Small Alef Poetry

Building of the Mishkan completed [sanctuary]
seven days of installation
done
Moses presiding,

— the Shekhinah
had not yet appeared [Lev.R.11:6]
until Aaron
slipped into his robes.

God the King
Moses the King’s attendant
Israel the Queen
Aaron the Queen’s attendant —

working from the lower world
up,
so to speak.

Aaron lighting the candles
daily
take hold the flame
upward the fire flying.

See Aaron standing on the limestone
steps
raise high the flame
the flame of guardianship.

Aaron tender of the flame
which is like the soul
the lamp of God the soul
of a human being, [Prov.20:27]

Aaron the tender of souls on fire
he loved all creatures
and drew them near to Torah — [Avot 1:12]

so it was
Moses knew it would be through Aaron
that the Shekhinah would come to rest
in our Sanctuary, saying —

my brother is more excellent than I
through his sacrifices
and his service
the Shekhinah will rest among you.
[Rashi on Lev.9:4, JT, Yoma 1:1]

See the blue around the flame
the space that may —
may not be physically present,

the blue that represents Shekhinah
sky blue
which is like lapis
like the color of the sea
which is like the sky
something like the color of the Throne of Glory —

like a vision.

jsg, usa

Maqam Hoseini
D [1/2] E-flat [1] F [1] G
Every Shabbat has a musical firgure associated with it
A maqam
Hebrew cognate maqom
Signifying Place.