As those who have read my book The Divine Feminine know I have been a devotee of the Divine Mother for many years. I speak with Her almost daily as part of my regular spiritual practice. I did not seek out this spiritual path, it was thrust upon me, but I find it deeply moving, comforting, and rich with wisdom and insight. My understanding of the Mother comes through the Hebrew and Greek Wisdom Literature written by Jews over several centuries. Books like Proverbs, especially chapters 1-9, Ecclesiastes, Job, Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Pirke Avot, and the Gospel of Thomas.
Each year for the past few years I have had the honor of spending time at Wisdom House in Litchfield, CT. Wisdom House is the spiritual retreat center of the Daughters of Wisdom, an order of nuns founded in the 1700s. In between my teaching duties, I spend time reading, walking the center's labyrinth, and sitting in the chapel and gazing upon the most astounding statues of Mother Mary I have ever seen. I recite the Hail Mary for a while and then simply settle into quite. Her love for me (and the world) is palpable.
Of course this is not the usual confession a rabbi makes, but then I haven't been a usual rabbi for a long time. For me Mary is one of many incarnations (Western and Eastern) of Lady Wisdom (Proverbs Cht. 8). I don't believe She is God in any dualistic sense. God is Reality, embracing and transcending all things, so She is no less God than you and I are God. Indeed Proverbs tells us Wisdom is the Daughter of God, and not God in the absolute sense. I understand Wisdom (Chochma in Hebrew, Sophia in Greek) as the equivalent of the Tao, the way God is God in the world of form. Knowing Her is knowing the way of things and how to live in harmony with them.
Anyway, I have just returned from Wisdom House, and want to thank the sisters for making me feel welcome. I also want to encourage you to check out their website (www.wisdomhouse.org) and their order, and consider attending one or more of their programs. I will be back at Wisdom House in August of 2011 to offer a series of talks on Jesus as a Jewish Wisdom Sage.