Miryam’s Circle Dance


[1] R. Kalonymous Kalman HaLevi Epstein (Meor V’Shemesh), Parshat BeShallach (first words, od).

[2] Exodus 15:20-21.

[3] Miryam says, “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider has He thrown into the sea” and Moshe speaks nearly identical words, except in the future tense “I will sing to the Lord for he has triumphed gloriously, the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea…” (Exodus 15:1).

[4] Also called the world of points.

[5] Also called the rectified world.

[6] See diagram p. 204.

[7] Leshem, HDYH, II:4:17:5 (first words, v’achor).

[8] Leshem explains that although this is technically called the World of Points, it is also correct to refer to it as the Circle World because relative to the worlds that follow, its organization is circular. “Treatise Addressing Confusions Surrounding the Circle and Linear Worlds,” 3:6.  This treatise appears as an appendix to HDYH.

[9] Isaiah 25:9.

[10] TB Taanit 25:9.

[11] Exodus 15:20-21.

[12] Exodus 15:1.

[13] TB Taanit 31a.

[14] The Hebrew word מחול (translated circle dance) is somewhat ambiguous and could also mean chorus or simply a generic dance.  Rashi notes the similarity of this word to a related term that means, “an unsown belt of land that marks the perimeter of a field” (Kilayim 4:1) and so defines it as a circle dance.

[15] Isaiah 25:9.

[16] Actually three, though the first is not immediately relevant to the discussion at hand.  See the Map of the Unfolding of Worlds (p. 211), which includes an earlier stage that precedes these two called, The Bound World.  Thus the actual sequence of the creation of worlds passes through three epochs: The Bound World (which was reabsorbed back into the Infinite Light); the World of Points (which shattered); and the Rectified World (which is the universe within which we live).

[17] R. Yaacov Lainer, Beit Yaacov, Vayikra 1.

[18] The detailed mechanics of this process are described on pages 157-161.

[19] Soul and consciousness are equivalent terms.  There are five levels of soul and each indicates a particular capacity for consciousness.

[20] TY Sanhedrin 2a.

[21] One could even say that the Tree of Life, with its three parallel pillars, defines a kind of bisected oval, that provides a glimpse into a more expanded perspective of the world than ordinary (linear) vision generally allows.

[22] Ethics of the Fathers 5:22.

[23] Jeremiah 31:32-33.

[24] Isaiah 25:9.

[25] Jeremiah 31:21.

[26] Rashi actually translates this as, “Woman will turn in to a man.”

[27] Psalms 35:10.

[28] Psalms 103:1.

[29] Standard Liturgy, Shabbat morning prayers, nishmat kol chai, which appears at end of the section called,  pesuki d’zimra.

[30] Exodus 15:20-21.

[31] Hillel and Shammai were the two most illustrious sages of their time (@ 40 BCE) and they generally arrived at opposite conclusions both on matters of law and philosophy.  Concerning them the Gemara teaches, “A voice from heaven announced, ‘These [opinions of Hillel] and these [contradictory opinions of Shammai] are both true words of the living G‑d but the practical law follows Hillel’” (TB Eruvin 13b).  Interestingly, the positions of Hillel could be characterized as more compatible with circle consciousness, the opinions of Shammai with a more linear world view.  Perhaps the decision to follow Hillel’s conclusions was an affirmative action to include circle perspectives in an era that would be primarily linear.  The fact that Shammai’s orientation will gain prominence in the messianic time (see paragraph d that follows) is perhaps the same pattern.  To assure that the circle era includes the linear and to counterbalance its polarity, Shammai’s stricter and seemingly narrower opinions will apply.

[32] HaMikdash Melekh, Parshat Bereshit, 17b; R. Schneur Zalman of Liadi, LT, Num. 54b-c.

This essay has been extracted from Sarah Yehudit’s larger study on the nature of gender in Kabbala.  Please visit Kabbalistic Writings on the Nature of Masculine and Feminine to read a summary and browse through this book or buy it directly.

This essay can be viewed in adobe pdf format.

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