Shekhinah Warrior Princess – Zohar Video Game

I don’t think anything prepared me, as a newcomer to the Zohar, for the violence of Her image. No doleful mourning lass, behold Shekhinah aka Matronita, Zoharic techno Goddess! I’m sure the boy(s) writing and editing the Zohar must have found Her armed and dangerous, gleaming razor bright, and totally awesome!

What shall I do for Her? Well look! My entire household is in Her hands. He issued a proclamation: “Henceforth all affairs of the King are entrusted to Matronita.’ He placed in Her control all His weapons –lances, swords, bows, arrows, catapults, fortresses, stones, all those warriors, as is written: “Behold the bed of Solomon! Sixty warriors surrounding her…All of them skilled with a sword” (Song of Songs 3:7-8). …’ From now on, anyone who needs Me cannot speak with Me until he notifies Matronita.’ …Consequently all is honor of Matronita…[I]n front of Her would appear warriors, catapiultier, lacnemen, swordsmen –revealed in front of Her – since other camps were coming to wage war against Israel from above.” –Zohar 2:51a, Pritzker translation)

This is what She looks like at the encounter out in the desert at the Red Sea against the doomed Egyptian host. She’s Matronita-Shekhinah Warrior Princess in complete battle array of holy names, letter combinations, radiant engravings, supernal crowns of Hesed and Judgment, lashes of fire, seventy and two colors.

I think She would make for a great character in a Zohar comic book or video game.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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10 Responses to Shekhinah Warrior Princess – Zohar Video Game

  1. Joel Hecker says:

    Zach, There are many, many movies, cartoons, and video games waiting to be made from the Zohar.

    • zjb says:

      Joel, I think you’ve got a lucrative side career here. You just have to pitch it, and then sign on as consultant. I’m so jealous. What we moderns get in terms of subject matter is dreary in comparison. But maybe I’m wrong. I wonder if someone out there could stage The Star of Redemption as an opera? It would have to end at self-immolation at the gates of death. Maybe a comic book too.

  2. C.M.W. says:

    In the comic book arena, you might want to look into Alan Moore, J.H. Williams III, and Mick Gray’s Promethea. It’s modeled conspicuously (and often awkwardly so) on the Tree of Life and Moore’s version of Hermetic Kabbalah. It consists in 32 issues (deliberately like the Paths) that are currently available in 5 collected volumes. The main character, Promethea/Sophie Bangs is indeed a warrior woman throughout the ages.

  3. leakyink says:

    Ya, with all the leakiness that accompanies her, she’d be scary indeed!

  4. But please make it accessible and interesting to my nephew who says he doesn’t believe in God (I don’t believe in the God he doesn’t believe in either!) but really digs into the depths (unbeknownst to him) the origin of all.

    • zjb says:

      hi Lauren: i bet i’m not the only one who got interested in religion via Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings, even if it’s universe is agnostic. one day people will be writing dissertations on Harry Potter and religion, if they haven’t already.

  5. Great blog Zachary! May I share this novel idea on the Shekhinah?

    שְׁכִינָה (Shekhinah) Divine Presence, is cognate with שָׁכֵן (shakhen) neighbor, but also may be given a creative eytomology: אֵשׁ קַנָּא (Esh Qana) Jealous Fire.

    As it is written:

    “The General Agrippa asked Rabban Gamaliel, ‘It is written in your Torah, For YHWH your God is a devouring אֵשׁ [esh] fire, a קַנָּא [qana] jealous, God [Deuteronomy 4:24]. Is a wise man jealous of any but a wise man, a warrior of any but a warrior, a rich man of any but a rich man?’ He replied, ‘I will give you a parable: To what is the matter like? To a man who marries an additional wife. If the second wife is her superior, the first will not be jealous of her, but if she is her inferior, the first wife will be jealous of her’” (BT Avodah Zarah 55a).

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