Ezekiel ch 1, 3:12
The prophet Ezekiel was unique (to say the least) with incredible visions and amazing conversations with Gd.
On the second day of the holiday of Shavuot we read a section where the prophet Ezekiel describes a fantastic vision. “And I looked, and behold, a storm wind came out of the north, a great and a fire flaring up, and a brightness was about it. And out of the midst of it, as it were, the colour of electrum, out of the midst of the fire.”
Wow! What a vision! After that Ezekiel describes four living creatures, each of whom have four heads. One is a man, one a lion, one an ox, and the fourth an eagle. These beings not only have faces, legs, hooves and wings, they propel themselves on elaborate wheels within wheels.
The holiday of Shavuot commemorates the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. Ezekiel’s vision parallels the scene on Mount Sinai.
art by Laya Crust
It was a cataclysmic event with flames encircling the mountain, and lightning and thunder in the air. The description of “Revelation” doesn’t include a four headed being, but that description encompasses different types of strength and humanity. This text gives a different perspective to the wonder and amazement the people at the mountain must have experienced that day.
The text is so fabulous that it has also been immortalized in song. The link below is a real treat- a rendition of “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” by the Charioteers. They sang together from 1930 – 1957. I’ve also added a link to the same tune sung by Woodie Guthrie.
The book of Ezekiel is a really exciting one. Give yourself a treat and read it this weekend. And enjoy your Shavuot.