Let's explore a little more the word in the second paragraph of the Shma. The English translation of this word is "produce".

Hebrew words are based on two or three letter roots. The three letter roots are generally expansions of the two letter core meanings. If we browse a Hebrew dictionary we can often find words with very different meanings but with a common root. With some thought we can often trace a link between these words though it is not always obvious at first sight.

Yevula has the same root as yovel, Jubilee, and yuval, a stream or rivulet. The latter meaning fits very nicely with the idea that yevula is a manifestation of our true potential in that one flows from the other: the creation flows from the potential. The Jubilee is the fiftieth year- the year following seven cycles of seven years. The yovel flows with goodness as a result of the observance of forty two years of labour and seven years of shmitta- cessation of labour. The Gimatria of the root of yovel itself is forty two- also a number relating to one of G-d's names.

This name is found as an acronym in the prayer "ana b'coach" found in many sidurim. (prayer books)

In our morning davenning we travel from one spiritual plane to the next. The morning blessings deal with our material needs. here we are operating from the plane of Assiyah- action. When we're saying the pesukei dezimra, (psalms of praise) we're in the realm of yetzira, formation. When we arrive at the Shma we're ideally at the level of Briah, the world of creation, and when we reach the climax of our davenning, in the Amidah, (also called Tefila and Shmoneh Esreh- the eighteen blessings) we're in atzilut, in closest association with the divine. We could call this the world of emmanation. We can visualise ourselves progressing through the various chambers of a palace. When we get to Amidah we're standing before the throne.

This can be an awesome contemplation.

The ana b'coach prayer acts as a "bridge" between the levels. We can compare it to the 'lock' on a canal system which allows a barge to ascend from a lower to a higher water level.

The Amidah itself is stimulus for the flow of heavenly light/water from above to below. Imagine a river flowing from one waterfall to the next. There is a waterfall at the drop from one level to the next, till the water reaches assiyah, the level of action and brings true blessing and joy to our perceived world.

In chapter four of the Tanya, authored by Rabbi Shenur Zalman of Liadi, there is an explanation of G-dliness and Torah compared with light and water and how mitzvot, commandments connect us to G-d's light on a very intimate level.

Copyright © 2002 Gila Atwood

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