By Perle Besserman
The crimson bracelet: it graces the wrists of various celebrities - from Madonna to Britney Spears - who've switched over to the religious perform of Kabbalah. yet what's Kabbalah and the way can girls use it on their very own lives? In a brand new Kabbalah for ladies, bestselling writer and instructor of Jewish mysticism and meditation, Perle Besserman, stocks a female method of spirituality. because the time of Moses, Jewish mysticism has been barred to ladies, and Shekhinah, the female part of God, has been compelled underground. Now, many girls are adapting conventional mystical practices in radical new methods. Besserman is on the vanguard of this revolution. during this booklet she lines the historical past of female-centered worship and tells the tale of attempting to find her personal route to fact. Combining practices from the Kabbalah with meditation, Besserman walks readers via step by step rituals to discover their very own own reference to the divine.
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Additional info for A New Kabbalah for Women
I have always been amused by the mental acrobatics required to imagine a male God giving birth and mothering. 7 Women searching for a nonpatriarchal form of Jewish meditation won’t ﬁnd it by visualizing themselves as long-suffering mothers idealized by men. Kabbalistic renderings of the Shekhinah may be rooted in patriarchal biblical imagery and rituals, and the male-centered Hebrew language itself, but this does not mean that they cannot be used in meditation that focuses less on religious orthodoxy and more on images that reﬂect our own experience and cultural context.
Could this refer to the banishment of the Mother Goddess by the priests of Yahweh? The mystics’ almost obsessive emphasis on rectifying Adam’s sin ANCIENT BEGINNINGS 35 by reuniting the divine couple would suggest this is so. Mirrored by their earthly surrogates Adam and Eve, sexual intercourse between Yahweh and Asherah corresponded to the mystic’s secret “knowledge” of God’s female aspect embodied in the Torah, the “sacred marriage” an elaborate sexual metaphor for her mastery. Entering the “Garden” and sighting God’s feminine presence in her orchard of “holy apples,” in fact, became synonymous with practicing esoteric contemplative techniques for uniting the “male” and “female” aspects of one’s own nature and becoming one with God.
But later in the seventh century, during the reign of Josiah, Temple practices were reformed when repairs disclosed a hidden manuscript of Mosaic Laws known as Deuteronomy. As a result, priests were forbidden to marry divorced women or perform any temple duties having to do with sexuality. The wages of a prostitute—once associated with fertility worship by the priestesses of Asherah—were no longer acceptable as temple gifts. The effigy of Asherah was also removed from the Jerusalem Temple and sacriﬁces that had been offered in the groves of trees sacred to the goddess were restricted to the worship of Yahweh.
A New Kabbalah for Women by Perle Besserman