Hidden Treasure in a Bookstore
Browsing in a bookstore, I happened across a book entitled The Feminine Face of God. I was drawn to it and opened it up. Inside, I found a treasure that I cannot keep to myself. A Jewish woman, Sherry Ruth Anderson, recounts a powerful dream she had. It’s a little long, the full version of the dream is here
In the dream, she describes entering a temple, where she meets Melchizedek. In the temple she finds a special Torah:
I am dumbfounded by what I see. Rolled onto finely carved wooden poles is the most sacred object in Judaism, the Torah. I have never actually seen a Torah close up or held one, since these privileges were permitted only to men when I was growing up. But now I lift this Torah carefully out of its cabinet and cradle it to me tenderly as if it were a baby.
Then I notice something unusual. Instead of a mantle of velvet covering the scrolls, or a simple ribbon holding them closed, the Torah has been sealed shut by a dark round blot of red wax. I look at Melchizedek. “This is a very special Torah,” he says. Pulling out his dagger, he breaks the seal and rolls open the scrolls. They are absolutely blank. “The Torah is empty,” he says, “because what you need to know now is not written in any book. You already contain that knowledge. It is to be unfolded from within you.”
“What is this Torah for?” I ask.
My question seems to set in motion the next sequence of events. Without speaking Melchizedek lifts the Torah and lightly places it inside my body, from my shoulders to my knees. I accept this gratefully, feeling my body as a sacred vessel.
At once, a great commotion breaks out behind us. Spinning around, I see that the room is now filled with long-bearded patriarchs wearing black coats and trousers. They’re holding hands, laughing, singing, and dancing jubilantly around the room. They pull me into their celebration. As I dance I seem to see Moses, Kind David and King Solomon, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They, too, are dressed in black coats and trousers, dancing with such heartfelt abandonment that I catch their joy and am filled with it. Ecstatically we whirl round and round the room, laughing.
Finally the dancing stops and I ask, “What is this all about?” Melchizedek answers, “We are celebrating because you, a woman, have consented to accept full spiritual responsibility in your life. This is your initiation as one who will serve the planet.”
As I wonder what this means, he continues, “And you are not the only one. Many, many women are coming forward now to lead the way.”
“But who will be our teachers?” I protest.
“You will be teachers for each other. You will come together in circles and speak your truth to each other. The time has come for women to accept their spiritual responsibility for our planet.”
“Will you help us?” I ask the assembled patriarchs.
“We are your brothers,” they answer, and with that the entire room is flooded with an energy of indescribable kindness. I am absolutely confident in this moment that they are our brothers. I feel their love without any question. They say then, “We have initiated you and we give you our wholehearted blessings. But we no longer know the way. Our ways do not work anymore. You women must find a new way.”I was moved to tears by this dream. Something in it pierced straight to my soul. I love the image of the old patriarchs dancing with joy that women are ready to join them. This dream contained potent images of how things could be.
What might it mean for us as women to accept full spiritual responsibility for our lives and our planet? How can we speak our truth and trust our own authority to know the way?