adapted from Meta Parshiot by Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank
HIGHLIGHTS OF T’RUMAH
This week’s Torah portion, Parashat T’rumah, gives detailed direction for building the Mishkon, the portable desert sanctuary. The Mishkon provided connectivity between the Holy One of Blessing and the Yisrael community. Mishkon (משכן) shares a root with Sh’khinah ( שכינה ), the indwelling feminine Divine Presence. This means that the Mishkon was developed to be a home for Sh’khniah.
T’rumah begins with Havayah (YHVH) instructing Mosheh to ask the people for an offering. He asks all to give a gift from their heart to build the Mishkon. There is a tradition to request charity for the upkeep of communal space when reading this Torah portion.
This Torah portion continues with a precise detailing of the Temple and its ritual objects. This includes building the ark in which to house stone tablets – the remnants of the 10 commandments; a table made of twelve shelves to house twelve fresh loaves of matzah; a golden menorah with seven shining lamps; a square tent in which to house sacred objects; an inner partition to isolate a more holy space within the square tabernacle-tent; an altar for sacrifices; and a large outer fence.
It is interesting to notice Torah portions read February/Adar 1 this year focus on structure designed to cultivate an optimal (coherent) relationship with Divine Presence. Torah focuses much attention on physical structure, there is an inherent suggestion to pay attention to the health of our personal inner structure, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Heykhalot Raboti shares the travels of Rabbi Ishmael under the protection of Metatron; The Holy One’s most close and powerful servant. They journey together in the High Heykhalot, Divine Inner Space, and Metatron shares secrets of The Divine Structure with Rabbi Ishmael.
“Rabbi Ishmael said, Metatron, the angel, the prince of faces, said, ‘Since the day the first humans were banished from the Garden of Eden, Sh’khinah has been dwelling upon a cherub beneath the Etz Hayyim (Tree of Life).
The ministering angels would jump, arrive, and descend [on the Etz Hayyim]. Classes and classes of them came from the heavens (shamayim), groups and groups (havurot) from the firmament (rakia), camps and camps of them from the heavens (shamayim).
The first human and that generation would sit outside the opening of Gan Eden gazing at the the glowing radiant form of Sh’khinah. For the radiant glow of Sh’khinah would move from one end of eternity to the other,“holekh m’sof ha-olam ad sofo”, one sixty and five thousand sun cycles. [They gazed because] all who access the radiant glow of Sh’khinah – flies nor bees rest upon them, they do not get sick, they do not get stressed, damaging entities cannot grab onto them, and not only that, even angels do not rule over them... All who access the radiance of Sh’khinah are never harmed. ‘”Haykhalot Rabboti Page 2, seventh teaching
I love this image of the Etz Hayyim [Tree of Life] as a transport vehicle upon which angels travel to various vantage points of the high heavens. The image of humanity, banished, now gazing at the Sh’khinah’s longing glow to receive the remnants of the benefit.
MISHKON – SANCTUARY IN THE DESERT
The Mishkon is a parallel to Creation.
The Mishkon is a complete microcosm, a miraculous miniature copy, of everything that is in Heaven and on Earth.
The structure and components of the Mishkon tent directly correspond to the secrets of the universe .
Betzalel knew the combinations of letters through which heaven and Earth were made. He was the master artisan, inspired by Mosheh, who built the Mishkon. (Talmud Brakhot 55a)
By means of building the Mishkon, Betzalel was able to imitate Creation on a small scale.adapted from The Alef Bet by Ginsberg p 97 & On the Kabbalah and its symbolism by Gershom Scholem p 167 in Meta Parshiot 5755
What did Mystics say about this impermanent tent sanctuary?
adapted from Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank
The Mishkon is a Microcosm of Creation. This movable mystical sanctuary conveys a suggestion of a distinct field within our space time continuum moving around in the Sinai desert with the Yisrael camp.
All space on Earth is potent. It holds energy. One need only look at waves in the ocean to witness Earth is impacted by Moon’s gravitational pull. The waves are a visible reminder that Earth receives energy from the cosmos large and small from places near and far.
Imagine within this potent Earth space a different potent space that invites a sense of ease and health with it.
Imagine a traveling Holographic Smithsonian Institute, a virtual 3-D reality Louvre, or a Universal-Disney theme park. These are places where people gather together for a shared celebratory purposes. The Mishkon Presence is unique and distinct from these other spaces. This is because of a unique attribute – The Divine Presence. The aware energy field of available Divine consciousness. The Mishkon was available to be questions, accessible for inquiries, able to question you back, brought healing, and was willing to communicate secrets of creation with human beings.
T’RUMAH COUNTS HOD IN TIFERET
Hod shares a root with gratitude. Cantor Micha’el Esformes says Hod allows beauty to flow through without claiming ownership of it. Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi taught that Hod flies like a bird flies, swims like a fish swims. Its the ability to effectively locate and use available resources with ease and grace, tempered with a view into the future based on past patterns.
Consider surfing – there are waves that are meant to be ridden, and others that are meant to move on through. The ability to discern potential or its lack is an important skill in surfing ocean waves or the sometimes bumpy road of life. Hod, often translated as Glory or Splendor, acts as a counterpoint to Netzah.
If Netzah is stereotyped as a worker who stays the course and gets the job done day in and day out, then Hod is like a whimsical performing artist, like a juggler. Everyone needs both.
Together, they provide balance that supports movement into manifestation.
HOD IN TIFERET
Look at the partnering of the parshiot of Mishpatim and T’rumah, Netzah and Hod of Tiferet. The efficient one (Mishpatim in the Netzah place) wants to detail each action without much concern for where it takes place. The splendiferous one, (T’rumah in the place of Hod) cares for the ambiance and plans a suitable environment for special events. The ultimate purpose of the actions detailed in Mishpatim is creating a holy planet. In T’rumah we create The Holy One of Blessing’s home on a small scale symbolized by the Mishkon. Hod brings out the depth and life from within Netzah’s frenetic frenzy.
A BIGGER PICTURE VIEW of the INNER WORKINGS OF THE S’FIROT
The first three (out of the lower seven) S’firot determine the shape of a thing, the passion, the thrust of energy, its cycles and dynamics. Netzah and Hod implement this already developed drive. In this Torah portion, the detailing of the planning stages and the architecture of the Mishkon, shows that we are still within the developing structure indicated by Tiferet.
The new month of Adar 1 came in this week. This year the festival Purim is celebrated in Adar 2. During Adar situations tend to flip (heepookh) in an instant. This trickster energy makes holiness seem more remote, even when it is closer than ever.
The wonderful contemporary mystic, Bilvavi Mishkon Evneh, explains how this is a experience of higher Divine levels (on page 1 of his book Kol D’mamah Dakah). At a higher level all possibilities coexist. There is no need for discernment. The Divine container can contain all possibilities.
This is not the case in our Earthly home. As the veil between creation and the Divine Presence gets thinner the separation from everything coexisting easily to fitting into the earthly vessel tends to be more visible. Some matters are moved through sequencing. Others manifest as changing circumstance and results in a need changing direction. It can be frustrating. Tracking the changes while keeping mind that it is a hint that the Divine presence is comforting.
When Adar enters, we amplify joy.
More joy, less oy.
Thank you. Very interesting.
You are welcome, Jennifer. Last week’s Torah Portion is a potent one.