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March 24, 2008



Over an Aspaqlaria, in an early post I discuss the blog's name.The word aspaqlaria is a loan word from the Greek "lapis specularis", a somewhat clear (thus the "spec" root as in "spectacles" or "spectator") stone used in the classical period the way we would use glass brick today to let light into a room. The rishonim dispute the meaning of the word, which appears in the Talmud as a metaphor for wisdom and elsewhere as a metaphor for prophecy. One opinion is that it means "mirror", the other, "a lens".

So, in that blog entry I look at the difference between understanding prophecy to be a kind of mirror and understanding it to be a kind of lens.

Also, is prophecy a way of obtaining a message from G-d, or a way of being better informed by seeing higher realities? The mirror is a means of obtaining the "small still voice" of G-d speaking within one's soul (pardon the shift of metaphor from sight to sound). The lens, a means of seeing an external reality, albeit one the mind forces into metaphoric clothing.

And I thereby try to link the dispute on defining the term to the dispute as to the nature of the 3 men who visit Abraham and the "Man" in the throne on Mt Sinai (or in Ezekiel's chariot).

See http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2004/11/aspaqlaria.shtml and http://www.aishdas.org/mesukim/5764/mishpatim.pdf if you are interested in more detail.


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