Ariel Ben Avraham – JERUSALEM IN THE BOOK OF PSALMS (XVI)
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand. I have chosen rather to be at the threshold in the house of my God, than to dwell in tents of wickedness.”
In this verse we learn again that Jerusalem is the highest state of consciousness where we fully experience goodness as the common bond with our Creator. It is the time and place where we want to live forever, for if we are in God’s presence; what can we lack, miss or yearn for?
Even standing in the proximity of goodness is better than living out in the open of the negative traits and trends of ego’s fantasies and illusions that make life meaningless.
Wickedness is the outcome of our weaknesses to reject the unnecessary beliefs and feelings of lack that pretend to undermine goodness as something incomplete, insufficient, deficient, and lacking that leads to failure. These are precisely the traits and trends of anything opposed to goodness, for it encompasses plenitude.
The ethical ways, means and attributes inherent in goodness are the courtyards of God’s will for His creation, the tents that give meaning to life in contrast to the tents of lower emotions, feelings, passions and instincts that trample the dignity of life, which is goodness.
“His [God’s] foundation is in sacred mountains. God loves the gates of Zion from all the dwellings of Jacob.” (87:1-2)
As we have mentioned, in the Jewish tradition, “mountains”, “hills” and “high places” represent the highest values, principles and beliefs, by which we conduct our lives in this world. Hence we understand that God’s ways and attributes as presented in the Hebrew Bible are symbolized by sacred mountains.
In this sense, Zion is known as “the mountain of the mountains” as the Prophets remind us (Isaiah 2:2, Micah 4:1), from where God directs His creation. Hence we understand His preference of goodness as His ethical ruling principle that leads the positive aspects, dimensions and expressions of life as Jacob’s dwellings.
- Ariel Ben Avraham
- Kochav Yaakov, Safed, northern 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 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.