I'm being quite stimulated and enlightened by the exchange regarding the question of the union with God. It is answering many of my questions.
I have a speculation as to why normative Judaism did not react to Hassidic and Lurianic mysticism with the same degree of antipathy as to others who have said that they could be totally one with God, which would offend the cardinal doctrine of the Oneness of God.
Perhaps the doctrine of the "shattering of the vessels" protected the Hassids from heresy, because their experience of the indwelling of the divine spark, however, holy and awesome, could be safely construed--in exoteric terms--as uniting with only a small piece or fragment of the Godhead. Therefore, it would not amount to the same sort of hubris, in the normative Jewish view, as that which seemed to come from Jesus (or as the Gospels allege he said) that he was one and the same with the Creator of the Universe.
Furthermore, the divine sparks, while collectively God, are, in their broken state, ontologically different from God in his primordial unity. Therefore the Lurianic teaching could be construed not as union with the original God, but rather a union with an emanation.
Does this make any sense?
YAKOV LEIB REPLIES:
Yes and no. The Nitzotzot are, as you point out, not God in His original state of unity, but they ARE God, as such, and not merely an emanation. Think of it this way: the pieces of a shattered mirror are not "refelctions" of the mirror, but The Mirror ITSELF, even though no longer in that form.
posted on the Donmeh mail list
Tue, 26 Oct 1999
More On the Holy Sparks and Union with God - Yakov Leib haKohain | Use of the Hologram as Metaphor for God - Professor Andrew Wilson
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