What’s in a name—our name, Tzaddi?
We pronounce the name “T-zah-dee,” with the accent on the second syllable. Our formal, legal name is “The Bishop of the Church of Tzaddi.”
Tzaddi is a letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It happens to be the heading on a Bible verse that the church’s founder, Amy Kees, was reading while she was praying about what to name the organization. Amy Kees was a scholar of the Bible, and of esoteric teachings relating to numbers, letters, colors, and vibration. Even though the name is a bit of a mouthful in English, she chose Tzaddi because for her, it accurately reflected the vibration of the organization she was guided by Spirit to create.
To understand more about what she might have been thinking, it is necessary to delve a little bit into esoteric teachings. Most religions have a mystical, metaphysical branch—Kabbalah in Judaism, Dzogchen and Tantra in Tibetan Buddhism, and so forth. These metaphysical branches are more concerned with direct experience of the spiritual energy that the religion focuses on, the Source, by whatever name it is called in that tradition, rather than concerned with formulaic or rigid views of things. In other words, mystics tend to focus on flow, change, healing, and evolution—because Source is a dynamic, flowing Presence.
Because we are all connected with Source, no matter what our culture or background, and because mystics who are able to perceive that higher vibration directly have some fairly consistent experiences across traditions, finding our fellowship is often just a matter of finding the words to express our experiences in a common language that we can all understand. In today’s world, some branches of physics are searching for those same kinds of words, as our scientific understanding reaches into areas of exploration previously reserved for shamans, poets, and other mystics.
When words are not enough, or when we want something in addition to words, we can focus on vibration, or energy, behind and within the sounds and representation of words and names. Just imagine that you are saying the name of a person or an animal that you love, or say it out loud. Isn’t there “something more” there than when you say the name, for example, of your congressional representative? What is that “extra something”? You could say that it is the vibration of love, of warmth, of affection; of all the memories of joy that you share with that person. Because you are designed to resonate and ring, just like a bell, when you speak with love, it is tangible to your listeners. They might smile when they hear you speak about a cat or a friend, because they tune in to your happiness and it makes them happy.
Amy Kees chose “Tzaddi” because for her, in her exquisite sensitivity to resonance, the name spoke volumes in vibration that many of the rest of us might not be conscious of, might not notice. To understand those tones and inflections, let’s consider the use of the word in the Jewish mystical and scholarly tradition.
Tzaddi is associated with the quality of righteousness; in the 119th Psalm Tzaddi is the header on the verse that talks about righteousness (Psalms 119: 137 – 144). The word Tzaddi has a form that describes a righteous person, a tzadik. Maimonides, a famous ancient scholar, defined a tzadik as someone whose merit surpasses his iniquity, in other words, someone who has found a balance in virtue. In the Hasidic tradition, the title tzadik is applied to someone who has reached a state of holiness where they experience love and awe of God without material temptation. Such a person serves as a vehicle or merkavah, a body of light in this world. In some circles it is believed that the world is not destroyed, is able to continue, because of the presence of these people on Earth. Some traditions believe that only a small number of people hold this office. Amy Kees believed that we are all capable of this, and that it is our calling and task to develop ourselves spiritually so that we can hold and transmit the light and love of Spirit for the benefit of others, and for our own fulfillment.
Amy Kees birthed our organization to help people develop their direct experience of their connection with the Divine and to build their body of light, to enhance their virtue and to more fully embody their soul and spirit while on Earth: to channel the Divine flow of blessing to the world. We smile when we remember her kind acts, her virtue, and are reassured by the presence she held here while she was on Earth. For this reason, we choose to keep the name “Tzaddi” even though it’s hard to pronounce. Thank you, oh soul who came here for awhile as Amy Kees, for all your teachings and your love. May we be inspired by your example to be merkavahs, each in our own unique way.