An Isolation Meditation

(For When Feeling Boxed-in or Sheltered in Place)

by Yonatan Gordon

I'd like to share a meditation for anyone who is feeling boxed-in, whether in general, or currently due to the Corona pandemic restrictions.

The meditation herein presented is based upon the Six Constant Mitzvot of the Torah.(1) These six are central to Jewish life in that they embody many of the fundamental teachings of Judaism. Applying to all Jews, in all places, at all times, and considered "duties of the heart," these six commandments are a prime example of the purpose of Jewish meditation: to meditate upon the oneness of God at every moment of our lives. In some prayer books they are recited at the end of the Morning Prayer.

The Six Are:

1. To believe in the existence and providence of G-d.

2. Not to believe that there are any other gods.

3. To believe that G-d is an absolute, non-composite and all-encompassing unity.

4. To love G-d.

5. To fear-be in awe of-G-d.

6. To guard oneself from foreign thoughts.

Instead of viewing oneself as confined, view your surroundings as a sanctuary, a force field, or cube around you. Place yourself at the center with the side at each of the six directions corresponding to one of the six constant mitzvot that are incumbent upon all Jews at all places and all times. Wherever we're going (or wherever we're staying), these six are incumbent upon us.

What we will now discuss is based on the meditation explained in the book Living in Divine Space by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh.

ABOVE: The first of these constant commandments is to believe in the existence and providence of G-d; this corresponds to the top of the cube above us.

BELOW: The second is the negation of belief in other gods; this corresponds to the bottom, beneath us. When the Jewish people wandered in the desert, the Clouds of Glory flattened the path beneath us so that no snakes, no scorpions, nothing should come up from below.

FRONT: The third is the belief in G-d's unity. "I place G-d before me always." (Psalms 16:8). When we're journeying, we're thinking about the path ahead. If we're in quarantine, we're thinking about the time when we'll be able to go out. The feeling of confinement applies to all of us in Exile. "Egypt" is a cognate; it's the same root as "meitzar," which means "restriction." To go to a redemptive state means to free ourselves from feeling boxed-in. What we're saying is that even if we are temporarily confined in a room or place, then at that moment, we can free ourselves through binding every thought to G-d.

RIGHT: The fourth, to the right, is the love of G-d. In Kabbalah, the right side corresponds to loving-kindness, chessed.

LEFT: To the left is fear of G-d. To fear and be in awe of G-d corresponds to the left side in Kabbalah. We draw loving-kindness close with the right hand, and we push away fear with the left hand. For instance, doing kindness to others, think about doing kindness for others in need at this time- that corresponds to loving-kindness.

BACK: The sixth of these constant commandments is to guard yourself against alien and misleading thoughts. That corresponds to behind us. We should distance ourselves from negativity and negative thoughts- only think positively!

The order in which the commandments are presented follows a logical order in terms of cause-effect relation: One is first aware that G-d exists; this leads him to deny all other pseudo- divinities. Once that is done he sees G-d in everything; this leads him to love G-d and his love brings him to fear separation from Him. This fear in turn inspires him to defend himself from distracting or confusing influences.


Source: Based on the meditation explained in the book "Living in Divine Space" by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Available for purchase at: //

(1) See the Biur Halachah in Mishnah Berurah on the opening statement of the Rema to the Orach Chaim 1:1, the beginning of the Shulchan Aruch, the code of Jewish law.


Yonatan Gordon is a writer with 20 years of Jewish marketing experience. His "Kabbalah and Technology" blog can be found at //


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