365 Names: “Shekhina”

THE SHEKHINA, or “Presence (of G?d),” comes from the Hebrew root meaning “to dwell” (it’s the same root as “mishkan,” the portable desert G?d-tent AKA “Tabernacle”). There’s a seamless distinction between the Presence of G?d and G?d Itself. Tradition teaches that G?d is everywhere/when — but that doesn’t mean we always feel that. Shekhina is that closeness. With attention and practice, G?d’s Presence can be easier to experience in some places and times than others (e.g., the Western Wall, a maternity ward, or an observatory for the former; for the latter, Shabbat and other holy days, solar or lunar eclipses). The word “Shekhina” is of the feminine Hebrew gender, leading some to posit It as G?d’s female consort or aspect — as difficult a concept for non-dualists as the oft-misunderstood sefirot of the Qabala. Fortunately, the Tradition is big enough to embrace all (or at least many) sorts of viewpoints.

Once upon a time, The Metaphorager aspired to feature a different name each day for that-which-some-people-call-God. Some of these were creative, others traditional, and each was unique — so we’re going to attempt that project again (though not every day) until we run out of the many names we’ve so far managed to collect. If you want to see your favorite here, but haven’t, send it along with the subject line “365 Names” and let us know whether or not you want to be credited.

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