Marc Gafni – In Every Stitch

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In Every Stitch (from Marc Gafni the Mystery of Love)

It was the middle of the 19th century[i]. Heaven was joyous, hell was in an uproar, for it seems that one Hanoch the Shoemaker was about to usher in the Messiah. The Master of Rishin, tells the story to his disciples something like this,

“Hanoch the shoemaker used to sit every day intent in the stitching of his leather shoes. It was known that with every stitch Hanoch was ‘meyached yichudim elyonim.’ That is, he was unifying higher unities. Now ‘yichudim’, my holy disciples, in Kabbalah always means ‘zivug’ (coupling). {Zivug is an ultimate erotic term. It refers not to the sexual person, but to the cosmic love affair between the masculine God presence and the feminine Shechina presence. A love affair brought about by human action.}

Now the strange secret of the story, my holy community, is that Hanoch wasn’t doing anything which should have caused such ecstatic yichudim. He wasn’t fulfilling any religious commandment, he was engaged in no ritual or pious act.

“Perhaps,” said one of the disciples, “he was meditating on a passage of Zohar as he stitched.” Another chimed in, “Perhaps he was doing the spiritual exercises of Luria’s Kabbalah which cause pleasure above?”

“No, nothing of the sort,” replied the master.

“Then what was he doing while he stitched?” pressed the disciples.

“Nothing!” responded the master with a slight smile. “Hanoch was doing nothing…nothing other than being fully inside in every single stitch.”

“Fully inside in every stitch?!” Duly impressed, the eager disciples now had another confusion. “So then, Master, why is it that the Messiah has not yet announced his arrival?”

[i] ((*One vignette the mystics* like to tell appears in the Hebrew mystical literature of the 19th century See for example Michtav MeEliyhahu Vol. 1 Kunteres HaChaessed, Tract on Loving

Continued at Marc Gafni org

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