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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Is "God” your diminished substitute?

In Jewish written tradition “God” does not exist, any use of it is borrowed from a foreign language. The bleeding influence of international culture and language has distorted Jewish thinking and left many with misunderstandings of their culture and religion. Nowhere is this more evident than foreign language texts that have diminished the highest supernal order - “The Name” - “HaShem” - “יהוה” - the unpronounceable Tetragrammaton.
The confusion is mired because “The Name” is also Judaism’s indistinguishable reference to “Without End” - “Ein Sof” a term for The Infinite. However, ancient Jewish offshoots and early Christians who translated the Bible, conveniently collapsed these confounding complexities in the theistic term that became “God”. Since the printing press Jews progressively lost touch with their holy Hebrew tongue allowing their anti-theology to infuse with Christian and Islamic catch-all terms. This obfuscated important Jewish distinctions made in the origin Biblical text incorporates essential, albeit diminished spiritual forms intrinsic to and emanating from “The Name”. As Jews lost touch with these concepts Jewish assimilation increased, usually among progressive thinkers willingly exploring new nation languages and cultures.
Although the “God” reference has become widely accepted, it has different meanings to different cultures. I once asked a Christian friend whether he prays to the same “God” that Jews pray to, adamantly he replied - yes, of course! But, I often wonder whether concepts of “The Name” have truly been lost on prayer-filled communities devoid of intellectual understanding who emotionally pray to their deity. Then I begin to question what good comes from it? I’m not talking about the good communities who gather and make efforts the world over to support or initiate many helpful causes, I’m talking about the quality and benefit of their meditative practice.
Since the destruction of the Jewish temple the absence of devout holy practice promoted rushed forms of worship with compromised benefits. The ladder of Jewish prayer to unify the Names of spiritual entities with and in “The Name” is a ritual meditation that once occupied priests each, entire day. But, millennial transformations now ensure many Rabbi’s are on their errands after 30 minutes and on the Sabbaths a few hours at most. Nevertheless, within these modern windows of time, a serious practitioner can make a huge, positive and meaningful impact to their outlook and function in society. One cannot expect to obtain the benefits of Jewish prayer when they are confounded by the influences of other teachings. Its correct practice will open the mind of the practitioner enabling the flow of Wisdom. To some this may sound like a familiar Buddhist theme, but the path to Wisdom is a wisdom and one must choose before beginning the journey. If you have chosen Judaism to access your innate wisdom, beware of the foreign influences that would otherwise divert you and diminish your experience. “The Name” is the source of Its Wisdom and Its Emanations are the ancient holy Hebrew language Torah or Bible. There is no substitute! Participation in Jewish liturgy is no easy accomplishment, for many it’s a practice of absorbing meditations that infiltrate every aspect of daily life. Every wakeful hour is accounted and the regimen for the devout well documented. The practitioner can opt-in or out of any or all to their direct benefit or detriment dependent on their personal level of satisfaction. For new practitioners, those who were not born to religious families or the religious who are dissatisfied I highly recommend you consciously discover or re-discover Jewish meditation. For many this aspect of Judaism is hidden and it will take some effort to reveal, but it can be re-discovered and is easily accessible through a simple beginners book like Jewish Meditation. If “God” is substitute for “The Name” remember Its manifestations are the only existence for Jews who are about to celebrate their national monotheistic ritual. Pesach or Passover marks the conscious recognition of and exit from foreign influences that disrupt a Jew’s connection to Wisdom. It begins with your effort to understand that which distinguishes “The Name” above all. From this you can obtain concepts of time, chronologically ordered history and the root of Jewish customs, then your existing perspectives may surprise you and new perspectives invigorate your innermost core - a happy and kosher Pesach!