Is The Kabbalah Anti Love, I Asked

Angel Wings

His God Is Also My God And Your God Too-That’s Part Of The Problem-God Is Not Just The God Of Moses Anymore, God Is There For Everyone

Kabbalah Conversation

Aug. 4 ‘82

Michelle and I have been together now for six days. Over the last five days we have become, more or less, familiar with each other’s situation. She comes from an upper class family and, as far as I can tell, this bicycle trip and her behavior in general, represent a revolt against the values she grew up with. She is definitely the type of person I would be inclined to take a romantic risk with; however, that scenario is highly improbable since she has vigilantly protected her space right from the start. In fact, she has pulled it off so well that I am now wondering if I have discovered a flaw in her otherwise lovely personality. This observation may not be warranted, but speaking from personal experience and preference, whenever I engage in a relationship with another person, the moment a “value” is exchanged-shared in common, emotional warmth is also exchanged. After spending five days of joy and happiness with Michelle, it just seems to me that some of that warmth could have been exchanged between the two of us without compromising her responsibility and loyalty to her boyfriend. Perhaps it is not possible for her to share that kind of warmth. That said, however, I am grateful for one exchange that took place just a couple nights ago, and for that I have Michelle’s absentee boyfriend to thank.

Early in the evening, while sitting at a picnic table, we were enjoying our after dinner coffee, when Michelle began to voice her concerns about getting married to her Jewish boyfriend. In order to marry him, she had to convert to Judaism. The marriage date had not yet been set, but she figured it would take place as soon as she completed her classes in Judaism. I listened with a sympathetic ear, but not to sympathetic because I couldn’t help but think (I guess I wanted to think) that marrying into the Jewish religion was just another form of Michelle’s rebellion. What really interested me, though, was the conflicting religious values that, apparently, she and her boyfriend were struggling with. Her boyfriend’s religious convictions, it seemed to me, were moving him (not her) away from Jewish orthodoxy towards a more liberal interpretation of Jewish religion. Actually, finding out that Michelle was going through some uncertainty concerning her boyfriend surprised me, and, reciprocally, she was shocked to find out that I thought she was perfectly okay with her decision to marry into the Jewish faith.

“It’s not as good as you think,” said Michelle, “in fact, I’m using this bicycle trip to sort things out.”

“What’s the problem,” I said, “is it him or his religion? I mean do you love him?”

“Sure I love him, and I really don’t mind converting to Judaism. I don’t really know what the problem is,” she said, “and that is the problem. Maybe I’m just getting cold feet. That’s normal before marriage, isn’t it?”

“Sure,” I replied, “but does he love you?”

“Of course he does,” said Michelle. “Well, I think he does. I mean, yes, he loves me, but it’s different than it used to be. It’s not the same. He’s changed.”

“What do you mean he’s changed?” I said.

“Things have changed,” she said. “Almost a year ago, his brother returned from New York City and he brought with him those damn new ideas. That’s when the arguments started—not with me, with Robert, my boyfriend. His brother, Martin, spent two years learning the Kabbalah, Jewish mystical teachings. At first Robert argued back, but then the arguing stopped, and that’s when our problems began. My Jewish classes were teaching me one thing, but I was hearing something different from both Robert and Martin.”

“Is the Kabbalah anti love?” I said.

“No. That’s not the problem,” Michelle replied. “Love is a priority in the Kabbalah, but it’s all about God love.”

“Oh, I see,” I said, “his God was squeezing you out of the relationship, right?”

“Not exactly,” she replied. “His God is my God, and your God too. That’s the problem! God is not the God of Abraham and Moses anymore, God is there for everyone.”

“How can that be? Is that Jewish?”

“According to Martin it is. At least according to the mystical teachings of Kabbalah,” Michelle responded.

“Tell me more about this God,” I replied.

“I don’t understand it very well, but I’ll try,” Michelle said. “God is everywhere, both inside and outside of everything, and that means God is pretty important because every time you turn around there He is. The forces of the universe are constantly tugging and pulling at each other—light/dark, give/take, life/death, —and likewise with God. He is both transcendent and immanent, so He expresses a kind of duality, and, according to Martin, even the duality of good and evil is a necessary part of God’s creation.”

“Wait, how can that be?” I said. “If evil is a necessary how can there be reward and punishment? What about justice? Doesn’t that contradict the Jewish law of measure for measure, and an eye for an eye?”

“Now you’re getting the picture,” replied Michelle. “Do you see why I’m
so confused! And I’m going to marry Robert, — contradictions and all.”

“So how does he, Robert, deal with the contradiction?” I said.

“He’s got an answer,” replied Michelle, “but I don’t understand it. It’s got something to do with being present in the moment. He says that if it weren’t for evil we wouldn’t be allowed to embrace the good. In fact, he says something similar about reward and punishment, too. The good/bad duality is not just related to individual decisions; it is a product of the collective history of creation. Actions, especially good ones, are not simply for the individual, but for the whole of humankind—the community of all beings. Ultimately, he says, “selflessness” is the goal, and when that happens, God becomes transparent in everything that gets done. According to Robert, we are all moving toward God, but God is/was here from the beginning. Go figure!”

To be continued….


3 Responses to “Is The Kabbalah Anti Love, I Asked”

  1. SophiaSeeker Says:

    I think the key here is; that we are all really one with God…

    Here’s my take….God actually subdivided “his” being into ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ entities hence the Adam & Eve ‘Archetypes’; and all of our time in this universe is trying to reconcile not necessarily our Godness; but our Humaness with and to our Godness; unconventional, as it is….this is my take on the Kabballah; you?

  2. dave Says:

    I like that–“all of our time in this universe is trying to reconcile not necessarily our Godness; but our Humaness with and to our Godness.”

    Yes, for me, its about being human (human to a fault for me) and what we, as humans, do for one another and to the rest of creation–it’s our call to all that’s divine. Our oneness with God takes care of itself, while we are free to take care of the details that are bound up in oneness. Next week I have more to say on the creation story. Thanks for the comment.

  3. SophiaSeeker Says:

    Recently, on the history channel, I saw that ritualistic-sex was part of the Christian-Faith; almost in the pagan-sense it is today…Its always intrigued of the Christian Faith that ‘Sex’ is more Taboo then Murder; crazy huh??

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