Sabian Symbols: A Jewish rabbi
This universal idea is best expressed through planets in
Libra 20 (19° - 20°)
SETTLED TRADITIONAL WISDOM
Tradition binds a community into collective agreement and has certain benefits of social and spiritual conformity
What binds together a group will always include an element of tradition and common practice. Religions and their leaders offer a model of what is true and how to behave. The negative aspect of this is the tendency towards sclerosis; rigidity is life denying. Yet on the positive side, such groups, which can form around a well-defined commonality of belief and purpose, are strong enough to hold strong energies, which one person cannot hold. Transformation can be overwhelming without group support.
A RABBI PERFORMING HIS DUTIES
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A rabbi performing his duties
A guide finds balance in masculine and feminine, tradition and intuition, spirituality and service
Some of us have a position in life – one that both requires and develops impressive self-assurance – to guide our fellows. This is a normal functionality of any community whereby a deeper understanding of our shared heritage is imparted, and faith is generally strengthened.
The person of the Jewish rabbi represents the force of masculinity that has become contoured by age. Each of us has this force and so, as the years go by, our inner being pushes out against social pressure to form a strongly-defined highly individuated character.
Yet the qualities and behaviour of the rabbi are more indicative of the feminine receptivity – as he gently ministrates kindness and care to all who come to him, distressed and needy.
It takes tremendous dedication to fulfil the task of guide. It is necessary to be an exemplar of both the masculine and the feminine, to hold alive the heritage in the modern era, and to serve.
A single person can become a special channel for the whole community’s highest aspirations. It is implicit that the guide does what we would all do if only we could – in terms of service and spiritual remembrance.
There is, with this work, a real and constant danger at a very profound and subtle level. It is little understood that the temptations of ego grow in direct proportion to our level of influence – even as spiritual guides. We are tested to avoid the seduction of self-superiority, and very few pass the test.
What makes it worth the risk is the extraordinary insight that comes to those who are able to stand on the shoulders of the giants who have gone before. These guides are guided, both by tradition and intuition, to a special level of awareness, and ability to serve others.
A Jewish rabbi
Commentary from Richard Grey
N - A Jewish rabbi (identity) | settled | tradition | wisdom/truth - I know these don't mean the same but they're often used synonymously. This being an example of apparent or perceived ambiguity that perhaps 7 Words should guard against and clarify?) | position in life | self-assurance (I do this but not that) | strongly-defined highly individuated character
H - deeper understanding
T - community | feminine receptivity | kindness and care
G - sclerosis (gradual hardening making change ever harder) | transformation | contoured by age | dedication (completion)
P - faith | guide (impossible without people to guide - cooperation)
S - beware the seduction of self-superiority
Y - agreement | tradition
The symbol (N) is not about anything the rabbi does (G) or says (H). It's a straightforward statement of a fact (N). However, is it an invitation for the student to consider what it would be like to become (G) and be (N) a rabbi & therefore to appreciate (T) him? And/or to accept (Y) all that this guide (P) offers (T)?
I'm going to plump for Yes!