Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bahir Verse 181-183

These next three verses seem to be talking about the differences between the singular and the plural and what significances these fine points confer upon us.

181. Why is it written, "My sabbaths you shall keep," [in the plural] rather than "My sabbath" [in the singular]? What is this like? A king had a beautiful bride, and every week she would set aside a day to be with him. The king also had beautiful beloved sons. He said to them, "Since this is the situation, you should also rejoice on the day of my joy. For it is for your sake that I strive,, and you also respect me."

Commentary: Continuity. We cannot develop momentum spiritually without it. Without momentum we will not ascend the levels of contemplation necessary to reach the holiness that surrounds us within and without. The king is Hashem and the bride is the sabbath. Internally the implication is for connection on a regular basis especially during this period of directed contemplation called the Sabbath. The Sabbath is where all of our efforts are specifically directed towards the contemplation of holiness and the resulting connection. The sons refer to the other days of the week. Consider now that our mundane thoughts for acquisition, for health, for career, etc are the sons of the King while the bride of the king would be represented by our thoughts of the holiness, magnificence, and indeed the entire conceptual world brought about through the contemplation of the sephiroth with all of its permutations and transformations. All thoughts work together which is why the sons are told that 'it is for them that I strive...' It is for the fulfillment of our intentions during the week of creation that we celebrate or become one with the Sabbath. Herein on the Sabbath both the preceding week and the ensuing week are imbued with holiness that unfolded both forwards and backwards through time.

182. What is the reason that [the Torah says] "remember" [in one place,] and "keep" [regarding the Sabbath in another]? "Remember" (zachor) refers to the male (Zachar) . "Keep" (shamor) refers to the bride. Why is it connected to, "and My sanctuary you shall fear"? This is because My sanctuary is holy. Why? "Because I am God who makes you holy" ­ from every side.

Commentary: Remember refers to the male Zachar, or the active force of intention. Our thoughts which set the way before us in terms of seeing what it is we would have come into our field of vision. Keep is the bride or promise of complete fulfillment that results in the outpouring from Binah into Zeir Anpin. The bride or Shamar-keep is the repository of holiness as we contemplate holiness becoming absorbed by holiness. This sanctuary is the space or negative space within whereby we attract those thoughts which ascend on high. It is a place of fear or awe because we get an inkling of the openings that take plac ein response to our contemplative gaze. We continue or keep our contemplations on this Sabbath day and have the result of becoming holy through God or the conception of God on all sides.

183. Why do we say [in the blessing after food], "On all that He created...[Blessed]is the Life of Worlds." Why do we not say, "On all that You created"? But we bless the Holy One, who grants His wisdom to this "Life of Worlds." It then provides for all.

Commentary: What we are singling out here is the active or male force of creation. Creation is ongoing. Think about what happens when we bless something. Aren't we actually calling a blessing into being through our actions. When we say 'on all that He created' we are calling into being and recognition the active force of creation. We are acknowledging the power that creates all. Also when we bless something we are promoting the all the good that comes from this something. In this case the source of all good is holiness itself which is the "life of worlds," for nothing could be sustained without the holiness that sustains us in all of our actions.


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