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Parshas Terumah

Rabbi Avraham Brandwein of Yerushalayim
(in translation)
#9 5763

With the help of Heaven


In this Parsha, Hakadosh Baruch Hu commands Moshe to say to the Children of Israel to make the Mishkan (Tabernacle), in order for there to be a place for the Shechinah (indwelling presence of Hashem) to dwell there, as it is written, “And make for Me a Mishkan and I will dwell within them.”

It is written, “And you shall make the boards (Kerashim) for the Mishkan, standing, of acacia wood.” Rashi asks, “From where did they get the wood (of the trees), since they were in the desert? Rabbi Tanchuma (a Midrash of 2000 years ago) says that Yaakov, our father, saw with Ruach Hakodesh (Divine Inspiration) that, in the future, Israel would build a Mishkan in the desert, so he brought acacia trees to Egypt and planted them there. He commanded to his sons to take the wood with them, when they would leave Egypt.” (This concludes the words of Rashi on verse 5 of Chapter 25.)

It is well known, that Yaakov represents the level of the middle line (of the three lines: right, left and middle, Chessed, Gevurah, and Tiferes, respectively). This is as it is written in the Zohar, “Moshe from the inside and Yaakov from the outside.” To elaborate: there are three levels of the middle line itself. The first level is at the top, (the head), and it is the level called Da’as (knowledge), which is Moshe. (The second level is) Tiferes (Beauty), which is the middle line of the body, (the torso). The third level is Yesod (Foundation), which is Yosef.

The role of the middle line is always to bring together two opposites and to direct them to the golden path. For example, Chessed and Gevurah oppose each other. Each one by itself is not good; therefore, there is a blended, middle level, which mixes both Chessed and Gevurah. Then everything is corrected, because the middle line ties together from both sides. So too, the middle line of the body is the base upon which all (of the person) stands.

The idea of the Mishkan is to bring down the Shechinah to dwell, even in this world, because the Holiness descended below. This is the opportunity, that Hakadosh Baruch Hu has a place in the lower worlds. And so too (a place in) everyone of Israel, as it is written, “And I will dwell within them.”

One of the differences between the Mishkan and the Bais Hamikdash (Temple in Yerushalayim) is that the Bais Hamikdash was built from stones, and it was built in the holy Land of Israel. However, the Mishkan sat on the ground, and was erected in the desert, which is in Chutz La’aretz, outside of the Land of Israel, the place of the Sitra Achra (the Other Side, evil), which is called Shekker (Falsehood), since Shekker (the Hebrew letters of Shin, Kuf, and Raish, have no base at their bottoms to support them; they stand on a point.) The word Eretz (Land) represents desire, i.e. a desire to receive. However through holiness it is possible to convert it into a desire to receive for the sake of giving. Therefore, the boards were standing on sockets (Ahdawnim) and the sockets sat on the ground.

It is written in the Tikunei Zohar that the Name of Hashem (Adonoy) (Alef, Daled, Nun, Yud) is the reverse letters of the word Dina (Judgment), which is the curtain (or screen) that prevents the light from spreading into a vessel, where the light will be received for the sake of being received, but rather to be received only for the sake of giving. Therefore, the Hebrew word for board (Keresh) (Kuf, Raish, Shin) is the opposite order of letters of Shekker (Shin, Kuf, Raish) Falsehood. Shekker has no feet. But when the letters are further transposed, they make the word Kesher (Kuf, Shin, Raish) a connection (knot), when the boards stand on the sockets. Then the place of Shekker (Falsehood) is corrected.

All of this is done by the middle line. And through this, the above-mentioned Rashi can be explained. “From where did they get the boards? From Yaakov, our father,” who is the middle line, upon which everything stands. It is the level of the vessels, which the light can shine upon. And this is the connection between Yaakov and Moshe, as was written above, “And Yaakov from the outside and Moshe from the inside,” because when there are the appropriate vessels, the light of Torah and Da’as can shine, which was given by Moshe, peace be upon him.


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