A Remarkable Book For Muslims And Jewsabracad, · Categories: books, externally authored, religion, reviews
By Niánn Emerson Chase
As a child brought up in a Christian home where prayer was an ongoing conversation with a loving and personal God, and regular church attendance included a variety of sects—from conservative Baptist to more liberal Methodist services, from simple Mormon meetings to ornate Catholic masses—I have always understood God to have many faces and facets. Not only was God present in various Christian-oriented churches, I experienced His presence in the Native American ceremonies in which I took part. (I grew up on four different Native American reservations in Arizona and returned to the San Carlos Apache Reservation to live and teach for many years after graduating from college.) I knew God was present with me, and within me, at all times, whether I was surrounded by loving family and friends or roaming the desert mesas in solitude, seeing divine pattern in the natural world that seemed so much a part of me. I communed with God who I experienced as my First Father, and I saw a reflection of my First Father in my biological human father who also walked with God and practiced what he felt was Godly living. (more…)
By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
Let your heart be in such a state that the existence or nonexistence of anything is the same. Then sit alone in a quiet place, free of any preoccupation, even the reciting of the Koran or thinking about its meaning. Let nothing besides God enter you. Once you are seated in this manner, say, “Allah, Allah,” keeping your thought on these words.
Traveler: Speak to me of the great religions, and why each states their Path is the only Way. In the past religious difference has led to wars, killing and fighting. Why is this?
Master: On an inner level your religion is One Religion. Each religion is an aspect of the Divine. Just as clear light filters through a prism, changing, twisting to fit the demands of time and space; the colors of the prism are beautiful and varied; yet on inner level the light is without color. (more…)
Rabbi Allen S Maller
The Qur’an is the only book of revelation that includes within itself a theory of prophethood which includes other religions. There have always been (since the days of Adam) people inspired by Allah who urged their society to avoid destruction by turning away from its corrupt and unjust ways and turning to the One God who created all humans. The Qur’an mentions 25 prophets by name (most of them known to non-Muslims too) and Muslims believe there were one hundred twenty four thousand others, whose names are now unknown.
Of the 25 mentioned by name in the Qur’an only five revealed books of sacred scripture, and only Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad revealed books of sacred scripture that are the bases for three religions that still flourish today. (more…)
By Rabbi Allen S. Maller
Human society changed more rapidly, violently and fundamentally in the last century of the second millennium than ever before in history. Doctors saved the lives of millions. Dictators sacrificed the lives of millions. Populations exploded and birthrates declined. Technology produced both worldwide prosperity and pollution at the same time.
Knowing all this, should we look upon the first century of the third millennium with optimistic hope or with fatalistic trepidation? Are the world and our society heading towards a wonder-filled new age, or toward a doomsday; or are both occurring concurrently because breakdown is always a prelude to breakthrough? (more…)
Rabbi Allen S. Maller
Most Jews know that according to Jewish tradition sexual activities between a husband and wife are a Mitsvah (a spiritual exercise and a religious commitment). Many Jews know that lovemaking on Shabbat is a double Mitsvah.
Some Jews know that the Kabbalah (the Jewish mystical tradition) teaches that the Shekinah (the feminine presence of God) rests on a Jewish man when he makes love to his Jewish wife on Shabbat. Non Orthodox Rabbis have expanded all these principles to apply to any loving couple, especially those who realize that they are part of new age community.
I will continue to use the traditional gender terms so that the radical teachings in the Jewish mystical tradition about sexuality remain evident.
Actually the Shekeenah can rest on a man whenever he makes love to his wife with a sense of reverence, tenderness, adoration and love. The Shabbat adds holiness and chosenness to their feelings.
The key attitude is the sense that his wife is God’s gift, the source of his blessings, and the most wonderful manifestation of God’s presence.
But very few Jews know that if in addition to this attitude, he also makes love to his wife intentionally desiring to imagine a spiritual unification within the heavenly realm as he unifies the earthly one, he and his wife enact a great Tikun- a spiritual mending or uplifting.
This Tikun is woven together with similar Tikunim from other married couples into a crown for the Divine One who also unites with His Shekeenah on Shabbat and Yom Tov. Just as the prayers proclaimed in each Synagogue are all woven together into a crown for the Holy One of Israel, so too are the holy unifications of each couple married under a Hupah (marriage canopy) woven into a crown.
In the past the esoteric details of how to elevate their lovemaking into a Tikun were transmitted orally and very discretely from mother to daughter. These details were based on the seventh chapter of the Song of Songs, a Biblical book that Rabbi Akiba proclaimed the holiest song in the entire Scriptures.
A wife who desires to enable her husband to fulfill the Mitsvah of Tikun coupling should direct him to begin by kissing and creaming her feet (Song of Songs 7:2). Then she should direct him to slowly and reverently work his way up to her crowning flowing hair that entangles a King/God, (7:6) thus allowing him to climb the palm tree (7:9) and perform the unification below which is woven into the unification above. Over the years the spiritual uplift of this Tikun becomes greater and greater.
Even fewer Jews know that the holy Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria, developed several Tikunim to enable spiritually aware Jewish couples to use their imagination to repair fractured hopes and intentions in those around them, to elevate broken spirits both near and far, and to re-energize efforts to make life holy. All of this through a couple's own lovemaking at night.
These Tikunim are among those referred to as Tikunay Hatzot-mid night spiritual exercises. Every wife partakes of some aspects of Leah and some aspects of Rachel (the two wives of Jacob/Israel).
Like Leah, every woman is potentially very fruitful, both emotionally and physically. Like Rachel, every woman is potentially spellbinding and enthralling.
When her husband regards his wife as a gift from God and loves her totally, faithfully and submissively, his lovemaking and partnership being more to give her pleasure than for his own pleasure, he realizes and actualizes her blessings and God's blessings.
This is especially important when duress makes her weep openly or inside, All forms of Tikun Hatzot stress this.
Sexual activity prior to midnight increases the aspect of Leah. Sexual activity after midnight, and in the pre-dawn or early morning hours increases the aspect of Rachel. Sexual intercourse with Leah, better known in Lurianic Kabbalah as the face of Imma, the great mother Goddess, helps to reduce negative actions and situations in family and personal affairs.
Sexual intercourse during the second part of the night is with Rachel who ascends in the morning as Matronita, the ruling presence of Shekinah. Elevating Matronita helps avoid the worst case public scenarios we fear, and helps increases the number of small but important contributions to the improvement of Jewish and world society. One who regards his wife as a gift from God will pray in her intimate presence.
These Tikunim should be done every Shabbat and if desired once or twice during weekdays. They are not magic, nor are they imaginary, but if faithfully imagined they always have a positive impact over time.
A Hassidic mystic, Rabbi Nathan Hanover, adds, “After you perform Tikun Hatzot, prepare yourself and unify the Holy One with Shekinah by making your body, each and every limb, a chariot for Shekinah.”-Thus sexual activity should end with the wife above, feeling she is Shekinah-the ruling Matronita blessing her husband by raising to heaven, with her husband below feeling that he serves as a mystical Merkavah-chariot (as did the Holy Temple in Jerusalem) elevating her to the heavens.
This helps actualize the images in their thoughts and desires and promotes remedies, rectifications, and blessings for those around them and throughout the world.
All the above flows from the basic theology of Jewish marriage under a Hupah-canopy. Kiddushin-holy matrimony for Jews, is a reenactment by two individuals of the holy covenant first entered into by God and Israel at Sinai, when God and Israel first chose each other. God chose Israel saying, “You shall be a special treasure for me,,, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:4-5). The Jewish people chose God by answering, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8).
Torah is the Ketubah-marriage contract, between two covenanted partners. Mitsvot are their daily loving interactions. Torah Study and worship are the pillow talk between God and Israel. Tikunim- Kabbalistic mystical exercises, imaged meditations and sexuality are the intimacies of married life.
The blessings of holy marriage extend far beyond the happy couple. As the seventh of the seven marital blessings says, they bring joy and happiness to the bride and groom and also to the cities of Israel and the streets of Jerusalem (a redemptive Messianic reference).
Niann Emerson Chase
Often I dance with abandon and joy when at a live performance, especially if the music has a beat that just will not allow you to be still, which includes many genres of music from many cultures—traditional and new. During those times of abandonment to joy, I feel such love for the musicians as well for those who are also dancing and swaying to the music. Even more, I feel love for life and for my First Lover, my First Beloved—God, the First Source and Center, the Infinite Creator and Upholder, the Universal Father. (more…)
by Gabriel of Urantia
From the beginning of the Lucifer Rebellion around 200,000 years ago, humans—as well as nonhuman mortals and various celestial orders in the system of Satania—have had to make the decision between following God’s ways or rebelling against them, and this has been the way on our fallen world since then.[i] The Old and New Testaments of the Bible refer to families at war among each other that involve conflicts between those who are more Godly and those who choose more evil ways. (more…)
by Rabbi Allen S. Maller
A growing body of medical evidence indicates that people who are optimistic and trusting, have stronger immune systems and recover more rapidly and fully from major trauma, than those who are skeptical and distrustful. Painful experiences are natural and normal. They usually leave us with an unconscious fear that they will reoccur. This anxiety weakens our resolve to recover when we face new traumas. Even worse, we hesitate to live and love as fully as we should, so that we suffer loss even if nothing bad ever reoccurs.
Religious insights that derive from powerful spiritual experiences can help us overcome these anxieties by directing our attention to new and different ways of seeing things. People who change their perspective and become more hopeful prior to negative situations may even avoid experiencing them. (more…)