We enjoyed the press coverage when primetime TV actor Charlie Sheen publicly proclaimed how he drank tiger blood to channel the ‘winning’ qualities of the beast, yet he is not alone in his Big Cat sentiments.
The heathen prophet Bilaam, a hater who was trying curse the Israelites but had his words unwittingly come out as blessings, said “Behold, a people that rises like a lioness (See Malbim) and raises itself like a lion” and later continues “He crouches and lies like a lion and like a lioness; who will dare rouse him?” (Numb. 23:24 & 24:9).
The Lion imagery does not stop there. Indeed, the most prominent book of Jewish law the Shulchan Aruch famously encouraged people to “Arise like a lion to serve your Creator in the morning” (SA 1:1). There is much to meditate on; lions are estimated to sleep for upwards of 13.5 hours a day to as much as 20 hours.
Either way, they wake up as paradigms of efficiency, completely focused on their hunt-and-kill – not forgetting, of course, eating and procreation when required or
desired – and they use their waking hours to maximum effect. Can you imagine if we could do the same?
I have long wondered if there was a hidden clue in the exhortation to ‘arise like a lion’ as its author, the great legalist Rabbi Yosef Caro (1488-1575) spent his final years living in the mystical city of Tsfat in close proximity to history’s greatest Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Luria (1534-1572). Rabbi Luria was known as ‘the Ari’, which means ‘Lion’. We might read ‘arise like a lion’ as ‘wake up completely mindful of the mystical energies, bringing light into the world, transforming reality into a Divine space’…but that is of course speculation*.
The Lion may Sleep Tonight, but when you wake up this week, arise like a king…and make those hours count.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
==> have you reserved your pre-sale copy of The Kabbalah Sutras? The book is written and we need your help to get it published! Pre-order your signed copy and get your name formally published in the book for as little as $36!! Igg.me/at/kabbalah-sutras
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
*_KABBALISTIC FOOTNOTE_ ‘Rising up’ or ‘arising’ can refer to the feminine sefira or mystical energy of ‘Binah’, which means ‘understanding’. My friend Rabbi Hillel Simon explained: “pondering the splender of Hashem creation can arouse one from the deepest sleep”. Happy meditations!
(based on Parsha Balak)