3

Since Hashem has no form and attributing any form to Him is prohibited, are there any traditions that instruct us how to meditate on Him without visualizing anything physical? What should we concentrate on when meditating on G-d?

2
  • If you are interested in the topic, check the teachings of R Aryeh Kaplan zl on the topic, e.g., his book (amazon.com/Jewish-Meditation-Practical-Aryeh-Kaplan/dp/…) or many Internet posts on the topic
    – mbloch
    Commented Jan 20, 2023 at 6:15
  • The concept that Hashem has no form implies that He is a Who, not a what, so to speak. Therefore, it is incumbent upon a person to get to know Him. How does one do that? By learning Torah, where He reveals Himself; His Ratzon, His wisdom, His feelings k'veyachol. In the same way that one can get to know another without ever seeing them (reading the works of the tzaddikim, even the age of the internet has demonstrated this), so too (l'havdil) with Torah study and Hashem. There's no body to picture, but that shouldn't be a problem
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 21:11

3 Answers 3

4

The Mishna Berura writes:

הצדיקים – דהיינו שיצייר בנפשו תמיד איך שהוא עומד לפני השם יתברך, כי > הקב"ה מלא כל הארץ כבודו. וכתבו בשם האר"י ז"ל, שיצייר שם הוי"ה תמיד נגד > עיניו בניקוד יִרְאָה, כזה יִ-הְ-וָ-ה, וזהו סוד "שויתי ה' לנגדי תמיד", > וזה תועלת גדול לענין היראה.

One should imagine the letters of Hashem (י-ה-ו-ה-) with the right vowels (see source). I believe the M.B. might be referring to meditation over the letters of Hashem in the right way.

1
  • This is also found in the Meam Loez.
    – BID
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 8:40
1
+50

The other answer a la Shiwiti H' etc. is a good Halakhah however by mental meditation, He cannot be grasped by thought at all, only His attributes can be pondered but those already have form even the Sefirot and letters and even his Name and that'll keep a person busy enough as there are infinite aspects and levels up to Ein Sof etc.

Verbal meditation (prayer/hitbodedut) includes and unites everything [via Malkhut - peh, torah sh'b'al peh etc], and reciting Patach Eliyahu - which is a prayer - keeps a man on the right path, so many recite it every day and have it in their Siddur.

And especially saying verbally, Na Nach Nachman Nachman as the main dimension is that of Soul, the Keter-Malkhut axis, and the essence of Soul is the Tzaddik haEmet Moshe-Mashiach of the Era, so saying these Ten letters in the form of the Future Song (T. Zohar 51b) that we can already say now, contain everything and all the levels, per Saba Y. Odesser z"l

Patach Eliyahu

Eliyahu opened [his prayer and lesson] saying:

Master of the worlds! You are One, but not as a number [not like there's a One then a Two etc.]. You are He Who is Highest of the High, Most Hidden of the Hidden. Thought cannot grasp You at all.

You are He that "emitted" ten Tikkunim (repairs) and called them ten Sefirot [countings, spheres, tellings], with which to conduct the hidden worlds that are not revealed and the revealed worlds. And with them You conceal Yourself from humankind. And You are He Who binds them and unifies them, and since You are "within" them, whoever separates one of these ten Sefirot from its friends is as if he makes a separation within You.

And these ten Sefirot proceed according to their [known] order: one long [the right column], one short [the left column], then one intermediate [the Central column]. It is You that conducts them and there is no one that conducts You, neither above nor below nor from any side.

Thou has arranged garments for them, from which souls fly down [flow, influx, transmigrate] into mankind. Thou hast arranged many bodies for them, which are called "bodies" in relation to "garments" that cover them and are named according to this arrangement:

Chesed [Loving-kindness], the right arm. Gevurah [Might, severity], the left arm. Tiferet [Harmony], the torso.

Netzach [Victory] and Hod [Glory] the two thighs. Yesod [Foundation, bonding], the culmination of the body, the sign of the Holy Covenant [the circumcision].

Malchut [Kingship], the mouth; she is called the Oral Torah.

Chochmah [Wisdom], the brain; that is inner thought. Binah [Understanding], the heart; with her, the heart discerns. Of these two, it is written (Deuteronomy 29:28), "The hidden things belong to H' Eloheinu."

Supernal Keter [Crown] - this is the Crown of Kingship [Keter of Malchut; alt. this Keter is Malchut], and regarding her it is said (Isaiah 46:10), "From the beginning [Keter] He tells the end [Malchut]." And this is the skull of the inner tefillin; that is the 45-Name [the Divine Name "Mah," YW"D H"E WA"W H"E] which is the path of Atzilut.

And this waters the Tree [of Life] in its limbs and its branches, just as water doth water a tree, and It waxes great by this watering.

Master of the Worlds! Thou art the Prime Cause of all causes, the reason and explanation of all reasons, Who waters the Tree with this flow. And this flow - it is like a soul to the body, because it is Life for the body.

But of You, there is no image or likeness, inside or out.

And You created the Heavens and the earth, and sent out from them the sun, the moon, the stars [planets included] and the constellations. And on earth [You sent out], trees, grasses, the Garden of Eden, shrubs, beasts, animals, birds, fish and humankind - to make known through them the things on High, and how You conduct the things on High and Below, and how You make known to them the things on High from the things Below, and there is none that knows You at all. Divine Unity and Uniqueness

And aside from You, there is no unity on High or Below. And You are acknowledged [as] the Cause of everything and the Master of everything.

And every sefirah has a known Name, and with these are the angels called. But You have no known Name, because You are He Who fills all Names. And You are the completion of them all. And as soon as You remove Yourself from them, all the Names remain like a body without a soul. Unknowable transcendence and Divine Justice

You are He Who is Wise, but not with a knowable wisdom; You are He Who is Understanding, but not with a knowable understanding. You have no known place.

But rather, to make known Your Power and Might to humankind, and to show them how You conduct the world with Justice and Mercy, because there is Righteousness and Judgement according to the deeds of humankind.

Justice is Gevurah; Judgement, the righteous median Pillar; Holy Kingship, the righteous Scales, the two Balance-pans of Truth; the righteous Measure, the sign of the Holy Covenant. All is to show how You conduct the world, but not that You have a known righteousness that is just, nor a known judgement that is merciful, nor any of these attributes at all.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Translation:Tikunei_Zohar/17a#Patach_Eliyahu


And, there's the Idra Rabba with its 13 Tikkunei Dikna, meditations on the 13 "Repairs" of the Peot-Beard and corresponding with the 13 attributes and 13 attributes. Traditionally read Shavuot before morning and included in Tikkun Leil Shavuot, and prefaced by Rashbi's crying and exhortations. Apparently so holy that it wasn't even mentioned in P. Eliyahu, or it's on a completely different level and aspect, to the extent that Rashbi was worried, should we reveal it?

-1

Personally I like to imagine the letters of Hashem’s name, but I’ve heard from Rav Avigdor Miller that you can imagine a grandfather figure who is loving and caring etc.

4
  • Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this first answer R Kahana. Since MY is different from other sites you might be used to, see here for a guide which might help understand the site. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 4:15
  • Mi Yodeya isn't like a standard internet discussion forum -- we're strictly a Q&A site, where we expect answers to answer the question at hand. As it is, this reads more like a comment. As such it might be removed or converted to a comment beneath the question. I hope you can find other questions to answer, or questions you would like to ask.
    – mbloch
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 4:16
  • Welcome! This is a very interesting point and would benefit from more rigorous sourcing. It seems to go against common wisdom and therefore it would be very valuable for you to back it up fully
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Jan 23, 2023 at 14:14
  • I doubt imagining anything created like a grandfather figure is appropriate but that's just my guess.
    – Ephraim77
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 19:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .