Day 42, May 27: The Malkhut in Yesod

In the kabbalistic system, another understanding of Malchut, majesty/sovereignty, is its flip side, Shechinah, the feminine, indwelling presence of God.

Once, years ago in Torah Study at Congregation Beth Israel, I asked the attendees that morning how many of them had ever experienced a sense of the Divine Presence. Many hands went up. I then asked how many had experienced this in a synagogue setting, and most of the hands lowered back down! (Quite a bucket of ice water in the face for any rabbi.)

Yet the Mishnah famously teaches, "When two people meet and exchange words of Torah, the Shechinah hovers over them (Avot 3:3)”

To me, then, this combination of Sefirot lends itself to considering the fundamental or foundational (Yesod) nature of community in our lives.

There are 3 traditional, Hebrew names for synagogue:

  • Bet K'nesset: "House of Gathering"
  • Bet Midrash: "House of Study"
  • Bet Tefillah:, "House of Prayer"

When we gather in genuine community, listening carefully and compassionately to each other;
When we study Torah together and share our thoughts, feelings and insights;
When we pray in community, holding in our hearts the melodies, words and the presence of our friends...

...then the Shechinah, glimpses and intuitions of the Divine Presence, may be revealed to us.

Have you ever experienced something like this?

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