Thursday, April 17, 2014

To Heal the World

Matzah is the Bread of Healing.

                                                 --Zohar II:183B

What is it that needs to be healed?

Like lovers’ quarrels are the dissonances of the world. Reconciliation is there even in the midst of strife and all things that are parted find one another again. 

                                                            --Holderlin, Hyperion

But with the world so terribly chaotic, so utterly permeated with all the vicissitudes of life, how, indeed, can there be assurance that a congruous harmony will eventually emerge?

And what is it about the matza that hastens that promise of recovery?

The Shechinah (the indwelling, immanent Presence of God in the world) is suffering in the exile.                                                        --Zohar

Metaphorically speaking, (the Zohar is saying that the Shechinah's state) is like a bodily ailment. The cause of illness or health lies in the extension and flow of the life-force vested in the blood of life which flows from the heart to all the limbs; and turning round and around, goes the spirit of life and the blood into all the limbs, through the veins that are absorbed in them, and returns to the heart. Now, when the circulation and flow of this spirit of life is always as it should be, in its proper order arranged for it by the blessed Fountainhead of life, man is perfectly healthy. For all the limbs are bound together and receive their proper vitality from the heart through this circulation. But if there is any disorder in any place, restraining, hindering or reducing the circulation of the blood with the spirit of life vested in it, then this bond [which binds all the limbs to the heart through this circulation] is broken or diminished, man will fall ill and sick, may the Lord have mercy.

Precisely so, metaphorically speaking...the Shechinah is called the "heart," as it is written: "The Rock of my heart;" (Psalm 73:26) and as it is written: "And I will dwell amongst them." (Exodus 25:8) That is, the term Shechinah denotes the light of the Lord that dwells in the order to vivify them....and the souls are referred to as "limbs." When all the souls are attached and bound together, the circulation and flow of the vivification and of the effluence "turns around and around," and "their culmination is wedged in their beginning" to bind and join them all to "the Lord (who) is One," to be attached unto Him, blessed be He... 

And hereby will be understood the saying of our sages, of blessed memory, that the destruction of the Second Temple and the fall into exile, and the withdrawal of the Shechinah and its descent into a state of exile, as it were; all this was because of the sin of groundless hate and a division of hearts, the Merciful save us. And that is why (the Shechinah) is referred to as ailing, metaphorically speaking...

                                        --Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, Tanya 

The fundamental concepts with which Spinoza sets forth a vision of Being, illuminated by his awareness of God...may seem strange at first sight. To the question "What is?" he replies: "Substance, its attributes, and modes".

                                                               --Karl Jaspers

When you pray, have in mind to arouse the letters with which were created heaven and earth, all creatures above and below, and all universes. If you do this, then all the universes and all creation will join you in your worship.
When you do this, you arouse these letters, which are the life-force of all creation, and they join your prayers. Thus your thoughts can elevate all creation, and earth alike...
The Baal Shem Tov once told his disciples, “You must even pray for a bird that might be flying by and singing.”

                                                   --Rabbi Zechariah of Jaroslaw, Darkei Tzedek

Bread is the sustenance, the life-force of man. Matza, whose dough is thrown into the fiery oven before given a chance to rise, is the Bread of Healing: it is internalizing the realization that all reality is forever within "the Lord your God, an all-consuming fire" (Deuteronomy 4) and therefore not "rising" to an illusory feeling of independence from His Infinite Light.

That is why on Passover we read the Song of Songs. 

"Like lovers’ quarrels are the dissonances of the world. Reconciliation is there even in the midst of strife and all things that are parted find one another again." 

We fall in love with Him all over again. And get healed.

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