Shekhinah as Judge


While the Shekhinah is predominantly described in feminine symbols, it is not entirely without active, masculine aspects. Both of these sides are defined most clearly in a passage describing the Sefirah as the redeeming angel of Genesis 48:16, the angel who protects the world. This is the angel who is sometimes male and sometimes female. For when he channels blessings to the world, he is male and is called male just as the male bestows [fecundating] blessings upon the female, so does he bestow blessings upon the world. But when his relationship to the world is that of judgment [i.e., when he manifests himself in his restrictive power as a judge], then he is called female. Just as a female is pregnant with the embryo so is he pregnant with judgement, and is then called female (Zohar 1, 232a).

Hence, the female character of the Shekhinah is linked here with its restrictive and dangerous features. The restraint of the flow of life, a quality intrinsic to the activity (Din), frequently entails destructive consequences for the world. But when the Shekhinah functions as a medium for the downward flow of life-giving energies, it is understood in male symbols, the most prominent of which is the divine name Adonai (Lord).

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A4 Print (approx 21 x 30 cm), A3 Print (approx 30 x 42 cm), A2 Print (approx 42 x 60 cm), A1 Print (approx 60 x 84 cm)


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