On Loneliness and Incarnation

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

Mad Priests, Temples, and Sexuality.

I am really into history, and into knowing ancient cultures. When I visit a new country or city, I want to see the history and values of that place. The best place to get a feel for that is the city’s biggest temple. Majestic displays of architecture and the best each culture had to offer in matters of art, few things express as much about a people as their places of worship.

I imagine the music, art, dances, massive numbers of people and animals in ritual, smells, colors and sound, the spiritual and cultural ethos that wrapped the whole atmosphere there. The architecture, the way the sunlight goes in, the position of the temple in the city, all have a purpose. Often the temple would have the most treasure in the city, and would surpass even a monarch’s palace in wonder. The question, maybe, is: what for? What did the glory of the temples stand for? The answer: for the gods. Temples are orderly, solemn, majestic, wondrous, because they are done to please the gods, not mere men. Continue reading Mad Priests, Temples, and Sexuality.