When the question is posed who the mother of Israel is, many think of Deborah, who said of herself that she rose a mother in Israel (Judges 5:7). But the phrase is mother in Israel (AM B’YShRAL), not mother of Israel (which should be AM YShRAL or AM H’YShRAL). The term AM YShRAL does appear in the Hebrew Testament, but usually it is lost in translation. Why? Because the title Mother of Israel is assigned to a man – Jacob.
This is the verse in question: Genesis 32:28 And he said, thy name shall be called Jacob no more, but Israel instead: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.
That is the common translation. If you had a closer look at the original Hebrew wording, you would notice that seven words got lost in translation. Moreover, the phrase for as a prince hast thou power is the translation of the single word saryth, ShRYTh, H8280, which means to have power.
If one translated the verse word by word one would ended up with the following translation:And he told Jacob that his name ceased to be Jacob, and shall now be Mother of Israel, who has power over Elohim’s nation and has prevailed over the nation of males.
How can Jacob be the mother of Israel?
The phrase mother of Israel is AM YShRAL. Its value is 582 and its Gematria a dead end.
Hmm , let’s have a closer look at the terms involved, but from the angle of spiritual psychology.
Jacob means supplanter and he represents the ego that supplants the higher self. That’s why it’s written that Jacob bought the right of the first-born from his elder brother Esau. The distinction between the ego and self is an phase of the great work, the third to be precise. It’s a great lightbulb moment, when we realize that we aren’t a feeble mortal soul, but a divine, immortal being. Jacob had his moment when he wrestled with his ego at a place he later called God’s face. This happened in Gen 32:24. He wrestled with his ego until it gave up and the ego blessed him with a new name: Israel.
According to Paul Foster Case, Israel means He-who-shall-rule-as-God-rules. Israel is a promise, a covenant: perform the great work and you will be able to yield divine powers. In this respect, Israel is the same thing as the covenant.
After Jacob was renamed to Israel, he reunited with Esau (the true self). Esau’s face was said to be god-like, which reminding us of the Lesser Countenance mentioned in the Zohar. The Lesser Countenance is a title assigned to Tiphareth, the Sephirah of Adam, Christ, and mankind. God-likeis the literal meaning of Michael, MYKAL, the archangel who rules Tiphareth in Briah (Heaven).
Clear now? Jacob is the mother of Israel, because he gave birth to his spiritual aspiration by subduing his ego and prevailing over the ego’s nation, the nation of males, i.e. his personality.
Meister Eckhart said something similar: We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself?
As a result of his spiritual awakening, Jacob received the rulership over Elohim’s nation. What is Elohim’s nation? Some Qabalists equal it with the spiritual Israel or spiritual mankind. This is the context: Elohim created Adam in His image and likeness. Adam is the universal soul of mankind from which all individual souls emanate. Logically, Elohim’s nation are the countless immortal souls that populate the universe.
Elohim is the God-name of Binah, the third Sephirah, which is also the Higher Shekinah. In Qabalah, Shekinah is God’s female side, which re-appears in Malkuth, the physical universe. The Lower Shekinah is the miracle of miracles: the presence of the transcended God inside the physical, discoverable only by Homo sapiens. Jacob had a vision of Shekinah after overcoming his ego.
Not surprisingly then, Shekinah is sometimes called the mother of Israel’s nation. But this needs a bit of explaining. After we experienced a spiritual awakening, the great work begins. The great work reconstructs mind and body with the purpose to immortalize both of them. The new, spiritual personality is Israel’s nation (OM YShRAL) opposed to the old, mortal personality, which is OM ANShYM, the nation of males ornation of the ego).
Picture attribution: Gustave Doré [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (modified)