Twitter markets itself as "the fastest, simplest
way to stay close to everything you care about." What makes short, succinct
messages so compelling as a way to communicate with others?
Before discussing the actual size of these messages,
let’s first discuss the chirping bird imagery as it’s rooted in Jewish
There are two words for "bird" in Hebrew, 'oph'
and 'tzipor'. The first word means to "fly," the second, to "chirp." To be
a bird it’s not enough to know how to fly. You also must know how to chirp.
Birds chirp when they find fruit. Just like a bird
chirps when it sees food to inform other birds, so too when we see fruit (i.e.
something beneficial that others can digest), we should chirp about it. This
chirping takes place from the vantage point of the branches of the tree, or more
essentially, while residing within the nest.
Where Ideas are Hatched
Birds are the
harbingers of peace on earth.
The numerical value of the Hebrew word for "bird/tzipor"
is equal to the numerical value of the word "peace/shalom". Birds are the
harbingers of peace on earth. So too, the chamber of Mashiach — the
"prince of peace" (Isaiah 9:5) — before he comes down to this world, is called
"the bird’s nest/ken tzipor". From this we learn that perfected
consciousness, untainted by the constraints of exile, comes from the bird's nest.
The Hebrew word 'ken' is also cognate to
"rectification/tikkun" and "possession/kinyan". The most perfected
possession is the new Torah of Mashiach, the song of the wings of the
eagle, which begins to resonate as he approaches his fledglings. This new
Messianic Torah will bring about our rectification as the eagle approaches his
nest to gently – touching and not touching – arouse his waiting fledglings.
Tweeting from the Nest
The word for "its fledglings/gozalav", as in
the chicks in the nest, is an acronym for "Gam zu letovah", which means
"This too is for the best." The fledgling waiting to be lifted on the wings of
Messianic consciousness is waiting to hear from you that whatever happens to us
is for the best. So sometimes we Tweet just to share positive messages
throughout the day.
In addition to representing peace, the bird imagery
also connotes being sensitive to the emotions of others. Asking every Jew about
their well-being is akin to walking down a road and happening upon a bird’s
nest. Because the soul of Mashiach is the source of inspiration and is
alive in every Jewish soul, by expressing concern for another, you are revealing
the Messianic bird’s nest in their heart.
Now obviously, for me to inspire another I myself need
to be inspired. So while communicating, I need to do so while rooted in my own
personal Messianic bird’s nest. Even though I seem to be walking in the street
or texting on my cell phone, all these Tweets come from my heart in order to
enter the heart of the recipient.
140 Characters at a Time
"At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of
information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long, but don’t let the
small size fool you -— you can discover a lot in a little space."
In Kabbalah, Wisdom and Understanding are referred to
as the Father (Abba) and the Mother (Imma). Their union is called
the higher union. The higher union is constant and therefore these two
sefirot are referred to in the Zohar as "two companions that never
separate." Numerically, the sum of Wisdom (chochma = 73) and
Understanding (bina = 67) is 140.
Knowledge expands when the story
around the idea is developed.
The number 140 then signifies the intellectual power
to balance between initially perceiving an idea and the ability to clearly
explain and elucidate it. The potential for communication begins at 140 (the
union of Wisdom and Understanding) but the process first expands when Knowledge/da'at
is developed. So while Tweets are a good starting point, the conversation should
continue with blog posts, articles, books, etc… Knowledge expands when the story
around the idea is developed. Most good books start off with one initial idea
(perhaps 140 characters or less) — then the rest is commentary.
In Summary (How to Tweet):
- While inspired by your personal Messianic Bird’s Nest
- Keeping the messages uplifting. They should bring a sense of calm and
peace to others.
- Use it as a starting point to begin new ideas. Ideally develop Tweets into
more expanded concepts on blogs, articles, etc…
- Tweet while on the go. Tweeting in this manner is like saying hello to
people you meet in the street: spontaneous and cheerful.
- Keep people updated. Like an eagle hovering over its fledglings. Keep your
followers warm and protected, but let them grow to be full-grown birds and
Tweeters in their own right.
Click here to continue to Part 2: When
the Tweeting Stopped.
Yonatan Gordon, is a writer with over 10 years of
Jewish marketing experience. His Kabbalah and Technology blog can be found
at //CommunityofReaders.org. The content of this article was inspired by the
teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh of Gal Einai (//Inner.org).
Copyright 2003 by KabbalaOnline.org, a project of Ascent of Safed (//ascentofsafed.com). All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, unless with permission, in writing, from Kabbala Online.