Being Like the Creator
It is written concerning Avraham:
appeared to him in the Plains of Mamre while he was sitting at the
entrance of the tent in the heat of the day. [Avraham] lifted his eyes
and he beheld three men [angels] standing a short distance from him.
When he saw [them] from the entrance of his tent, he ran to greet
them, bowing down to the ground. [Avraham] said: ‘My Lord, if I have
found favor in Your eyes, do not depart from Your servant...’”
This was after Avraham was circumcised. He was in
an intense state of Prophecy, or Devekut, Cleaving to the Divine.
According to tradition, Adam had been created “circumcised,” i.e. with a direct open channel to the spiritual. Only after he sinned, and a foreskin grew over his sexual organ, was he cut off from this channel and expelled from the Garden. So now, when we read about Avraham being given the commandment of circumcision, it means that this higher spiritual level is going to be made accessible again (at least in part). Taking the foreskin away symbolizes getting back to the state of G-d-consciousness experienced by Adam in the Garden of Eden.
The Talmud (Shabbat 127a; Shavuot 35b) comments on
the double meaning implied in Avraham’s statement, “My Lord, do not
depart.” According to one meaning, he was addressing the leader of the
three angels. [Otherwise, it would be written Lords in the plural,
whereas the entire statement is in the singular.] According to the
other, he is addressing G-d Himself, asking Him not to break off the
prophecy while he welcomes the three guests.
Based on this second meaning, the Talmud states, “Receiving
guests is greater than receiving the Shechinah (Hashem’s Presence).”
In other words, caring for other human beings is greater than
secluding oneself away to enjoy the bliss of Divine visitation.
It was as if Avraham was on a special prophetic
hot-line with G-d when these visitors showed up. In such a state, he
understood that the external world of appearances is not a
contradiction to the inner world of essence. When Adam lost the Tree
of Life, these two poles of reality were essentially sundered for all
intents and purposes.
was waiting all his life to rejoin the two, or to realize that there
really is no essential duality, and that he could tear away the
facade, the foreskin, that caused the appearance of this duality. He
realized that to be like G-d (by welcoming the visitors in the
external world) was the only true reflection of being with G-d
(in the internal world of prophetic experience). Of course, he wanted
to make sure that the inner line would not be cut off by involving
himself with the outer line. He therefore requested of Hashem, “My
Lord, do not depart...”
unification of the outer and inner is also reflected in the gematria
(numerical equivalency) of two key phrases in the Torah:
As written in
the Torah, the gematria of "Love Hashem your G-d” is 907.
of this amazing equivalency is clear: We know that a human being is
created in the “image of G-d.” When you relate to another person in
this way, you are relating directly to their Ani YHVH – the G-dly soul
within them. When you do this, you create a “space” for Hashem in this
world. In combining these two phrases, we can thus hear G-d saying to
really want to come close to Me? Begin by treating each other
respectfully. For when you cheat each other, steal from each other,
and kill each other, you push Me away from the world, making it
impossible for anybody to believe in Me. When, on the other hand, you
create a society based on justice, righteousness and truth, thus
creating a safety zone in which you can relate to the infinite G-dly
essence in each other, this is the true Temple that you can build for
Me, wherein I may come to dwell in your midst.”
by Avraham Sutton www.geulah.org
by Avraham Sutton www.geulah.org
Born in 1949 in Los Angeles to Syrian Sefardic parents, he
attended the University of California (U.C.L.A., Berkeley, Santa
Cruz), graduating in 1972 with a major in “Communication” (which
included the History of Religion and Mythology, History of
Consciousness, and the Psychology of Dreams and the Soul).
Born in 1949 in Los Angeles to Syrian Sefardic parents, he attended the University of California (U.C.L.A., Berkeley, Santa Cruz), graduating in 1972 with a major in “Communication” (which included the History of Religion and Mythology, History of Consciousness, and the Psychology of Dreams and the Soul).
Avraham Sutton is an Orthodox Torah mentor, teacher and author.
For over 25 years, he has been learning and teaching prophetic Torah,
kabbalah, talmud, midrash, chassidut, prayer and meditation, and
sacred song. He has translated, edited and/or authored over 15 major
works in English on the deeper significance of Torah for our age.
Avraham Sutton is an Orthodox Torah mentor, teacher and author. For over 25 years, he has been learning and teaching prophetic Torah, kabbalah, talmud, midrash, chassidut, prayer and meditation, and sacred song. He has translated, edited and/or authored over 15 major works in English on the deeper significance of Torah for our age.
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