Archive for 2019

The Unity of Above and Below

Sunday, July 7th, 2019

In honor of our teacher, R. Zalman Schachter-Shalom, ztz’l, on the occasion of his fifth Yahrzeit which begins at sunset tonight, 5 Tammuz, July 7, 2019, I offer this translation of Tikkunei Zohar 132a. May the memory of R. Zalman forever be a blessing! Gabbai Seth Fishman (Original text may be found clicking here)

My son: A merit for the one who does these commandments, commandments that depend on these organs, a merit comes to whoever enacts the unification of the blessed Holy One with His Shekhinah in this world. Then, the blessed Holy One couples with Her, with His Consort, in that world. And whoever comes near to bring an offering for Him [and] for His Shekhinah, the blessed Holy One comes near to Her, to His Consort. And whoever makes for Him a sanctuary, as scripture states, (Exodus 25:8) “And they shall make Me a sanctuary,” the blessed Holy One makes for him in that world a house to dwell (for him) there which is the holy of holies. And whoever makes Him a Sukkah, the blessed Holy One forms shade over him in that world, and protects him from all destructive angels when emerging from this world and going to that world. Whoever blesses the blessed Holy One, and sanctifies him in his prayer in this world, the blessed Holy One blesses him in that world, and sanctifies him. And no sanctifications if less than ten. And similarly, thus, the blessed Holy One makes for him ten wedding canopies in Gan Eden.

Entire text below:

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Wrappings for God

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Reb Zalman, a’h was asked: “When you come before God. I wonder, what is that ‘God’ to you? Who is this that you come before? And what is that like?”

Here’s his reply:

Ok. It’s such a good question!

And I want to say that at another time I was describing how William James, the great psychologist who wrote about varieties of religious experience, one day made his way and came to a town in New England and, he asked one of the wardens of the church, “Who is God for you? What do you place yourself in front of?”

He answered: “An oblong blur.”

Now he was talking to a New England transcendentalist who was very much afraid to say anything of shape because that’s a “no-no.”

The mistake is that the head has to know there’s no shape. But the heart has to have a root-metaphor.

I can be in a monistic place in my head but I can’t be in a monistic place in my heart. In my heart I have to have the other whom I love. That’s where I’m in the I/Thou relationship.

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