Light Radiance Splendor is not a book I consciously intended to write. A story set in Eastern Europe and Israel, organized around a kabbalistic mythology was an anathema to my family. Their response to questions about ancestry was “you don’t want to know.” Actually I did want to know.
I came to the study of kabbalah by way of my larger interest in spirituality, and a particular teacher delivered me a message that became the impetus for this book.
“You have two ancestral guides trying to get through to you,” he said emphatically. That night I had a vivid dream of hovering over a shtetl, observing a venerable rebbe imparting a manuscript to a younger protégé. As the manuscript changed hands a bright light emerged and stated clearly “I am the Shekinah and this is my mission.” Thus the book was conceived.
It is indeed the Shekinah’s mission that hangs in the balance here. Exiled from this world, she wants to return, that her feminine radiance can restore harmony and balance to a world in great need. But she can only do when there is clear demonstration of the willingness to choose the path of righteousness. Three generations of kabbalists, in agreeing to be her mission keepers, must struggle with the challenges that life presents, challenges in a sense we all must face in one form or another. Who has not been hurt, betrayed, deceived, or inflicted these same on others? We live in a highly imperfect world and the shadow sides of humanity reside within and without. Can we love, accept, forgive, come together for a higher purpose?
The Kabbalah states two paradoxical truths. One man who has reached a state of perfection can heal the entire world. And, the world cannot be healed until every soul is redeemed. Every soul because ultimately there is only one soul, the human soul.
Does the mission succeed? Does the Shekinah return? Will her divine radiant immanence redeem this world? The ending suggests that perhaps it is so. Remember the recent Women’s March on Washington? Read the ending of this book. Prescience, synchronicity, zeitgeist was indeed at work guiding and inspiring. Perhaps it was the Shekinah herself speaking through the voices of the women imploring us all engage in our own way of knitting the world back together.