Shekhinah: Hosafot (Beyond Conclusions)

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Shekhinah: the Presence
Shekhinah: the Presence

Section 10 of “Shekhinah: The Presence” by Joseph Zitt
This is an unedited scan of the text, courtesy of Josh Ronsen
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In hushes close to silence
the prayers dissolve, transmute.

Those who follow minority traditions [NOTE FROM JOSH:
minority sounds too clinical; how ‘bout other
continue, reading psalms
  structures of principles
  a daily page of learning
together, apart,
  in pairs, in silence.

prayers finished for the morning,
prepare to leave.

The murmur of the congregants
slowly shifts
  from the magical to the mundane
  from sacred texts to software systems
  from Bible study to business plans.

There is no prayer
  to mark the end of prayer,
no verbal separation between
  the sacred and the secular.
Worshippers reach for the velvet bags
placed earlier on the shelf

and gradually remove from themselves
  the boxes of prayers
  the leather straps
  the prayers shawls,
    black and white and blue,
    fringes of white and blue.

But the sense of the Presence
the holiness of the articles
  in which the congregants
  have clothed themselves to pray
is not removed;

a coating of the sacred
stays with each soul,
to be preserved,
  enhanced, or
by the actions of the day.

Listen now:
  the last of the prayers is complete,
  the sounds of the service replaced by
    telephone calls.
  This hall of prayers is now again

  a room

  with sacred books
  and the Ark, with its scrolls within,

  yet bearing silent testimony
  to the purpose that they will
  once again

Look now,
touch the textures of the wooden

the air of this room,
  now mundane
  but retaining some strange sacredness,

with senses that have no human name,
the Presence

who waits forever in this hall
who looks down from heaven
  and ahead and back
  at ancestors and children
  across the plains of space
  along the rivers of time
who follows those who move
  within this apparently real world.

The leather straps unwind
  unspelling the Holy Name
  encrypted in their twists.
(No golem now could be enlivened
  by these items
  as they lie, dark, inert,
  within their cases;
a human touch must warm them,
  give them form, before
  any sacred power can
  course along their lines.)
The prayer shawls fold,
  in half,
  then in eighths,
gently, solemnly, like honored flags,
and join the others in their cases.

It'’s time to go home now.

Yet the Presence reaches out once more
all moments crystallized within her gaze.

Invisible, in silence,
she moves along,
around the time-encrusted congregants,
to grace the hall, the walls, the doorways
through which all who leave must pass.

One final kiss, then,
for those who leave
  to greet the warmth of the morning.
Her spirit fills the box of memories
  that stands sentry
  on the doorposts of the hall.

One kiss then,
  as she stands there
  in her gentle light.
Sister to the scrolls,
  she touches lips to hands,
  as those who pass her
  have touched theirs to theirs,
then touches hands to loving hands

and her fingers whisper messages
to the listening palms
of those who sense her there:

I am with you now, forever,
  as you venture out,
  into the harsher rush of morning.
I have always been with you,
  in righteousness and justice,
    kindness, mercy,
  with you who knew of me and loved me,
  even with each of you
    who may or may not have known
      that I was there,
    who may or may not have cared,
      have listened,
      have believed.
I will always be with you,
  in faithfulness,
  and you will know my love
  as you wander onward
    through this world,
  as you pass beyond this life
    to the unknown,
as you, within the mist, await the day

that all times will again be one,
that all of space will come together,
that the river of life will flow
  beyond the pillars
  beyond the walls between the worlds
and what was once the Earth
  will be once again a garden
  and all pain will forever be banished
  and all people will be clothed
  in the flesh of truth and honest love
and all will eat without shame
  of the firm, sweet fruit of life
  digesting the knowledge of good and evil
and the serpents
  will again wlak proudly,
  will walk straight-legged, tall and wise,
and all creatures
  will discover their true names
    as whispered in their ears by Adam
    but forgotten for an endless moment
    when first the garden was concealed.

I am with you,
will be with you
in all my hidden forms:

  tears about to turn to joy
  at the transformation of her children

the Sacred Scrolls,
  the ink and parchment gaining life
  and dancing free, a skin of comfort

the Moon,
  her cycles shown to be
  illusions framed by the tides of Earth,
  forever full, forever shining,
  with glory equal to the sun

the Sabbath,
  Queen of Comfort, mystic day
  that all days will soon become.

  the daughter of a voice
  you hear within
  as you catch your breath
    before you say
    each one of your passing prayers
  is the modulation
    the harmony
    of my voice with your own.


  Here till the end of days 

  we together as one 




  I will be with you,
  remaining here in my hall to dream
  as in my dreams I enter  yours
   and guide you onward

  through the world of life
  through the world of dreams
  through the greater world

  within your souls.

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