[Avodah] shechina image

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Fri Jun 21 10:49:33 PDT 2024

On Fri, Jun 14, 2024 at 06:35:32AM +0300, Joel Rich via Avodah wrote:
> The S"A O"C 98:1 says that in tfila one should think as if the shechina is
> opposite them. What mental images do you conjure up to accomplish this?

Since I don't visualize the shechinah, I can't answer this. But in my
attempts to say the bare minimum with kavvanah, I do use visualization
during the first words of Birkhas Avos.

Barukh -- I picture of beam of light coming down into me, becoming me.
Sometimes it's a flow, like water. As from a Bereikhah.

Atah -- while the other end of the flow is infinitely far off, I and the
Source are connected by it. (And so, I am visualizing the flow of Shefa
of existence, not G-d Himself.) And I can call the Creator "Atah", have
an I-Thou relationship, because of that connection.

Broaden that flow to be universal. I am not the only one His Shefa
reaches, it reaches - and gives existence -- to everything. While the
G-d of "Barukh" is infinitely far off, fully Transcendent, now that
He is embuing everything with existence, as per Sheim Havayah, He is
everywhere, dealing with all of exitence in all its detail. With the
One-on-one attention that Middas Rachamim requires.

But we, in order to be people, with Bechirah Chofshi, need room to do
things. Rachamim requires a universe that runs by rules; Din can at times
be the greater Chessed. (Ask any parent who had to let their child fall
on their bum, because to always hold them to save them means the child
won't learn to walk.) Hashem Elokeinu...

Our Avos internalized the Divine Plan. They didn't require the same level
of distance. Elokeinu is a different relationship than Elokei Avoseinu,
one in which miracles are possible. People for whom Laws of Morality
and Ethics are more absolute than those of nature.

And so on. But at this point, you notice the meditation has gotten quite
far from the initial vizualization piece.


Micha Berger                 I always give much away,
http://www.aishdas.org/asp   and so gather happiness instead of pleasure.
Author: Widen Your Tent              -  Rachel Levin Varnhagen
- https://amzn.to/2JRxnDF

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