Sitting With Zohar

Sitting with Zohar

Because the moon is covered, bakesse* he said, I was sitting with Zohar next to the tree of knowledge. We were eating garinim [seeds].

Every Rosh Hashanah we draw something entirely new in to the world, he said, but it’s hidden – bakesse – like the moon. Look up into the sky on the first of Tishrei – what do you see?

That’s your wisdom, said Zohar, it’s present but in-articulate. That’s the business between the 1st and the 15th of Tishrei. Your wisdom? He said like a teen-ager — it plumps like the moon.

By the full moon of Tishrei, the 15th – fully articulate.

Then, he said smiling and spitting a shell, you will tell me what you learned.

* Tiku va-chodesh shofar– bakesse — le-yom chageinu
Make a tekia on the month with the shofar
when it’s hidden/bakesse
to — the day of our chag [Sukkot] Ps. 81:4

The moon is covered, said Zohar, so through what will it shine? Through teshuvah and the sound of the shofar.

He blew a tekiah. That’s the unity, he said, he gave it a good blast. The universal.
Then he blew a teruah. That’s the relative, he said, it’s a wavering, a crying, always a longing to return.
It get’s more serious, he said. He blew shevarim. Now we are breaking up.
He blew a tekiah again. That’s the promise of return, he said.
It’s a sad and beautiful world, said Zohar. Sad we drift far away. Beautiful – we are so hungry to return.
He blew a tekiah gedolah, a great blast. That is our longing, he said.

The moon is covered, said Zohar, but it shines through teshuvah and the sound
of the shofar.

Return that hey, the letter of direction, he said, hey ha-m’gamah. Toward, that’s the word, or to. Teshuv[ah].
I will turn away from here and toward There,* he said. It’s a matter of turning. Not arrival, journey. Not goal, process. Not sin based, it’s a matter of change. Movement.

Unstuck, said Zohar.

*Rashi on Ex. 3:3, how the Baal Shem Tov taught teshuvah.