By Marc Gafni
From The Mystery of Love:
To be in Temple consciousness is to be in God–eros pure and simple. This shift in consciousness is hidden within the folds of biblical myth text itself.
We have already seen that the biblical term Lifnei Hashem, which is usually translated as “before God,” can be more fruitfully understood as “on the inside of God’s face.” This allusion plants the seed for the much more radical move made by the mystic Isaac Luria in the sixteenth century. In Luria’s graphic and daring vision the world is not formed by a forward-thrusting male movement that creates outside itself. Quite the contrary–Divinity creates within itself the sacred void in the form of a circle. The creation not of the line masculine God but of the Goddess, of the Shechina! This is the Great Circle of Creation. The circle, unlike in the original biblical image, is within the Goddess. It is an act of love that moves the Goddess to withdraw and make room for the other–paradoxically within God.
Photo Credit: Jos van Wunnik