The Shechinah Presence of God

*The Israelites saw the Presence of God as a column of shining cloud above the kaporet between the two cherubim on top of the Ark. Its aptly feminine Hebrew name Shechinah projects the female side of God, for God created humankind male and female in His/Her own image. Further, the Glory of God…identifies with the Shechinah as the aspect of God which He reveals to Man as an explanation of the Biblical anthropomorphisms and the appearance of God in the vision of the prophets.[1]

For thousands of years, Jews have welcomed God’s Shechinah with candlelight and song every Friday evening as the Bride of the Sabbath. In tune, Christians have welcomed the Shechinah as the Revelation bride singing her new song and painting her rainbow of promise. Baha’is too greet the Shechinah as a maid of heaven, veiled, beauteous, and unique.[2] This

Maid of Eternity came…from the exalted paradise¼with harp and with song...with amorous glances....With dance and with song she came....With musky tresses, with beauteous ruby lips from nigh unto God.…to pierce our hearts…all souls in her path, all hearts in her embrace....With raven locks, like the dragon of Moses....This sweet Davidic voice...came with the Messianic Spirit....With the allurement of fidelity...with guiding light from the morn of the Divine Encounter, with Mount Sinai....With the joyful tidings of reunion this Divine Maiden came....From the city of Sheba...this Eternal Countenance...came with snow-white hand from the divine command....This pardoning visage...came with fetching allure....This Nightingale of mystic meaning came from the sacred rose bush with the hand of ecstasy. This luminous page came with light and splendour from the Midian of Spirit....This Witness of the Omnipotent, this heady Wine of the Beloved came with the goblet of sovereignty....That essence of the Beauty of the True One, that jewel of the Glory of the True One, she came....That Countenance of the desired One, that face of the adored One, she came with the most-supreme mercy....Souls to her reunion...hearts to her Bestowal, as the Most Exalted Lord she hath come! Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!3]

 The Shechinah enthroned on the Ark

[1] Above the kaporet, Exod. 25.22, 30.6, Num. 7.89 & Levit. 16.2
Shechinah, Nachmanides on Gen. 46.1; & Uhrbach 63
God created, Gen. 1.27
Glory of God, Saadia, Beliefs and Opinions 121, cited by Jay Michaelson, Saadia Gaon’s kavod nivra and its place in his philosophy of Judaism. (last accessed 20060813)
Aspect of God, Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism 111–112
[2] ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA3.12
[3] Baha’u’llah, Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!