By Ariel Ben Avraham Shalom, everyone. As we love ourselves enough to refine and enhance all levels of consciousness under God’s ways and attributes, goodness is the effect because goodness is the cause. In the full awareness of goodness as Love, there is no evil in how we relate to ourselves and to others. In the same way goodness encompasses all aspects of life individually, it also unites us collectively. More in the ninth commentary on the Messianic Consciousness in Jewish Prophecy…
The High Priest is summoned in the third chapter of the message delivered by Zechariah, because the High Priest represents the highest knowledge of our permanent connection with the Creator. If this knowledge is absent in our consciousness, we judge by what we fill in its place. In other words, as the Chassidic Sages teach, the levels of consciousness are empty vessels waiting to be filled. If we fill them with greed instead of solidarity, lust instead of generosity, or strife instead of harmony, they will manifest accordingly. Hence we must be very careful about what we put in our thoughts, emotions, feelings, passions and instincts. Our individual and collective Redemption begins when we keep them filled with God’s ways and attributes. The highest awareness of our permanent connection with God initiates this process.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My charge, and will also judge My house, and will also keep My courts; then I will give you free access among these that stand by.” (Zechariah 3:7)
God also reaffirms His Redemption by restoring the permanent awareness that we are always connected to Him. In this awareness all aspects and dimensions of consciousness are guided by God’s will. These are the house and the courts that His ways and attributes fill in. But first we have to remove ego’s fantasies and illusions from them. As we live in positive ways, we invite and manifest goodness in what we are, have and do. Love’s ways and attributes give us the freedom that precedes our total and final Redemption. The Messianic Consciousness is manifest through the total awareness of Love as our Essence and true identity. The High Priest represents the corner stone as the foundation that supports all facets of life, symbolized by the seven days of Creation. Once we integrate God’s ways in our ways, all that is negative disappears, and Love reigns as the encompassing and harmonizing ruler of our consciousness. We will experience this in each of one of us, and will be reflected in our surroundings.
“For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua [the High Priest of those times]; upon one stone are seven facets. Behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, says the Lord of hosts: And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, says the Lord of hosts, shall you all call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.” (3:9-10)
The seven facets mentioned by the Prophet also represent the basic human positive ideals and emotions as described in the Zohar. Loving kindness (1) as the integrating principle that generates power (2) to establish harmony [a harmonious order] (3) as the triumph (4) that prevails to honor (5) the foundation (6) in which all dimensions of life are ruled when the the kingship (7) of God is completely revealed in the material world. In this context Love’s qualities and attributes must reign to make the truth prevail in our judgments. These as the result of what is fair and just. Thus truth is the manifestation of Love, as also are mercy and compassion. Justice is what Love does by removing the negative trends in our consciousness such as oppression, indolence, indifference and cruelty.
“(…) ‘Thus has the Lord of hosts spoken, saying: Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassion every man to his brother. And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart.” (7:9-10)
Our negative judgments reflect negative thinking, emotions and feelings toward ourselves and others. Every man is an extension of our own consciousness, hence he is a brother. A widow and an orphan also represent something good in us that lost their completion or fulfillment, and require our attention and support to fulfill their needs. In the same way we care for our own widows and orphans in our consciousness, we must care for them in our midst. The same approach applies to the convert as the aspiration waiting to be realized and achieved, and to the poor as the weaknesses we must strengthen. We assist the convert to become a full part of our Nation and homeland, and we support and educate the poor to develop his potential in order to acquire the riches in his Jewish identity.
As we love ourselves enough to refine and enhance all levels of consciousness under God’s ways and attributes, goodness is the effect because goodness is the cause. In the full awareness of goodness as Love, there is no evil in how we relate to ourselves and to others. In the same way goodness encompasses all aspects of life individually, it also unites us collectively.
“And it came to pass that, as He called, and they would not hear; so they shall call, and I will not hear, said the Lord of hosts. And I will scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, so that no man passed through nor returned; for they laid the pleasant land desolate’.” (7:13-14)
The Prophet again warns us about the cause and effect of our separation from God’s ways. As we rather hear the voices of ego’s fantasies and illusions, we don’t hear God’s voice neither He hears ours. Ego’s illusions exile our consciousness and disperse our potential goodness under negative ways. Though God takes credit for our dispersion among the nations, we indeed prompted our exile. Our goodness doesn’t know envy, greed or wickedness as “nations” that oppress our Essence and true identity. These are the nations that desolate the goodness and pleasantness of life, which are also our land. God’s Love is greater than our Love. In His compassion God doesn’t forget His Covenant as the permanent bond with us.
“And the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great fury”. ‘Thus says the Lord: “I return unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem shall be called the City of the Truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, [shall be called] the sacred mountain”. (8:1-3)
The Torah and the Hebrew scriptures tell us that God’s jealousy is the way He shows the intensity of His Love. He also wants us to love Him with the intensity of an exclusive Love. A mutual great and fierce Love seals our permanent connection to Him, in a time and place called Zion/Jerusalem. This time and place is also the sacred truth we want to live in forever. The truth filled with broad places where youthful expressions of life manifest the total freedom of Love. In this awareness we are One with God.
“And the broad places of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the broad places thereof. Thus says the Lord of hosts: If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvelous in My eyes, says the Lord of hosts.” (8:5-6)
- Haifa, Southern Galilee, Israel
- Ariel Ben Avraham (f. Zapata) was born in Cartagena, Colombia in 1958. After studying Cultural Anthropology in Bogotá moved to Chicago in 1984 where he worked as a television writer, reporter and producer for 18 years. In the 1990’s he produced video documentaries related to art, music, history and culture such as “Latin American Trails: Guatemala” distributed by Facets.org. Most of his life he studied ancient spiritual traditions and mysticism of major religions, understanding the mystic experience as the individual means to connect with Divinity. Since 2004 he studies and writes about Jewish mysticism and spirituality mainly derived from the Chassidic tradition, and the practical philosophy of the teachings of Jewish mystic Sages. The book “God as Love” is the compilation of his last years studying and learning Jewish mysticism, and the messages of the book are part of the content, exercises and processes of a series of seminars, lectures and retreats that he facilitates in Israel.