Chapter 27 in Psalms is recited from the beginning of the month of Elul until the end of the holiday of Sukkot. The deepest of the verses in that chapter is the verse, L’cha amar libi, bakshu panai, et panecha Hashem avakesh. “To you my heart has said, search for my face (innerness), Your Face, G-d, I will request and search for.” Kabbalah and Chassidut explain that this is the depth of the entire chapter. This verse is the primary reason that this chapter is read during the period of the arousal of the soul to return to G-d.
The verse seems to repeat itself: “To you my heart has said, search for My Face. Your Face, G-d, I will search for.” Rashi explains that “To you” means “for your sake.” For your sake and as your emissary. The heart is G-d’s emissary. The heart says, speaking in the Name of G-d, “Look for My Face” (My inner essence). Then in answer to the heart the speaker says to G-d, “For Your Face I will search.” Since the heart is speaking in the Name of G-d, looking for “My Face” (inner essence), refers to looking for the inner essence of G-d. The answer, “For Your Face, G-d, I will search,” is an affirmation of what the heart has said.
From the above we learn that G-d has a Face, an inner dimension, and also a Back, an outer dimension. Face, panim, is the “innerness” of the soul. The expression of the face expresses the true reality of the innermost dimension of the heart. The back, achor, is “outerness” as it does not express the inner emotions and reality of the heart. The foundation for the fact that G-d has an inner and outer dimension is Moses’ request to G-d to reveal to him His Face. G-d answered Moses, the greatest of prophets, “You can only see My Back, but you will not see My Face.” This is as though to say, “You are only a man [the level of ?mind’], you do not possess the source of intuition as does a woman [the level of the inner dimension of the heart].” A man can only see (in his mind’s eye) the Back. The Back is the rational dimension of G-d. Moses himself was not allowed to see G-d’s Face. King David, who represents the sefirah of malchut, the source of the female soul wrote the Psalms for every Jew in every generation. In our verse in Psalms 27, the heart, whose inner “eye” is above that of the mind, speaks in the Name of G-d, “Don’t give up, look for My Face.” And then the reply, “Yes, I am going to look for Your Face. I am not going to suffice with Your Back.”
The period of Elul and Tishrei is the period that we look for G-d’s Face, His inner dimension. According to the simple explanation, the heart is an emissary to connect between G-d and the speaker. The heart is above the speaker’s normative consciousness, his “I.” He recognizes that it is his heart, but his heart is between him and G-d. Just as Moses stood between the Jewish People and G-d at Mount Sinai, the heart is between the speaker and G-d. This can be compared to a true Rebbe, who connects between his students and G-d. Here the heart acts in that capacity.
The Ba’al Shem Tov says Lev Yisrael Chai. “The heart of Israel is always alive and awake.” This is derived from the verse in the Song of Songs, “I am asleep but my heart is awake.” Sleep is the general state of Jewish consciousness in exile. The heart of the Jewish People, however, is always awake. The Midrash explains that “My heart” in the verse in The Song of Songs refers to G-d. In the verse in Psalms, it is clear that the heart is the emissary between G-d and the speaker. The heart acts as a true intermediary, connecting both sides and sometimes appearing as one of the two sides.
Other chapters in this series:
- Teneh–Revealed and Concealed Levels of Torah
- Teneh – Categories of the Jewish People Correspond to Levels of Torah
- Hakhel – To Learn, to Hear, to Merit
- Taf (Children) – Drops and Prophecy
- Nashim (Women) – Breath and Soul
- Inner Dimension of Torah and the Inner Dimension of the Heat
- Redemption in Merit of Women and Children
- Search For My Inner Essence
- Two Levels of the Inner Dimension
- Israel, Torah, and God – Inner and External Dimensions
- Four Directions and the Four Worlds
- Emanation Consciousness – No Friction
- Face, Innerness, Glory, and Atzilut (Emanation)
- Awareness of a Higher Dimension Helps to Create a Good Year