“when you pray, direct
your eyes toward the earth & your heart toward the heavens”
we learn this from Yevamot 105b, which goes on to explain that G’d’s Presence dwells everywhere, no less in the earthly realm than in the heavenly one. and this also reflects the position of tiferet in the sefirotic tree, for it is the central sefirah, the most interconnected one, receiving directly from every sefirah except malchut.
so it is eyes earthward for seeking out, perhaps, as the heart is not a hunter. though the Presence of G’d is everywhere, the hiddenness of G’d keeps the sense of exile alive. and the longing of the heart for reunification is a very important driver of tikkun olam. we repair the world for our own sake as well…..
tiferet in malchut is making harmony sovereign, giving compassion dominion over your life.
this year, in preparation for rosh chodesh sivan (which always corresponds with tiferet in malchut), the month of the giving of Torah, we had a broadly observable ring eclipse, in which the moon takes momentary primacy over the sun, creating a spectacular alignment light show in the heavens. but we also had interinclusion of the symbol of Shechinah/feminine/malchut in the moon in the symbol of haKodesh Baruch Hu/masculine/tiferet in the sun. even the temporary celelstial symbolism of this yichud (‘oneness’ or ‘unification’) gives us the beauty of tiferet all round.
“the earth is full of G’d’s glory”
time and space in harmony this year for our counting of the Omer. baruch haShem. and it is no accident that this statemen of glory comes in the line that is the essence of the kedushah prayer in our liturgy….all angels encircling the Divine Presence, each angel calling out to each other, with a bow casting eyes earthward, before lifting up eyes and all with “kadosh, kadosh, kadosh”. again and again and again.
tiferet in malchut….the realm of harmonious beauty all round.
mussar for tiferet she b’malchut
with another….bein adam l’chaveiro when we say the kedushah in prayer, all are equal, none of the differences of philosophy, approach, custom, even appearance that otherwise enter into everyday life matter a jot. all are as one, lifting on toes, uttering simply: “holy, holy, holy, G’d of hosts, full is the earth of Your Glory”. there are times when we accept each other without a thought. find more such.
with yourself….bein adam l’atzmo the moon is always lovely, the sun always brilliant….yet neither ever does a thing to beautify itself….it is simply there. do you comport yourself in a way that reflects harmony, balance and beauty? in a way that reflects the Divine Presence i nthe world as you walk in it? consider how you might be a better representative of the Way. start not with your clothing or your hair or your tie…start with doing justice and loving kindness…..the markers of blended tiferet…give them dominion in your realm.
kabbalah for tiferet she b’malchut
in assiyah….the world of doing/completion yesterday on the streets of chicago, while the NATO summit was going full on, protesters pushed and police shoved. balance was begun to be struck. by late in the day, reports of protesters accepting and police accepting compromise positions reached the world press. we even heard stories about the protesters and police joking together and sort of hanging out. if these strongly opposing sides can strike up even fleeting moments of harmony, what holds the rest of us back in our relationships with family, with friends, with neighbors…..with strangers? contemplate how you can remain open to harmony even in oppositional situations.
in yetzirah….the world of feeling/formation our emotions are key in being open to balance and harmony. most of us are not yet masters of equanimity, not yet calm regardless of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. meditate on how the love expressed in the Shechinah, the Divine Presence in malchut, can flow into the other emotions in your toolset. can you make compassion for all formative today?
in b’riyah….the world of thought/creation balance and harmony of spirit should extend not only to other humans, but to all of Creation. but working to retain/restore the environment, or to achieve world peace, or to stop needless war will take more than emotional change. it requires careful thought, examination and observation, planning and mobilization on a very large scale. this is an intellectual exercise as well. consider what specific steps you will next take to bring harmonious, compassionate, beautiful interactions to the larger world.
in atzilut….the world of nearness to G’d/intuition we recognise beauty in the celestial mechanics of the moon and sun. why? for the religious, such moments are of apprehension of the Divine Presence. meditate on how we can be of fully present of mind in such moments, not only to exist in them, but to remember the contextualizing blessings that are part of the response of our tradition. it is the blessing that brings the single moment into the following ordinary time.
kinyan 45 of 48 ways to acquire Torah
Lomed al M’nat Laasot….Learning in Order to Practice. the more we learn, the more we know. and to know, know, know G’d is to love, love, love G’d. among the most potent ways to know G’d is to study Torah tirelessly and to put into practice what we learn….that is, to live Torah is to love G’d….consider Psalm 50:
“You spoke….out of Zion, beauty’s perfection…You shone forth…arriving, breaking the silence. a fire before You with a cloud….calling
out of the heavens above and the earth below
for proving Your People….”