The Wall: The Abraham Accords

Sukkot 5781: Sukkah

the western wall at the temple mount
was built by the poor,
the Jewish poor,
who, being unable to afford hired labour,
did the work themselves

this is the wall that Jewish people weep at,
the Gate of Tears,
which according to tradition,
is the only gate left open
after the destruction of the Second Temple

the only way to reach Source of Sources
the Creator of us all
is through our heartfelt weeping
for restoration
for healing

which is referred to as The Return?

when building my sukkah,
the west wall
was the section that remained open
wall-less;

the doorway,
the gate

to a couch
given as a gift for my enjoyment
of the backyard;
of what is now the inner courtyard…

what then do the other walls of my sukkah signify?

at this point I decided to do some research
and after an hour
my head began to pound

i logged off
went to make some breakfast
remembered that i am no scholar;

just a seeker after truth
within –
in order to serve the world
from a place of authentic self-revelation;

yet so many of my understandings
aren’t borne out by the oral Torah

for example,
i thought the reason that the obligatory prayers
may only be said when ten men gather to pray together
was because when Abraham challenged his G-d
about the decision to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah

the conversation ended
when Abraham got Him to promise
that if ten righteous men lived in a city
by their merit, all in the city would be saved…

yet, according to tradition,
(i think i heard this on a video by Rabbi Jacobson)
the requirement to have a minyan
is how the sons of Jacob
correct the ‘sin of the spies’

for of the twelve spies who scouted the land
while Moses waited with the multitudes
in the desert

ten reported that the land was too dangerous to enter

only two,
Joshua and Caleb,
had good things to say about it;

only they trusted
that G-d would remove all obstacles
from their path;

only they passed the test of godly trust…

however, the ten fear-filled naysayers
won the popular vote
with the result that for forty years
we wandered in the desert

and the reason only men make up a minyan
is because the women did not sin;
they were ready to cross over
to the other side of the Jordan;

Israel’s daughters thus
have no reason
to partake in the correction of the sin of the spies;

at home they may remain
while the adult males
make their way to shul
to elevate the masculine which became debased

israelite women are thus praised by the sages
for refusing to participate
in the ‘sin of the golden calf’
and in the ‘sin of the spies’

exempt we are from the mitzvot that apply to men…

why then are women allowed to attend shul?
and more significantly,
why do some women want to be rabbis?

from what I have read so far,
while there is no obligation for women
to pray the time bound prayers
nor to attend shul, except on specific occasions,
it is not forbidden either

each one must follow her own soul desire…

i learnt too
(from a different source?)
that while Moses was given the ‘crown of priesthood’
and David the ‘crown of kingship’

the ‘crown of Torah’ was given to every Israelite

at which point I realized
that all this time
i had been thinking of rabbis as ‘priests’
when in fact they are ‘teachers’

students of torah
written
and oral

here there is no distinction
between men and women;
all are encouraged to grow
into their particular portion of torah

so that women who desire to become rabbis
are no anomaly;
in this the tradition seems to be visibly egalitarian…

after pulling away
from my habit of over-analyzing things
i put aside the desire to align my sukkah
with the second temple

remembered that the sukkah
commemorates
the tents of Jacob
in the desert

reminding me that behind nature
is the creator
the father of all adam’s
sons and daughters

(in Jewish oral tradition
adam and eve
are one
soul

and ‘Adam’ refers to them both;
it is only as ‘ish’ that Adam is ‘man’
it is only as ‘isha’ that Adam is ‘woman’)

yet what does all of this have to do with my sukkah?

i’m not sure right now
i am not called upon to judge what I write
or to analyse it too closely,
if at all;

my task is only to write…

when building the sukkah
the two walls made with saris
represented Lord Shiva/Archangel Michael in the south
and Ayurveda in the north

which is odd
from both a Jewish
and Hindu perspective;

all i know is that
when it comes to vibration and colour
i have never been able to distinguish between
Lord Shiva
and the Archangel Michael

which has got me to thinking recently
that perhaps the English language
is not the best vessel
to convey these ideas

for the English words ‘gods’
and ‘deities’
that describe Hinduism’s millions of ‘gods’
might just be what in Judaism are known as ‘angels’

after all,
at one extreme
it is said that every thought
creates an ‘angel’

from a different angle
archangels
with their bands of angels
are G-d’s messengers

and every form
in every sphere
in every level of being
is but a thought in G-d’s mind
brought to birth

light,
from darkness
a vessel filling;

from chaos meaning making?

and as Jared Kushner
runs around
gathering Abraham’s sons;

his sons through Ismael,
son of Hagar,

to sign peace accords with Israel,
Abraham’s sons through Isaac
the son of Sarah –

i can’t help remembering
that Sarah and Hagar were enemies;
did Sarah not suffer from ‘first wife syndrome?’
while Hagar abused Sarah’s trust to win Abraham’s heart?

it might thus be
that it is to Rivkah we have to turn,
for although Rebecca was wife to Isaac
she was also cousin to Ishmael
not just Isaac

i am not sure of this though;
to me it seems to be another dead end
for what the sons of Abraham have in common

is faith in the G-d that Abraham discerned
as the Creator
behind the heavenly bodies,

the G-d of circumcised men
tasked with making It known as

rachamim
rahma
mercy

compassion

which, since they have been excluded,
has had me wondering
if Palestinians
are children of Abraham
or not…

on a different note
what i now know without a doubt is that
a Jewish soul
always addresses the Creator directly

and in answering prayer
it is the Creator who opens gates
removes obstacles
and places obstacles
as the case may be

sends angels as emissaries
and even makes room for ancestors
to plea on the children’s behalf

yet it is always Source
who gathers his folk
sits in judgement
metes out justice
and mercy

between the G-d of Israel
and the Israelites
there are no middlemen
no intermediaries
to pervert the will of Him

no one to shut doors in simple folks faces;
is this open door policy
what keeps Israelites on our toes,
always looking for ways to shift own stubbornness?

(©Archaela 5781 Cheshvan 27, Kislev 2, 4)

Sources and Resources

Six Reasons Why The Wall Is Holy:
https://www.aish.com/h/9av/j/48961906.html

The prophetess Huldah:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huldah

The Foundation Stone:
https://embassies.gov.il/pretoria/AboutIsrael/Pages/The-Western-Wall-is-one-of-the-holiest-places-in-the-world–Here-are-7-things-you-may-not-have-known-about-the-Kotel!.aspx

The Southern wall:
https://bible.org/seriespage/14-southern-steps-and-psalms-ascent-reminders

https://www.jpost.com/opinion/a-place-to-pray-the-southern-wall-of-the-temple-mount-561225

https://www.etzion.org.il/en/lecture-110-significance-east-west-orientation-mishkan

Abraham’s identity:
https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2013020/jewish/Was-Abraham-Jewish.htm

Definition of rachamim (mercy/compassion):
https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/20898?lang=en

Reverting to Judaism:
https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/691677/jewish/I-was-born-Jewish-but-I-was-baptized-Am-I-still-Jewish.htm

Jewish soul identity:
https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/743998/jewish/How-do-you-get-a-Jewish-soul.htm

Palestine and the Palestinians:

Who Are The Palestinians?

https://thearabweekly.com/does-palestinian-cause-still-matter-arabs-and-muslims

https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/do-arabs-hate-palestinians/

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