The second quality of the Erotic of Shekinah of the Zohar is fullness of presence. This is not the same as being on the inside. You can actually be fully present, but not in the inside. There is a story about a 19th century Kabbalist master, Levi Isaac of Berdichev, who was able to be fully present. Once a Jewish girl joined the convent and that was completely unaccepted at that time so she shouldn’t have been there. The community sent all the wise men of the region to the convent to persuade her to leave. On one day Levi Isaac of Berdichev went there and sat behind a tree and started to wait. He had been waiting for three days altogether. Two days went by and nothing happened, but on the third day, the woman walked there after the convent and she said: “Oh, it’s you! Thank you for waiting!” What did she sense in the temple? What did the master do? Dr. Gafni explains it in this audio clip, along with the notion, that Eros is about presence.
Berdichev was present; the woman sensed it and responded to that presence. Presence is about fullness, the opposite of emptiness. The ability to hold the fullness of presence even in the face of emptiness. We always seek fulfillment in our culture – we want to be full and filled at any cost. Life is what we do with our emptiness. Not the Buddhist emptiness, but the simple emptiness. We have a difficult time to stay in the void, we therefore do a-void-dance, but the only way is not dancing around it, but going through it. And we can do this by precisely staying in the emptiness.
For more information on private study or to book a public teaching, contact Dr. Marc Gafni at email@example.com