The Holy Ari. TERUMAH. Angels and Arks

Kabbalah teaches that the cherubs above the ark manifest various spiritual forms of love.

From the teachings of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria; translated and edited by Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky

Angels and Arks

According to the Sages, the two cherubs represent the pairing of G-d and the Jewish people. The Sages state that when G-d was pleased with us, the cherubs faced each other; when not, they miraculously turned away from each other.

The Zohar further states that during the daily prayers, three times a day, the cherubs would miraculously spread their wings, and when the Jews experienced expanded mature consciousness at that time, their faces would change from that of children to that of adults.   The Mystery of the Showbread

The loaves of Showbread were baked on Friday, placed on the Table in the Tabernacle on the Shabbat, and eaten by the priests the following Shabbat; miraculously, they stayed fresh for the whole week.

In Torah literature, the concepts of “eating” and “bread” are often used metaphorically to refer to sexual relations, which bring new life into the world. In a similar way, the Showbread in the Tabernacle, by effecting supernal spiritual unions, brought divine sustenance, i.e. life-force, to the physical world.     Arks & Angels, Skin & Skulls

The original intention was for mankind to be aware and conscious of G-d’s unity much more directly than it is now. But since the sin of the Golden Calf, the human mind functions on the principle of duality and balance, contrast and juxtaposition represented by the twin Tablets of the Covenant.

When the first Tablets were shattered, the direct perception of G-d’s will and wisdom was shattered as well. Had this not occurred, there would have been no need for the painstaking dialectic process of Talmudic logic and exegesis through which the teachings of the Torah are derived from the text.

Developing Divine Dwellings

The Tabernacle that Moses built was a temporary structure. Eventually, a stone structure was built in Shiloh and the tapestries of the Tabernacle were spread over it. It did not have a fixed roof, for we were only able to express the lower half of the emotions, that aspect directed toward expression. The higher aspect of the emotions, the emotions as they are informed by the intellect, was “truncated”.

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2 Responses to The Holy Ari. TERUMAH. Angels and Arks

  1. Contemporary Kabbalists Articles

    Holy Ground

    The ground under the Tabernacle absorbed holiness only while the Tabernacle stood upon it. When the Tabernacle moved on, the ground reverted to its previous, mundane status. Similarly, for a few days before the giving of the Torah, Mount Sinai was off limits by penalty of death. However, after the Torah was given, Mount Sinai was once again freely accessible.

    Later, the holiness of the Temples was compelling enough to affect even the inanimate aspects of Creation. Hence the ground upon which the Temples stood remains holy even today.

    A Tabernacle for Every Jew

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe cites three opinions when G-d commanded the construction of the Tabernacle: 1) after the giving of the Torah, before the sin of the Golden Calf; 2) after the sin of the Golden Calf, on Yom Kippur; and 3) after the first Yom Kippur.

    These three opinions directly correspond to three general types of people and their connection to the Divine Presence in This World: 1) the holy mystic, or completely righteous soul, 2) the penitent, and 3) the sinner. Thus we learn how every kind of Jew has its own unique connection to G-d.

    Unity Through Torah

    The highest level of consciousness of the Divine – that of total unity with G-d – is embodied in the inner chamber of the Tabernacle/Temple and its Ark of the Covenant. The Ark housed the Tablets of the Covenant, on which were engraved the Ten Commandments, encapsulating the entire Torah.

    This teaches us that a person can achieve this degree of intense unity with G-d only through Torah study and specifically, through the study of the inner dimension of the Torah – Kabbalah and Chasidut.

  2. Ascent Lights
    By Shaul Yosef Leiter

    A Toast to Life

    Adar is characterized by the attribute of happiness; its dominant feature is the holiday of Purim. It is a good month for Jewish get-togethers, to draw into ourselves as much of the positive energy as possible. At such gatherings, a Jew sits among friends, each one helping the other by pointing out flaws in an appropriate way. Correcting flaws is like bringing our animal soul, our negative inclinations, to the altar to be slaughtered.

    Elevation Concentration

    The great Kabbalist of Safed, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, describes the act of giving tzedaka as a spiritual union. The coin being exchanged is shaped like the letter yud, and therefore hints to the yud of G‑d’s name Havayah; the five-fingered hand passing it on is the hei (whose numerical value is 5) of G‑d’s name; the outstretched arm (shaped like the letter vav) and the open hand of the receiver are the vav and final hei of G‑d’s name, effectively joining the giver and receiver.

    Giving for G-d

    “Speak to the Children of Israel and take for Me a ‘teruma’.”

    G-d commands the Jewish people to contribute gold, silver and copper towards the building of the Tabernacle. The word “teruma” actually means both “separating” and “elevating”. These two explanations are related because a person separating from his possessions for a sanctified purpose, is also elevating them from their physicality to a higher spiritual dimension.

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