From the Western Wall to the Western Well
The Email came; I read: "FYI for those who have not heard about the recent arrest of Anat Hoffman [an Israeli woman who has led the effort for women to pray freely at the Western Wall] for chanting the Shema out loud at the Western Well."
flickr image by lyng883
Says the Sh'ma, "God is One." Unless you are a woman. Then God is probably not Two, or Three, or even Ten (as in the Kabbalistic imagery of the Sfirot). God is as splintered as the s^h^a^r^d^s of a broken wine-glass after the wedding.
Not surprising: The Rabbis taught that our Covenant with the One is a Marriage. The Wedding was at Sinai.
Rereading, I see the email report said "at the Western Well." "Well," not Wall. Ah, maybe that's the problem. Maybe we need a Western Well! Like Hagar's. And Rivka's. And Rachel's. And Tzipporah's. And Miriam's.
Maybe the problem is marrying State Power -- the power to arrest -- to Male Overlordship. On second thought, maybe they don't need to be married -- each is, both are the same domineering life-process. Maybe the State Power that arrests and invades and calls itself Jewish is as much about Overlordship as those who beat up women yet call themselves Torah-true?
Ahhhh, maybe that's what the Levitical prohibition is about: "No Overlording Alpha Male shall marry an Overlording Alpha Male as if he were marrying a woman who wants to chant the Unity at a sacred place. The result is liable to be the "Violence Alliance."
Sh'sh'sh'sh'shma! Hush'sh'sh'sh'sh in order to listen to the Wellspring's mmmmmurmmmurrrring: "I am your long-lost sister Hajrrrr: Drink me. I am your long-lost sister Tzipporaaaahhhhhhh: Drink me. I am your long-lost sister Mmmirrryammm: Drink me."
All those trouble-making women. Tzipporah and Miriam would have been dragged away, shrieking the Sh'ma into the night, if they had dared to chant it at the Western Wall. Better they should find a Western Well instead.
Why are we still pretending that there is a Jewish government in charge there? Maybe Anat Hoffman is the real Prime Minister of a Jewish country that is defined by wellsprings, not by Walls?
Sh'sh'sh'sh'shalom -- Arthur