Κυριακή, 28 Αυγούστου 2011

The Shekhinah



anselm-kiefer-at-gagosian




Shekhinah (alternative transliterations Shekinah, Shechinah, Shekina, Shechina, Schechinah, שכינה) is the English spelling of a grammatically feminine Hebrew language word that means the dwelling or settling, and is used to denote the dwelling or settling presence of God (cf. divine presence), especially in the Temple in Jerusalem.


The Shekhinah is held by some to represent the feminine attributes of the presence of God (shekhinah being a feminine word in Hebrew), based especially on readings of the Talmud.


Where manifest


The Shekhinah is referred to as manifest in the Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem throughout Rabbinic literature. It is also reported as being present in the acts of public prayer, ("Whenever ten are gathered for prayer, there the Shekhinah rests" Talmud Sanhedrin 39a); righteous judgment ("when three sit as judges, the Shekhinah is with them." Talmud Berachot 6a), and personal need ("The Shekhinah dwells over the headside of the sick man's bed" Talmud Shabbat 12b; "Wheresoever they were exiled, the Shekhinah went with them." Megillah 29a).


The Talmud reports that the Shekhinah is what caused prophets to prophesy and King David to compose his Psalms.


………….. The Talmud also reports that "The Shekhinah does not rest amidst laziness, nor amidst laughter, nor amidst lightheadedness, nor amidst idle conversation. Rather, it is amidst the joy associated with a mitzvah that the Shekhinah comes to rest upon people, as it is said: 'And now, bring me for a musician, and it happened that when the music played, God's hand rested upon him' [Elisha] [2 Kings 3:15]" (Pesachim 117a).


Thus the Shekhinah is associated with the transformational spirit of God regarded as the source of prophecy:


………………………………………………….


The Shekhinah as the Sabbath Bride


A paragraph in the Zohar starts: "One must prepare a comfortable seat with several cushions and embroidered covers, from all that is found in the house, like one who prepares a canopy for a bride. For the Shabbat is a queen and a bride. This is why the masters of the Mishna used to go out on the eve of Shabbat to receive her on the road, and used to say: 'Come, O bride, come, O bride!' And one must sing and rejoice at the table in her honor ... one must receive the Lady with many lighted candles, many enjoyments, beautiful clothes, and a house embellished with many fine appointments ..."


The tradition of the Shekhinah as the Shabbat Bride, the Shabbat Hamalka, continues to this day.


The Shekhinah in Christianity


In addition to the various accounts indicating the presence or glory of God recorded in the Hebrew Bible, many Christians also consider the Shekhinah to be manifest in numerous instances in the New Testament.


The public domain Easton's Bible Dictionary, published in 1897, says,


Shechinah – a Chaldee word meaning resting-place, not found in Scripture, but used by the later Jews to designate the visible symbol of God's presence in the Tabernacle, and afterwards in Solomon's temple…..


…..References to the Shekhinah in Christianity often see the presence and the glory of the Lord as being synonymous,[5] as illustrated in the following verse from Exodus;


And Moses went up into the mount, and the cloud covered the mount. And the glory of Jehovah abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud….


The Spirit of the Lord


The Shekhinah in the New Testament is commonly equated to the presence or indwelling of the Spirit of the Lord (generally referred to as the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of Christ) in the believer, drawing parallels to the presence of God in Solomon's Temple……


For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21 ASV)


The Shekhinah in Islam


The word سكينة (Sakinah) is mentioned six times in Quran. It stands for peace, reassurance, calmness, and tranquillity.


Comparative Religion


The Qur'an mentions the Sakina, or Tranquility, referring to God's blessing of solace and succour upon both the Children of Israel and Muhammad. Interestingly, Sakina, or Sakina bint Husayn, was also the name of the youngest female child of Husayn ibn Ali, ostensibly the first girl in recorded history to be given the name.


"Shekhinah", often in plural, is also present in some gnostic writings written in Aramaic, such as the writings of the Manichaeans and the Mandaeans, as well as others. In these writings, shekhinas are described as hidden aspects of God, somewhat resembling the Amahrāspandan of the Zoroastrians.



A Prayer to the Shekhinah  Alicia Ostriker

"For I will turn their mourning into joy,
and I will comfort them,and make them rejoice from their sorrow."
Jeremiah 31:13

"It will certainly come...
When it comes, everyone will see it...
Sometimes I disguise myself as a dead woman...
With endless yearning
I breathe upon these dead ones here
That they may live"  
Dahlia Ravikovitch

Come be our mother we are your young ones
Come be our bride we are your lover
Come be our dwelling we are your inhabitants
Come be our game we are your players
Come be our punishment we are your sinners
Come be our ocean we are your swimmers
Come be our victory we are your army
Come be our laughter we are your story
Come be our Shekhinah we are your glory
We believe that you live
though you delay we believe you will certainly come....

When the transformation happens as it must
When we remember
When she wakes from her long repose in us
When she wipes the nightmare
of history form her eyes
When she returns from exile
When she utters her voice in the streets
In the opening of the gates
How long, you simple ones, will you
Love simplicity, and the scorners delight
In their scorning, and fools hate knowledge
When she enters the modern world
When she crosses the land
Shaking her breasts and hips
With timbrels and with dances
magnified and sanctified
Exalted and honored
Blessed and glorified
When she causes tyranny
To vanish
When she and he meet
When they behold each other face to face
when they become naked and not ashamed
On that day will our God be One
and their name One

Shekhinah bless us and keep us
Shekhinah shine your face on us
Shekhinah turn your countenance
To us and give us peace


 ANSELM KIEFER: OVER YOUR CITIES GRASS WILL GROW   DIRECTED BY SOPHIE FIENNES http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zf63U1Rk0w&feature=player_embedded