Searching For Rest on Zion
Rabbi David Katz
In Parashas Trumah we are introduced to the first order of the Mishkan [Tabernacle] following the Sinai revelation, and soon we shall learn of the apparent core reason; that being the fall and sin of the infamous Golden Calf incident. Yet according to Kabbalah the most paramount aspect of creation is knowledge of Hashem [as the Zohar claims this is our whole existence in this World], and as it turns out, we know with whole and complete faith that God is truly and absolutely Good. With that said, the Golden Calf perforce must produce a positive outcome, and it does, for the Ramban reveals that it is the platform to take on board the Gerim. In essence, the Mishkan contains sacred knowledge not only as a dwelling for God below, but the actual blueprint of Creation [through God's Creating process towards Olam HaBah]. The Zohar says that this blueprint extends as the basis of the First and Third Temples; the first having been constructed by King Solomon and his wisdom taken from the Mishkan's design, and is fully expressed in Song of Songs, King Solomon's "Holy of Holies." It is said that the Moshiach will build the Third Temple, and that it will be inspired by the Mishkan as well, producing similar Torah to Song of Songs. This level of Revelation hints at the essential Divine Story being told in the Temple [and Mishkan, Creation, etc.], expressed through a heartfelt account of the Love affair with God that takes place between Jews and Gerim.
The Ramban opens the gateway to the discovery of the relationship that exists between Jews and Gerim, by revealing the inner elements of the Mishkan. The Ramban says the following: "Just as Hashem spoke with Israel face to face through Ten Statements [10 Commandments] and commanded them through the hand of Moses as 'some of the commandments' functioning as a primary system [avot] to the commandments of the Torah. In a similar way the rabbis guide the Gerim that come to become friendly with Judaism, and Israel accepted upon themselves to do…as you shall be a Nation of Priests….and Israel is fit to be soaked with the Shechinah among them. And thus the first command is to have a Mishkan among them where Moses could command them…And behold the main desire of the Mishkan is a place for the Shechinah to rest, and this is the Ark." To generalize the Ramban, as explained in Kabbalistic works, and in absolute parallel within kabbalah, the Ark contains two Cherubim [angelic entities] on the lid of the Ark; for all intents and purposes, and within an ever micro – macro level, the two Cherubim represent this desire of God, characterized as Jews and Gerim, as evidenced by two partial systems of Law [Noahide – 7 and the 10 Commandments; Noahides were given (devoid of command) a unique three in Marah to make an equal measure; Shabbat, Red Heifer, and Statutes]. The Mishkan then came into being through the Golden Calf, yet we see its very essence represents the Jews and the Gerim working together in a perfect male-female [and thus Kabbalistic/micro-macro] relationship and position.
If the Mishkan indeed does represent the two peoples in our World, and provided for a place of Service up and into the Land, it is only fitting to illuminate the inherent pipeline that exists in the Mishkan, reaching as far as the highest spiritual worlds. In kabbalah there are four practical and tangible worlds that are related to the Mishkan[/Temple – for the Mishkan is a pre-Temple infrastructure], and are the arena of Divine Service of God. The main service is ultimately become righteous, gain pure faith, and know God; this is epitomized as the defeat of one's personal evil inclination, a divine reality that all of mankind partakes in. The evil inclination is the necessary evil that God sends into the soul, inspiring one to achieve in this World, and thus giving Creation substance, all as a disguise to the hand of God in His Creating process. The ultimate goal then is to defeat evil, recognize God, and enter inherit the Land of the Humble. That Land is inhabited by Jews and Gerim, and they are working to build and serve the Third and final Temple for God to dwell below. It is this Temple that will innately express the story of Creation, while highlighting the Jewish/Ger "code" of Torah. Many are sure to be surprised that this is essentially the story of the final redemption and the ultimate Torah of the King Messiah. As Ezekiel the prophet says, by learning "it" we merit the inspiration, like King Solomon [in Song of Songs] to build the House of Prayer.
Thus as a perfected service of God, we find two key issues to secure the Will of God: the defeat of the evil inclination and revelation of Torah; coincidentally enough they go hand and glove. The defeat of one's evil happens simultaneously with one's ability to reveal the Godliness of this World. As we grow in Torah revelation and gain an ability to grasp absolute Truth and Faith, the evil inclination loses its ability to deceive, and upon identification, one is ready to take his part in the eternal Jewish – Ger saga that exists for all of time.
The war with the evil inclination naturally takes place in our world, and while unengaged in this indoctrination to evil, we appear utterly divorced from our spiritual identity and reality that we are destined to inherit upon success against evil. As the Zohar points out, through the struggle we endure in our plight, God actually engineers a whirlwind for us to cling to the Divine roots of Creation, even if unbeknownst to ourselves. By conquering the inclination, we rise up, and go from World to World [from Asiah – to Yetzirah – to Briah – and onwards towards a World without evil, Atzilus] by the angelic – Cherubim intervention, occupied by the souls of Elijah and Hanoch. Together, they act as Priests whose numerical value is the same as "voice"; it is as if they announce the righteousness of the soul who conquers his evil, and these two priestly youths project the soul upwards, through passage of "Heavenly tabernacles" until the soul reaches its original home, or soul root. Along this journey, many spiritual realities happen to the victor; from interacting with the Archangel Michael, and gaining the most sublime Torah revelations, his life on Earth is destined to transform itself from a dungeon of death into a Garden of Eden flowing with fantastic and attainable true Joy of spirit.
The nourishment of this journey [called Life] is the influx of profound Torah, and what should not be surprising by this point, comes in the vessels of the Love between God – Jews – and Gerim. As the revelation intensifies, our perceptions change, and as we can begin to recognize the beauty of Humanity, God's Hand of Providence [Mazal] becomes ever more pronounced in our lives. The Torah [even in its original form and perception] serves as the discipline and language [among all of its other infinite Divine cause and function] to decipher the communion that God has with man, and with proper concentration and focus, a harmonious language of God begins to manifest; for all intents and purposes, one could say that the meaning and purpose of Life begins to show its colors. A code exists on Earth, and as Kabbalah calls it, it is the "Voice of the Turtledove" – the Torah of our Righteous Messiah. Several key themes compose its content, and it profoundly takes up Song of Songs' cause, as the mysterious Love affair becomes an audible display of the love between the Jew and the Ger. This is where the Mishkan takes the stage as the sacred key to this dynamic.
When we look into the vernacular of the Mishkan [and all the more so Ezekiel's temple prophecy] one need not stress his eyes too much to see that the language is a bit peculiar in that seems as if every step is a double entendre; this implies that multiple layers are ever present within the actual design of the Mishkan. Indeed it is so, for from a spiritual angle, the words double as vessels to God's Divine Code/Language. This is the same inspiration that Betzalel [who actually constructed the Mishkan] drew in his design, followed by King Solomon; the story of Creation and its Redemption is staring us right in the eye, and has been for thousands of years.
The Torah has been slightly concealed since its inception, and as the End draws near, witnessed by unprecedented returnees to enjoy the Light of the Ger, the concealment yields to unprecedented Light. The light is enveloped within a code that is laced throughout the Torah that once revealed, it is the chronicles of the episodes between Jews and Gerim. Jews are often depicted as "the Children of Israel" while the Gerim are considered "the People." Although not a perfect science, at least in revelation at this point, the Torah steadily becomes a profound testimony between Jews and Gerim; this spans all of time, and sheds particular light on the Torah's most righteous [and their saga's], especially the exchange between Shem and Abraham. Thus when we have a mastery of the "Entire Ger Tzedek / Messianic [Kol HaTor] Code" the Mishkan becomes a huge magnifying glass and decoder to the ultimate revelation of God's Blueprint to the Third Temple, and that is Ezekiel's Messianic Prophecy.
In simple terms, the Torah has code, and the path to righteousness opens the code. Righteousness is defined by the conquering of evil, and key to victory is held in the unity that must exist between Jews and Gerim, thus their imprint is stamped onto eternity's walls. Each side possesses the illumination that the other one needs. For thousands of years each side continuously comes up short; either too solely Jewish, or too unfamiliar with Torah discipline and Wisdom. The Noahide Laws that can blossom into a life of a Ger, provide the bridge between these Worlds, and contain enough firepower to vanquish evil forever, even to the extent that King David promises that this is the way of defeat over Gog V' Magog.
With World-wide unity between Jews and Gerim, the Torah reveals that evil doesn't stand a chance against the Brotherly image that is draped over the Jewish-Ger bond. The Divine Code – Mazal is the universal language that these long lost lovers mutually speak, for it is the language of the Torah itself. By learning in this way, along with all types of communication [Prayer, Friendship, etc.], we are on the way to open the treasure troves of inspiration within Ezekiel, the Mishkan itself, and the pathways of the heavens, as all roads lead to our soul root, in that we should better recognize our Creator. The Zohar says that this is the meaning of Life itself, and we trust that this builds Zion soon in our day, as we pick up where David, the King of Israel and Aravnah, the Ger Tzedek left off, and represent so many before them – standing on Mt. Zion waiting for God's Salvation over the Torah's secret issue. I guess it's kinda simple, Jews and Gerim getting along, finally, and without the yetzer, standing together in the Temple? I think someone said that that would be on Shabbos too, maybe. What do you think?