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   Being Like the Creator

 

      

It is written concerning Avraham:

rozdumie.jpg (24791 bytes)“G-d 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...’” (Genesis 18:1-3)

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.

But Avraham 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...”

This 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. Similarly, exactly as written and spelled in the Torah, the gematria of “Love your friend as yourself, I am Hashem” is also 907.

The meaning 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 us:

“Do you 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

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.


 
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