The Meaning of Shekinah

The Meaning of Shekinah

Dave O'Donnell
Dave O’Donnell

For Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,

that he might lead you to God. A man without sin died that we might find God. Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit. (1 PT 3:18) That is the path we all must follow, i.e. the death of the ego (flesh) to find life in the spirit.


What does life in the Spirit look like? It looks like a person who feeds the hungry, helps the needy, sees the problems of the world and offers his talents to help; a person who recognizes the radical interdependence of the individual to the all—no one is excluded and no one feeds on himself. We all feed spiritually, psychologically and physically on the other.


The Hebrew word, Shekinah, means presence. The Presence is revealed by glory for: “The glory is the presence of God” Rabbi Heschel explains: The whole earth is full of His glory (Isaiah 6:3) Yet although the Shekinah, the Presence is everywhere, the experience of the Shekinah is always somewhere.


The Jews had in or near the doorway to the Holy of Holies, the bread of presence. Jesus, a good practicing Jew knew that and realizing who he was could not help but see himself as the bread of life, as are we all.

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