Sit back and listen
to Rabbi David Cooper's talk on the teachings of The Holy Chariot.
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Rabbi David Cooper's audiotape series "The Holy Chariot" is available from Sounds True, PO Box 8010/Dept. BP98, Boulder, CO 80306-8010.
Excerpted with permission from the Sounds True Audio Collection "In Their Own Words"
Text of the audioclip
Shalom alecheim. In Judaism, the mystical teachings of the Holy Chariot go back 2,000 years and perhaps even longer. The Talmud says that anyone involved in the practice that's called Ma'aseh Merkavah
, the Work[s] of the Chariot, must be very careful in the handling and the teaching of these hidden works. In fact, it was said in the Talmud that if one was to transmit the teachings of Ma'aseh Merkavah
the Work of the Chariot, it was forbidden to do so except to one person at a time. And this person had to be highly qualified. As a result, for the last 2,000 years the teachings of the Holy Chariot have been hidden. They've been difficult to acquire, and most people are unfamiliar with them.
In many ways, the teachings of the Holy Chariot are connected with Kabbalah, and Kabbalah, as many people know, has been an esoteric, secret system from the beginning of time. It's only been for the last 50 years that people in the West have been familiarized with the teachings of the Kabbalah as a result of new translations and opening up of information that was previously inaccessible.
The chariot, of course, is a metaphor. It's not a physical chariot but rather it's a vehicle toward higher consciousness. It's that way of living, that way of seeing things, and the way of acting that raises our consciousness to ever higher levels. And there are teachings in Talmud that describe various practices that one could do to raise their awareness, ultimately to God consciousness.
In many ways, the sound of the shofar symbolizes the chariot itself. But the sound of the shofar takes us back to the primordial sounds upon which the creation is built, and it's these primordial sounds that represent the potential to attain God consciousness. So when we hear the call of the shofar, it's as if we are standing in the chariot ascending to that level of awareness that will ultimately bring us to a paradigm shift that is called in Kabbalah, messianic consciousness, that is to say that things will be different, we'll relate to each other in new ways, we'll see the world through entirely new eyes.