Category: Torah

The Text(s), the tribe, the learning, the being. (With a bit of random spirituality mixed in.)

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…

Right (of) Passage

ONE QUESTION THAT OFTEN COMES up during Torah study, especially the portions that concern the seemingly over-described sacrifices and Tabernacle (portable wilderness G?d-tent) and its holy furniture, is, “Does G?d really care about all these details?” One answer: “Who knows?…

To gain a yirah[awe]-inducing glimpse of the transcendent, you must sharpen your inner awareness to perceive divine Oneness wherever you look. You can practice shifting your inner vision to apprehend the scintillating divine presence in an apple, a table, a car, a baby’s eyes, anywhere in this world. When you make that choice and adjust your perception in this way, you have placed HaShem [that-which-some-people-call-G?d] before you, and yirah is sure to overtake your heart as if the floor beneath you had suddenly fallen away.”
–From the monthly YASHAR newsletter)

Grudge Match

THE GOLDEN RULE OF INTERFAITH colloquy: Don’t Confuse The Levels. A few years ago, a “JewBu” (Jewish Buddhist) friend of mine told me a story that he felt illustrated the superiority of Buddhism over Judaism, or at least the limitations…

Lord, I’m walking Your way. Let me in, for my feet are sore, my clothes ragged. Look in my eyes, Lord, and my sins will play out on them as on a screen. Read them all. Forgive what You can, and send me on my path. I will walk on, until You bid me rest.”
Shepherd Book

365 Names: “The Presence”

THE PRESENCE is a more experiential-than-otherwise Divine descriptor. It attempts to portray the ineffable (nameless/wordless) quality of that-which-some-people-call-God, or what Freud’s friend Romain Rolland termed the “oceanic feeling” of being One with the Universe. It has the advantage of being…

Your spiritual practice will give you many gifts, but don’t expect it to relieve you of your human nature.”
–Alan Morinis

Endurance Test

IT HAS BEEN SAID BEFORE. And sadly, it will no doubt be said again. But I feel the need to say it anyway: A friend of mine told me the other day that, after Poway, she’ll be afraid when I…