Friday, February 23, 2007

G-d in Life

Have you ever considered where the inspiration for the famous artworks of Raphael, Gabriel, Michael, Aziel or Haniel come from and why they were such an important study for artists of the Renaissance period?

These are G-d’s emissaries, His angels of the highest order and their depiction opposes Jewish Law. Their renderings are inspired by Kabbalah and their pictorial commissions, the result of Rome’s fascination with Jewish mysticism. Their importance to the Roman Catholic doctrine reflects a concerted effort by Rome to reach out to mainstream population groups through a progression of contemporary views. These artworks also represents a slap in the face of Jewish culture and belief and at the time would have been deeply hurtful and disrespectful to all who truly believed in and respected the Oneness of G-d and His omnipotence.

Each of these angels are a manifestation of the Sefirot in the highest universal realms and each is in turn linked to an attribute of G-d which is expressed by the use of His ten ineffable names as written in the Hebrew Torah. The mystical revelations of the Torah reveal the existence of angelic legions and supernal beings that administer G-d’s commands in the universal realms that He created. Included at the top of His infrastructure of supernal beings is His Heavenly Tribunal of Justice.

It is said that increased mystical revelations as evidenced by the growing mainstream awareness of Kabbalah is a direct result of the era of the supernal light, which is beginning to shine upon us more intensely. The flaming soul of Humanity ascends toward the descending supernal light as our awareness of truth, through knowledge, expands. Today we discover more through the advent of science, technology and communication and as we do we seek answers because, logically, we realize that we cannot progress humanity toward any particular point more beneficial than that which can be reached by our heightened spiritual understanding of the perfected construct of our one G-d.

On the tree of the Sefirot Da’at (knowledge) is the eleventh unformed vessel or attribute, it is this attribute that forms from our gathering knowledge which is the union of wisdom (Chokmah) and understanding (Binah) that brings down the supernal light from the higher Crown or Keter. Once we acquire this knowledge and the vessel of Da’at is formed, we are destined to proceed toward that which we come to know. So where is humanity headed?

Our final ascent to the Messianic age has commenced. This precept is spoken about at length in the Torah. It is widely recognized that G-d’s celestial year is represented by 1000 earth years, which puts us on the doorstep of the 7th millennium since we are now approaching 5800 years from the time of creation. The Sabbath millennium is the time when the presence of G-d will complete Her descent to dwell amongst us, when the 3rd temple will “fall from the sky” to be erected in Jerusalem, when miracles beyond our wildest imaginations will be brought to fruition in front of our eyes.

The prophecies predict this is to occur and in order that we become vessels able to perceive these events we must correct the application of our free will and free choice. According to prophecy we can bring the Messiah to our midst earlier, but only when the aggregate majority of our collective choices are made in the order of truth, righteousness and holiness, only then will the Messianic age and the Messiah be revealed to us. There is a narrow window through which this will occur, therefore man has to purify thought, speech and action in order that this can take place by our collective will. The majority of our thoughts have to be devoid of greed, perversion, moral emptiness, competitiveness and selfishness all thoughts of the material, instead they have to build toward a crescendo of caring, concern, responsibility, collaboration, community and action. These thoughts of the side of purity and spirituality have to be acted upon so as to counter the already established negative momentum that has preceded our time in the material world in which we live.

The most devastating and preventative acts delaying the coming of the Messiah are the invitations each of us extend for direct Judgment to be issued over our souls by G-d’s Heavenly Tribunal, specifically permitted by our expressions of hurtful gossip and slander. Believe it or not, [1]slanderous gossip[2] is The Crime of the highest order in the eyes of The Tribunal. Each time we speak badly of someone by spreading hurtful, unnecessary, slanderous gossip we open ourselves to immediate judgment. This is no ordinary judgment. If it were, it would not be executed in an immediate time frame, it would be delayed to that time of the year when the Heavenly Tribunal sit in session to hear admissions of guilt and then they would only hear those particular admissions. However, slanderous gossip invokes an immediate sitting of the Tribunal in judgment of your soul and because they preside by your invitation, all of your collective sins become subject to immediate judgment. The effect of this is devastating since all people who gossip and slander are being judged continuously and repeatedly because of the sins that they are continuing to commit in the eyes of G-d.

With each sin we commit we strengthen the side of evil. Each time The Tribunal sits in Judgment over our sins, the Satan, representing G-d’s angels of the evil side, is automatically invited to observe the trial and The Tribunal must, itself, be subject to G-d’s checks and balances. The Satan is therefore afforded the opportunity to impede the progress of G-d’s plan. With each sin he draws on the energy provided to him, strengthening his position and status through each sinful event that is called into judgment. This lifeline to the Satan saps at the very essence of all that is good, all that is positive and all that emanates from G-d’s good light.

Since darkness blots out the supernal light, we have to work harder to avoid slanderous gossip, which can easily be stopped by our simple decision not to participate in it, not to give life to its devastating effects and through this to stop confounding the wheel of humanity. With unchecked slander, each wrung of the ladder that humanity climbs up, reaching toward the light, is simply given back to the powers of darkness that draw us down toward the abyss and the power to stop this has been and is always in our hands. Each decision to speak requires careful consideration before loosely giving life to words, especially in public. By taking corrective action we make a giant leap, reducing the evil that endures.

[1] The Power of Speech – Rabbi Mendel KessinTiferes Ramchal Institute - Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation