Observations placeholder

Gershom Scholem – On the Kabbalah and its symbolism - Mystic marriage

Identifier

014923

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

It is rather unclear how much of the genuine ceremony of the Mysteries survived in all this, but the symbolism is reasonably sound

A description of the experience

Gershom Scholem – On the Kabbalah and its symbolism

The sacred marriage …. plays a central role in the Zohar and among all subsequent Kabbalists. What took place in this hieros gamos (zivvuga kadisha, as the Zohar calls it) was primarily the union of the two sefiroth, tif'ereth and malkhuth, the male and female aspects of ‘God’.

…………The Zohar relates that Simeon ben Yohai and his associates attached a special mystical significance to the night preceding this [event]. For in this night the bride makes ready for marriage with the bridegroom, and it was thought fitting that all those 'belonging to the palace of the bride' should keep her company and partake, through a festive ritual, in the preparations for her marriage.

It is the mystics who clothe the Shekhinah in the proper ornaments, with which on the following morning she will take her place beneath the bridal canopy. The complete bridal ornament, as the Talmudists had inferred from Isaiah 3, consisted of twenty-four items. But according to the Zohar, these twenty-four items are the twenty-four books of the Bible.

Consequently, anyone who in this night recites selections from all twenty-four books and adds mystical interpretations of their secrets adorns the bride in the right way and rejoices with her all through the night. In this night the adept becomes the 'best man of the Shekhinah,' and when next morning the bridegroom asks after those who have so splendidly adorned the bride, she points him out and calls him to her presence.

The source of the experience

Judaism and Kabbalah

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References