Friday, January 31, 2014

Parshat Terumah: Facing the emptiness, we hear the holy.

Parshat Terumah. Exodus 25:20-22. The cherubim shall have their wings spread upwards, shielding the ark cover with their wings, with their faces toward one another; [turned] toward the ark cover shall be the faces of the cherubim. And you shall place the ark cover on the ark from above, and into the ark you shall place the testimony, which I will give you. I will arrange My meetings with you there, and I will speak with you from atop the ark cover from between the two cherubim that are upon the Ark of the Testimony, all that I will command you unto the children of Israel.

The instructions for building the ark and its cover elaborately describe creating forms. Yet the place from which God speaks is not from one of the created forms, but from the space between the forms, the two cherubim whose faces are turned toward each other. We can see in these instructions for building the ark the essential dance between form and flow, between creation and the emptiness from which it arises. We learn that to hear God's voice, we must turn toward each other in love, while creating space for new insight to arise.

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