Friday, February 5, 2010

Witch's Tongs From The Altar Of Glowing Stone


וְאִם-מִזְבַּח אֲבָנִים תַּעֲשֶׂה-לִּי, לֹא-תִבְנֶה אֶתְהֶן גָּזִית: כִּי חַרְבְּךָ הֵנַפְתָּ עָלֶיהָ, וַתְּחַלְלֶהָ
And if thou make Me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones; for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast profaned it ... Shemot 20:21

Hewn Stone - Cut Off (גָּזִית) From Reality

The Hebrew word for 'thy tool' in the Torah verse is חרבך from the shoresh חרב which refers to a tool (like a sword, for example) which creates 'ruin' and 'loss of vitality.' This kind of tool is not to be used upon the altar.

Glowing Stone - The Infusion (רִצְפָּה) Into Reality

The Hebrew word for a specific kind of 'tool' in this week's Haftarah (in Isaiah) is בְּמֶלְקַחַיִם (translates as 'with the tongs') from the shoresh לקח which means 'taking', 'receiving' and 'knowledge' - in other words, tongs pertain to a tool for 'taking' and 'receiving knowledge' (as opposed to causing ruin and loss of vitality). The kind of specific tool as found in this week's Haftarah (in contrast to the tool in the Torah portion) is used by the seraph, who "with a glowing stone in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from upon the altar, touched my mouth with it, and said: Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin expiated." In correlation with the meanings of the shoresh לקח, the seraph took to make a witch fit to receive prophetic knowledge. In her cauldron, she brews it, even stirring the deliciously delightful mysteries with the tongs through which she was made fit to receive it. Through one arm of the tongs, one takes (summons) knowledge, and through the other arm of the tongs one receives knowledge.

As posted on Walking On Fire earlier today:

Last night I dreamt.

I was touring Breezee Tower (a tall business building now deserted in my hometown) for an apartment on the upper floor. The halls of the building were busy with people - though deserted in real life, it was not deserted in my dream, but was in use for both business (lower floors) and apartments (upper floor).

The upper floor of the building was also haunted by ghosts. Most people were afraid of the ghosts, but I wasn't. I talked to the ghosts in conversation whenever approached by one.

There was a table in the middle of a side hallway. As I approached the table, I started to dance around the table (like one does at Simchat Torah) and chant a chant made up of words I had not ever learned before. I didn't understand many of the words released from my mouth, but someone at the table recognized them as an archaic specialized dialect of ancient Hebrew that very few people knew. It was a specialized ritual form of Hebrew. Some of the words I myself recognized - for example, Torah was pronounced as a construction of Tarah (tar sounding something like car, ah sounding like ahh - like in haftarah). I knew in my mind the word Tarah was Torah, but an ancient pronunciation of it.

I woke up.

An old kabbalistic poem of mine (originally published on my Geocities website), entitled Cauldron, relates a story of the tongs discussed in the Haftarah connected to this week's Torah portion:

forged without calculation
reverberating with eternal essence, the lifeforce
brewing namelessly under the nostrils, purifying recognition
some thoughtbare combination, a tasty transformation
within a witch's cauldron, over colorless flames darkly
simmering a stew of primeval mysteries
including everything, yet nothing yet
percolating in silence, an utterly female science
patiently pivoting tongs stirring that connection
deliciously delightful
singly unique
sustaining completely, from the timeless time to come
turning history
without equivocation