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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Religions & Faiths > Judaism

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  #11  
Old 03-02-2011, 07:27 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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Hi Esther...basically that's what the 1st article says...LOL...you said it more succintly

It says...
1) self is relationally defined...duties to God/self, and duties to God/others.

2) there is a mutuality of love that is shared between the human and the divine.

I really like the explanation of the mutuality of love...love isn't all you need, unless you have already internalised the ethics, realised the self, and are an active channel for the love in intent, thought, and deed.

God is love, yes...and we can seek union with the One as respite...but we are here in this existence to join heaven and earth...not to deny either one...and as individualised consciousnesses, we are in a relationship of love and mutuality with God.

3) altruism is the purview of everyone...thank God...
so even though it's not "required by law", it's commonplace or we wouldn't have made it this far...

The altruism factor...just rang true for me. It's nothing special...but life requires it of us all...and everyone will be expected to rise to the occasion at some point in their lives, in some fashion, perhaps on behalf of another...

...so as usual it's the ordinary is the most extraordinary. I thought it was a nice touch with the understood reference to the collective...and how we all rely on one another for support and survival...sometimes very directly.

Peace,
7L
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2011, 07:57 PM
Shim
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Hello there 7L.

Thanks very much for all the replies. There's much with an earnest effort to study. Thanks for clarifying Hillel. Actually last night I had looked into it to find more and came about Hillel as a liberal minded school that defined things in the most broadest terms.

And I came across ayin half a year or so ago, had having thought that I took notes on it from psalms, I was mistaken, thanks for the reminder A Glass named Esther! These two psalms came to mind after reading your post, much thanks, now back to being on track, off to study.

Psalm 39
And my lot is as nothing before You.
Mere breath is each man standing.

Notes: Strong's number 369 אַ֫יִן ayin, to be nothing or not exist; a non-entity.

"Nothing," is what human transience must ultimately come to, and it is precisely the word with which the poem ends.

Psalm 42

These do I recall and pour out my heart:
When I would step in the procession,

Notes: Nafshi, "my life breath" or "my very self."
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2011, 04:45 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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LOL...so you want to go there? It's a little off topic...but not so much :)

My translation is different, so I'll just discuss ayin. There is more...I just cut the most general stuff below here. Sight is the sense associated with ayin. The spiritual blemish of ayin is coveting as an extension of sight...coveting is considered the precursor to wrong action of many kinds. Only when one has overcome this challenge is the first level of spiritual sight, or wisdom, gained. That is, this is the internal foe that must be overcome in order to see truly, to focus, and to deal wisely and effectively with external challenges to the individual or the group.

Quote:
"Nothing," is what human transience must ultimately come to, and it is precisely the word with which the poem ends.

Ayin: Divine Providence
http://www.inner.org/hebleter/ayin.htm

The right eye looking up at the sky; the left eye looking down at the earth.

The full spelling of the letter ayin equals 130 or 5 times 26, 26 being the value of the Name Havayah. In Kabbalah this phenomenon is understood to mean that the eye possesses five Divine powers. The right eye possesses five states of kindness, whereas the left eye possesses five states of severity or might.

In Psalms we find two verses in relation to God's Providence over man. One verse states: "The Eye of God is on those who fear Him." The other states: "The Eyes of God are on the tzadikim."

The attribute of fear of God refers to the consciousness of the sefirah of malchut, "kingdom," likened to the woman of valor, "the woman who fears God, she shall be praised." Malchut is constructed and directed by the five "mights," the secret of the left eye of God. For this reason, in the verse "the Eye of God is on those who fear Him," "Eye" is in the singular, referring to the left eye alone.

In the "male figure," corresponding to the six emotive attributes of the heart, Providence reflects the balance of both the five kindness together with the five mights of God. So, in the verse "The Eyes of God are on the tzadikim," "Eyes" appear in the plural form, referring to both the right and left Eyes of God.

We are further taught in Chassidut that the singular eye of the first verse possesses a hidden reference to the "ever-open eye" of keter, the superconscious. Here the singular is the secret of "all right," as "there is no left in the Ancient One, all is right." The fear of God which is the vessel in the soul to contain and reveal this most concealed and supernal level of Providence, is the awe in face of the awareness of the Transcendent Light of God, permeating each point of reality, as taught in the secret of the letter samech.

In the Divine service of the soul these three levels of Providence correspond to the three stages of service: submission, separation, and sweetening, as taught by the Ba'al Shem Tov. All relate to his most fundamental and all inclusive teaching in regard to "particular Divine Providence."

1
The initial experience that even the minutest of one's deeds is observed and recorded Above brings one to a state of submission and fear of the Kingdom of Heaven, whose Law and Order control the universe.

2
One then experiences the Eyes of God lovingly watching over and guarding each one of his children Israel. This brings one to sense the existential separation of the holy from the profane, the righteous from the unrighteous, and to identify with the good.

3
Finally one experiences the Infinite Eye of God directing every created being to its ultimate fulfillment of purpose in Creation, thereby bringing all Creation to realize its Divine Purpose. Here, one's awe itself is in the face of the revelation of God's Infinite Love for all ("all is right"). This is the secret of sweetening.


Peace/blessings,
7L
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2011, 05:05 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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Here's something on the path of the soul...per the last part of your post.

nefesh - breath of life, chi
ruach - self-aware consciousness
neshama - awakened or realised consciousness, contains all other aspects


SOUL STEPS

From the teachings of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai


Rabbi Yitzchak commented on the verse: Thus said the Merciful Lord, the Creator of the heavens and He who stretches them out. He who spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it, who gives breath [Neshama] to the people on it, and spirit [Ruach] to those who walk upon it. (Isaiah 42:5)

Come and see. When the Holy One Blessed be He created the first man, He gathered soil from the four corners of the world.
These correspond to the four sefirot of chesed, gevura, tiferet and malchut, which are the four fundamental spiritual elements, the source of the four physical elements. The Ruach is that part of the person that rules over the animal instincts of the Nefesh

He then fashioned him at the place where the Holy Temple was to stand physically in this world [the Temple Mount in Jerusalem]. He then drew down into him the breath of life [Neshama] from its source in the spiritual Holy Temple above it. This Neshama was composed of three levels, which is the reason why there are three names for the components of the Neshama, reflecting the secret of their spiritual source. The names of these three levels [in ascending order] are Nefesh, Ruach and Neshama. The Nefesh is the lowest grade, as we have explained elsewhere. The Ruach is that part of the person that rules over the animal instincts of the Nefesh. It is a higher level of consciousness than the Nefesh and sustains the animal soul with everything that it needs to exist. The Neshama is at the highest level of spiritual development, and it rules over and sustains the other two levels. These three spiritual levels are contained in all people who become a fit vessel for them through purifying themselves in the service of their Creator.

Once he is complete in consciousness …then a person is called a beloved one of the Holy One…

When he is born, a person is accredited with a Nefesh. This Nefesh has a holy function because it gives a person the strength to purify himself and raise up his condition from the physical to a more spiritual level. When a person has purified this animal level within him he is adorned with the next level - the Ruach. This is a more holy level that prevails over the Nefesh, and adorns a person who has made himself worthy of it.

Once a person has elevated himself through the Nefesh and Ruach and has entered into the service of his Master as is fitting and proper, he then is suffused with the Neshama that is a higher, holy level, that masters the other levels. Once he is adorned with this holy spiritual level [which is the level of bina], and once he is complete in consciousness of all of the ten sefirot which make up his spirit, then a person is called a beloved one of the Holy One Blessed be He. This is the meaning of the verse "That I may bestow true existence on those who love Me." (Proverbs 8:21) Who are "those that love Me"? They are those who have in them the holy Neshama.

Zohar, Page 205b, 206a; translation and commentary by Simcha-Shmuel Treister

http://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/379824/jewish/Soul-Steps.htm


Peace/blessings,
7L
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2011, 08:36 PM
7luminaries 7luminaries is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shim
Hello there 7L.

Thanks very much for all the replies. There's much with an earnest effort to study. Thanks for clarifying Hillel. Actually last night I had looked into it to find more and came about Hillel as a liberal minded school that defined things in the most broadest terms.

And I came across ayin half a year or so ago, had having thought that I took notes on it from psalms, I was mistaken, thanks for the reminder A Glass named Esther! These two psalms came to mind after reading your post, much thanks, now back to being on track, off to study.

Psalm 39
And my lot is as nothing before You.
Mere breath is each man standing.

Notes: Strong's number 369 אַ֫יִן ayin, to be nothing or not exist; a non-entity.

"Nothing," is what human transience must ultimately come to, and it is precisely the word with which the poem ends.

Psalm 42

These do I recall and pour out my heart:
When I would step in the procession,

Notes: Nafshi, "my life breath" or "my very self."

Actually last night I had looked into it to find more and came about Hillel as a liberal minded school that defined things in the most broadest terms.

LOL...I'm sure nearly freezing to death before a fire was lit on Shabbat for him...may have opened his mind and heart to the more compassionate line of interpretation. Secretly I think many wish we had gone with Shammai on most things. But I still favour Hillel. It's more a philosophical difference than of almost anything in terms of practice or observance. But there are one or two things.

I see the need to allow some reintrepretation of the law as critical. Because our
understanding of the Law is always evolving...we hope.
Now...God made me a woman (hmm...Baruch Hashem or Gam zu l'tova? LOL...)
...and for the record, I am very happy being a woman.
But...since God made me a woman, learned men of law are not going to persuaded by my opinion....LOL....

Nonetheless...that doesn't mean it's wrong or irrelevant...
My big issues...are just the really basic ones...the things you can't change.

Is it humane or realistic to ask people not to love each other, to abstain or just live together because they can't marry even if they are both Jews?

I'm not gay, but in the same spirit, is it humane or practical to expect that gays can do without intimacy and love, even though that's not realistic or desirable for the rest of us, over the course of a lifetime? Many avoid congregations because they don't feel welcome even for communal prayers.

We ask people to live with integrity and take responsibility. Yet the ways in which we feel we would compromise our integrity has changed over time, I think. Partly as a result of having more social and economic options...and partly as a result of recent historic events...we are changed & influenced by them whether we realise it or not...and we are freer to recognise our need for individual spiritual integrity...to attend to our duties of the heart to ourselves.

In the past, ppl commonly didn't marry for love...now they commonly prefer to. Of course you still also need commitment, character, trust, honesty, and faith. But in the past, ppl may have deserted, neglected, abused or committed adultery against (one of the biggies) their spouse as a result of the emotional scars of not marrying for love. Divorce was always an option in untenable situations, and has become relatively common as a result of many reasons, but it often boils down to people being poorly matched..often someone just leaves or opts out..it's a shame, but is it my place to judge or is that between them and God?

Marriage is for spiritual nourishment and companionship as much as for creating family. And unfortunately much in life is out of our control...including what spouses do or don't do, and whether we can survive it or tolerate it is also another matter. Much of our spiritual growth in life is about learning through tolerance and acceptance, forgiveness, letting go, and moving forward. Sometimes it means moving forward alone.

So what this will mean for some is that they don't marry at all (live "in sin" or are uncommitted), or else they marry outside the faith, or else they get a divorce, etc., in order to avoid what they feel is a situation they can't live with...a marriage that lacks a deeper bond of soul communion.

For Judaism, with our small numbers...not allowing Jews to marry Jews in select circumstances is unfortunate...almost tragic in light of recent history...even worse if they turn away or feel distanced from God. Even for gay couples who don't officially marry, keeping them and their children in the community is, I feel, important to our future as Jews and for humankind. No one is expendable. Granted it's my opinion only. But as parents if one of our children said, I'm gay, wouldn't we still want them to remain close to us, their faith, and God?

I don't have the "final solution" to anything...but I think that in general, the spirit of Hillel is, as always, conducive to the future of Judaism...and when you've been faced with the fallout of final solutions...I think it's ok to have interim solutions ...just as I think learning how to accept ourselves is a process...even as we always strive to be and do better.

Peace & blessings,
7L
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  #16  
Old 17-02-2011, 02:47 AM
A Glass named Esther
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7L,

It is precisely BECAUSE G-d made you a woman that almost any man can be persuaded by you

As for the rest of what you say, I agree that every Jew needs to feel welcome in a Jewish community. It doesn't matter if that Jew eats pork, ignores Shabbat, or has prohibited intimate relations. Every Jew is important and every Jew needs the opportunity to work on his/her relationship with Hashem and not feel excluded by other Jews.

-esther
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