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    The Shechinah – Mass’ei

    The Torah tells us in Num. 35:34 that God dwells amongst the people of Israel.

    What this means is indicated by the Targum Onkelos, which says that it is the Divine Presence, the Shechinah, that dwells amongst the Israelites.

    Saadya Gaon suggests that it is the Almighty’s radiance that illumines the Israelite camp.

    In “The Faith of Judaism”, my teacher Isidore Epstein speaks of “the overwhelming sense … of God’s omnipresence”. Epstein explains that though God is everywhere and in everything, this “does not mean that He is revealed in equal fullness, say, in a clod of earth and in a man” (pages 139-140).

    The Shechinah is not only present on earth but after death; the bliss of the afterlife gives the soul “the light of the Shechinah” (Talmud Berachot 17a; Epstein, page 331).

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