One of the most important concepts of the religion of ancient Israel, and in today’s Jewish Kabbalah, is the concept of the Shekhinah (שְׁכִינָה), the Presence of God. After God gave the Torah to Moses and Israel made a covenant with God, God’s Shekhinah, his presence-glory, started to inhabit the Ark of the Covenant in the tabernacle. The Ark would come with Israel to battle, it would be the center of all worship festivals and rituals (the biggest community events), and it was the most sacred, cherished and protected thing in all of Israel. When enemies stole it, it was like complete darkness and defeat covered the land, a sense of abandonment by God, whose Presence has departed.
The Presence of God was what assured Israel of their importance, identity, and strength… Its departures and returns from the land marked the light and dark points in their history. What was the main reason why the Presence departed from Israel? The people becoming proud, ignoring the poor and the widow, and ignoring the afflicted. It was apathy, and greed for power and riches. In simple words, when love was absent, Love departed. Continue reading On Loneliness and Incarnation
“To think the way you think, you must be either dumb or dishonest — not to say evil.”
I grew up in a conservative evangelical circle. Evangelicals, by definition, are out there to spread the evangelion, the gospel, the good news about Jesus. That means that normally, we want to be the ones talking, not listening: we’re messengers, preachers. That also means that a lot of people hate us because we never listen to them. Those people are right.
It’s a sort of natural patronizing attitude we have: we’re walking around saying we have a personal relationship with the guy who claimed to be Truth incarnate, so, clearly, everyone should listen to us, right? We don’t even realize that there are a bunch of other Christians who claim to have that relationship with the same Truth-man and yet we all disagree on a bunch of things. Something is wrong. Continue reading Two Ears And Only One Mouth
What is this thing that builds our dreams / Yet slips away from us / Who wants to live forever? / Who wants to live forever? / There’s no chance for us / It’s all decided for us / This world has only one sweet moment set aside for us.
Who wants to live forever? / Who dares to love forever, when love must die?
If you know good rock music, then you know Freddie Mercury and his band, Queen. The other day I was listening to their album Live at Wembley ’86, where they performed the song Who Wants To Live Forever (listen to it here). Amazing song, amazing lyrics. Right after, they perform I Want To Break Free (here), and I can’t be sure if they put some deep thought in the order of the songs or not, but these two in sequence surely brought a strong meaning to the performance. It made me think a lot, and this post here is me trying to digest those thoughts. It was so beautifully… human. I guess that is what art is about, right?
I never met Freddie, and all I know of him is from his music, and yet I have the feeling that I know him better than many people I have small talk with everyday. To me that is what makes a great artist: when you can see his soul through his art. Transparency. Continue reading Who Wants To Live Forever?