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Daily Dose: G-d beyond He and She (G-d is both He and She)

When we refer to G‑d’s presence within our world, giving life to all things, then She is the Shechinah.

When we refer to G‑d’s transcendence beyond this world, we call Him “The Holy One, blessed be He.”

In our prayers, collectively our souls take the role of the Shechinah, petitioning the Holy One, blessed be He.

Our mitzvahs, our Torah study and our prayer unite these two aspects of G‑d into a perfect whole. Through them, we reveal the essential G‑d who is beyond both the immanent and the transcendent—beyond all description and bounds.

And that is what we mean when we say, “On that day, G‑d will be One and His name will be One.”

 

Note:

The Shekhinah (Biblical Hebrew: שכינה‎ šekīnah; is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning “dwelling” or “settling” and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of G-d.

This term does not occur in the Bible, and is from rabbinic literature.

The shekhinah represents the feminine attributes of the presence of God, shekhinah being a feminine word in Hebrew, based especially on readings of the Talmud.

It is also reported as being present in other contexts:

  • While a person (or people) study Torah, the Shekhinah is among them.
  • “Whenever ten are gathered for prayer, there the Shekhinah rests.”
  • “When three sit as judges, the Shekhinah is with them.”
  • Cases of personal need: “The Shekhinah dwells over the headside of the sick man’s bed”, “Wheresoever they were exiled, the Shekhinah went with them.”
  • “A man and woman – if they merit, the Shekhinah is between them. If not, fire consumes them. “According to one interpretation of this source, the Shekhinah is the highest of six types of holy fire. When a married couple is worthy of this manifestation, all other types of fire are consumed by it.