Topic: Kabbalistic Concepts | Posted:January 29, 2014
In the portion of Terumah, there is the discussion of the building of the Tabernacle. We know that the Temple Mount in Israel replaced the Tabernacle; that location is the energy center for the entire world. The most important room in the Tabernacle, the most important room in the Temple, and therefore, the most important room in the world, is called the Kodesh HaKodeshim, the Holy of Holies, and it houses the Aron, the Ark. Inside the Ark are the Tablets upon which the Ten Utterances were written, as well as the broken parts of the first Tablets. The Maharal says that the Ark is called “Aron” because it comes from the Hebrew word “or,” which is Light; all the Light that comes into this world comes from there.
The kabbalists teach that in the Tabernacle, in the Temple, there was a specific measurement for the Kodesh HaKodeshim, the Holy of Holies. It was 20 amah by 20 amah, which is approximately 20 yards by 20 yards, and the Ark was in the middle of the Kodesh HaKodeshim. So imagine you have a square of 20 by 20, which means the distance between any side to the next side would be 20 up and 20 down. However, if you measured from the Ark to one wall, you would measure 10 amot. If you measured from the other side to the wall, you would measure 10. If you measured from the top to the wall, you’d measure 10. If you measured from the bottom to the wall, you’d measure 10. This is geometrically impossible, right? You cannot have a space taken up in the middle, and have the measurement 10 to each side, if the entire room is only 20 by 20.
So, the kabbalists say an amazing thing; they say the Ark did not take up space. In spiritual matters, we know, we study, that there is no time, space, or motion. Think about that for a moment - especially if you have heard it a hundred times - and ask yourself a very simple question: Do you really believe that? Is it really even a possibility in your mind? Can you imagine standing in the Holy of Holies and knowing that what you are looking at does not exist in the space that you are looking at?
In Kings it speaks about the building of the Beit HaMikdash, the Temple, and about the room which we are connecting to on this Shabbat, the Holy of Holies, which housed the Ark. The Ark had poles that were used to carry it; it says the poles were longer than the room, and you could see the tips of the poles through the fabric that covered the Holy of Holies.
The kabbalists explain that the reason the poles were bulging out is because they are the channels— literally, the antennae — through which the Light of this world flows. So even though we know that only one person entered into the Holy of Holies once a year - the High Priest on Yom Kippur – the Holy of Holies is the generator of all the Light that comes to our world. Therefore, the poles were longer than the room to show us that even though we can’t enter into the Holy of Holies, these poles, these antennae, are spewing forth the Light of the Creator into this world.
That’s what it says in the first part of the verse that speaks about the Holy of Holies, the Ark, and the poles. The purpose of the poles was not to carry the Ark. The Ark did not need carrying; it flew on its own. But the poles were there as conduits, as channels. This is why it says it was important that although you were not able to see into the Holy of Holies, you were able to see the poles sticking out; because that is how you made a connection to the conduits of that Light into this world.
But that’s not the important part of the verse. It says that the Ark and the poles are there until this day. What does that mean? We know the Temple was destroyed and there is another structure there now. If you went there now, you wouldn’t see anything. So what does it mean they were there until this day?
What it means, we’ve all heard before, but none of us have ever really understood. Or, more important than understanding it, actually really tried to live it. We talk about the illusion of this world, which surrounds us and is all consuming. We buy into it; even if we’re inspired in one second to know that this is all an illusion, the next second we’re drawn back into this world. How many of us ever really think that there are other things in everything that we are experiencing and seeing?
It’s not just, as Rav Berg always made clear, that something is going to happen, that somebody’s going to come, somebody’s going to announce a change; we have to come to that change in consciousness. And therefore it says in Kings that the Ark is there today, the entire structure is there today, and if we did not have eyes that are so consumed and taken in by the illusion of this physical world, we could see it. Most of us are only getting, as the kabbalists called it, a little sliver of Light. We are not truly connected to the Ark because we cannot see the Ark sitting there. Our eyes are only viewing this world.
How do we change it? It’s very simple.
Today, most of us have something that bothers us. It could be big or small. When that happens, we need to take a moment to tell ourselves: This is not true. This is all an illusion. It’s easy to speak about in philosophical and spiritual terms; we hear lessons, and we can repeat them. But in living it, if you know that 99.9% of what you are seeing is false, how can you be upset about it? If you’re not able in those times when you see things happening and they upset you to say, “This is all an illusion,” then you haven’t even begun the process of achieving the ability to see the truth.
Maybe you’re not able to do this 100% of the time, so start with 30% of the time. It’s a fight. You see something happening, and say, “This is not real. This is all an illusion.” Maybe you fought it four times in a day and lost it six. But you keep staying in there, you start winning the battle. You have spent however long you have lived buying into the illusion of this world. You can’t break it in a day by hearing a lecture or an inspiring concept about how this world is an illusion. You have to live it, and this Shabbat is about beginning to understand that we have to really do the actions that break away.
That Ark is there today. And that Ark is sending out Light - all the Light that you need, all the Light that we need to end pain, and suffering and death in this world – all that Light is there. What you have to understand on this Shabbat is that unless you begin the process of changing your consciousness in this way, you cannot connect to the true source of Light that is this world.
We can’t stay bought-in completely to the illusion of this world as we are today, and think that because of all the spiritual work we’ve done and are doing we will connect to the End of the Correction. Impossible. The End of the Correction already exists, right? It exists here. We just don’t see it. But we have to get to be able to see it. How do we do that? By shifting our consciousness completely from the illusion of this world. And it starts by fighting. Fighting five out of ten, six out of ten times. If you shift that consciousness, you come to the End of the Correction. It’s there, waiting for us to reveal it by breaking away from the illusion of this world.
May we all merit on the Shabbat of Terumah to understand this; not to just hear it, but to truly understand it… and even more importantly, to begin to fight to break away from the illusion of this world.