Image created by the art nouveau illustrator Moses Ehpraim Lilien for the book Juda by Barren Börries Freiherr von Munchausen (1874-1945), a German poet and writer. In 1900 Munchausen published a collection of German poems on Biblical themes called Juda. Lilien completed several images for this volume, which, itself, became the standard gift for Bar Mitzvahs and Jewish confirmations in turn-of-the-century Germany.

Lilien's illustrated books include Juda (1900), Biblically-themes poetry by Lilien's friend Münchausen, and Lieder des Ghetto (Songs of the Ghetto) (1903), Yiddish poems by Morris Rosenfeld translated into German. He was one of the founders of the Berlin publishing house, Juedischer Verlag, which he served not only as an illustrator but also as editor, manager, and publicity agent. In 1902 the firm published Juda, a volume of ballads on Old Testament themes by a pro-Zionist German poet, Münchausen, illustrated by Lilien. This remarkable work is exquisitely decorated with many elaborate engravings and decorated text frames made by early Bezalel artist Lilien.

The graphic artist was and remains known his illustrations in the art nouveau style, particularly the images he created for early-Zionist projects. He was born in Drohobycz, Galicia in 1874. In 1889-1893 Lilien learned painting and graphic techniques at the Academy of Arts in Kraków. He studied under Polish painter Jan Matejko from 1890 to 1892. As a member of the Zionist Movement, Lilien traveled to Ottoman Palestine several times between 1906 and 1918. He accompanied Boris Schatz to Jerusalem to help establish the Bezalel Art School.

The Shabbath Queen

Among the figures representing either the female side of G-d (Shekhinah) or his consort, Shabbat Hamalka has a unique personality and origin. Her presence strongly influenced Jewish thought, and contributed to the strength of home and family that had improved the odds for physical and spiritual Jewish survival.
The name means Queen of the Shabbath, and the entity is the personification of the Jewish day of rest, Saturday. She possesses a prominent position in Judaic imagery. In various songs, the Queen "descends" from heaven to grace the world for twenty-four hours. When the Jews started their return to Palestine, long before the state of Israel was declared, new mythology had to be created or recreated. Shabbat Hamalka, graceful and romantic, was one of the first candidates. The great national poet Chaim Nachman Bialik, who was an expert on folklore and traditional imagery, had a lot to do with preserving the image of the Queen in the renewed home of the Jewish People. He invented "Oneg Shabbat" (Sabbath Joy) and combined the customs of group study, festive dinner, lectures, and singing of both old and new songs. The custom spread to the United States and is still observed by many.

The Sabbath Queen
by Abigail Sarah Bagraim

The Shekhinah is one of the most basic and deep-rooted concepts in the Jewish religion. The number of images by which this female figure is described has ancient roots, such as Shekhinah, Kenesset Yisrae’el, Shabbat, and also Malkhut and the kingdom of heaven. These are all familiar terms to the reader of Midrash and all Jewish liturgy. Also key among these is: Hokhmah, the feminine figure of Wisdom, God’s plaything and delight as described already in Proverbs 8. One of the terms for this female hypostasis is also “the lower Wisdom” or “the Wisdom of Solomon”. She is known as the moon, sea and earth which create a feminine divine figure of tremendous mythic power of symbolic richness.

Most important, she is the divine female, the Bride, Spouse, and Lover of the Holy One. While Binah is the active Female, Shekhinah is mostly the passive female in that she receives and represents the divine completely but has no actual light of her own. However, to the worlds below she is mostly imaged as Mother of all Israel’s being, both Israel’s physical and spiritual existence. In fact each and every soul of Israel is said to issue forth from the holy union between Tiferet and the Shekhinah which takes place every Friday night.

The Encyclopaedia Judaica describes the Hebrew word Shekhinah as literally “dwelling” or “resting”, or “Divine Presence”. It refers most often in rabbinic literature to the numinous immanence of G-d in the world. The Shekhinah is G-d viewed in spatio-temporal terms as a presence, particularly in a this-worldly context: when He sanctifies a place, an object, an individual, or a whole people – a revelation of the holy in the midst of the profane. Sometimes, however, it is used simply as an alternative way of referring to G-d Himself, such as “The Holy One blessed be He,” or “The Merciful One.”

The Kabbalists cited 3 separate passages in the Talmud, which were brought together and presented: the first tells us that on the eve of the Sabbath certain rabbis used to wrap themselves in their cloaks and cry out: “Come let us go to meet Queen Sabbath. Others cried: Come, O Bride, come, O Bride … The third passage tells us that Torah scholars used to perform marital intercourse precisely on Friday night. These unrelated reports are interested in the kabbalistic books of ritual as indications that the Sabbath is indeed a marriage festival. The earthly union between man and woman, referred to in the third passage, was taken as a symbolic reference to the heavenly marriage. These themes were combined with the mystical symbolism identifying Bride, Sabbath and Shekhinah. Still another mystical notion that played a part in the kabbalistic Sabbath ritual was the field of the holy apples trees, as the Shekhinah is frequently called in the Zohar. In this metaphor the ‘field’ is the feminine principle of the cosmos, while the apple trees define the Shekhinah as the expression of all the other sefiroth of holy orchards, which flow into her and exert their influence through her. During the night before the Sabbath the king is joined with the Sabbath-Bride; the holy field is fertilized, and from their sacred union the souls of the righteous are produced.

The myth of the Sacred Marriage is the holy union of the masculine and feminine aspects of G-d. The exile of the week is overcome as Tiferet/Yesod and Shekhinah enter into that relationship which the Zohar calls zivvuga’ qaddisha’, which is the mystery of one. The Kabbalistic imagery of the Male and Female is very fluid and takes of various archetypal imagery ranging from the primordial androgyny to the two lovers in the Son of Songs, to Jacob and Rachel, to the Holy One and the mystical Community of Israel and to the various guises of the Groom and Bride. The re-imaging of Shabbat as a marriage festival is one of the most significant contributions of the classical Kabbalistic tradition to the later Jewish celebration of Shabbat. It laid the basis for the ritual innovations of the Safed mystics and has greatly influenced the popular celebration of Shabbat in recent centuries.

The Safed Kabbalists, beginning in the middle of the sixteenth century, developed a solemn and highly impressive ritual and its prevailing theme is the mystical marriage. They created a strange twilight atmosphere which identified the Shekhinah with both the Queen of the Sabbath with each and every Jewish housewife who was busy preparing her home for the Sabbath and this is what gave the Sabbath its massive appeal, even to this day.

On Friday afternoon, some time before the onset of the Sabbath, the Kabbalists of Safed and Jerusalem, mostly dressed in white, went out of the city into an open field, which the arrival of the Shekhinah transformed into the “holy apple orchard.” This ritual was performed in order to meet the Bride. The people sang special hymns and the most famous was “Lechah Dodi” which was composed by Solomon Alkabez who was a member of Moses Cordoveros group in Safed. The melodies of these songs were formed into a beautiful garland of white flowers which the Sabbath queen carried in her hand. The feminine imagery indicates the kabbalistic identification of the Sabbath with the Shekhinah, or Malkhut, the last of the 10 sefirot. Thus, welcoming the Sabbath Bride became transformed into an act of ushering the female aspect of G-d into one’s midst.

In this hymn, which is still sung in the synagogues today, mystical symbolism is explicitly combined with Messianic hopes for the redemption of the Shekhinah from exile. It serves as a reminder of some future redemption: the restoration of Jerusalem, the coming of the Messiah and the redemption of the people of Israel. When the actual procession into the fields was dropped, the congregation ‘met the Bride’ in the court of the synagogue, and when this observance in turn fell into disuse, it became customary, as it is to this day, to turn westward at the last verse of the hymn and bow to the approaching Bride.

Following the end of the evening prayers, the men would return home to be received by their wives – the wife in this instance became for the husband the earthly representative of the Shekhinah, with whom he was about to perform that night the sacred act of co-habitation in imitation of, and in mystical sympathy with the supernal union between G-d the King and His wife the Matronit/Shekhinah/Sabbath. The return from the synagogue to the home on the Sabbath eve was also the occasion on which it was proper to show due reverence to the woman of the household. The husband would approach the table and pick up two bunches of myrtles, each consisting of three twigs, prepared for the bride and groom, circle the table and sing welcoming songs to the two angels of peace who were believed to accompany him home from the synagogue. The chanting of chapter 31, verses 10-31 of the Book of Proverbs, which followed, had a double significance. On the one hand, it was meant as a song of praise to the “woman of valour,” the good wife and mother whose very presence in the house, quite apart from all the care she lavished on her family, made it possible for the husband to live a complete Jewish life, in accordance with the demanding teaching of the Kabbalah about the blessed state of male-and-female togetherness. Beyond that, however, there was a deeper meaning: the “woman of valour” whose excellence is described in the 22 alphabetically arranged verses, was interpreted as being none other than the Shekhinah herself, the divine Matronit, whose image thus mystically merged with that of the man’s own wife.

Next came the recitation of an Aramaic poem containing an invitation addressed to G-d the King to take part in the festive Sabbath meal. At some time during that meal or following it, the husband chanted another mystical Aramaic poem written by Isaac Luria and describing the union of G-d the King and His bride the Sabbath. The several courses of the meal, the drinking of wine, the numerous songs, the “words of Torah”, and the after-meal grace, took so long that by the time the family rose from the table it would be near midnight. And this was as it should be, because it had to be midnight when husband and wife retired to bed in order not to contravene the inflexible kabbalistic rule prohibiting the erotic rituals prior to midnight. The traditional emphasis on having marital intercourse on the night of the Sabbath took on heightened significance. The earthly love between wife and husband was held to represent the supernal union between the Shekhinah and Tif’eret. Even more it served to facilitate such unification within the sefirotic world. In such terms, the Sabbath experience as a whole assumed the character of a sacred marriage celebration.

It is no exaggeration to call the Sabbath the day of the Kabbalah. On the Sabbath the light of the upper world bursts into the profane world in which human beings live during the six days of the week. The light of the Sabbath endures into the ensuing week, growing gradually dimmer, to be relieved in the middle of the week by the rising light of the next Sabbath. It is the day on which a special Sabbath soul enters into the Kabbalist and shares with him/her the secrets of the universe.

Prior to the Zohar the wedding motif consisted of a few guarded allusions. Now it has become a major theme with scores of references that articulate and deeply colour Sabbath celebration. The Zohar transforms a rather static nuptial image into a nuanced drama with a kind of mythic plot, a sense of development, whereby the bridal motif is no longer static but rather a dynamic process. These celestial events are comprehensively absorbed into and associated with the stream of Sabbath rituals: e.g., into Sabbath preparation, prayers, the sacramental meals, and marital intercourse. This greatly aided the integration of the Bridal and Marital imagery into Sabbath celebration. Moreover, on a phenomenological level, these rituals afford the devotee living contact with the unfolding other-worldly drama.

This process may be briefly illustrated: As the devotee prepares his/her home for Shabbat, his/her abode, like the celestial world it reflects becomes a Marriage Canopy ready to receive the Bride who is at once Shabbat and Shekhinah. In so doing the Bride is welcomed into the devotee’s hearth and home, and Her numinous presence felt. The opening Friday night prayer, the Barekhu, marks the completion of the Bride/Queen’s nuptial preparations and Her early union with Her partner. As the Sabbath begins, Shekhinah enters the divine Palace. She is escorted both by Her angels on high and by Israel below. As the people break forth into prayer, they crown Her and so, adorn Her for the royal wedding.

The Qiddush and Friday night meal are seen as sacramental acts, enabling the devotee to contribute in the coronation of Shekhinah and the Holy One and in the mystery of their union. The Qiddush serves as the marriage ceremony, the moment “when the Bride enters the canopy.” The Sabbath Bride draws attention to the mystery of the hieros gamos as the mystical love descends from the Ancient Holy One unto Tif’eret and thereafter unto Shekhinah, the fertile “Orchard of Holy Apples.” She is crowned by the prayers of the holy people, and they are in turn adorned with new souls so that they are united above and below. Annointed by the forces of Gevurah on high and by Israel below, spiritual love kindled, Shekhinah is ready to unite with Her Beloved. The deepest union of Bride and Groom is attained at midnight as the Talmudic mizvah to engage in marital sex on Friday night (TB Ket. 62b and BQ 82a) is linked with hierogamy. The devotee and his wife symbolically become Tif’eret and Shekhinah and mirror this divine mystery. Consequently, heaven turns to earth and earth to heaven in this very extraordinary union of complete peace which is the Sabbath.

Encyclopaedia Judaica. By F. Seckbach., Ed. By Cecil Roth, Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House Ltd., 1972.
On the Kabbalah And Its Symbolism by Gershom Scholem. New York: Schocken Books, 1949.
The Sabbath in the Classical Kabbalah by Elliot K. Ginsburg. New York: State University of New York Press, 1989.

Shechinah | Shekhinah | Shekinah

The presence of God in the world as conceived in Jewish theology (Merriam Webster: Shechinah).

A visible manifestation of the divine presence as described in Jewish theology (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Shekinah, 2000-9).

Shekhinah as Divine Presence. "Shekhinah ("Divine Presence") in the world of sanctity. The Shekhinah is the mother of the House of Israel" (Gershom Scholem, c. 1934-48; Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2008).

Shekhinah as God's Presence in the World. One of the Ten Sefirot: Shekhinah, Malkhut.
Translation. God's Presence, Kingdom.
Description. The Shekhinah is a Talmudic concept representing God's dwelling and immanence in the created world. It was equated with the "Keneset Yisrael," the personified spirit of the People of Israel.
According to a Rabbinic tradition, the Shekhinah shares in the exiles of the Jewish people.
Therefore, the redemption of the people of Israel is inextricably linked to the remedying of an alienation within God him/herself, introducing a bold new element into traditional Jewish Messianic eschatology.
It is through the Shekhinah that humans can experience the Divine.
The passivity of the Shekhinah is often emphasized (equated with its femininity), as the recipient of forces from the higher Sefirot.
Human Imagery. The Shekhinah is often portrayed as a bride or princess whose male lover is the composite of the nine upper sefirot, represented by the prince/bridegroom Tiferet.
Other Symbols and Images. The Moon, which is the passive reflector of light from the sun. In a manner appropriate to the redemption of God and Israel, the moon renews itself each month.| Queen | Bride | Daughter / Princess | The Royal House of David | The erotic and romantic phrases of the Song of Songs and Prophetic imagery is evoked to represent the longing of the male and female elements of the Godhead. | The Land of Israel | Throne of Glory | Justice (Eliezer Segal)

Shekhina, also spelled Shekhinah, Shechina, or Schechina, (Hebrew: “Dwelling,” or “Presence”), in Jewish theology, the presence of God in the world. The designation was first used in the Aramaic form, shekinta, in the interpretive Aramaic translations of the Old Testament known as Targums, and it was frequently used in the Talmud, Midrash, and other postbiblical Jewish writings. In the Targums it is used as a substitute for “God” in passages where the anthropomorphism of the original Hebrew seemed likely to mislead. Thus, belief in the transcendence of God was safeguarded. In many passages Shekhina is a reverential substitute for the divine name. | In rabbinic literature the Shekhina is associated with several other religious and theological terms. It is said that the Shekhina descended on the tabernacle and on Solomon’s Temple, though it is also said that it was one of the five things lacking in the Second Temple. The glory of God that filled the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34) was thought of as a bright radiance, and the Shekhina is sometimes similarly conceived. | There is also an affinity between the Shekhina and the Holy Spirit, though the two are not identical. Both signify some forms of divine immanence, both are associated with prophecy, both may be lost because of sin, and both are connected with the study of the Torah. Certain medieval theologians viewed the Shekhina as a created entity distinct from God (the divine “light,” or “glory”). (Encyclopedia Britannica: Shekhina, 5.10.2013)

Shekhinah. Literally, indwelling. A term used to express God's omnipresence. Though the Shekhinah is everywhere, it is the prophet and the righteous individual, the judge who pronounces true judgement, the charitable person, and the one who lives as well as believes his Judaism, are said to particularly attract the Divine Presence to themselves (The Shengold Jewish Encyclopedia [1957], ed. Mordecai Schreiber, Taylor Trade Publications, 2009-11).

Shekhinah (שכינה). Shekhinah, meaning "resting" or "dwelling," refers to the Divine Presence, usually characterized as the feminine aspect of God. Although this name for God does not appear in the Bible, God is often described as "dwelling" (shohen) among the people or in Jerusalem. The name of the portable sanctuary in the wilderness, the Mishkan, "the dwelling place," derives from the same Hebrew root.
In rabbinic literature, the Shekhinah refers to God's manifestation in the material world, especially through the image of light: "Just as the sun radiates through the world, so does Shekhinah" (Sanhedrin 39a). The rabbies sometimes characterized the Shekhinah as God's face or wings (Avot de-Rabbi Natan 2:6; Shabbat 31a). Although the Shekhinah can be found everywhere, they maintained thah Her presence is especially strong among the Jewish People, among the righteous, and among the vulnerable (Bava Batra 25a; Shabbat 67a; Berakhot 7a inter alia). However, some rabbies maintained that the Shekhinah absented Herself from the Jewish People after the First Temple was destroyed, or that She went into exile after the destruction of the Second Temple, waiting to be redeemed, like the People of Israel, by the Messiah (Yoma 9b; Megillah 29a).
Fearful of the polytheistic implications of the concept of the Shekhinah, medieval Jewish philosophers, such as Saadiah Gaon, Maimonides, and Yehudah Halevi, insisted that the Shekhinah was not actually divine, but rather a divinely created being, serving as an intermediary between God and humankind. Thus, they explained that when Moses and the Prophets encountered God, it was actually the Shekhinah with whom they spoke.
In contrast, kabbalists placed the concept of the Shekhinah at the center of their mystical system. The Shekhinah--also called Malkhut (Kingship), Princess, Daughter, Bride, Wisdom, and Divine Speech--is the tenth and most immanent of the Sefirot, the feminine principle of God acting in the world. Just as the moon receives the sun's reflected light, so she receives the divine light from the other Sefirot and radiates it upon the earth. The kabbalist Gikatilla even claimed that She appeared on earth in the forms of Sarah, Rebecca, and Rachel (The Gates of Light, chap. 5, pt. 1, 230; Yosef ben Shlomo, 2nd revised edition, 1981).
According to kabbalistic theory, the original divine unity was shattered at the beginning so that God's masculine aspects (the Sefirot called Tiferet and Yesod) were separated from the feminine, the Shekhinah. The Jewish People's task is to bring together--through payer, study of Torah, and performance of the mitzvot (commandments)--the ten separate Sefirot, thereby restoring that original divine unity. Because the Shekhinah is the part of God closest to the physical world and thus to us, it is most vulnerable to the Sitra Ahra, the forces of evil, and to suffering. As the Jewish People wanders in its exile, so too does the Shekhinah remain exiled from the Godhead; as the Jews suffer, so does the Shekhinah.
Hasidim further developed this idea of the exile and suffering of the Shekhinah, claiming that heartfelt prayer and good deeds have the power to ease her travail. The Komarner Rebbe thought: "He who voluntarily leaves his home and wanders about as a beggar, living a life of discomfort, but trusting always in the Lord, becomes a partner in the 'Exile of the Shekhinah'" (Newman, The Hasidic Anthology, 1987, 502).
Kabbalists also associated the Shekhinah with the Torah, especially the Oral Law, that is the rabbinic traditions interpreting the Bible for later generations and setting out the halakhic system governing Jewish behavior. Through good deeds and mediation, a righteous person illumines the Shekhinah, "stripping her from the somber garments of literal meaning and sophistry and adorning her with radiant garments, which are the mysteries of the Torah (Zohar 1:23a-b).
According to folk belief, the Shekhinah is present in the ner tamid above the ark, in the light of Shabbat and holiday candles, in a minyan (prayer quorum), in a home blessed by marital harmony, in a person performing good deeds, and in the light shining through the Kohen's fingers as he recites the Priestly Blessing.
In modern times, Jewish feminists have embraced and elaborated upon the image of the Shekhinah, contending that it serves as an important counterweight and alternative to the predominantly patriarchal, male imagery of traditional Jewish texts and liturgy. The Shekhinah has long been associated with the moon, another feminine key symbol within Jewish tradition and one especially popular in contemporary feminist theology and ritual.
Signifies: DIVINE GLORY, DIVINE PRESENCE, FEMININE, GOD, INTERCESSION, ORAL LAW, EXILE, SUFFERING. Generic categories: Kabbalist Symbols, Messiah, Women; see also [related to]: Bird, Kabbalah, Light, Moon, Sefirot, Western Wall, Wings (Ellen Frankel and Betsy Platkin Teutsch, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Symbols, Rowman & Littlefield, 1992, pp. 154-55. Jewish symbols reflect the interaction of word and image within Jewish culture. Jews have always studied, interpreted, and revered sacred texts; they have also adorned the settings and occasions of sacred acts. Calligraphy and ornamentation have transformed Hebrew letters into art; quotation, interpretation, legend, and wordplay have made ceremonial objects into narrative).

Shekhinah as the indwelling feminine presence of God in Jewish mysticism. [Lynn Gottlieb's book] She who dwells within refers to the Shekhinah, the indwelling feminine presence of God in Jewish mysticism (Judith Plaskow: Feminist Theology).

Further reference

Jewish Encyclopedia: Shekina ; Temple in Rabbinical Literature.

"In the world to come there is neither eating, nor drinking, nor procreation, nor strife; but the righteous sit encrowned and enjoy the splendor of the Shekinah" (Bereshit 17a; Kingdom of God: Malkuta).

JVL: Divine Presence, Emanation, God, Devekut

p. 146: Sefirot

Shekinah: The Feminine Element in Divinity.
In conclusion, I would like to respond to a question that has no doubt occurred to a number of readers during the discussion of these notions of the feminine within the divine. Can the Shekhinah be described as a cosmic force in the same sense as we find the feminine in the image of Shakti in Indian Tantric religion? To my mind, I believe that we can discern quite clear differences between the two conceptions -- differences no less profound than their affinities.
The schematic representations of the Sefirotic world in geometric symbols can be legitimately compared, without distorting the subject, to the forms of the yantra -- diagrams intended to guide meditation, which were first interpreted by Heinrich Zimmer in his masterpiece, Kuns~form und Yoga (Berlin, 1926). Utilizing geometric configurations, these yantras illustrate the development of the various gods and their mates (Shaktis). Both the Sefirotic tree and the Shriyantra -- which make similar use of primal, ancient symbols of the triadic form -- can be take above all as depictions of the self-unfolding of the transcendent and unknowable. The student of Zimmer's second, posthumous opus will be amazed to discover the Kabbalistic symbols of the point and the triangle in these remarkable discussions of Indian material. The absolute is the energy point that cannot be represented but only focused upon, the hidden center from which everything spreads out. The creative energy that spreads from within the absolute, touching the center and eternally uniting with it, is the primal Shakti, represented by the innermost interpenetrating triangle of the Shri-yantra. This symbolism is not identical with that of the Zohar, but there is a deep relation between them. The author of the Zohar understands the primal point not as the unknowable ultimate depths of Ein-Sof but as the unconstructable and hence totally indissoluble hhokhmah (Wisdom), in which opposites nullify and merge. This primal point is indissolubly united with the upper Shekhinah, represented by the symbol of the house or the womb, in which the primal point of hhokhmah (wisdom) is sown as the world seed. Thus, the Sefirotic pair of hhokhmah and Binah have something of the nature of the Shakti and her supernal consort. This resemblance is even more striking when we recall that in at least a few, albeit late, Kabbalistic schools, I-jokhmah stands for the unconscious and unknown, while Binah represents the conscious. Just as in Kabbalah hhokhmah emanates nine Sefiroth from within itself, so in the Indian doctrine the transcendent and unknowable in the invisible primal point are represented in the Shri-yantra diagram by nine interpenetrating triangles, representing the male and female potencies of the god and of his Shakti.
The Shakti is the dynamic aspect of the world substance; it is itself the world of manifestation, at the same time as it is within it and works within it. But this last statement, repeated in various ways in Woodroffe's and Zimmer's discussions of Shakti, cannot be applied to the Shekhinah, even where it cati be thought of as an active potency. It is true that the lower Shekhinah operates in everything and animates everything: His Kingdom rules in everything (Ps. 103:19), as the biblical verse reads; it is the spark that dwells in everything, or is trapped or captive in everything but the Shekhinah is in exile there (a notion that, so far as I can see, is totally absent in the Indian conceptions). The lower Shekhinah is not itself the thing or manifestation in which it is present; to put it in Indian terms, it is not the world of Maya. The manifesting and the mani- festation, Shakti and Maya, which are one for the Indian esoteric, are not identical for the Kabbalist. The spark of the Shekhinah, which resides within concrete things, is always distinct from the phenomenality of these same things, as clearly demonstrated by the discussions on this point in many Hasidic texts. The spark can be elevated from the things in which it is mixed, without thereby affecting the things qua phenomena. A different, perhaps even more intense, life enters into them; but there seems to be no necessary inner bond between this specific manifestation and the specific spark of the Shekhinah that dwells within it. There are only occasional hints of an esoteric stratum of this doctrine, which may have gone further than the written formulations would suggest.
One further point:
The God and Goddess are the first self-revelation of the Absolute, the male being the personification of the passive aspects which we know as Eternity, the female of the activating energy (Shakti), the dynamism of Time. Though apparently opposites, they are in essence one.
It is impossible to apply this to the Kabbalist schema without misconstruing the sense of the symbols. None of the Sepheroth appearing as male in these pairs could be identified with the masculine in Indian symbolism, albeit the idea of femininity as producing the motion of time may indeed correspond to an astonishing passage in Sefer ha-Bahir.
This passage describes the Shekhinah as the precious gem that brings forth the years i.e., time, which flows from the primal time gathered therein, but I am by no means certain that this primal time can be identified with eternity.
On the other hand, when dealing with these comparisons, we must not forget that the Shekhinah is split in the Kabbalah, so that the active element within the feminine has been primarily absorbed in the symbolism of the upper Shekhinah. The latter is the womb of the Sefiroth, of the aeons and cycles of the worlds (shemitoth), while other aspects of Shakti, such as the eternal feminine and the destructive element, are expressed in the final Sefirah or Malkhuth. On the other hand, the notion of the masculine as purely inactive and passive, an idea that seems intrinsic to the doctrine of Shakti, is totally alien to the Kabbalah, in which the male is perceived as active and flowing (Gershom Scholem, On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead, Schocken, 1991).


Talmud and its Tractes

Keyser: YHWH Shekinah's Glory

The Glory Cloud of the Lord

Lea Sestieri: "The Jewish 'Roots' of the Holy Spirit" and "The Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Holiness in Jewish Thought" - Vatican 2000, followed by misinterpretative remarks

Visual source

A development
Rio de Janeiro, Centro de Etudos Bíblicos, Patrimônio e Identidade, September-October 2014

Robert Michael, A History, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
Leslie Ross, Medieval Art, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, pp. 73-74.
Lionel Gossman, "Jugenstil in Firestone: Lilien," Princeton University Library Chronicle, Vol. LXVI, No. 1, 2004-5, pp. 11-78 - see esp. pp. 33ff.
Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums, Breslau: Bakaöch + Viesenfeld, 1906.


Monumento al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús

Datos del conjunto escultórico

Monumento al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, 1914, 1944-65.

Santuario del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, Cerro de los Ángeles, Getafe (12 kilómetros de Madrid).

Obra de Alfonso XIII, con esculturas de Aniceto Mariñas, 1914. Inicialmente contaba una enorme estatua de Jesús, acompañada con dos grupos de esculturas laterales: uno de ellos representaba a la "Humanidad santificada", el otro a la "Humanidad que tiende a santificarse".

Considerablemente destruido en 1936, durante la Guerra Civil Española.

Esculturas actuales de Fernando Cruz Solís son representivas de la Iglesia, el Pueblo y el Estado, expresándose ello a partir de cuatro grupos: Iglesia militante, Iglesia triunfante (retomados a partir del monumento anterior), España defensora de la fe y España misionera.

Inscripción bajo el Cristo: "Reino en España" (promesa de Bernardo de Hoyos, s. XVIII).

Iglesia triunfante incorpora estatuas de San Agustín, San Francisco de Asís, Santa Margarita María de Alacoque, Santa Teresa de Jesús, Santa Gertrudis y el Venerable Padre Bernardo de Hoyos.

Iglesia militante presenta la Caridad, por medio de una religiosa guiando a un grupo de niños hacia el Corazón de Jesús; la Virtud, mediante una joven con flores y una niña vestida de primera comunión; el Amor, simbolizado en la familia que forman un hombre, una mujer y un niño en brazos de ésta; y la Penitencia y el Arrepentimiento, señaladas en la figura de un hombre, casi desnudo y descalzo que, arrodillado solicita la misericordia divina.

España defensora de la fe incluye las figuras de Osio, Obispo de Córdoba, del Rey Don Pelayo, del Padre Laínez, de Don Juan de Austria, del Padre Polanco y del joven Antonio Rivera.

España misionera posee a la Reina Isabel la Católica, a Cristóbal Colón, a Hernán Cortés, a Fray Junípero Serra y, junto a éste, las imágenes de tres indios convertidos al catolicismo como resultado la labor de apostolado realizada.

Comentario de Mariano Akerman

En términos estilísticos, el conjunto inicial pertenecía al modernismo español, siendo además las proporciones de la figura de Jesús reminiscentes de aquellas que se observan en las elongadas figuras de El Greco.

Los términos con los que fueron inicialmente designados los dos grupos escultóricos laterales indudablemente apuntaban un auténtico deseo de santificación o bien depuración.

Al ser ambos reelaborados luego de la Guerra Civil Española, se conservó la suavidad y apariencia tierna que originalmente presentaban los integrantes de cada uno de ellos. No obstante a dichos grupos les fueron impuestos nombres cuyas raíces se hunden en la imaginería medieval, dado que es allí ante todo donde surgieron las expresiones de Iglesia militante e Iglesia triunfante.

Esta imposición produce un efecto inesperado y que se traduce en el desfazaje que resulta de la perceptible suavidad de las figuras reesculpidas según las convenciones del modernismo aburguesado que choca con la dureza de sus nuevos nombres, en España, evocativos ambos de autos de fe, cruzadas e inquisiciones, conversiones hechas por la fuerza y estatutos de limpieza de sangre.

A partir de 1944 a los mencionados grupos escultóricos se le agregan otros dos, cuyas aspiraciones no son menos llamativas que los nuevos títulos conferidos a los grupos escultóricos de 1914.

A diferencia de la acaso un tanto equívoca denominación Iglesia, los nuevos grupos escultóricos involucran en sus títulos unívocamente a España. Celebran la misión de su apostolado y su defensa de la fe católica.

El estilo de estas obras es bastante diferente al de sus predecesoras. Ahora las formas se muestran drásticamente simplificadas y los rasgos de las figuras presentan el aspecto severo propio de aquellos grupos escultóricos concebidos para proclamar la ideología de la dictadura que por entonces domina España.

Consecuentemente, Isabel la Católica lidera el grupo de la España misionera. Es precisamente dicha reina quien aún sostiene en sus manos una caravela y el crucifijo que Torquemada le arrojó en 1492. Se lo pasa a Colón, a quien siguen els conquistador, el fraile y, por último, los amerindios, estos últimos literalmente de rodillas.

Semejantes son también las formas y contenidos de España defensora de la fe. Personificada, España lidera el último de los grupos escultóricos, donde figuran figuras clave del catolicismo español. España abraza una gran cruz latina sobre su pecho y lo hace ciegamente, noción que emerge al considerarse la importante y gruesa venda que cubre sus ojos por completo.

Denominada España defensora de la fe, esta última figura proclama que la fe es solo sinónimo de catolicismo y tácitamente tiende a relegar toda otra posible creencia a la categoría de herejía.

Estilíticamente, el monumento al Sagrado Corazón de Jesús es actualmente un híbrido. (En las imágenes aquí presentadas he omitido el portentoso basamento neoclásico concebido en tiempos del Generalísimo y sobre el cual descansa la totalidad del monumento).

Ofelia en El laberinto del fauno, película española, 2006

En lo que concierne al contenido, el actual conjunto escultórico en Getafe exhalta las glorias de España, pero a partir de la uniformidad y la demagogia. De su pétrea sustancia emerge que la articulación inaugurada en 1965, en términos semánticos, lejos se halla de la desinteresada espiritualidad que motivó su primigenia erección en tiempos del rey Alfonso XIII.

Acerca del presente trabajo
Investigación, comentario y diseño gráfico computarizado de Mariano Akerman

Fuentes consultadas y recursos disponibles online
Cerro de los Ángeles
• Lourdes Morales Farfán, Pueblos de Madrid: Getafe, 11.12.2013
• WKP: 882 toneldas de material. simbología y lemas de la época
• Commons: España defensora de la fe ; demás grupos