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About Jewish Meditation

Many people don’t know that Torah and Judaism have meditation practices. Where has it been all these years and why is it suddenly coming out now?

Meditation has always been there in Torah texts of all levels. But at the same time when the 2nd Temple was destroyed and the Jews were exiled, the ability to read the texts in a deeper, feeling way and find that information, got lost to the masses, for historical, political and mystical reasons. It was preserved by a few sages over time, in passing it on in secret teachings.
We are now in the year 5780 on the Jewish Calendar. Torah sources like Rabbi Yosi teach that we will have 6000 years until the time of the full redemption, when the world will be transformed and ‘the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of G*d as the waters cover the sea’ (Habakkuk 2.14). So, this time is getting very close now. It is also predicted in Torah that this will be speeded up towards the end and indeed exponentially more and more knowledge becomes available to humankind, both scientifically and spiritually, more and more powerful techniques for inner transformation are being revealed and becoming mainstream (like EMDR, meditation, mindfulness etc.). There is a general inner opening and hunger for spirituality in the whole world. So, Jews are now finding that the same knowledge (and more) is available in Torah texts and have started teaching that. Actually, already from around 1740 when the Ba’al Shem Tov introduced deeper teachings called ‘Chassiduth’ to people on all levels the society.
And nowadays, the discoveries in science and spirituality are coming closer to each other and are beginning to merge, which will lead up to the final redemption, when everything and everyone will become One Divine unity consciousness.

What is the goal of meditation according to the Torah?

‘Hashem is wherever you let Him in’
Hashem (G*d) wanted to create a being that could have an experience of Him and to reveal His hidden Divinity in a seemingly dark place.
According to Torah, the Jewish mission on Earth is to ‘fix this world’ (‘Tikun Olam’) which means: to align, to heal, to fix the concealment of Light by revealing it, drawing it back into the world, but in a very specific way. Not only in the outside world but also in the inside world, and it must be done on every level, otherwise the levels that are left out will sabotage and corrupt. You need every part of you, and they need to align and combine into a larger harmonious unity, a wholeness, in which the highest level, our G*dly Soul, is in charge. Like a chariot (‘Merkavah’) for its expression. And the mitswot (commandments) in Torah are all tools to create this alignment. Meditation and inner work are part of these mitswot.
So the goal of meditation and inner work in Torah is not primarily to have a nice spiritual experience or to become happier and healthier, (though those things will happen too and are valid reasons to begin with) but to help us to reconnect to, to remember, to re-align with, and more and more reveal and experience our Divine Self and Hashem. To draw that Light in, into the lowest levels, to transform them so they too reveal and experience the Divine, to make also your ‘ego-self’ and your body a ‘vessel of Divinity’.

Navah Sarah Tsiporah