Accepting Suffering With Love?abracad, · Categories: externally authored, religion, spirituality
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).
Niánn Emerson Chase
Throughout the years during the holidays, issues have arisen over how to express the nature of this special season of celebration for many people from diverse cultures. In the United States there has been an ongoing conflict between the conservative Christians (whose agenda is to keep the holidays “Christian”) and the more inclusive Christians and non-Christian religionists (who desire to include other faiths in the celebration of the season). The nonreligious groups, who want to also celebrate the holidays, have advocated for keeping all signs of Christianity or any other religion out of public displays and expression of the season.
This year in particular these issues seem petty when considering that there is an uncertain future for all of humankind due to what scientists refer to as “the Sixth Extinction,” which is occurring with rapidity in our natural world (much of it caused by humans). Many nations, including the U.S., are facing increased political and social turmoil as the financial and other institutions that our lives have been built upon shake with instability. And to top it off, there is an increasing awareness worldwide of something happening in our solar system that could change all of reality on this planet, and very very soon.
So in these times of increased unrest and uncertainty, rather than devolving into our “lizard legacy” of fight or flight and the old status-quo ways of withdrawing into our tribalistic and nationalistic behaviors (that are based on fear and misunderstanding), we humans must draw upon our higher-minds and move into our kinder-hearted natures to meet our future with intelligence, wisdom, and a sense of planetary citizenship and stewardship of the network of ecosystems on our world.
By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
It takes a village to raise a child.
Let us continue with our discussion on how to make a better world.* The premise offered is that a better world is created by creating better people; better people are created, in part, by adding the missing ingredient: conscious spiritual awareness. As this traditional African proverb states: in order to raise a child, a healthy functioning child within their social system, a variety of people and experiences are required. These factors must come together with what is already present in the child; and as these ingredients are added and digested over a period of years, gradually, the child matures into a complete, rounded individual. This unique person is an essential part of the village; bringing individual skills and abilities making their village/world a better place. (more…)
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…)
Niánn Emerson Chase
God is not just a "First Source" or "Spirit" or "the Universe" or "the Creator" or "Light." God is all of those and so much more, including a “Trinity,” a “Father,” a “Mother,” and a “Son.” However, in this writing I will focus on the “Father” aspect of God.
In the Fifth Epochal Revelation (The URANTIA Book) the first five papers are focused on explaining God, and Paper 1 is titled "The Universal Father," establishing immediately the primal nature of God as a Person and a Parent. It is stated in that paper:
The eternal God is infinitely more than reality idealized or the universe personalized. God is not simply the supreme desire of man, the mortal quest objectified. Neither is God merely a concept, the power-potential of righteousness. The Universal Father is not a synonym for nature, neither is he natural law personified. God is a transcendent reality, not merely man's traditional concept of supreme values. God is not a psychological focalization of spiritual meanings, neither is he “the noblest work of man.” God may be any or all of these concepts in the minds of men [and women], but he is more. He is a saving person and a loving Father to all who enjoy spiritual peace on earth, and who crave to experience personality survival in death. (The URANTIA Book, Paper 1, Section 2, Paragraph 2) (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 Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
Nasrudin was now an old man looking back on his life. He sat with his friends in the tea shop telling his story.
“When I was young I was firey-I wanted to awaken everyone. I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change the world.
In mid-life I awoke one day and realized my life was half over and I had changed no one so I prayed to Allah to give me the strength to change those around me who so much needed it.
Alas, now I am old and my prayer is simpler. ‘Allah,’ I ask, ‘please give me the strength to at least change myself.” [Posted on Facebook, by Eric Twose, The Caravanserai Page, 7/1/16, 9:51 am.]
According to Sufi tradition, man/woman is the meeting point between heaven and earth and is created with a spiritual destiny. Within each person there is the capacity to create, make decisions and destroy. These aspects or abilities reflect Higher attributes and man/woman’s birth right is to rule a vast, personal spiritual kingdom. (more…)
By Harold Witkov
When I hear the words, “Royal Family,” I do not think of Prince William, Kate, and young Prince George, and I do not envision the Romanovs of Russia either. When I hear the words, “Royal Family,” I picture myself as a young man in my early twenties, more than forty years ago, sitting on a couch and reading from a book in my living room.
The book I was reading was written by a mystic by the name of Charles Webster Leadbeater. Back in the early to mid 1970’s, I was a passionate reader of C.W. Leadbeater spiritual texts. And when I read them, I was often moved, focused, and very receptive. That certainly was the case that day on the couch when I came upon the following: (more…)
Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
If you could get rid
Of yourself just once,
The secret of secrets
Would open to you.
The face of the unknown,
Hidden beyond the universe
Would appear on the
Mirror of your perception.
Each spiritual traveler is born into a world of expectation. Daily, behavior and societal standards are presented by family, friends, co-workers, country, religion and self. (more…)