Tag Archive for ‘Omer’

Malchut: Levinas on Response-ability

Malchut. Literally: kingdom, reign, royalty. Kabbalistically: seat of God’s throne where heaven and earth meet, cosmic cervix that births the world, divine maternal presence, feminine receptivity both reproductive and interpersonal. More familiarly: Shechinah, an indwelling presence; a loving face of God that accompanies and receives you wherever you go. Do you let Shechinah receive you? Do you see her reflected in faces around you? Are you willing to receive from […]

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Yesod: Cohen on Peace

Sixth week of the Omer count: An opportunity to reflect on Yesod: Foundation In today’s “postmodern” intellectual climate, philosophers like to discuss foundationalism. Human consciousness is diverse. We wander between sensing, reasoning, feeling, imagining, and dreaming. These interweave to form human knowledge and experience. If the weave becomes complex and confusing, foundationalists have the solution: look to the most foundational state of consciousness. Some say that’s reason, some sensation, others […]

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Hod: Two Philosophers, Two Qualities

“To you God, belongs greatness, strength (gevurah), beauty (tiferet), eternity (netzach) and splendour (hod), because…well, everything in heaven and on earth!” So says King David on the day he commissions his son Solomon to build the Temple in Jerusalem (I Chronicles 29:11). These words echo through the names of the sefirot. Synagogue-goers chant them before reading from the Torah scroll. And they inspired several Jewish philosophers to reflect on how […]

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Netzach: Ibn Gabirol on Eternity

Netzach: I translate it as “endurance” and as “eternity.” “Eternity” fits when I imagine the sefirot as qualities of the Divine Itself. Each quality comes forward in turn, dominating the energy of a season or an era. At times, God is Love, or Judgement, or Beauty. God is also Eternity: a stable constant, no matter how quickly life seems to change. “Endurance” fits when I confront the sefirot as energies […]

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Tiferet: Plotinus on Beauty

Beauty: I see it in flaming sunsets, soaring raptors, astonishing works of art. I want those experiences to last forever; they seem to activate a special quality of life. Roman philosopher Plotinus calls it the essence of beauty. But where, he wonders, does the essence really live? Are the objects themselves beautiful? If so, what is the beauty they have? Thinking of beautiful human faces and beautiful sculptures, some answer: symmetry. But according to that […]

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