The 19 Steps To God: 8/6/09

Aug 31st, 2009 by admin in Prayer, Spiritual Growth
Dedicated l’refuah shleimah Yehudah Manik ben Beilah

– Why do we praise God by saying, “and the Holy Ones praise Him” – referring, according to most, to the angels praising God? God created them to praise Him. Their praise does not mean anything.

. We were reminded of the teaching that the existence of angels praising G-d creates a reality that enables and inspires us to do likewise.

. Rebbe was teaching the explanation of the recitation Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh. (Na’aseh V’Nishmah )

. Each one is on a different level and in a diffferent dimension. We learn this from the aramaic translation and interpretation of the verse (Targum Yonatan ben Uziel) in the prayer “U’Va LeZion”

– “Ashan” – smoke – has three letters representing three levels: Olam – space, Shanah – time, and Nefesh – human soul. On Yom Kippur the holiest day (Shanah/time, the holiest person, the Cohen Gadol, Nefesh/Soul, walks into the holiest place Olam/space, with smoke – the Ketoret or incense offering. : “Blessed is God forever, amen and amen” (Psalms 89:53) represents Shanah/time. “Blessed is God from Zion, Who dwells in Jerusalem, Helleluyah” (135:21) represents Olam/place. “Blessed is God, Lord of Israel, Who alone does wonders” (72:18) represents Nefesh/soul.

. The first: Kadosh, Holy – in nefesh/spiritual space – “bishmei mroma ila’ah beis shechintei – in the highest heights of heaven, the abode of His Divine Presence”

. The second: Kadosh, Holy – in olam/material existence – “al ar’ah ovad gevurtei – upon earth, the work of His mighty power”

. The third: Kadosh, Holy – in shanah/time – “l’alam u’lolmay olmaya – forever and to all eternity”

– Note that the first Kadosh describes the heavens as the Abode of the House of His Presence, and yet we believe that we can bring His presence to this world. If Kedusha/Holiness is defined as boundaries, how can we bring His Presence across the boundary? Unless these are boundaries that attract from one level to another!

– We can connect across the boundaries that are actually filters that measure who, when and how we will have access.

– We can connect across these boundaries: We one this world, the second Kadosh, can bring His Presence from the first Kadosh to our world. We can also affect the higher worlds with our actions.

– Once we realize how we can bring His Presence from the first Kadosh to the second, and how we can affect the first Kadosh by actions in the second, crossing the boundaries, then we can access the third Kadosh, which is Infinity. We become boundless!

. Based on Rav Oded Sher’s explanation Rebbe offered this interpretation of the actions of the angels while reciting Kedushah: All the angels are there, trembling before G-d’s presence. An angel runs up to the Throne of Glory and has just enough presence of “mind” to touch the Throne and cry out, “KADOSH!”, before running back to its place amongst the other angels. Then the next angel sees and says to itself, “Well, if my fellow can do it, so can I!” and it too runs up to the Throne and just before being similarly overwhelmed, it too cries out, “KADOSH!” before running back to its place.

. Rav Oded said afterwards that his explanation was: the angels are gathered together and they are all in awe of G-d and clothed in humility. But it is time to praise HaShem. One of them has to do so… So one says to the other: “(Atah) Kadosh” – *you* are holy – so you go up to the Throne!” The one being pointed to reacts in fear and hesitates to step forward itself, responding, “me???? me!?! Kadosh! *you* are holier than me. *you* go before HaShem and deliver our praises to HaShem!” (In fact this is a very interesting interpretation, for if we say that the angels’ praises and interactions creates a reality for us to do likewise, then there is a reflection of Rav Oded’s interpretation in halachah. When one is asked to lead the congregation, it is considered appropriate to demur at once, then twice and if asked a third time, to take on the mantle of leadership.)

. El-Ad Eliovson mentioned afterward a teaching that there is a mystical custom to physically look up at the ceiling, i.e., towards heaven, when we roll onto the balls of our feet during the recitation of “Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh” during Kedushah. It is said that “this is one of G-d’s most cherished moments, when He is looking down into the eyes of his children.”

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