah 55:2-4)

King David represents the loving kindness of the Messianic consciousness God's love offers us to redeem ourselves individually and collectively from the negative situations we have created by living in ego's materialistic illusions.

Once we realize this we become aware that all depends on the blessings of love ever since we are born until we die. This awareness is the beginning of our way out from the darkness of exile into our way to redemption.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Parshat Eikev: Because We Have to Love

In previous commentaries we have insisted that there is not such a thing as the apparent conditionality of God's love, because all conditions exist on our behalf.

We also have repeated that love is its cause and effect, its instant reward. In this sense we understand the first verse of this portion.

"(…) because (eikev) you will heed these ordinances and keep them and perform, that the Lord your God will keep for you the covenant and the loving kindness He swore to your forefathers." (Deuteronomy 7:12)

Also the meaning of His covenant and loving kindness.

"(…) He will love you, and bless you, and multiply you (…)" (7:13)

Thus, as long as we walk in His ways and attributes, His love is also with us. The covenant is always present as God's love is omnipresent and omniscient, and it's up to us to be aware of this truth.

We are Israel and such as we are bound to fulfill our part of the covenant, the alliance that defines our identity as Jews, and our greatest blessing.

"You shall be blessed above all peoples. (...) There will be no sterile male or barren female among you or among your livestock." (7:14)

These means no lack, no inadequacies.

"And the Lord will remove from you all illness, and all of the evil diseases of Egypt which you know, He will not set upon you, but He will lay them upon all your enemies." (7:15)

The lack and emptiness of ego's materialistic desires and illusions (Egypt) are our diseases, and love makes us aware that those illusions live from their own lack.

For most of us, living in ego's illusions is easier than accepting the truthfulness of love. Thousands of years conditioning our intellect, mind, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts under the mirages of an egotistic approach to life can't be overcome overnight.

It may take also many centuries to overturn the negative patterns ("the nations") imprinted in humankind's genetic memory. The good news is that love is the cure for our illnesses.

"And the Lord your God will drive out those nations from before you, little by little. You will not be able to destroy them quickly, lest the beasts of the field outnumber you." (7:22)

The fire of God's love in us can transform darkness and negativity into love's ways and attributes in all levels and dimensions of our consciousness, hence in our surroundings.

"The graven images of their gods you will burn in fire (…)" (7:25)

This is the way to return again to the kind of life God's love wants for us. A life that affirms that we are created in His image and likeness

"(...) a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, you will lack nothing in it (…). And you will eat and be sated, and you shall bless the Lord, your God, for the good land He has given you." (8:9-10)

Time and again we are warned throughout the entire Torah about the consequences of separating our consciousness from God's ways and attributes. This separation only happens when we let ego's materialistic agenda to rule our lives.

"(...) and you will say to yourself, 'My strength and the might of my hand that has accumulated this wealth for me'." (8:17)

Also, time and again the way to return to God's ways and attributes is always paved and cleared for us.

"But you must remember the Lord your God, for it is He that gives you strength to make wealth, in order to establish His covenant which He swore to your forefathers, as it is this day." (8:18)

Such a simple and plain truth overshadowed by our false sense of self-sufficiency!

We have to be aware that, while ego quenches its thirst with the waters of materialistic illusions, love sustains us directly from our Creator. As our true essence and identity, God's love settles us in the delights of His ways and attributes.

"For the land into which you go (...) drinks water of the rain of heaven." (11:10-11)

Once we enthrone love's ways in all levels of consciousness, we are fully satiated with prosperity, joy, happiness, and abundance.

"I will give grass in your fields for your livestock, so that you may eat and be full." (11:15)

Let's never forget that loving our Creator and our attachment to Him are two of His commandments in order for us to keep His covenant.

"(..) to love the Lord your God, (…) to cleave to Him." (11:22, 10:20)

The prophet also reminds us that in our love the love of God is our sole redeemer in all times.

"For the Lord shall console Zion, He shall console all her ruins, and He shall make her desert like a paradise, and her wasteland like the garden of the Lord; joy and happiness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and a voice of song." (Isaiah 51:3)


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Parshat Va'etchanan: Our Bond with God's Love

Loving our Creator is the essential commandment to fully understand our relationship with Him, and our oneness with Him, as we realize the most important statement for Israel in the Torah.

"Hear [understand] Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is One" (Deuteronomy 6:4)

The realization of this statement is our heritage, our identity and the source of all our blessings. We have to reaffirm again this truth as the primordial message of our blog "God's Love", every moment of our lives and we do it by constantly loving Him.

Love is our common bond with the Creator, and this is why we have to be aware of love always.

"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might." (6:6)

This is not an entirely mystic or spiritual bonding with the Creator, but a very real and concrete experience in the material world, for being and manifesting our true essence and identity are the ways to reveal His presence in us and around us.

The first verses of this portion are an invitation to live such experience.

"And I implored (va'etchanan) the Lord at that time, saying, 'O Lord God, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand, for who is [like] God in Heaven or on Earth who can do as Your deeds and Your might?" (3:23-24)

Our true reason to exist in this world is to experience our Creator and His love for all His creation. This happens when we, as part of His oneness, approach Him. Thus in that awareness we realize that we are truly alive.

"And you who cleave to the Lord your God are alive, all of you, today." (4:4)

Today is the permanent time and space of the knowledge that His love is what creates and sustains of our life and everything that exists.

In this awareness we see and experience the blessings of love in who we are, and how we approach life and the material world. Hence, we have to be vigilant against ego's fantasies and illusions as the idols that deny the preeminence of love.

"And you shall watch yourselves very well, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb [Sinai] from the midst of the fire." (4:15)

Love does not cohabit with fantasies or illusions, and is the material manifestation of the divine fire that transmutes them, for us to see and live in God's ways and attributes completely free from ego's materialistic approach to life.

This vigilance must be permanent.

"Beware, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image, the likeness of anything, which the Lord your God has forbidden you." (4:23)

In this context, we have to reiterate the inherent exclusivity of God's love.

"For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a zealous [exclusive] God." (4:24)

Thus is as the fire that consumes not only materialistic illusions but their negative expressions. Our mystic sages say that instead of fighting darkness we rather bring light to it, because with it we turn darkness into light.

This statement is deeper than we think. Darkness indeed is the necessary condition in order to make the light prevail. If there is no darkness, then what is it to be lighted up? We call darkness the negative conditions and situations we must transform with the fire of love.

This means that we have to add love in order to subtract egotism. In this sense, we do not have to fight or kill our egos but to redeem them from the negative effects of their attachment to lower thoughts, emotions, passions and instincts.

Let's remind ourselves again that our choices either get us closer to God's love or separate us from Him, because He never abandons us. When we disregard love as our true essence and identity we withdraw our consciousness to the realm of potentially negative emotions.

"And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will remain few in number among the nations to where the Lord will lead you." (4:27)

In the absence of love in our lives, our positive traits and qualities are the minority amid the overwhelming power of lower emotions under ego's desires and control. But as we know, God's love is always present and available because He is the source and sustenance of all.

"And from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are distressed, and all these things happen upon you in the end of days, then you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice." (4:29-30)

Let's never forget this.

"For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not let you lose or destroy you; neither will He forget the Covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them." (4:31)

This is the covenant of love He gave us as our legacy, our heritage, and our identity for which we live to reveal Him in every dimension of our consciousness and in all His creation.

The haftarah for this portion reaffirms such principle in these two verses.

"And the Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see that the mouth of the Lord spoke." (Isaiah 40:5)

"Lift up your eyes on high and see, Who created these, Who takes out their multitudes by number; all of them He calls by name; because of His great might and because He is strong in power, no one is missing." (40:26)

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.