by Rev. Michaël Merle
In Chapter 21 of The Revelation to John (The Book of the Apocalypse: Revelation) we read part of the description of the New Jerusalem, a picture of a mighty vision experienced by John in the Spiritual World: “The city has a great and high wall and twelve gates. And on the gates twelve angels, and names were written on them: the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.” (verse 12)
This year we hope to uncover an understanding of the twelve ways in which we can enter the New Jerusalem.
The way of Joseph and his sons
Joseph represents the element of suffering in life. Yet, he not only survives; he thrives! He achieves greatness through his challenges. He overcomes all adversities and becomes a great leader saving his entire generation. Despite his corrupt environment (which may have significant resonance for us today) he maintains his spiritual integrity. The powerful light that emerges in Joseph, out of the darkness of his surroundings and circumstances, separates into two distinct dimensions – his two sons: Menashe and Ephraim.
Menashe represents the ability not to succumb to the powers of the constraints (mitzaim) that are present in Egypt. These powers wish that one forgets one’s spiritual roots. Menashe reminds us to remain connected regardless of the challenges.
Ephraim takes it even further. It is not enough to just survive in an alien environment, but to thrive – to “be fruitful in the land of my affliction". Ephraim represents the power to transform the difficulties into Divine power in us.
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2022 - January to December
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The Act of Consecration of Man
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