the crown of kindness

The Zohar teaches that in Keter, the highest of the sefirot, there is no 'left' side. The left side is Gevurah, judgement, the hand that punishes and pushes away, the right side is Hesed, the hand that comforts and brings close.

We all know that somewhere deep down, God is love. That's a poor phrasing of what the Zohar is saying above, but we know it to be close to the truth.

Still, for me its comforting to know conclusively that even though Gevurah (the left) is a part of the creation, part of the divine plan, when it comes down to it at the initial seed of creation, Keter, there is no Gevurah, it's all Hesed, all infinite loving-kindness.

No more existential questions, any Gevurah we witness is unquestionably an expression of the supernal Kindness in Keter. We can bank on it.

So my question becomes this: Malchut, the Shechinah, the 'lowest' of the sefirot is a reflection of everything above it, "She has nothing of her own." So if Malchut reflects everything above, we must be able to see even this nature of Keter down here, in Malchut.

That's when I realized Shema Yisrael, which we say twice (+) a day every day, expresses exactly this idea:

שמע ישראל ה' אלקינו, ה' אחד
HaShem (the name of divine mercy) is Elokim (the name of divine judgement), HaShem is One. Whether His expression comes down as divine mercy or judgement, it's the same HaShem and His name of mercy is the name that properly describes the union of those two attributes.

The Shema Yisrael works its way from the bottom up. Israel. (bottom: the created subject) HaShem Elokeinu (middle: expression of Judgement and Kindness) HaShem Echad (top: In Keter there's no 'left' side, all of HaShem's Will is united in the 'right.')

This even does a nice job of explaining the fact that the word for "Hear [O Israel]," also means to connect or bind. We're connecting from the bottom, Israel, back to the top, Keter.


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