I sense that I don't belong here, but know I cannot be anywhere else -- I must be here, hiding, but moving toward destinations which can only be reached by mystical chariots such as these.
Sometimes I feel like I have stowed away in the back of the Baal Shem Tov's wagon -- the one that the stories say could traverse great distances in very short times, or on which the BeSHT would take his talmidim to places of amazing insight. I feel afraid to breathe, to make a loud noise and be discovered. I whisper my whereabouts to a few trusted friends who sit above, and quietly record the my encounters and experiences in a journal I keep tucked under the blankets.
I sense that I don't belong here, but know I cannot be anywhere else -- I must be here, hiding, but moving toward destinations which can only be reached by mystical chariots such as these. With each new experience, I strain to see the faces, to catch the words I barely understand, to ascertain whether those on the seats above see clearly what I perceive through the cracks in the wall of my hideaway.
Such was the phenomenon of yesterday,
Something profound has happened and I cannot explain it. I am perceiving the world about me differently -- but more remarkably, I am accepting that perception as genuine. G-d consciousness, awareness, something. Whatever it is, it is almost like being ever so slightly removed from what I see, as if sensing the G-dly creative force around it. It is not seeing -- there is no color or opaqueness to it, but I sense it as substantial. Even in the breath I take, thoughts. It just is there.
It is a very strange thing. I don't know what to make of it.
It made me feel afraid. This journey makes me feel afraid; not afraid to go on, but rather an apprehension of what it is that is expected of me -- these gifts are not bestowed without some responsibility to use them to serve God.
What is it you want, my King, that you have sent me on this journey, hidden away, but being allowed to perceive that to which what most are oblivious? I do not know the destination to which we are headed. I only know that You have hidden me here for a purpose.
Have you ever heard light? A pulsing dance and rhythm, ethereal -- the eye hears, the mind dances, the voice of the angels standing on the heights of the universe proclaiming the holiness of God.This past Shabbos I joined a few other women to prepare for the kiddush, so arrived late for Shacharis. Sometimes I just rush along to catch up. This time I chose to just daven as slow as I needed to ... The tzibbur was beginning the repetition of the Amidah, as I began the blessings for the Shema. Sometimes, when davening, the words evoke images that grow to a kind of spiritual event.
The "experience" of riding in the Baal Shem Tov's wagon had not yet abated and I found myself there again. I was still hiding. Strangely it was night. A clear night. Stars filled the otherwise pristine blackness. A few sounds arose from about the field. The others travelers slept. I climbed out of the wagon, and stole away over a nearby hill, safely out of earshot, finally able to give voice to the song inside: It was a song to God, of praise, of joy, of being: A love song. Yet, I did not sing alone in this light-filled night. The stars sang, their radiance filling the air. Have you ever heard light? A pulsing dance and rhythm, ethereal -- the eye hears, the mind dances, the voice of the angels standing on the heights of the universe proclaiming the holiness of God. And with them myriads of the heavenly host filling the endless space from here to there. I was in a place that felt like a gateway to the infinite. We sang together, these heavenly beings and I. The stars danced, the angels bowed, and raising up, a great light rose from amongst them as they intoned a great and holy song. I raised myself to join them.
The tzibbur was beginning Kedusha.
We were all together. Every neshama, of those living and passed. I listened and observed. It was as if for a moment a fog lifted and we were all together standing in Yerushalayim, as if we were always there, but only now could I see it, a reality we have not been able to see, clarified by the spirit that blew through there during that moment of kedusha.
If we only could...comprehend and discern and perceive... enlighten our eyes. So much is hidden. There is only one lens by which we know it.
I felt a sense of unity as I said the Shema...
Nothing is separate.
The angels returned. The stars became more dim. Morning was approaching. I ran back over the hill to slip, hopefully undetected, back into the wagon and continue the ride.
I caught up with everyone on the third aliyah.