Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ha-Melech ba-Sadeh

From September 19, 2006, Tuesday. Ha-Melech ba-Sadeh--The King Is in the Field. The month of Elul, leading up to Rosh Hashanah. A time of reflection, of looking inward--and yet the image itself is pastoral. A phrase from the Alter Rebbe of Lubavitch, in 18th Century Russia--an interpretation that's consistent with so much of Jewish folklore--set in an unnamed time of palaces and plowmen. We imagine the scene today, inevitably, in a kind of medieval garb--but as described in midrashic sources, simply an agrarian world. As always, the multiple levels of symbolism--evocative--as in the word king itself... ruler of the earth, ruler of heaven. Back, perhaps, to Adam Kadmon--the Primordial Man--an image of the universe, cast in human form--and from there all the rest comes forth...

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