Ariel Ben Avraham – JERUSALEM IN THE BOOK OF PSALMS (XV)
“O God, nations have come into Your inheritance, the altar of Your sacredness they have defiled, they have made Jerusalem for rubble.”
In the Jewish tradition, the “nations” represent negative traits and trends derived from an egocentric approach to live, what we frequently call “ego’s fantasies and illusions” that defile what is good in all, for goodness is the sacredness that dwells in us we call Jerusalem.
In contrast, Israel is the nation that represents the positive qualities in human consciousness destined to be guided by goodness forever.
King David laments the permanent fight among good and evil, for goodness is the natural, logical and obvious choice to live in its total freedom as the inheritance God created for all to enjoy eternally.
“Their blood [the righteous] they have shed like water around Jerusalem. There was no one to bury them.” (79:3)
The nations are denounced again as the persecutors and tormentors of the ethical values and principles that guide us to live in, with, by, and for goodness. The latter are the righteous leaders of the people that bear the responsibility of showing us the ways and attributes needed to make goodness lead all aspects and expressions of life.
We see that the righteous’ life force that is goodness is spilled by the nations that pursue the destruction of Jerusalem as the highest level of consciousness in which only goodness rules.
“Happy those who dwell in Your house, yet they praise You forever.” (84:4)
This is one of the most profound verses in the book of Psalms, yet its literal meaning reveals something quite obvious. If we live permanently with our Creator, we are destined to praise Him for this privilege.
The verse suggests that a happy heart is the precondition to approach God, for if we want to be, have or do something, we must begin to embrace it as part of us. Besides, we already know and anticipate that being with our Creator happens to be the most indescribable experience of all.
The verse may also indicate that those who dwell in the Temple of Jerusalem, the house of God, have been traditionally by divine decree the Levites who also guard it, and care for what the priests needed for their daily service.
Our Jewish tradition tells us that part of the Levites’ service in the Temple included singing praises to honor, exalt and celebrate God’s presence in His house.
We realize that living in goodness as God’s chosen dwelling in human consciousness is the cause and effect of total freedom, for in goodness we are completely free.
“They have gone from strength into strength, the Almighty God shall appear in Zion.” (84:7)
This verse relates to the journey we make to Jerusalem as the destination of hearts and souls seeking to bond with the eternal goodness of God’s love. We ascend to Zion by gaining the strength that adds to strength, that only goodness provides.
The more goodness we do, the better we become to manifest higher expressions of goodness the Creator will reveal when He appears to us in Zion as the eternal time and space where we bond with Him, as He has promised.
Ariel Ben Avraham
Kochav Yaakov, Safed, northern Galilee, IsraelAriel 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 20 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 the Creator of all. 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’s Love” is the compilation of many years studying and learning Jewish mysticism. The messages of his book are part of the content, exercises and processes of a series of seminars, lectures and retreats that he facilitates in Israel.