I.  Gan Eden – The Ideal Dwelling Place. 3

II.  Bethel – The House of G-d. 10

III.  Har Sinai 15

IV.  The Mishkan – The Tabernacle. 18

V.  Names given to the Mishkan. 23

VI.  The Beit HaMikdash – The Temple. 24

VII.  Names given to the Temple. 27

VIII. Where HaShem put His Name. 30

IX.  Physical versus Reality. 32

X.  The Synagogue. 39

XI.  Stones and Corner Stones. 43

XII.  Preceding Names. 46

Preceding Names in the Nazarean Codicil 51

XIII.  Miracles. 55

XIV.  Keruvim (Cherubim) 56

XV.  King è War against Amalek è Temple. 58

XVI.  Time and Space. 59

XVII.  Fit Vessels. 61

XVIII.  Mashiach. 64

XIX  Eden - Back to the Future. 66



In this paper I would like to examine some aspects of the Temple, past and future.[1] Let’s start by examining what the Patriarchs called the future site of the Temple.


Avraham called the future site of the Holy Temple a mountain, after the Akeida:


Bereshit (Genesis) 22:14 And Avraham called the name of that place Adonai-Yireh: as it is said [to] this day, In the mount of HaShem it shall be seen.


Isaac called the future site of the Holy Temple a field:


Bereshit (Genesis) 24:53 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels [were] coming.


Ya’aqov called the future site of the Holy Temple a house:


Bereshit (Genesis) 28:16-17 And Ya’aqov awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely HaShem is in this place; and I knew [it] not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful [is] this place! this [is] none other but the house of God, and this [is] the gate of heaven.


This dwelling, this “house” as Ya’aqov called it, will figure prominently in this study. It is important, therefore that we understand the meaning of this word. Here is what the dictionary says:


dwell (dwl)intr.v. dwelt, (dwlt) or dwelled dwell·ing, dwells

To live as a resident; reside.

To exist in a given place or state: dwell in joy.

To fasten one's attention

To speak or write at length


The Encyclopedia Judaica gives us a bit more insight into this “dwelling”:


PRESENCE, DIVINE. The notion of the Divine Presence is expressed in the Bible in two different senses: 1) in the corporeal sense, i.e., the actual dwelling (shakhan, שכן) of G-d in His abode; 2) in the abstract sense, i.e., symbolic representation by means of calling or establishing His name (shikken shem, שם שכן) upon the Sanctuary or the people.


G-d's presence, according to the ancient view, is confined to the Tabernacle / Sanctuary and to other visible phenomena serving as the vehicles of G-d, such as the Ark and the cherubim or the cloud enveloping the G-dhead in its movements. That the Tabernacle was considered an indicator for G-d's presence in ancient Israel may be learned from the words of Nathan the prophet to David: "... I have been moving about [mithalekh] in a Tabernacle and tent [be-ohel u-ve-mishkan]... All the time I was moving about among the Israelites..." (II Sam. 7:6–7). The same concept is given expression in the Priestly source of the Pentateuch: "I will establish My abode [mishkani] in your midst... and I will be moving about [i.e, be present] in your midst: I will be your G-d and you shall be my people" (Lev. 26:11–12). Similar statements are found in other parts of the Priestly literature, where shakhan, "dwelling," is used instead of hithalekh, "moving about," as in Exodus 25:8: "Let them make me a Sanctuary that I may dwell [we-shakhanti] among them," and at the end of the inauguration of the Tabernacle in Exodus 29:45–46: "And I will dwell among the Israelites and I will be their G-d." The rabbinic term Shekhinah is actually an abstraction of this concept of "dwelling," which in the sources just quoted is understood literally. Indeed the Tabernacle, as depicted in the Priestly tradition, represents a royal house with all its necessary facilities.


Before giving the Torah, HaShem explains that the Children of Israel were to be "A kingdom of priests and a holy nation." Their mission was to show the rest of society what it means to integrate HaShem into a lifestyle. It was intended that the Children of Israel would accomplish their mission individually and collectively. It was HaShem's original intent that every single Jew should attain a level of understanding and integration equal to the High Priest on Yom HaKippurim as he entered the Holy of Holies to serve HaShem and affect forgiveness. It was intended that this assumed sanctity would be self evident to all those who desired to see living examples of divinity translated into reality! It was intended that the sanctuary of HaShem would reside within each and every Jew, as stated in:


Shemot (Exodus) 25:8 "Make for me a sanctuary that I may dwell within them.". Israel was to be a dwelling or House for HaShem.


Our Sages have pointed out that the Torah does not say, "Make a Sanctuary for Me . . . so that I may dwell in it [i.e., the Mishkan]," but rather, "So that I may dwell among them [i.e., the People]." This is more than a nice expression. HaShem is not primarily concerned with a temple of wood and stone; the purpose of the physical temple is to inspire us to make ourselves into temples for the Shechinah.


The raison d’etre for the Temple is “dwelling”. Adam knew that HaShem dwelt in him because the Ruach was blown into his nose and he could hear it when he breathed. The curtains in the Temple used to move as the Temple breathed.


The term "Shekinah" means "dwelling" and is used to describe HaShem's presence in this world. The word Shekinah is not found in the Tanakh. Its earliest appearance is in the Targums where it used with regard to HaShem dwelling among the B’nei of Israel.


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis III:9 R. Samuel b. Ammi said: From the beginning of the world's creation the Holy One, blessed be He, longed to enter into partnership with the mortals. For what will you: if it is a matter of time reckoning, it should say either one, two, three, or first, second, third, but surely not, one, second, third! When did the Holy One, blessed be He, repay them? At the erection of the Tabernacle, as it says, And he that presented his offering the first day  (Num. VII, 12), meaning, the first of the world's creation, for God said, ' It is as though on that day I created My world.’ That day took ten crowns: it was the first of the creation, first in respect of kings, the princes, the priesthood, and the Shechinah, (as it says, And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them (Ex.XXV, 8)); it was first in respect of blessing, sacrificial service, the prohibition of high places, killing at the north [side of the Altar], and the descending of fire, as it is said, And there came forth fire from before the Lord (Lev. IX, 24).5


This study will look at several very mystical aspects of the Temple which correspond exactly to what we read in the Nazarean Codicil. The concept of the “Body of Mashiach” is directly related to the Temple. Therefore, I think that this study should be of interest to all who wish to have a greater understanding of the design of HaShem and His plans for the future. The future, however, is rooted in the past.


To understand the Temple as a dwelling place, it is necessary to go back to the ideal which was created at Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden. This ideal represents the epitome of what HaShem desires in a relationship with man. It also provides some significant clues about the Temple that will aid us in our study. As a final thought to whet the appetite, consider what His Majesty King Shlomo said, and consider how it might apply to Gan Eden:


Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 1:9 The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new  [thing] under the sun.


As the Talmud relates, history is divided into three equal periods of two-thousand years each:


Sanhedrin 97a The Tanna debe Eliyahu teaches: The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation; two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era, but through our many iniquities all these years have been lost.


The first two thousand years contained Gan Eden. The second two thousand years contained Bethel, Har Sinai, the Mishkan, and both Temples. The last two thousand years contained Mashiach ben Yosef. We are therefore close to the time of the end. We can hear the footsteps of Mashiach ben David.


This Midrash should also tantalize those who wish to understand the Temple:


"As the navel is set in the center of the human body, so is the land of Israel the navel of the world... situated in the center of the world,
and Jerusalem in the center of the land of Israel,
and the sanctuary in the center of Jerusalem,
and the holy place in the center of the sanctuary,
and the ark in the center of the holy place,
and the foundation stone before the holy place,
because from it the world was founded."[2]

I.  Gan Eden – The Ideal Dwelling Place


The essence of the Beit HaMikdash, the Temple, as we shall see, is a dwelling place for HaShem. To understand this dwelling we must first go to that ideal world where HaShem placed man in perfect fellowship with His Creator. This ideal world was called Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden:


Bereshit (Genesis) 3:8 And they heard the voice of HaShem G-d walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of HaShem G-d amongst the trees of the garden.


Here we see HaShemwalking” or dwelling with Adam. Surely we must say that this was the ideal place for HaShem to dwell with us. The Midrash tells us plainly that this verse indicates that the Shechinah[3] of HaShem dwelt in Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden:


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XII:6 AND IT CAME TO PASS (WAYYEHI) ON THE DAY, etc. What is the implication of WAYYEHI? R. Joshua said: The Holy One, blessed be He, made a stipulation with Israel while they were yet in Egypt that He would only bring them out from thence on the understanding that they would build a Tabernacle for Him so that He might cause His Presence to dwell among them; as it says, And they shall know that I am the Lord their G-d, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them (Ex.XXIX, 46); on this condition: ' That I may dwell among them.’ Now as soon as the Tabernacle was erected and the Shechinah descended and dwelt in their midst (all the conditions were fulfilled. Consequently it says, WAYYEHI (AND IT CAME TO PASS), implying that what He had promised He performed). WAYYEHI: Rab expounded: Something that had never happened from the time the world was created until then took place on that day. From the time when the world was created until that moment the Shechinah had never dwelt in this lower world. It only did this from the moment when the Tabernacle was erected and thenceforward. For this reason it says, WAYYEHI; it was an innovation. R. Simeon b. Yohai said it was something that, having already been in existence, had ceased and now returned to its previous state. You find that from the beginning of the world's creation the Shechinah had dwelt in this lower world; as it says,  And they heard the voice of the Lord G-d walking in the garden, etc. (Gen.III, 8), but once the Shechinah departed at the time when Adam sinned, it did not descend again until the Tabernacle had been erected. It is for this reason that the expression WAYYEHI is used, signifying that something which had already been in existence, and had ceased for many years, returned to its original state.


HaShem wanted a place in this world to house His presence. Gan Eden would have been that place, had Adam and Chava not eaten from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It represents the ideal. Therefore, any connections between Gan Eden and future events where we see the Shechinah will need to be explored in order to understand the ideal.


Let’s look at some connections between Gan Eden and the Temple. Let’s start by looking at what the Torah has to say:


Bereshit (Genesis) 2:10 "A river issues forth from Eden to water the garden, and from there it is divided and becomes four heads."


The holy Zohar[4] says that the "river issues forth from Eden" refers to the spiritual waters of the Torah, which nourish the world, just as water sustains vegetation. In like manner we know the Luchot, the tablets, of Torah are found in the Aron Kodesh, the Holy Ark, in the Temple and The Word of HaShem will go forth from Zion:


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of HaShem, to the house of the G-d of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of HaShem from Jerusalem.


The Tablets of the testimony were kept in the ark in the Holy of Holies. The Luchot were the representation of Torah.


Similarly, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was a living organism, but eating of its fruit brought death. Death is a state where flesh is turned back into dust which is made of minerals just as stone is made of minerals.


The tikkun for Adam's sin (eating un-kosher fruit) is the observance of the Torah's command to eat only kosher food.


Just as Adam and Chava did not have any work except serving HaShem by tending the Garden. So too the Priests and the Levites do not have a designated portion in Eretz Yisrael. "HaShem is their inheritance.":


Bamidbar (Numbers) 18:20 And HaShem spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I [am] thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.


They do not depend upon standard economic interactions for their income. Their financial well being is gifted to them by HaShem. They spend their days servicing the nation as teachers and priests, effectively doing HaShem’s work; and the people, in turn, support them with specified gifts, as per HaShem’s instructions. They live the ideal life of Adam and Chava in the Gan Eden who should have spent their time exploring HaShem’s intentions and being cared for by HaShem, rather than struggling to make a living "from the sweat of your brows". The Priests and the Levites are the model humans in HaShem’s model world teaching us by example how to behave. They model what Adam and Chava should have been.


The parallel between Gan Eden, Har Sinai, and both the Temple / Mishkan becomes especially apparent in the Midrashim that interpret Adam's responsibility in Gan Eden of service. This are the same responsibilities we have when it comes to Har Sinai, and the Mishkan in reference to the sacrifices and Torah study.[5] Compare the duties in Gan Eden:


Bereshit (Genesis) 2:15 And HaShem God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to serve it and to guard it.


To the duties at Har Sinai:


Shemot (Exodus) 3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this [shall be] a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.


Shemot (Exodus) 19:12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, guard yourselves, [that ye] go [not] up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:


And the duties in the Mishkan:


Bamidbar (Numbers) 8:26 But shall minister with their brethren in the tabernacle of the congregation, to guard the charge, and shall do no service. Thus shalt thou do unto the Levites touching their charge.


Thus we see that we are to guard and serve in Gan Eden, at Har Sinai, and at the Mishkan and Temple. The words guard and serve connect these three locations.


There is another word which connects Gan Eden and the Mishkan, mithalek, in Gan Eden we see:


Bereshit (Genesis) 3:8 And they heard the voice of HaShem God walking (mithalek) in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of HaShem God amongst the trees of the garden.


In the following passage we see the same word, mithalek, used in reference to the Mishkan:


Vayikra (Leviticus 26:11-12) And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk (mithalek)  among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.


We also see this methalek in reference to Har Sinai:


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:14 For HaShem thy God walketh (mithalek)  in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.


Again we see that Methalek connects Gan Eden, Har Sinai, and the Mishkan.


Another connection between Gan Eden and the Mishkan is found in:


Tehillim (Psalms) 36:8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of Your Edens.


The Psalmist juxtaposes Gan Eden with Thy House to connect them for us.


Just as the world was first created and then Adam was introduced; so too, the Mishkan was first constructed and then the Priests were introduced!


The tree of life was a vehicle for the communion between Adam and HaShem. This fruit is Torah. Communion involved the ruach – his breathing. And through his eating of the tree of life. He was left with the ruach though full partaking of the tree was denied to Adam. Food connects the spiritual to the physical.


Since the Shechinah was present in Gan Eden, Har Sinai, and in the Temple, it will be necessary to compare the aspects of these three locations to get a better understanding of the Temple as a dwelling for HaShem.


The following chart equates some of the symbols of Gan Eden with the symbols of Sinai and the symbols of the Beit HaMikdash:




Mishkan /Temple

Tree of Life (Torah)

Burning bush / Tablet (Torah)

Tablets (Torah)

Separated (Holy) by Keruvim

Separated (Holy) by boundary markers

Separated (Holy) by curtains

Ten statements of creation.

Ten words

Tablets w/ten words

600K souls in Adam

600K souls at Sinai

600k letters in Torah (Black fire and white fire)

Keruvim at the Tree of Life

Keruvim in the chariot

(2 Shmuel 22:11)

Keruvim on the ark.

Wall around the garden

Boundary around the mountain

Curtain around the Mishkan

"Hamin haetz

hazeh" (Did you eat from the tree?)

HaMan from heaven (manna)

HaMan in the Holy of Holies. (manna preserved)

Adam and Chava were naked and unashamed

Israel went into the Mikveh

The Keruvim were naked.


Gan Eden was the very antithesis of the wilderness where Torah was given at Har Sinai. The Temple, however, had some aspects of both places. When we walked in obedience, the Temple was a place of communion with HaShem. It was a place of abundant food, a place where all of our needs were met. When we walked in disobedience the Temple was plowed under and became a howling wilderness. At the end of Days, however, Mashiach will restore this Temple-Eden:


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 51:3 For HaShem shall comfort Zion; he will comfort all her ruins; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of HaShem; joy and gladness shall be found in there, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.


The Midrash suggests that Adam HaRishon was a hundred cubits tall just as the Temple was a hundred cubits tall:


Baba Bathra 75a An objection was raised: And I will lead you komamiyuth, R. Meir says: [it means] two hundred cubits; twice the height of Adam. R. Judah says: A hundred cubits; corresponding to the [height of the] temple and its walls. For it is said: We whose sons are as plants grown up in their youth; whose daughters are as corner-pillars carved after the fashion of the Temple. R. Johanan speaks only of the ventilation windows.


Finally, here are several phrase connections:


Bereshit (Genesis) 1:31 And God saw all that he had made and behold it was very good.


Shemot (Exodus) 39:43 Moses saw all the skilled work and behold they had done it; as God had commanded it they had done it.


Bereshit (Genesis) 2:1 The heavens and earth and all of their array were completed.


Shemot (Exodus) 39:32 All the work of the Tabernacle of the Tent of meeting was completed.


Bereshit (Genesis) 2:2 And God completed all the work that He had done.


Shemot (Exodus) 40:33 And Moses completed his work.


Bereshit (Genesis) 2:3 And God blessed


Shemot (Exodus) 39:43 And Moses blessed


Bereshit (Genesis) 2:3 And sanctified it


Shemot (Exodus) 40:9 And you shall sanctify it and all its vessels.


The Wall


Gan Eden was surrounded by walls. Adam was responsible for guarding the walls against creepy crawlies. He failed and we all know the outcome of the serpents machinations:


Bereshit (Genesis) 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed Kerubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way of the tree of life.


The Midrash talks of this wall around the garden:


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XXI:2 I went by the field of the slothful man (ish), and by the vineyard of the person (Adam) void of understanding (Prov. XXIV, 30). R. Huna said: Behold, if one buys a field or a vineyard and is designated person (ish) or man, yet is dubbed lazy, what benefit has one [from the title of ' man ‘]? ‘I went by the field of the slothful man,’ however, refers to Adam, while, ‘And by the vineyard of the person (Adam) void of understanding ’ refers to Eve. R. Huna said: Where do we find that Eve is called Adam?-According to the beauty of Adam, to dwell in the house (Isa. XLIV, 13). And lo, it was all grown over with thistles (Prov. XXlV, 31), as it is written, ' Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee’ (Gen. III, 18). The face thereof was covered with nettles (Prov. loc. cit.): In the sweat of thy face, etc. (Gen. III, 19). And the stone wall thereof was broken down (Prov. loc. cit.):Therefore the Lord G-d sent him forth from the garden of Eden (Gen. III, 23): having sent him forth He began to bewail him, saying, BEHOLD, THE MAN WAS AS ONE OF US.


Today we are to learn Torah and make a fence around Torah, according to the Sages in Pirkei Avot 1:1, as quoted in this Midrash:


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers X:8 Why did the Torah forbid ANY INFUSION OF GRAPES, seeing that one does not get drunk thereby, and it likewise prohibited the eating of anything that proceeds from the vine, even such things as do not intoxicate? Why so? From this you can infer that it is a man's duty to keep away from unseemliness, from what resembles unseemliness and even from the semblance of a semblance. From this you can infer that the Torah has put a fence about its ordinances. We have learned elsewhere: Be deliberate in judgment, raise up many disciples, and make a fence round the Torah. How shall a man make a fence round his own affairs in the same way as the Torah has made a fence round hers? Behold, it says,  And thou shalt not approach unto a woman... as long as she is impure by her uncleanness (Lev. XVIII, 19). One might assume that he is allowed to embrace her and kiss her or indulge in idle conversation with her. Scripture therefore explicitly states, ‘Thou shalt not approach.’ It might be assumed that she may sleep with him in her garments on the same bed. Scripture therefore plainly states, ‘Thou shalt not approach.’ It might be assumed that she may wash her face, paint her eyes, and let him take a, cup from her. Scripture therefore plainly states, Of her that is sick with her impurity-niddathah (ib. XV, 33)1; all the time that she is sick she must remain in isolation (niddui).1 From this it has been inferred that the woman who makes herself look repulsive during the period of her impurity has the approval of the Sages, while the woman who adorns herself during the period of her impurity has not the approval of the Sages.


Adam was making a fence around the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in order to help the woman avoid sin, instead of protecting the wall:


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XIX:3 BUT OF THE FRUIT OF THE TREE WHICH IS IN THE MIDST OF THE GARDEN, G-D HATH SAID: YE SHALL NOT EAT OF IT, NEITHER SHALL YE TOUCH IT, LEST YE DIE (III, 3). Thus it is written, Add not unto His words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar (Prov. XXX, 6). R. Hiyya taught: That means that you must not make the fence more than the principal thing, lest it fall and destroy the plants. Thus, the Holy One, blessed be He, had said, For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Gen. II,17); whereas she did not say thus, but, G-D HATH SAID: YE SHALL NOT EAT OF IT, NEITHER SHALL YE TOUCH IT; when he [the serpent] saw her thus lying, he took and thrust her against it. ' Have you then died?’ he said to her; ‘just as you were not stricken through touching it, so will you not die when you eat it, but For G-d doth know that in the day ye eat thereof,’ etc. (ib. 5).


This section was an excerpt from Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai:


Everything in Torah is a teaching and a directive both in the service of HaShem and in our private lives. When we correct the breach in the wall of Yerushalayim in our own lives, we cause HaShem to rebuild Yerushalayim. The word Yerushalayim in Hebrew is a composite of two words: Yirah, which means fear, and Shalem, which means complete. Our personal Yerushalayim represents our awe and fear of G-d. Fear of G-d is not only that the fear He can punish us. When we realize that our greatest asset is our bond with G-d, and that the strength of that bond is dependent upon keeping his commandments, we fear damaging that bond.


The Wall surrounding Yerushalayim represent the steps we take to avoid doing negative acts. When we are afraid of something being damaged, we take steps to protect it. Our love and fear of G-d dictate that we not only carefully keep his commandments, but that we also take steps to prevent mistakes. This is the reason for most Rabbinical ordinances. Similarly, in our private lives, the wall of Yerushalayim represents the steps we take to protect our meaningful relationships. The Seventeenth of Tammuz is a time when we reexamine our fences, making sure to fortify that which is truly important.


Yerushalayim also represents the local Jewish community / Esnoga to which we belong. Breaching its walls therefore implies that we have no reverence for G-d or the community and that we do not value the deeps bonds between us and our fellow Jew in our local community. Much of the breaching of the community walls takes place via Lashon Hara (lit. “evil tongue” = gossip) and a lack of nobility in behaviors and manners between its members. As Pirke Avot makes it clear – “where there are no noble manners there can be no Torah, and where there is no Torah there can be no noble manners.”  


The prophet Yeshayahu (Isaiah) related, "Zion will be redeemed through justice and her captives through charity". Justice in this verse refers to the study of Torah. In these three weeks while we mourn the destruction of the Temple and pray fervently for its rebuilding, it is customary to study extra Torah and add in acts of charity, particularly among the members of the community. It is especially desirable to study the laws of the construction of the Temple. This year, as Yerushalayim is under siege, these directives are even more imperative in order to beseech HaShem's protection for those who live in Yerushalayim, the entire Israel, and the entire world.


Interestingly, the number 17 is the equivalent of the word Tov, which means beneficial. This is because underlying the destruction are the seeds for an even greater future. When Mashiach ben David will come, the world will be in a higher and more perfect state than the time of the Temple. May we merit seeing that time now!




On day one of creation, G-d created light:


Bereshit (Genesis) 1:3 And G-d said, Let there be light: and there was light.


This, however, was no ordinary light. After all, the sun, moon, and stars will not be created until the fourth day. The Midrash speaks of this light:


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XI:2 He blessed it in respect of the luminaries. R. Simeon b. Judah said: Though the luminaries were spoilt on the eve of the Sabbath, yet they were not smitten until the termination of the Sabbath. This agrees with the Rabbis but not with R. Assi, who maintained: Adam's glory did not abide the night with him. What is the proof? But Adam passeth not the night in glory (Ps. XLIX, 13). The Rabbis maintain: His glory abode with him, but at the termination of the Sabbath He deprived him of his splendour and expelled him from the Garden of Eden, as it is written, Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away  (Job XIV, 20). As soon as the sun set on the night of the Sabbath, the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to hide the light, but He showed honour to the Sabbath; hence it is written, AND G-D BLESSED THE SEVENTH DAY: wherewith did He bless it? With light. When the sun set on the night of the Sabbath, the light continued to function, whereupon all began praising, as it is written, Under the whole heaven they sing praises to Him (ib. XXXVII, 3); wherefore? Because His light [reaches] unto the ends of the earth (ib.). R. Levi said in the name of the son of Nezirah: That light functioned thirty-six hours, twelve on the eve of the Sabbath [i.e. Friday], twelve during the night of the Sabbath, and twelve on the Sabbath [day]. When the sun sank at the termination of the Sabbath, darkness began to set in. Adam was terrified, [thinking,] Surely indeed the darkness shall bruise [E.V. ’envelop’] me (Ps. CXXXIX, 11): shall he of whom it was written, He shall bruise thy head (Gen. III, 15), now come to attack me! … R. Berekiah said in the name of R. Samuel b. Nahman: Though these things were created in their fullness, yet when Adam sinned they were spoiled, and they will not again return to their perfection until the son of Perez [viz. Mashiach] comes; [for in the verse] ’These are the toledoth (generations) of Perez ‘, toledoth is spelled fully, with a waw.


Now, we also understand that there was a light associated with Adam HaRishon. For as Moshe glowed when he was in the presence of HaShem and His Shechinah, so too did Adam HaRishon glow when he walked with HaShem:


Shemot (Exodus) 34:29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.


The manifest presence of HaShem in Gan Eden was impossible to ignore. His presence was made manifest through this unique light.


As we shall see, light in intimately associated with the Temple.




The Torah tells us that the first man was made directly from the dust:


Bereshit (Genesis) 2:7 And HaShem G-d formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.


The oral law relates that the Temple site was the starting point of Creation.


Adam HaRishon was created from the matter of The Place where the Temple altar would be built, according to our Sages[6]. In a manner of speaking Adam was a “lively stone”. Therefore it should come as no surprise that the Temple is symbol of Adam HaRishon and the Last Adam.




When HaShem created Adam He created a perfect unity. Adam and Chava were created as one:


Bereshit (Genesis) 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.


Yevamoth 63a R. Eleazar said: Any man who has no wife is no proper man; for it is said, Male and female created He them and called their name Adam.


Adam = man. Only when the male and female were united were they called Adam. Later the woman will be separated from Adam:


Bereshit (Genesis) 2:21-25 And HaShem G-d caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which HaShem G-d had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.


At this time the woman is still called “Adam”. The man and woman are still a unity called Adam. After the sin, the woman will be given a name to demonstrate that they are no longer united:


Bereshit (Genesis) 3:19-20 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return. And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.


Gan Eden with HaShem and Adam was the ideal. This idea of unity will permeate the purpose of the Temple.


The manifest presence of HaShem in Gan Eden was impossible to ignore. HaShem “walked” in the garden.


II.  Bethel – The House of G-d


The Holy Temple was part of the blueprint of creation because in the Kodesh Kodeshim, the Holy of Holies, was the Aron, the ark of the covenant. Inside the Aron were the two sapphire tablets carved by the finger of HaShem. These two stone tablets represented the Torah and the covenant that HaShem made with His People. This Torah contained the blueprint or the genes of the entire universe. These two tablets were like the seed of a male. They contained the essence of reality and everything that was created.


This blueprint or genes, if you will, was described in the vision of Ya'akov Avinu, the Patriarch Jacob, who saw a ladder joining the earth to the heavens, the Temple serves as a gateway to the heavenly realm:


Bereshit (Genesis) 28:10-22 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of G-d were ascending and descending on it. There above it stood HaShem, and he said: "I am HaShem, the G-d of your father Abraham and the G-d of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely HaShem is in this place, and I was not aware of it." He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of G-d; this is the gate of heaven." Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If G-d will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear So that I return safely to my father's house, then HaShem will be my G-d And this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be G-d's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."


The Malbim, a 19th century commentator, remarks on this passage:


"Jacob understood that this place was the site for the future Temple ... for the Temple is the ladder, whereby heaven and earth kiss each other. Man's worship ascends upwards, and the Divine Providence descends thereby."


Bethel, the place where Ya’aqov Avinu slept, is a Hebrew word which means “House of G-d”.  Everything about the ‘future’ Temple depicts a house: The furnishings of the Temple itself were a table and a lamp (together with an incense altar). The inner sanctum was called chadar mitot, "bedroom,":


Melachim Bet (2 Kings) 11:2-3 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king's sons [which were] slain; and they hid him, [even] him and his nurse, in the bedchamber from Athaliah, so that he was not slain. And he was with her hid in the house of HaShem six years. And Athaliah did reign over the land.


The outer courtyard of the Temple served the function of courtyards in those days, such as food preparation, washing etc. The Talmud expresses the Divine bereavement as "Woe my house is destroyed”.


A house is a place where two very different individuals come together and build a common life together. They leave out their traits which hurt the relationship and bring in the traits which build the relationship. So it is with this house. HaShem and His people come together in the Temple to have intimacy and to build their relationship.


The presence of HaShem was manifested by the ten constant miracles that were found in the Temple, as we shall see later.


The Sages understood that Bethel is another name for the place where the Holy of Holies would be built in the days of King Shlomo. We can, therefore, understand that Ya’aqov slept in an extremely holy place. It is no wonder that he had such a vision that night.


HaMakom, “The Place” of the world IS the Beit HaMikdash, the House of the Holy One. This is a place of connection, a place of intimacy. This place was called Bethel which means “The House of G-d”. This was HaMakom, THE PLACE, where Jacob slept for the first time in fourteen years:


Bereshit (Genesis) 28:10-12 And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put [them for] his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.


Makom is used exclusively in the Tanakh to indicate The Place where the Temple was built.


“Makom” has a Gematria of 186. YHVH spelled out and multiplied thusly: Yod (10) times yod (10), hay (5) time hay (5), vav (6) times vav (6), and hay (5) times hay (5) = 186. When we multiply a letter times itself we describe what a number does in the world. The YHVH when express what it is, it means “makom”, The Place. Mekayim (which means giving of existence) is the root for makom. HaShem is the possibility for existence. He is The Place of the world.


The Temple is The Place of intimacy. The furnishings of the Temple itself were a table and a lamp (together with an incense altar). The inner sanctum was called chadar mitot, "bedroom," (2 Kings 11:2).


All duplicated parts of the body are always described in the feminine. (The brit HaLashon (tongue) and the Brit Mila (place of circumcision) are male structures.) In the Temple almost all of the parts and utensils have feminine names.


Incidentally, this is why the Arabs built a Mosque EXACTLY over the Holy of Holies. Arab homicide murderers believe that there will be seventy virgins awaiting them, to satisfy their lust. This is a people soaked in immorality. A people who goal is immorality. Where else would they attempt to be immoral, but in the place of intimacy between HaShem and His people. There he can prove his immorality.


All points of connection, in Hebrew, have feminine names.


The woman is called double because she can duplicate herself. That is why the connection between worlds is always called double. Machpelah (double grave) is a double cave and it is the connection between the higher and the lower worlds.


The word ‘Kever’ = ‘grave’ = ‘womb’ because the grave is the ultimate connection (portal) between this world and the next just as the womb connects this world with the previous world.


HaShem is the ultimate man, and the woman of the world (the world), give birth to the world, thus the concept of place is born.


Stones (ict - even) are always feminine gender in Hebrew. ict, even, can be separated into two words:  ct, Av = Father, and  ic, ben = Son. Where these two, ct and ic, intertwine, ict,  we have the feminine stone, the woman.


Unity and Dust


The Midrash calls this “certain place”, “The Place”:


Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) LXVIII:11 AND HE TOOK OF2 THE STONES OF THE PLACE (XXVIII, 11). R. Judah said: He took twelve stones, saying: ‘The Holy One, blessed be He, has decreed that twelve tribes should spring forth. Now neither Abraham nor Isaac has produced them. If these twelve stones cleave to one another, then I know that I will produce the twelve tribes.’ When therefore the twelve stones united,[7] he knew that he was to produce the twelve tribes. R. Nechemiah said: He took three stones, saying: 'The Holy One, blessed be He, united His name with Abraham; with Isaac too He united His name. If these three stones become joined, then I am assured that G-d's name will be united with me too.’ And when they did thus join, he knew that G-d would unite His name with him.’The Rabbis said: [He took] the least number that ' stones ' can connote, viz. two, saying: ‘From Abraham there came forth Ishmael and the children of Keturah; from Isaac there came forth Esau. As for me, if these two stones join, I will be assured that nought worthless will come forth from me.’R. Levi and R. Eleazar in the name of R. Jose b. Zimra said: He arranged them in the shape of a roof-gutter and put them under his head,[8] because he was afraid of the wild beasts.


The world was fashioned from the foundation stone. At Bethel, The Place, the stones are feminine. Twelve (12) stones became one stone at the place of oneness. The 12 foundation stones became one. Here again we see that the unity we saw at Gan Eden and the unity we will see when we return to Gan Eden, is present here at the Temple site. Unity is a hallmark of this place.


Remember that we are seeing physical stones, but the reality is that those physical stones represent the “lively stones”[9]. Ya’aqov Avinu recognized that the stones represented his sons. These sons are called Israel, they are the body of Mashiach. When the twelve, symbolizing perfect justice, come together, they form the body of Mashiach. This connection is described in:


Bereshit (Genesis) 49:24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty [God] of Jacob; (from thence [is] the shepherd, the stone of Israel.


Rabbenu Bachya indicates that the stone is Ya’aqov: “This teaches that Ya’aqov was also known as ict, even – stone, and is an allusion to the fact that it was his merit which was instrumental in Israel securing for themselves these tablets (the tablets of the Testimony).”[10] This understanding clearly shows the connection between Mashiach and Israel/Ya’aqov.


There are several points of connection between Ya'aqov’s encounter at Bethel and Adam’s encounter in Gan Eden.


Y Adam’s “deep sleep” while Eve was being created (Gen. 2:21, 22) corresponds to Ya’aqov’s sleep at Bethel.


Y Ya’aqov is the “Adam” of the Jews. Adam was a father of the world, Ya’aqov the father of the Israelites.


Y Ya’aqov was fleeing his brother’s wrath when he left for Mesopotamia but he also had a second motive: to find a wife and start a family. And in the dream, HaShem assures him that he will have descendants whose number will be like the “dust of the earth,” (28:14). In similar manner, Adam is given a wife so that he could be “fruitful and multiply, fill the earth” (1:28). Consequently for both men –  one in the Garden  and the other at Bethel – their sleep is associated with their wives and raising a family, 'building a house'. Adam builds the world; Ya’aqov, national Israel, which is part of the world too. And all of this involves fertility, so we might say both men were super-fathers.

Y Both were to produce children in G-d’s “image and likeness,” which means his inward character, having his attributes. Otherwise the world and/or Israel becomes corrupt and unredeemable, even by the Torah.


Bethel, the house of HaShem, is clearly related to Gan Eden. This “house” has another very interesting aspect, however.


What is a house? The Midrash answer this question in a very poignant way which is very relative to our study:


Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XX:9 Thus it is written, And Nadab and Abihu died... and they had no children (Num. III, 4). Abba Hanin says it was because they had no wives, for it is written, And [he shall] make atonement for himself, and for his house (Lev. XVI, 6), and ’his house’ signifies his wife.


The Mishna is written at the “pshat” level which indicates that a wife is literally a man’s house, his dwelling place:




In these two passages, the Midrash and the Mishna indicates that a man’s house IS HIS WIFE! What does it mean, therefore, when the Beit HaMikdash is called HaShem’s house?


2 Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 7:2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the HaShem, because the glory of the HaShem had filled the HaShem's house.


This passage, coupled with our Midrash and Mishna, suggests that the Beit HaMikdash is HaShem’s wife! Additionally, Israel is also called a “house” in the context of a wife:


Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 3:20 Surely [as] a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the HaShem.


Thus we understand that the Beit MaMikdash merely represents Israel. HaShem could care less about stones, He only cares about people.


Yehezekel equates Israel to a wife in an even more poignant manner:


Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 61:3-8 And say, Thus saith the Lord G-D unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity [is] of the land of Canaan; thy father [was] an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And [as for] thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple [thee]; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee [when thou wast] in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee [when thou wast] in thy blood, Live. I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: [thy] breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou [wast] naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time [was] the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord G-D, and thou becamest mine.


Thus we understand that the Beit HaMikdash is Israel and this noble edifice (Israel - Temple) is HaShem’s wife. In the Nazarean Codicil we have a very mystical portion which also alludes to this relationship:


Revelation 21:9-10 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from G-d …


Torah Code[11]


Jacob's dream of the ladder reaching to heaven


When Jacob awoke from his sleep he said, "Surely the L-rd is present in this place, and I did not know it!" (Genesis 28:16). Where was this place? Rashi writes that it was Mount Moriah where the Temple later was built. Relying on the commentaries, Dr. Moshe Katz decided to check for the word מקדש  (Temple). Indeed, מקדש appears through the important interval of -26, starting with the מ  of the word מקום  (Figure 4, letter 33) in the above verse. However, if we continue to count at -26 intervals after theש  of מקדש, we find another five-letter word,התורה  (the Torah) spelled forwards. Thus the two cornerstones of Judaism, התורה and מקדש, are spelled as one continuous sequence of nine letters at an interval of 26 (which is, to repeat, the numerical value of the Tetragrammaton). The probability of such an event (for a fixed position of the first מ ) is about 1 in 17 billion! In the same story we also findציון  (Zion) and מקום (place) spelled out at 26-letter intervals.


III.  Har Sinai


Har Sinai, Mt. Sinai, was another place where HaShem dwelt:


Shemot (Exodus) 24:16 And the glory of HaShem abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.


Strong’s indicates that the word abode, in the above passage is a word meaning “to dwell” in a permanent fashion:


7931 shakan, shaw-kan'; a prim. root [appar. akin (by transm.) to 7901 through the idea of lodging; comp. 5531, 7925]; to reside or permanently stay (lit. or fig.):-abide, continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-er), have habitation, inhabit, lay, place, (cause to) remain, rest, set (up).


Mount Sinai was an exact replay of Gan Eden down to the smallest detail, including the actual characters. Adam was Moshe. Chava was the people of Israel (Israel is the bride). The serpent was the mixed multitude. The Tree of Life was embodied in the 1st set of tablets that Moshe received on Sinai and the Mashiach, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was embodied in the 2nd set of Tablets.


According to Devarim 20:19, “Man is as a tree of the field”. Therefore, the Tree of Life being a ‘man’ is not unexpected.


When the Jews sinned with the golden calf, they altered the very essence of the world's potential to reflect the presence of HaShem. It is said that the aftermath of Revelation at Har Sinai was an opportunity for the Jews to reverse the sin of Adam and Chava and recreate the entire world into a Gan of Eden! Tragically, with the sin of the golden calf, the world was incapable of supporting the intensity and intimacy of HaShem's unrestricted and unbound presence. Instead, HaShem had to restrict Himself to the tiny space between the wingspread of the Cherubim, as it says in


Shemot (Exodus) 25:22 "And I will speak to you ... from between the two Cherubim."


The Mishkan, and subsequently the Temple, the High Priest and the sanctity of Yom HaKippurim, were a microcosm of what Adam and Chava in Gan Eden, or Eretz Israel and the Jew should have been if they hadn't sinned with the golden calf.


The Midrash[12] tells of Adam's manner toward HaShem when interacting before the sin. Adam would stand upright, without fear and 'converse' with HaShem. Immediately after the sin, Adam's manner changed drastically. Adam and Chava "hide from in front of HaShem" showing their obvious knowledge that they transgressed and did wrong. It is this knowledge, the knowledge of guilty, and wrongdoing that they gained. The perpetuation of this knowledge in men is exhibited once again in the story of Matan Torah and the Sin of the Golden Calf. After Bnei Israel made the golden calf, thereby sinning, Moshe descends from Har Sinai. Rashi explains, that upon seeing him, B'nai Israel where trembling and shaking from fear and knowledge of their transgression.




Mount Sinai is also a ladder. Take the letters of the word SINaI and turn them into numbers. The Gematria then gives you SuLaM (ladder)



Samech = 60

Yud = 10

Nun = 50

Yod = 10

Total: 130


SuLaM - Ladder:

Samech = 60

Lamed = 30

Mem = 40

Total: 130


This is the ladder in Jacob's dream. It is written:


Bereshit (Genesis) 28:12 "And behold a ladder ... and angels of G‑d went up and down on it."




The Ramban's explains the numerous similarities between the Mishkan and the encounter at Mount Sinai. Here are a few examples:


Y Just as HaShem had spoken to the Bnei Israel at Mount Sinai, so too does He continue to speak to them (via Moshe) from the Kodesh haKodoshim (Holy of Holies), through the K'ruvim (Cherubim) atop the Aron (Ark) (25:22);


Y  The Luchot Ha'eidut (Tablets of Testimony) which Moshe will receive (24:12) on Mount Sinai, serve as a testimony to the giving of the Torah and thus, will be kept in the Aron, the focal point of the Mishkan (25:21);


Y  The Cloud created by the Incense Altar (30:1-10) symbolizes the Cloud that covered Mount Sinai (19:9, 24:15-18);


Y  The Fire on the Altar (Vayikra [Leviticus] 6:6) symbolizes the Fire that descended on Mount Sinai (Shemot 24:17). The laws of the Altar reflect the Covenant ceremony that took place just before Moshe ascended Mount Sinai (see 24:4-5).


The Midrash relates that Har Moriah was transferred to Har Sinai for the revelation of the Torah.


Horeb, the name of the mountain where Moshe encountered the Burning Bush, is also the place where the Torah was given. Horeb was renamed Sinai when the Israelites came out of Egypt. The reason that HaShem appeared in a burning bush was to recall for us the Tree of Life. This Tree of Life was also called Torah:


Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:1 "My son forget not my Torah…


Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:18 She (the Torah) is a Tree of Life to those who hold her"


Our goal is not to return to Har Sinai, but to return to Gan Eden. We want to return to the state we had before the sin.


The Wall


Gan Eden had a wall around it. So, too, does Har Sinai have a wall around it:


Shemot (Exodus) 19:10-13 And HaShem said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day HaShem will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, [that ye] go [not] up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether [it be] beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.


The Midrash also speaks of this wall:


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XI:2 At Sinai And he said: The Lord came from Sinai (Deut. XXXIII, 2). ‘Or to ‘Ofer ha'ayyalim, R. Jose, son of R. Hanina, explains this as denoting the young of the gazelle. Behold, he standeth behind our wall (S.S. Ioc. cit.) alludes to the wilderness of Sinai. He looketh in through the windows (ib.) bears on And the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai etc. (Ex. XIX, 20). He peereth through the lattice (S.S. Ioc. cit.) bears on And G-d spoke all these words, etc. (Ex. XX, 1).


Midrash Rabbah - The Song of Songs II:23 BEHOLD HE STANDETH BEHIND OUR WALL: behind our wall of Sinai, as it says,  For on the third day the Lord will come down (Ex. XIX, 11).


As the Cherubim guarded the way to the Tree of Life, so too did HaShem guard the way to Himself. The Cherubim were preserving the Tree till Adam and Chava could safely eat. So, too did HaShem guard the way to His dwelling to prevent the unholy from coming near lest they be consumed.




At Har Sinai the light was a bit different from the ordinary, just as it was a bit different in Gan Eden:


Shemot (Exodus) 19:18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because HaShem descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.


HaShem descended on it in fire.


The sages understood that the Torah was delivered, at Mount Sinai, in seventy languages to all of the nations. They understood that the Spirit of HaShem appeared as a tongue of fire which went out from the stone tablets to each of the children of Israel and asked if they would accept this covenant. When the answer was "yes" the tongue went back and helped carve the ten words. Does this remind you of II Luqas (Acts) chapter 2? So why was the Torah delivered in seventy languages? The most obvious answer is because there were a “great multitude” of peoples besides the descendants of Jacob. But, in a larger sense, HaShem is delivering the Torah to the whole world.


The presence of HaShem is made manifest with light from a special kind of fire.




At Har Sinai the dust was again brought together to form the Luchot, the Tablets of the Testimony. The Luchot were first carved by HaShem then inscribed. After this first set was broken, Moshe carved the second set. These, too, were inscribed by the finger of HaShem. Here the “dust” became the words of life!


Shemot (Exodus) 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of G-d.




After the exodus from Egypt, the Bnei Israel arrived at Har Sinai:


Exodus (Shemot) 19:2 They [the Jewish People] traveled from Refidim and arrived in the Sinai desert. Israel camped there in the desert; they camped opposite the mountain.


Rashi, in his comments on this verse says:


"They Camped ... Like a single person with a single heart"


As Rashi points out, at Har Sinai and the giving of Torah, the Jewish nation achieved an exceptionally high level of unity. Not since Gan Eden did such unity exist!


Now that we have seen the ideal dwelling place for HaShem, let’s examine the Mishkan, the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the Temple as alternative places for HaShem to dwell since our sin caused His Shechinah to depart from Gan Eden.


IV.  The Mishkan – The Tabernacle


To understand the significance of the Temple, it is necessary to examine some aspects of the Mishkan, the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Since the Mishkan preceded the Temple, it has much to tell us about the Temple, the synagogue, Har Sinai, and Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden.


To understand the significance of the Mishkan we need to see what Ramban said of the connection between Har Sinai and the Mishkan:


"... the hidden purpose ["sod"] of the Mishkan is for HaShem's Glory which dwelled ("shakan") on Har Sinai to dwell upon it..." (Ramban on Shemot 25:1) 


Thus we see that the purpose of the Mishkan is for dwelling. This purpose is reflected by numerous parallels between Har Sinai and the Mishkan. For example:


Y The Aron, the ark - contains the Luchot, the testimony of the Covenant between HaShem and the Bnei Israel at Har Sinai, upon which the Ten Commandments are inscribed.


 Y The Cherubim - are situated above the lid of the ark, from where HaShem will continue to speak to Moshe and instruct Bnei Israel regarding the mitzvot, just as he had taught Moshe the mitzvot on Har Sinai.


 Y The Altar - upon which B’nei Israel will offer their burnt offerings and peace offerings, just as at Har Sinai they built an altar and offered their burnt offerings and peace offerings and sprinkled blood.


Rabbenu Bachya[13] also connected the Sinai experience with the Mishkan:


The whole concept of the Tabernacle has to be understood as an internalized version of what transpired during the revelation at Mount Sinai (based on Nachmanides). The very attribute kavod, glory, which rested on Mount Sinai for all to see afterwards was manifest inside the Holy of Holies on the ark between the cherubs on an ongoing basis. The principal difference was that it could no longer be seen. Moses had said in Deut. 5,21 "here the Lord has shown us His majestic Presence (kavod) and this has been repeated in connection with the Tabernacle twice more. Once in Exodus 40,34: "and the Presence of the Lord filled the Tabernacle." In the verse immediately following, the Torah also writes that Moses was unable to enter the Tabernacle as the cloud had settled over it and "the Presence of the Lord filled the Tabernacle." Just as the Torah wrote in connection with the Mount Sinai experience (Deut. 4,36) "From the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; on the earth He let you see His great fire; and from amidst the fire you heard His words," so a parallel experience is described in connection with the Tabernacle in Numbers 7:89: "he (Moses) would hear the voice addressing him from above the cover that was on top of the Ark of the covenant between the two cherubs; thus He spoke to him." If, at Mount Sinai, the "nobles" were described as: "they saw the G-d of Israel," we find something similar in connection with the Tabernacle in that the G-d of Israel "sat" on the cherubs (Samuel II 6,20). This is also what the prophet Ezekiel reported as seeing in his vision (Ezekiel 10,19-20 "and the glory of the G-d of Israel was above them; this was the Chayah which I saw beneath the G-d of Israel at the river Kevlar."


The Mishkan is a temporary sanctuary (a Tabernacle) - a portable, tent-like structure [good for travel].


The encampment of the Israelites in the desert. Formation order of the Twelve Tribes around the Tabernacle. Auguste Calmet, etching, 1725 Credit: Collection of M. Pollak, Antiquarian Books and Maps, Tel Aviv


The Talmud in Zevachim 118, tells us how long the Mishkan was used:


Zevachim 118a Our Rabbis taught: The duration of the Tent of Meeting in the wilderness was forty years less one; the duration of the Tent of Meeting at Gilgal was fourteen years, [viz.,] the seven [years] of conquest and the seven of division. The duration of the Tent of Meeting at Nob and Gibeon [combined] was fifty-seven years. Thus for Shiloh was left three hundred and seventy less one.


Wilderness               39 years

Gilgal                       14 years

Shiloh                     369 years

Nov + Givon            57 years


Total               479 years

In Eretz Israel 440 years


The Mishkan was also a place where HaShem dwelt:


Shemot (Exodus) 40:35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of HaShem filled the tabernacle.


Strong’s indicates that the word shakan, translated as abode, indicates a permanent dwelling. In fact, the work Mishkan comes from the root shakan which means a permanent dwelling:


7931 shakan, shaw-kan'; a prim. root [appar. akin (by transm.) to 7901 through the idea of lodging; comp. 5531, 7925]; to reside or permanently stay (lit. or fig.):-abide, continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-er), have habitation, inhabit, lay, place, (cause to) remain, rest, set (up).


The Midrash tells us that after the Shechinah departed from Gan Eden, it next came to rest in the Mishkan, the Tabernacle in the Wilderness:


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XIII:2  A king was angry with his lady and drove her away and expelled her from his palace. After a time he sought to recall her. Said she: ' Let him give me some new token and then recall me.’ Similarly, in times past Adam dwelt in the Garden of Eden in the camp of the Shechinah. The Holy One, blessed be He, was angry with him and drove him from His private territory. When Israel went out of Egypt the Holy One, blessed be He, wished to restore them to His own immediate vicinity and told them to make for Him a Tabernacle so that He might dwell among them; as you read, And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them, etc. (Ex. XXV, 8). Said Israel: 'Let the Holy One, blessed be He, give us some new token that He wishes to restore us to Himself.’ What was the new token? In former times the Holy One, blessed be He, used to receive sacrifices on high, as it says, And the Lord smelled the sweet savour (Gen. VIII, 21), but now He will receive sacrifices here below.


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XII:6 AND IT CAME TO PASS (WAYYEHI) ON THE DAY, etc. What is the implication of WAYYEHI? R. Joshua said: The Holy One, blessed be He, made a stipulation with Israel while they were yet in Egypt that He would only bring them out from thence on the understanding that they would build a Tabernacle for Him so that He might cause His Presence to dwell among them; as it says, And they shall know that I am the Lord their G-d, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them (Ex.XXIX, 46); on this condition: ' That I may dwell among them.’ Now as soon as the Tabernacle was erected and the Shechinah descended and dwelt in their midst (all the conditions were fulfilled. Consequently it says, WAYYEHI (AND IT CAME TO PASS), implying that what He had promised He performed). WAYYEHI: Rab expounded: Something that had never happened from the time the world was created until then took place on that day. From the time when the world was created until that moment the Shechinah had never dwelt in this lower world. It only did this from the moment when the Tabernacle was erected and thenceforward. For this reason it says, WAYYEHI; it was an innovation. R. Simeon b. Yohai said it was something that, having already been in existence, had ceased and now returned to its previous state. You find that from the beginning of the world's creation the Shechinah had dwelt in this lower world; as it says,  And they heard the voice of the Lord G-d walking in the garden, etc. (Gen.III, 8), but once the Shechinah departed at the time when Adam sinned, it did not descend again until the Tabernacle had been erected. It is for this reason that the expression WAYYEHI is used, signifying that something which had already been in existence, and had ceased for many years, returned to its original state.


The Mishkan was a building, but it was also the physical expression of a spiritual concept. The altar was a base with a fire on it, but every detail embodied another holy, spiritual concept. And the incense was made of spices, but it also acted as a "conduit" between two realities, to achieve a desired spiritual impact through a physical act. This is why it could stop plagues of death, as the Angel of Death had revealed to Moshe atop of Har Sinai:


Shabbath 89a. The Angel of Death too confided his secret to him, for it is said, and he put on the incense, and made atonement for the people; and it is said. and he stood between the dead and the living, etc. Had he not told it to him, whence had he known it?


We need to look past the physical and “see” the spiritual. Shabbat is one of the ways we can look beyond the physical as it relates to the Mishkan.


The Torah tells us that we are not to do any work on Shabbat (Sabbath), but does not define what it means by "work." The Hakhamim determined that all the kinds of work necessary to build the Mishkan, the tabernacle used during the forty years in the wilderness, constituted the work that was forbidden on Shabbat.


The 39 classes of labor can be divided in four main groupings according to their appearance in the actual building of the Mishkan:


11 tasks linked with the preparation
of bread.

13 tasks linked with the preparation of the priestly

9 tasks linked with writing.

3 tasks linked with preparing a fire.

2 tasks linked with building.

1 prohibition is linked with removing items and carry them from private to public property.


These are the 39 melachot, the 39 classes of labor:


1.  Sowing

21. Tying a Knot

2.  Plowing

22. Untying a Knot

3.  Reaping

23. Sewing

4.  Binding Sheaves

24. Tearing

5.  Threshing

25. Trapping

6.  Winnowing

26. Slaughtering

7.  Selecting

27. Skinning

8.  Grinding

28. Salting

9.  Sifting

29. Tanning

10. Kneading

30. Scraping

11. Baking

31. Cutting

12. Shearing Wool

32. Writing

13. Cleaning

33. Erasing

14. Combing

34. Building

15. Dyeing

35. Breaking Down

16. Spinning

36. Extinguishing a Fire

17. Stretching the Threads

37. Kindling a Fire

18. Making Loops

38. Striking the Final Hammer Blow

19. Weaving Threads

39. Carrying

20. Separating the Threads



Upon instructing us to build the Mishkan, HaShem also forewarned us not to build this Mishkan, this miniature "world" on Shabbat. Just as He had rested from the completed work of creation on the seventh day. This is understood in the Talmud from the juxtaposition of Shabbat to both the beginning and end of the Torah's account of the building of the Mishkan.


First of all, the Mishkan itself is a micro-world. Each and every detail, along with the 39 types of labor necessary for its construction, model the 7 days of creation. It should now makes sense why the Torah forbids us to do those very same 39 classes of labor on Shabbat. Just as HaShem completed His activities of creation on the 7th day, so too we must stop our acts of labor on the seventh day. We are emulating the Creator!


From this we should understand that the Mishkan is a miniature version of Gan Eden. This suggests that the Temple, also, is a miniature Gan Eden!


Shabbat is an opportunity to enter that world, for a delightful twenty-five hour period. The Mishkan is creating that home of HaShem in a specific space, as Shabbat is creating that home of HaShem in a specific time. The work done to create the Mishkan is for the purpose of creating a "Shabbat" in a specific location (the Mishkan). On Shabbat, we have our Mishkan. Those 39 creative actions, for the construction of the Mishkan, have no place during Shabbat.


Shabbat is a Mishkan in time, where the Bnei Israel and HaShem encounter each other as the beloved and lover of Shir HaShirim (the Song of Songs) (which explains the custom to read this beautiful love song every Friday evening at the onset of Shabbat).


The Mishkan was a miniature replication of the entire universe, Just like the world is the physical expression of the Torah, which is the "blueprint" for creation, so too was the Mishkan, albeit on a smaller scale.


The Wall


Gan Eden had a wall around it. Har Sinai had a wall around it. So, too, does the Mishkan have a wall around it:


Shemot (Exodus) 26:1-6 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle [with] ten curtains [of] fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: [with] cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. The length of one curtain [shall be] eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure. The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and [other] five curtains [shall be] coupled one to another. And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of [another] curtain, in the coupling of the second. Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that [is] in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another. And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.


HaShem intended that the walls keep that which is evil from polluting that which was good. Additionally, the wall was to preserve that which was holy and good.


One of the most striking parallels between the Mishkan and Har Sinai relates to the concept of boundaries (walls). At Har Sinai, the Bnei Israel must remain at the foot of the mountain while the Priests are permitted to come a bit closer. Only Moshe (and possibly Aharon) is granted access to the top of the mountain. Similarly, the Bnei Israel may proceed only as far as the outer courtyard of the Mishkan. The Priests are allowed into the Holy Place, and only Moshe (and possibly Aharon) enters the Holy of Holies. [Additionally, Bnei Israel may enter the courtyard only after first purifying themselves, just as a purification process was required in preparation for the revelation at Har Sinai.]


The following table summarizes this parallel:



Har Sinai




Top of Sinai

Holy of Holies

Represent the people



Kodesh (ohel moed)



foot of Sinai

hatzer (courtyard)





The Mishkan had a very special light that accompanied the Bnei Israel in the wilderness:


Shemot (Exodus) 13:21-22 And HaShem went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, [from] before the people.


This was very strange fire. It was light without consuming fuel and it stood like a pillar. The presence of HaShem is again made manifest with light.




The Luchot were made out of stone, mineral dust packed tightly together. The Torah commands that we are to write the Torah on our hearts of flesh:


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4-9 Hear, O Israel: HaShem our G-d [is] one HaShem: And thou shalt love HaShem thy G-d with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 7:2-3 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.


When the Luchot are transferred to the heart, then the dust will become alive. The Luchot, the Tablets of the Testimony, were made out of stone, but they were to be written on the heart. This transformation of stone to flesh is the transformation that the Temple is to undergo.


In the Mishkan, the Luchot will be preserved in the Ark of the Covenant.




In the Mishkan, and in the Temple, unity is of paramount importance. HaShem wants to dwell in unity with man:


Shemot (Exodus) 23:17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord HaShem.


In the Mishkan we have a portable Gan Eden, a portable Har Sinai. In the Mishkan we were one with HaShem.


V.  Names given to the Mishkan


A name, to the Hebrew mind, describes the intrinsic quality of an item. If we look closely at the name given by the Torah, to an item, we will see a description of amazing perception!


The most common names given to the Mishkan (literally a “dwelling”), The Tabernacle, are:


"The House of HaShem"

1 Shmuel (Samuel) 1:7 And [as] he did so year by year, when she went up to the house (bayith) of HaShem, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.


Strong’s defines this bayith as:


1004 bayith, bah'-yith; prob. from 1129 abbrev.; a house (in the greatest var. of applications, espec. family, etc.):-court, daughter, door, + dungeon, family, + forth of, X great as would contain, hangings, home  [born], [winter] house (-hold), inside (-ward), palace, place, + prison, + steward, + tablet, temple, web, + within (-out).


------------------ Dictionary Trace -------------

1129 banah, baw-naw'; a prim. root; to build (lit. and fig.):-(begin to) build (-er), obtain children, make, repair, set (up), X surely.


“The Sanctuary

Shemot (Exodus) 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary(Miqdash); that I may dwell among them.


In the Sefer HaChinuch (in Mitzvah 95) we find that this verse is the source for the positive commandment "to build a house for the sake of HaShem... "This mitzva applies when the majority of Jews [dwell] in their Land, and it is one of those mitzvot which is not incumbent upon the individual, rather it is incumbent on the community." This hints to the fact that the sanctuary is intimately bound up with the whole community.


Strong’s defines this Miqdash as:


4720 miqdash, mik-dawsh'; or miqqedash (Exod. 15:17), mik-ked-awsh'; from 6942; a consecrated thing or place, espec. a palace, sanctuary (whether of Jehovah or of idols) or asylum:-chapel, hallowed part, holy place, sanctuary.


---------------- Dictionary Trace ----------------

6942 qadash, kaw-dash'; a prim. root; to be (causat. make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally):-appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, defile, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self), x wholly.


“The Tabernacle – The Dwelling Place”

Shemot (Exodus) 25:9 According to all that I shew thee, [after] the pattern of the tabernacle (Mishkan), and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make [it].


Strong’s defines this Mishkan as:


4908 mishkan, mish-kawn'; from 7931; a residence (includ. a shepherd's hut, the lair of animals, fig. the grave; also the Temple); spec. the Tabernacle (prop. its wooden walls):-dwelleth, dwelling (place), habitation, tabernacle, tent.


-------------- Dictionary Trace ---------------

7931 shakan, shaw-kan'; a prim. root [appar. akin (by transm.) to 7901 through the idea of lodging; comp. 5531, 7925]; to reside or permanently stay (lit. or fig.):-abide, continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-er), have habitation, inhabit, lay, place, (cause to) remain, rest, set (up).


“The Dwelling Place of HaShem

Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:4 And bringeth it not unto the door of the tent of meeting, to offer an offering unto HaShem before the tabernacle (Mishkan) of HaShem; blood shall be imputed unto that man; he hath shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people:


“The Tent of Meeting –

The Tent of Appointment

Shemot (Exodus) 28:43 And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tent (ohel) of appointment (moed), or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy [place]; that they bear not iniquity, and die: [it shall be] a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him.


Strong’s defines this Ohel as:


168 'ohel, o'-hel; from 166; a tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance):-covering, (dwelling) (place), home, tabernacle, tent.


-------------- Dictionary Trace ---------------

166 'ahal, aw-hal'; a prim. root; to be clear:-shine.


Strong’s defines this Moed as:


4150 mow`ed, mo-ade'; or     mo`ed, mo-ade'; or (fem.) mow`adah (2 Chron. 8:13), mo-aw-daw'; from 3259; prop. an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; spec. a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting also a signal (as appointed beforehand):-appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed).


---------------- Dictionary Trace ---------------

3259 ya`ad, yaw-ad'; a prim. root; to fix upon (by agreement or appointment); by impl. to meet (at a stated time), to summon (to trial), to direct (in a certain quarter or position), to engage (for marriage):-agree, (make an) appoint (-ment, a time), assemble (selves), betroth, gather (selves, together), meet (together), set (a time).  ^  Ye'dow.  See 3260.


“The Dwelling Tent of Meeting”

Shemot (Exodus) 39:32 Thus was all the work of the tabernacle (Mishkan) of the tent (ohel) of the meeting (moed) finished: and the children of Israel did according to all that HaShem commanded Moses, so did they.


The Mishkan is called both a Miqdash and a Mishkan. Hakham Shimshon Raphael Hirsch explains that Miqdash refers to our role and Mishkan refers to the role of HaShem. Miqdash refers to the sanctification that we must do in order to make ourselves and thereby the Miqdash a place worthy and deserving of HaShem’s presence. Once that has been successfully accomplished, then we can hope for Mishkan, HaShem’s holy presence descending to and dwelling in this physical world.


Gan Eden with HaShem, Adam, and Chava was the ideal. When we failed we were given a substitute: the Mishkan.


The manifest presence of HaShem in the desert was therefore like Gan Eden. Surrounding clouds, pillars of fire, Manna from heaven, water from rocks, and the Voice of HaShem Himself made HaShem's presence impossible to ignore.


VI.  The Beit HaMikdash – The Temple


The Beit HaMikdash, "The Sanctified House", is a permanent sanctuary (a Temple), such as the massive stone structure built by King Shlomo.


Herod's Temple as seen from the east, detail of Michael Avi-Yonah's model of Jerusalem.


The first Beit HaMikdash endured some 420 years.


The Midrash records that the Temple was truly a fitting place for HaShem to dwell:


Midrash Rabbah - The Song of Songs I:68 R. ‘Azariah said in the name of R. Judah b. R. Simon: It is as if a king went out into the desert and they brought him a short bed, which he found very uncomfortable and cramping for the limbs. When he got to the city they brought him a longer bed, and he began to stretch himself and loosen his limbs. So until the Temple was built the Shechinah was confined between the two staves of the ark, but when the Temple was built, then, as we are told, And the staves were prolonged  (I Kings VIII, 8).


The second Beit HaMikdash also endured some 420 years. It was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans.


Midrash Rabbah - Lamentations Prologue XXIV Another interpretation of ’And in that day did the Lord, the G-d of hosts, call to weeping and to lamentation’: at the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, sought to destroy the Temple, He said, ' So long as I am in its midst, the nations of the world will not touch it; but I will close My eyes so as not to see it, and swear that I will not attach Myself to it until the time of the end arrives.’ Then came the enemy and destroyed it. Forthwith the Holy One, blessed be He, swore by His right hand and placed it behind Him. So it is written, He hath drawn back His right hand from before the enemy (ib. II, 3). At that time the enemy entered the Temple and burnt it. When it was burnt, the Holy One, blessed be He, said, 'I no longer have a dwelling-place in this land; I will withdraw My Shechinah from it and ascend to My former habitation; so it is written, I will go and return to My place, till they acknowledge their guilt, and seek My face’ (Hos. V, 15). At that time the Holy One, blessed be He, wept and said, ‘Woe is Me! What have I done? I caused My Shechinah to dwell below on earth for the sake of Israel; but now that they have sinned, I have returned to My former habitation. Heaven forefend that I become a laughter to the nations and a byword to human beings! 'At that time Metatron came, fell upon his face, and spake before the Holy One, blessed be He: ‘Sovereign of the Universe, let me weep, but do Thou not weep.’ He replied to him, ' If thou lettest Me not weep now, I will repair to a place which thou hast not permission to enter, and will weep there,’ as it is said, But if ye will not hear it, My soul shall weep in secret for pride (Jer. XIII, 17).


The Holy One, blessed be He, said to the Ministering Angels, ' Come, let us go together and see what the enemy has done in My house.’ Forthwith the Holy One, blessed be He, and the Ministering Angels went, Jeremiah leading the way. When the Holy One, blessed be He, saw the Temple, He said, ‘Certainly this is My house and this is My resting-place into which enemies have come, and they have done with it whatever they wished.’


The Third Beit HaMikdash will be an enduring dwelling:


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 2:2-3 “And it shall come to pass in the End-of-Days, That the mountain of HaShem House shall be established As the tops of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow into it.” “And many peoples shall go and say: ’Come, and let us go up to the mountain of HaShem, To the house of the G-d of Jacob; And He will teach us of His ways.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the Law, And the word of G-d from Jerusalem.”


The Temple mystically conformed to the image of a man. The Holy of Holies, containing the Holy Ark, the source of Torah wisdom, corresponds to the human mind. The Menorah, a source of light, symbolizing enlightenment, corresponds to the right eye. The Shulchan, the table which held the showbread representing material sustenance, corresponds to the left eye.


The Golden Altar, upon which incense was offered, representing pleasantness in relationships, corresponds to the nose. The entrance way to the Heichel, where the Kohanim stood to give the blessing, represents the mouth. And it might be added that the outer Mizbeach, the Altar upon which offerings were burnt, corresponds to the stomach of a man.


At this place – the Temple, offerings were brought by Adam, Kain and Abel, and Noah, after the flood. Abraham brought up and bound his son on the Altar in this place and it was Abraham who gave it the name Moriah. In this place, His Majesty King Yeshua also laid down his life.


The Wall


Midrash Rabbah - Exodus II:2 R. Aha said: The Divine Presence will never depart from the Western Wall, as it is said: Behold, He standeth behind our wall  (Song of Songs II, 9)


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XI:2 ‘Behold, he standeth behind our wall.’ 'Wall’ alludes to the Western Wall of the Temple, which will never be destroyed. Why? Because the Shechinah is in the west.




The presence of HaShem was manifest in the Temple by the light of the menorah. The western lamp which was given enough light to burn overnight, instead burned until it was prepared for the next day. It was an eternal light. The Talmud tells us abort this miracle:


Shabbath 22b But it is a testimony to mankind that the Divine Presence rests in Israel. What is the testimony? — Said Rab: That was the western branch [of the candelabrum ] in which the same quantity of oil was poured as into the rest, and yet he kindled [the others] from it and ended therewith.


Shabbat 21b "Therefore it would seem that the crux of the miracle was that it was performed only to show G-d's love for them ... For this reason this miracle, too, was performed for them concerning the lights, which was testimony for Israel that the Shechinah dwelt amongst them, as we have explained with regard to the western light. But after the death of Shimon Ha-Tzadik, even the western light sometimes was extinguished. Therefore a miracle was performed regarding this exact matter, at that time which was a time of Divine favor, in order to show that they had returned to their original status of being beloved in G-d's eyes. This appears to me the correct interpretation."


We also know that the miracle of the rededication of the altar at Chanukah, was that the one day supply of oil lasted for eight days.


Shabbath 21b What is [the reason of] Hanukkah? For our Rabbis taught: On the twenty-fifth of Kislev [commence] the days of Hanukkah, which are eight on which a lamentation for the dead and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils therein, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they made search and found only one cruse of oil which lay with the seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient for one day's lighting only; yet a miracle was wrought therein and they lit [the lamp] therewith for eight days. The following year these [days] were appointed a Festival with [the recital of] Hallel and thanksgiving.


The presence of HaShem is again manifest in the Temple by light.


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis III:4  ‘There is a verse which states it explicitly: Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment (Ps. CIV, 2), yet you say it in a whisper!’ ‘Just as I heard it in a whisper, so have I told it to you in a whisper,’ he rejoined. R. Berekiah remarked: Had not R. Isaac taught it, could we have said it! Before this, what did they say [on the matter]? R. Berekiah said in R. Isaac's name: The light was created from the place of the Temple, as it is said, And, behold, the glory of the G-d of Israel came from the east; and His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth did shine with His glory (Ezek. XLIII, 2). Now ’ His glory ' is nought else but the Temple, as you read: Thou throne of glory, on high from the beginning, Thou place of our sanctuary (Jer. XVII, 12).




Jewish tradition relates that the Temple site was the starting point of Creation.


Adam HaRishon was created from the matter of The Place where the Temple altar would be built, according to our Sages[14]. In a manner of speaking Adam was a “lively stone”. Therefore it should come as no surprise that the Temple is symbol of Adam HaRishon and the Last Adam.


It is well known that the Temple was built of magnificent stones:


I Melachim (Kings) 5:17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, [and] hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.


These stones are nothing more than mineral dust formed into stones. Since Adam was made from the same material it is fitting that the Temple should be a symbol of Mashiach, the last Adam.


The Sages make an amazing statement in the Midrash:


Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus VII:2 The other said: Whence do we know that if a man repents it is accounted unto him as if he had gone up to Jerusalem and built the Temple and the altars and offered thereon all the sacrifices ordained in the Torah?-From these verses: ’The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, etc.’


It seems that when we fix up ourselves we are also building the Temple. The Sages see that man and the Temple are intrinsically linked.


Now let us look at the names given to The Place where HaShem dwells.


VII.  Names given to the Temple


The most commonnames for The Temple, found in the Tanakh, are:


"The House of HaShem"

I Melachim (Kings) 3:1 And Shlomo made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had made an end of building his own house, and the house (bayith) of HaShem, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.


"The House of G-d"

Daniel 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house (bayith) of G-d: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his G-d; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his G-d.


"The Holy Temple"

Yonah (Jonah) 2:4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple (heykal).


Strong’s defines this Moed as:


1964 heykal, hay-kawl'; prob. from 3201 (in the sense of capacity); a large public building, such as a palace or temple:-palace, temple.


-------------- Dictionary Trace -----------------

3201 yakol, yaw-kole'; or (fuller)     yakowl, yaw-kole'; a prim. root; to be able, lit, (can, could) or mor. (may, might):-be able, any at all  (ways), attain, can (away with, [-not]), could, endure, might, overcome, have power, prevail, still, suffer.


"The Temple of HaShem"

II Melachim (Kings) 24:13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of HaShem, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Shlomo king of Israel had made in the temple (heykal) of HaShem, as HaShem had said.


"The Sanctuary"

Yehezechel (Ezekiel) 45:4 The holy [portion] of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary (Miqdash), which shall come near to minister unto HaShem: and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary (Miqdash).


“The House”

1 Divrei Hayamin (Chronicles) 22:19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek HaShem your G-d; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of HaShem G-d, to bring the ark of the covenant of HaShem, and the holy vessels of G-d, into the house that is to be built to the name of HaShem.


“House of The Holy One – Beit HaMiqdash”

2 Divrei Hayamin (Chronicles) 36:17  Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees, who slew their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary (Miqdash), and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age: he gave [them] all into his hand.


In the Oral Torah we also find various names for the Temple. In the Midrash Rabbah the Temple is called a “neck”:


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XCIII:12 AND HE FELL UPON HIS BROTHER BENJAMIN'S NECKS (XLV, 14). Did Benjamin then have two necks? In fact, said R. Eleazar, he foresaw through the Holy Spirit that two Temples would be built in Benjamin's portion, and both would be destroyed. AND BENJAMIN WEPT UPON HIS NECK: he saw that the Tabernacle of Shiloh would be built in Joseph'sYes portion and would be destroyed.



Bereshit (Genesis) 45:14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's necks, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.


(As a side note, Rambam suggests that the three phrases in Bereshit 33:12 refer to HaShem's relationship to the three Temples.)


The Midrash also explains the Torah when it tells us that the Temple is equated to the neck:


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XCIII:6 Here that it is on account of a man, the beloved of the eyes, the one who gives hospitality to the Holy One, blessed be He-as it says, Of Benjamin he said: The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; He covereth him all the day, and He dwelleth between his shoulders (Deut. XXXIII, 12) --how much the more so!’


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:12 Of Benjamin he said, The beloved of HaShem shall dwell in safety by him; shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.


The Temple was built within the portion of land allocated to Benjamin. The neck which is between the shoulders alludes therefore to the Temple.



Rashi explains: "necks" means the two Temples (all towers resemble neck like structures) in Jerusalem (which was in Binyamin’s territory). Yoseph was actually weeping over the future destruction of these two Temples. Similarly, Binyamin was weeping over the "neck" of Yoseph, this being the tabernacle of Shiloh (in Yoseph's territory).


This explanation is amplified by the Maharal, who explains how a person's neck connects his head, the seat not only of the intellect but also of spirituality, to his body, which carries out the wishes of the head. The Maharal quotes passages to show that the Temple was referred to as the "neck" of the Jewish people, since it forms a connection between HaShem (the "head") and His people (the "body").


So the Temple is called the "neck" and it connects the lower and higher worlds. The neck's 7 vertebrae may thus correspond to Shabbat; this approach interfaces with the concept that Man, who is made in the image of the Creator, is a microcosm of the entire universal structure.


The Midrash explains this connection between the neck and the Temple:


Midrash Rabbah - The Song of Songs IV:12 THY NECK IS LIKE THE TOWER OF DAVID: this refers to the Temple. Why is it compared to a neck? Because so long as the Temple was standing, Israel's neck was stretched out among the nations of the world, but when the Temple was destroyed, then, if one may say so, Israel's neck was bowed; and so it is written, And I will break the pride of your power (Lev. XXII, 19), namely, the Temple. Another explanation: Just as a man's neck is in the highest part of him, so the Temple was in the highest part of the world. And just as most ornaments are hung round the neck, so the priests were attached to the Temple, the Levites were attached to the Temple. And just as, if the neck is removed, a man cannot live, so since the Temple was destroyed there has been no life for the enemies of Israel.


Let’s list the things that we know about the neck:


  1. It represents the Temple.
  2. It represents Mashiach, the head of the body.
  3. It represents Israel.
  4. It represents the connection between the higher and the lower worlds.
  5. It is weak in an infant.
  6. It is the last voluntary point of eating and drinking.
  7. It contains the throat.
  8. It contains the vocal chords and thus is the origin of words or voice.
  9. It connects the head to the shoulders.
  10. A yoke is placed on the neck.


Mashiach is called “The Word” which originates in the neck:


Yochanan (John) 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d. The same was in the beginning with G-d. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.


Mashiach is also a Kohen Gadol (High Priest). The Kohen Gadol serves to connect the higher and the lower worlds:


Hebrews 3:1-2 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Mashiach Yeshua; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moshe [was faithful] in all his house.


In the midrash of Matityahu we find a yoke which is attached to the neck:


Matityahu (Matthew) 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.


Mashiach says that we should take His yoke upon us. This infers that Mashiach is the neck because this is the organ which bears the yoke.


Gan Eden with HaShem, Adam, and Chava was the ideal. When we failed we were given a substitute: the Mishkan. The Mishkan was eventually replaced with the Temple.


The manifest presence of HaShem in the Temple was therefore like Gan Eden. The Pillar of cloud on the altar, the constant miracles all made HaShem's presence impossible to ignore.


VIII. Where HaShem put His Name


HaShem has said that we are to bring our burnt offerings only to the place where He will put His name:


Shemot (Exodus) 20:24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.


At the dedication of the Mishkan, we have burnt offerings on the altar of the Mishkan. This shows that HaShem has put His name in that place:


Shemot (Exodus) 29:18 And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it [is] a burnt offering unto HaShem: it [is] a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto HaShem.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:5 But unto the place which HaShem your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, [even] unto his habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come:


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:11 Then there shall be a place which HaShem your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto HaShem:


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:21 If the place which HaShem thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which HaShem hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:2 Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto HaShem thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which HaShem shall choose to place his name there.


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:2 That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that HaShem thy God giveth thee, and shalt put [it] in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which HaShem thy God shall choose to place his name there.


HaShem has explicitly stated that He put His name in the Temple that Shlomo caused to be built:


1 Melachim (Kings) 9:3 And HaShem said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.


1 Melachim (Kings) 11:36 And unto his son will I give one tribe, that David my servant may have a light always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there.


1 Melachim (Kings) 14:21 And Rehoboam the son of Shlomo reigned in Judah. Rehoboam [was] forty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which HaShem did choose out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name [was] Naamah an Ammonitess.


2 Melachim (Kings) 21:4 And he built altars in the house of HaShem, of which HaShem said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.


2 Melachim (Kings) 21:7 And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which HaShem said to David, and to Shlomo his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:


2 Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles) 6:20 That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.


2 Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles) 7:16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.


2 Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles) 12:13 So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam [was] one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which HaShem had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name [was] Naamah an Ammonitess.


2 Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles) 33:4 Also he built altars in the house of HaShem, whereof HaShem had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.


2 Divrei Hayamim (Chronicles) 33:7 And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Shlomo his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:


Ezra 6:12 And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter [and] to destroy this house of God which [is] at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.


Nechemiah (Nehemiah) 1:9 But [if] ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, [yet] will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.


Putting His name on the B’nei Israel:


HaShem also specifically commanded that His Name should be put on the Bnei Israel:


Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XI:8 SO SHALL THEY PUT MY NAME UPON THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. (VI. 27). This informs us that the blessing bestowed upon them contained the Ineffable Name. It might be thought that within the boundaries the blessing bestowed upon them was also to contain the Ineffable Name. Scripture therefore states, SO SHALL THEY PUT MY NAME, and elsewhere it says,  To cause My name to dwell there (Neh. I, 9): as in the latter case the Sanctuary is meant, so in the former also the Sanctuary is meant. When, however, unprincipled men increased, the custom was altered, so that the Name was henceforth confided to the pious of the priesthood. R. Tarfon said: It once happened that I was in a row with my fellow priests, and when I inclined my ear towards the High Priest I heard that he uttered it in the midst of the chanting of the other priests. Or again, it might be supposed that the benediction was pronounced in the Sanctuary but that it was not to be pronounced within the boundaries. It says therefore, In every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come unto thee and bless thee (Ex. XX, 21), thus showing that it must be said also within the boundaries. The only difference is that within the boundaries it was recited as three blessings,1 while in the Sanctuary it was recited as one.


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XI:4 It says here, ' They shall put My name’ and it says elsewhere, To put His name there (Deut. XII, 5); as that case refers to the Temple so the present text also refers to the Temple. From this the Sages have inferred that in the Temple the benediction was accompanied by the pronunciation of the Ineffable Name, while in the province it was accompanied by one of its substitutes.


Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:22-27 And HaShem spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them, HaShem bless thee, and keep thee: HaShem make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: HaShem lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.


Thus we see a direct connection between the Bnei Israel and the Temple. It is also worth noting that the Halakha specifies that when the Kohanim bless in the Temple they are to use the name of HaShem. Outside the Temple they are to use a substitute.


Tehillim (Psalms) 132:13 For HaShem hath chosen Zion; he hath desired [it] for his habitation. This [is] my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.


IX.  Physical versus Reality


Does HaShem have an arm? Surely one must answer yes to this question! Moshe wrote of this arm:


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 11:2-3 And know ye this day: for [I speak] not with your children which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of HaShem your G-d, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm, And his miracles, and his acts, which he did in the midst of Egypt unto Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and unto all his land;


What is the difference between HaShem’s arm and your arm?


Surely you must say that the arm of HaShem is REAL whilst your arm is merely PHYSICAL. With His arm, HaShem can move the heart of man. We can not do this with our arm.


The Mishkan and the Temple were physical buildings which explains and demonstrates reality, in the same way that my physical arm helps me to understand the real arm of HaShem.


This concept is required in order to understand the concept that HaShem is NOT concerned about physical stones. HaShem is concerned about His people. A “stone” is simply an allusion to man, and a Temple is just an allusion to man becoming a fit habitation where HaShem can dwell.


The dwelling place of HaShem began with the Mishkan, the Tabernacle. In fact, the beginning of the Temple was the Mishkan, the Tabernacle in the wilderness. Let us therefore begin by looking at the Mishkan.


On the face of it, building the Mishkan is a strange thing to do. HaShem, who is transcendent, certainly has no need of a "dwelling" and it would be mistake to understand the Divine decree, to build the Mishkan, as an attempt to find haven for the ineffable transcendent One. A careful reading of the text indicates the objective of the construction:


Shemot 25:8-9 (TORAH) Ve'asu [and let them make] li [for me / me for] mikdash [a sanctuary] veshachanti [that I may dwell] betocham [in their midst]. Kekhol [according to all] asher [which] ani [I am] mar'eh [going to reveal] otcha [to you] et tavnit [the plan of] haMishkan (the Ten Sefirot) [the tabernacle] ve'et [and] tavnit [the plan of] kol-kelav [all its vessels] vechen [and so] ta'asu [you will do].


TARGUM And they shall make a Sanctuary to My Name, that My Shekinah may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, the likeness of the tabernacle and the likeness of all its vessels, so shalt thou make.


The verse describes the result of the building of the Mishkan: HaShem will live within the Jewish nation, "I will dwell in them", rather than the more obvious result of HaShem "residing" in the Sanctuary. Clearly, the objective of the building was not to provide HaShem with shelter, but to provide an avenue for man to take HaShem into his life.


Notice that HaShem has commanded His people to build a Mishkan and then instead of saying that He would “dwell in it”, He says He will “dwell in their midst”. This verse suggests that HaShem will dwell in the midst of His people. This could be a physical building, but it also implies that He will dwell in his people. This concept becomes more understandable if we recall that the body of Mashiach includes all of the righteous. This body is called “the bride”. HaShem will dwell in His bride. This is exactly the same terminology which is applied to a normal bride and groom.


At the wedding ceremony, the bride while under the chupah, makes seven trips around her husband. She surrounds him seven times in order that she should become his “house”, his place. Throughout the Torah and Rabbinic literature a wife is called a “house”. She is the house that her husband dwells in.


From the marriage ceremony we can see that when HaShem dwells in us, that He dwells as a husband dwells with his wife. The husband dwells in his wife.


The Beit HaMiqdash, the Temple, contains two chambers, the Kodesh, and the Kodesh ha-Kodeshim. In fact, almost every home has at least two rooms: a living room or reception area, where guests enter and where meals are held, and a bedroom, whose door is generally kept closed and where only those to whom the bedroom belongs may enter.


The Mishkan and the Beit HaMiqdash are built according to a similar pattern. There is an outer chamber (Kodesh) where the Kohanim, the priests, may enter, arrange the bread on Shulchan before HaShem and kindle the lights in His "home." At the same time there is an inner chamber where no-one may enter, a chamber concealed behind a closed door (the parokhet, the curtain). This is the inner chamber of "He Who sits with the keruvim".[15]


This suggests that the inner room is a place of intimacy. This also suggests that HaShem will dwell in us with the same intimacy that exists between a husband and a wife.


Ibn Ezra’s comments on Shemot 26:6:


"They (the curtains for the Mishkan) were formed of separate pieces, yet they were so arranged that when they formed the covering of the Tabernacle they were a single whole. Similarly, the community of Israel, comprising different tribes and families, must be linked together in peace and solidarity." As separate pieces of material, the curtains were useless. It was only when they came together that they could serve as a covering for the Mishkan. The same applies to the Children of Israel. The Divine Presence dwells amongst them only when they are united and as one. Today, as well, we must find ways to ensure the unity of the Jewish people. Every chance that we have to educate the greatest number of people about Judaism should be taken. In our time, when morality, discipline and deference are apparently on the decline, we have to teach our youth our beliefs and traditions, and hence communicate to them the enduring values by which we live.


The ketuvim, the writings, also convey this concept of the Temple:


I Melachim (Kings) 8:27 Would G-d truly dwell on earth? Behold, the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain You, and surely not this Temple that I have built.


How can the infinite dwell in the finite? This profound question is at the root of several interesting statements in the Torah:


Shemot (Exodus) 4:10 And Moses said unto HaShem, O my Lord, I [am] not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I [am] slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.


Those who are anti-semitic or ignorant will say that Moshe had a speech impediment and that is why He could not talk. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Midrash, Moshe had his speech purified while he was a baby. The Sages teach that the reason why Moshe had difficulty with his speech is that he was trying to convey the infinite within finite words. Later, after HaShem gave the Torah, we find that Moshe spoke “normally”, that is, after HaShem put the infinite into finite words, He also gave Moshe the ability to do so as well.


Just as we have an infinite soul contained within a finite body, so too, HaShem, The Infinite One, will dwell in us, the finite ones. We can see that King Shlomo saw that the stone Temple was not the issue. The people of HaShem would be the dwelling place of HaShem:


1 Melachim (Kings) 8:27 But will G-d indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?


The Prophets also spoke of this Temple:


Isaiah (Yeshayah) 66:1-2 Thus said Ha-Shem: The heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool; what house could you build for me, and what place could be My resting place? My hand created all these things and thus all these things came into being – the word of HaShem – but it is to this that I look: to the poor and broken-spirited person who is zealous regarding My word.


As Yeshayahu spoke of the stone Temple he said it could not contain The Infinite One. Then he alludes to the true dwelling place for HaShem: His righteous ones.


The Nazarean Codicil speaks very forthrightly on this subject and declares:


2 Luqas (Luke) 17:24 “G-d, who made the world and all things therein, he being Lord (Master) of heaven and earth, dwells not in temples made with hands.”


Even in the mystical writings we see that the body of Mashiach, the righteous with Mashiach as the head, IS the Temple:


Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord G-d Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.


The Prophets had also seen this corner / foundation stone. They too understood that it was the essence of the Temple:


Yehshayah (Isaiah) 8:14  And he shall be for a sanctuary [Hebrew: miqdash]; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin [trap] and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.


1 Tsefet (Peter) 2:4-8 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious. To whom coming, [as unto] a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of G-d, [and] precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to G-d by Yeshua Mashiach. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.


Once we understand this basic concept, we can see it throughout the Nazarean Codicil.


I have inserted the purple words in parenthesis () to indicate Strong’s concordance definition or my own understanding of the Greek word.


Lets begin with a “sod” level verse:


Yochanan (John) 2:19 Yeshua responded and said (past tense) unto them, Destroy (loosen) this temple (dwelling), and in three days (time periods) I will raise (awaken) it up.



This passage, when properly understood, suggests several things:


Y Yeshua is referring back to something that “was” and He is referring forward to something that “will be”.


Y  This passage has nothing to do with a Temple made of stone. Yet, it is dealing with a “dwelling”. We learn about this true Temple by understanding the Temple of Stone in Jerusalem.


Y This passage is speaking of something that can be “awakened”, that is, a living organism that was “sleeping”.


Y “Days” infers more than a 24 hour period.


That which “was”, alludes to Adam HaRishon, the first Adam who was composed of male and female parts. In Adam, also, were all of the seeds for the physical part of the human race (c.f. Bereshit 26:46).


Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XL:3 What is the meaning of And it is foreknown what man is (ib.)? While Adam was still a lifeless mass, God showed him all the righteous people that would descend from him; some there were that hung on Adam's hair and others on his head; some on his forehead, on his eyes, nose, mouth, ear; some on his ear-laps. The proof is that when Job sought to dispute with God, saying: ’ Oh that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come even to His seat. I would order my cause before Him’ (XXIII, 3 f), God answered him: ‘You wish to dispute with Me. Where (eyfoh) wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?’ (ib. XXXVIII, 4).


According to the sod tradition of the Sages, prior to the fall, Adam was a far greater person than he was afterwards. Prior to the fall, Adam was more of a spiritual being than a physical one.


Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 9a In the heavenly Academy, however, the words ish middah (man of dimension) were explained as “one whose dimensions extended from one end of the world to the other”, which were the dimensions of the first man, Adam.


Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 13b We have seen the following mystical observation in the Book of King Shlomo. He who of his own impulse shows pity to the poor will retain for ever unchanged the original form of the first man, and by that impress of the likeness of Adam he will exercise dominion over all creatures of the world. This is implied in the words: “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, etc.” (Gen. IX, 2), that is, all and every one will be in fear and in dread of that image which characterises man. For this is a noble precept, by means of which man can rise in the image of Adam above all other creatures. This we know from Nebuchadnezzar who, in spite of the dream that he had seen, as long as he showed mercy to the poor suffered no evil effects; but as soon as he selfishly neglected the poor, what do we read about him? “While the word was in the King's mouth, etc.” (Dan. IV, 28), his image changed and he was driven from men....


Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 27b In a word, when the “mixed multitude” are mingled with Israel, the letters of the name Tetragrammaton cannot be joined and linked together; but as soon as they are removed from the world, then it is said of the letters of G-d's name that “On that day the Lord shall be one and his name one” (Zech. XIV, 9). This is why Adam, who is Israel, is closely linked with the Torah, of which it is said, “It is a tree of life to those who take hold on it”


Also included within him, were all of the souls of mankind. This does not only mean that all souls would come forth from him, but rather that each and every cell of his body was an individual, conscious soul. Adam was thus the collective soul of all mankind. It is of no wonder then that the Hebrew word for mankind and the name of the father of mankind is one and the same: Adam.


1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.


Romans 5:12-15 Wherefore, as by one man (the first Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of G-d, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Yeshua Mashiach, hath abounded unto many.


Further, the fact that Mashiach and Adam are related, suggests that the “Temple” is composed of stones that are living, since Yeshua is referring to His body:


Yochanan (John) 2:19-21 Yeshua answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.


The fact that they are “awakened” suggests that they were “asleep”, which is how the Tanach refers to the righteous who have died:


1 Melachim (Kings) 2:10 So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.


The “three days”, or time periods, suggests that it could mean:


Y A literal three day time period, alluding to the length of time that Yeshua would be in the grave.


Y A three thousand year time period, alluding to the three thousand year time from the days of Yeshua till the days of the “second Adam” when the righteous will become the body of Mashiach.


Y Three two-thousand year periods, alluding to the time from the first Adam till the second Adam.


Y  Three periods of darkness, alluding to three exile periods of the Jewish people.


Since the book of Yochanan (John) is written at the “sod” level, which is the mystical level, we know that the number three (3) also means something more than a count. Three is the minimum number of judges in a Bet Din (a court). Three, therefore, suggests a time of judgment or of justice.


Sanhedrin 6b R. Nahman said, reporting R. Jonathan: A judge who delivers a judgment in perfect truth causes the Shechinah to dwell in Israel, for it is written: G-d standeth in the Congregation of G-d; in the midst of the judges He judgeth. And he who does not deliver judgments in perfect truth causes the Shechinah to depart from the midst of Israel, for it is written: Because of the oppression of the poor, because of the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord.


Now Israel was the name of both the man and the nation, signifying that the nation stands as a man and that as the Shekhina dwells in the man it also dwells IN the nation.


2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech (interrogate) you, brethren (and those of the same womb), by the coming (near advent) of our Lord (The Judge) Yeshua HaMashiach, and [by] our gathering (synagoging) together unto him,


2 Thessalonians 2:2 That ye be not soon (briefly) shaken (wavering) in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit (breath), nor by word, nor by letter (written message) as from us, as that the day (time period) of Mashiach is at hand. (We did not in any way convey that the day of Mashiach is at hand.)


2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away (an apostasy) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (a damnable son);


2 Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called G-d (judge), or that is worshipped; so that he as G-d (a judge) sitteth in the temple of G-d (Bet Din Gadol), shewing himself that he is G-d (judge).


Y  This womb suggest a common origin in Adam. It also suggests that we may have a common heritage:


Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.


Y This temple passage reveals that we are speaking of a House of Judgement, a Bet Din. (Palal is the root of tefilah, prayer. Our prayer is a judgment of ourselves. So this house of prayer is a house of judgment.)


A synagogue is also a house of prayer, judgement, and study, because a synagogue is composed of kindred souls who form a community. The synagogue is an organic entity.


Now, a Bet Din is commonly composed of three men who are extensively trained in Torah law. These three men figuratively represent the entire congregation. This passage is dealing with the Bet Din Gadol which sat in judgment in the Temple. This Bet Din was composed of 71 men who ruled Israel. This was not a local Bet Din, this was The Bet Din Gadol – The Great House of Judgment! So, we see that this “temple” is again composed of men.


2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech (interrogate) you, brethren (and those of the same womb), by the coming (near advent) of our Lord (The Judge) Yeshua HaMashiach, and [by] our gathering (synagoging) together unto him,


We can also see that Hakham Shaul is telling the folks in Corinth that they should not expect that Mashiach will soon return. On the contrary, it will be a while because Mashiach The Judge will not return till am imposter has set himself up as the Rosh Bet Din, the chief Hakham in The Bet Din Gadol – the Sanhedrin.


The Sanhedrin was the Bet Din which sat in the chamber of hewn stone, IN THE TEMPLE.


This imposter judge will promote himself to Rosh Bet Din Gadol, and presume to rule (judge) the entire nation of Israel, in place of Mashiach. Until this happens, the Day of Mashiach is NOT “at hand”.


Ephesians 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.


Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.


Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners (resident alien), but fellow citizens (natives) with the saints (Festival keepers), and of the household of G-d (judges);


Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles (Sheliach Tzibbur and the Sheliach Bet Din) and prophets (The Darshan or Maggid), Yeshua HaMashiach himself being the chief corner [stone] (foundation stone);

[See also: Synagogue)


Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building (a feminine structure) fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple (“We”) in the Lord (Mashiach):


Ephesians 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of G-d (HaShem) through the Spirit.


In this passage, Hakham Shaul is describing a “Temple” composed of the congregation of Israel, which is led by the ten men of the synagogue, and Mashiach. These two are formed into a single entity called Mashiach.


The “feminine structure” alludes to the bride who is a “house” to her husband even as the Temple is a House of the Holy One.


Again, we see that we are not speaking of a Temple of stone but rather a Temple composed of LIVING stones. It is this “Lively” Temple that will be a fitting habitation for HaShem:


Shemot (Exodus) 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell in them.


1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye (plural) are the temple of G-d, and [that] the Spirit of G-d dwelleth in you (plural)?


1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple (The community) of G-d, him shall G-d destroy; for the temple (The community) of G-d is holy, which [temple] ye are.


This passage spells out clearly that the righteous ARE the stones of the Temple. The congregation of Israel represents, therefore, the completed Temple where the individual is likened to a stone. These individuals are the lively stones:


1 Tsefet (Peter) 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to G-d by Yeshua Mashiach.


The righteous are being built into a dwelling place for HaShem.


2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple (The community) of G-d with idols? for ye are the temple of the living G-d; as G-d (HaShem) hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their G-d, and they shall be my people.


2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you.


Revelation 21:9-27 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from G-d, Having the glory of G-d: and her light [was] like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, [and] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred [and] forty [and] four cubits, [according to] the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city [were] garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation [was] jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord G-d Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of G-d did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.


As a side note:  HaShem can not dwell with an unrighteous bride:


Mishlei (Proverbs) 21:9 [It is] better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 21:19 [It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.


Mishlei (Proverbs) 25:24 [It is] better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.


HaShem can dwell in the house of the righteous. Righteousness is the only thing that can bring unity:


Tehillim (Psalm) 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!


X.  The Synagogue


Our synagogues are also known as "Batei Mikdash Meat," or Holy Temples in Miniature. We have had synagogues since at least the time of the Babylonian exile and I, among many, believe that we have had synagogues since the days of Moshe. Thus we have had synagogues for at least 2500 to 3500 years. Thus we see that the place of our prayers and our justice system has been primarily in the synagogue.


The synagogue, however, was a structure of people just as the Temple was. The community that was formed and functioned within the confines of the synagogue structure was an organic entity. The synagogue is not the building but rather the ten men who make up the synagogue. Additionally, many prayers require ten men. Why are ten required?


Sanhedrin 39a The Emperor said to Rabban Gamaliel: ‘Ye maintain that upon every gathering of ten [Jews] the Shechinah rests: how many Shechinahs are there then?’ Rabban Gamaliel called [Caesar's] servant, and tapped him on the neck, saying, ‘Why does the sun enter into Caesar's house?’ ‘But,’ he exclaimed, ‘the sun shines upon the whole world!’ ‘Then if the sun, which is but one of the countless myriads of the servants of the Holy One, blessed be He, shines on the whole world, how much more the Shechinah of the Holy One, blessed be He, Himself!’


Ten are required in order for the Shechinah to dwell on them. Thus ten form an organic entity which is different from the individual and they become a fit resting place for HaShem.


The Temple was a reminder of Gan Eden. The synagogue is a small reminder of Gan Eden. The Mishkan, the Temple, and the synagogue all  represents Gan Eden with the Tree of Life – The Torah, The Mashiach.


Now that we understand that the synagogue, the Mishkan, and the Temple of stone are a picture which illustrates the reality, now we can begin to explore the ‘pictures’ that are contained within the furniture and implements in the Temple. Each of the pieces of furniture and each of the rooms is a picture of the reality. For those who want to look at the synagogue, the “little sanctuary”, in more depth, please see synagogue.




The synagogue used a lamp that never goes out to represent the eternal flame on the western lamp.


The following chart gives us a very brief exposure to this facinating subject:



The Ten Sephirot: The Tree of Life of MashiachAdam Kadmon





Virtue: Emunah (Faithful Obedience)

Ministry: Chief Hakham of the bench of three

The tablets of the law - Mashiach




Virtue: Yichud (Unity)

Ministry: 3rd of the bench of three

The two cherubim




Virtue: Simchah (Joy)

Ministry: 2nd of the bench of three

The two cherubim

-------------------representing the Holy of Holies--------------------



Virtue: Yir’ah (Fear of G-d)

Ministry: Sheliach [Apostle/Bishop]

Second Day

The bread of proposition




Virtue: Ahavah (love)

Ministry: Masoret [Evangelist]

First Day

The incense = prayer for forgiveness.




Virtue: Rachamim (Foregiveness)

Ministry: Darshan or Magid [Prophet]

Third Day

The Menorah


--------------------------  representing the Holy Place --------------------------



Virtue: Temimut (Sincerity)

Ministry: Parnas [Pastor]

Fifth Day

The levites in the courtyard.




Virtue: Bitahon (Confidence)

Ministry: Parnas [Pastor]

Fourth Day

The dignitaries in the courtyard




Virtue: Emet (Truth/Honesty)

Ministry: Parnas [Pastor]

(Female – hidden)

Sixth Day

The altar of sacrifice





Virtue: Humility

Ministry: Meturgeman/Moreh/Zaqen [Teacher/Elder]

Seventh Day

The laver – the Ruach HaKodesh


-------------------------------------- representing the Courtyard ---------------------------------------







The ten righteous men of the synagogue are related to the ten of the Sephirot. The rational element comprised of the sefirot that plan the implementation of HaShem's will: Chachmah, binah, da'at, or wisdom, understanding and knowledge. The active element comprised of the sefirot that are the main thrusts of HaShem's relationship with man: chesed, gevurah, tiferet, or kindness, strength and beauty.  The tactical element comprised of those sefirot whose main task is to properly implement HaShem's various activities: netzach, hod, yesod. Malchut, or kingship, stands by itself.


These tactical elements are the "head" of the body of Mashiach which is represented by the three men who make up the Bet Din. These three always remain hidden. The active element are the other seven men of the synagogue. These men are very public. These have a head in the Holy of Holies which is also the place of the foundation stone.


The example of a “stone mason”


These ten men of the synagogue represent the Temple. The synagogue is a “little sanctuary” according to Ezekiel:


Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 11:16  Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord G-d; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary [Hebrew:  miqdash] in the countries where they shall come.


Building a Temple is all about building or creating Mashiach. Our central aim is not for prayer, good times, or bad times, or to make money. We are here to build the “ten men”. Building these ten men is the goal of the synagogue. Building Torah into these ten men is the goal of the synagogue. This is what Hakham Shaul did. He went from place to place building these ten men up in Torah. We are equiping men to be small sanctuaries. When we put all of these “small sanctuaries” together, we build the “great sanctuary”.


This “small sanctuary” speaks for Mashiach. These ten speak with one voice. One man is not the representative of HaShem, but the ten men do represent HaShem. Building a Synagoge is about building ten men. Building a “little sanctuary” is about teaching these ten men the Torah.


Our ancestor Yaaqov was the first to describe a place as 'the house of HaShem. He did so after an experience which he described in these terms:


Bereshit (Genesis) 28:16 And Yaaqov awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely HaShem is in this place; and I knew [it] not.


A synagogue is a place from which we emerge with the same surprise, the same awakening. We enter it from the secular street. We leave, and the world has changed. It has changed because we have changed. Tefillah, prayer, is where we create the space in our soul for the presence of HaShem.


Gan Eden with HaShem, Adam, and Chava was the ideal. When we failed we were given a substitute: the Mishkan. The Mishkan was eventually replaced with the Temple. When we failed with the Temple as an example, HaShem gave us the Synagogue.


The Wall


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XI:2  ‘Behold, he standeth behind our wall,’ and this alludes to the synagogues and houses of study.


The Gemara[16] tells us that the righteous people and Torah scholars of the generation provide protection to all members of the community, just as a city wall does. For this reason, the Talmud says that scholars do not have to contribute to the expense of building defensive ramparts around their home towns -- their Torah study is their share in the city's defense. As the Gemara expounds on a verse from Shir HaShirim:


Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs) 8:10 "I am a wall, and my breasts are like towers" .  


Bava Batra 7b R. Judah the Prince levied the impost for the wall on the Rabbis. Said Resh Lakish: The Rabbis do not require the protection [of a wall], as it is written, If I should count them, they are more In number than the sand. Who are these that are counted? Shall I say the righteous, and that they are more in number than the sand? Seeing that of the whole of Israel it is written that they shall be like the sand on the sea shore, how can the righteous alone be more than the sand? — What the verse means, however, is I shall count the deeds of the righteous and they will be more in number than the sand. If then the sand which is the lesser quantity protects [the land] against the sea, how much more must the deeds of the righteous, which are a larger quantity, protect them? When Resh Lakish came before R. Johanan, the latter said to him: Why did you not derive the lesson from this verse, I am a wall and my breasts are like towers, where ‘I am a wall’ refers to the Torah ‘ and ‘my breasts are like towers’ to the students of the Torah? — Resh Lakish, however, adopts the exposition [of this verse] given [also] by Raba, viz. that ‘I am a wall’ refers to the community of Israel, and ‘my breasts are like towers’, to synagogues and houses of study.


"I am a wall" - this refers to the Torah, which affords protection to its people. "My breasts are like towers" - this refers to Torah scholars.


XI.  Stones and Corner Stones


Most people’s vision of the Temple includes the colossal stones. These massive stones really do catch our attention. As such, they clearly play a role in our vision of what the Temple truly represents.


Stones (ict - even) are always feminine gender in Hebrew. ict, even, can be separated into two words:  ct, Av = Father, and  ic, ben = Son. Where these two, ct and ic, intertwine, ict,  we have the feminine stone, the woman.


1 Melachim (Kings) 5:17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, [and] hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.


1 Melachim (Kings) 7:8-12 And his house where he dwelt [had] another court within the porch, [which] was of the like work. Shlomo made also an house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken [to wife], like unto this porch. All these [were of] costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and [so] on the outside toward the great court. And the foundation [was of] costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits. And above [were] costly stones, after the measures of hewed stones, and cedars. And the great court round about [was] with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of cedar beams, both for the inner court of the house of HaShem, and for the porch of the house.


By their nature, stones play no active role, they play a passive or feminine role. They are cut in a very uniform shape and then placed into position. These characteritics suggest that the stones are the Bnei Noach and the common Jew, the common people. These are those who have, by desire or circumstances, not made themselves into more refined vessels. These stones did not spend a lot of time perfecting themselves in the Torah and mitzvot.


Lets look at some of the references that suggest that the stones also represent the righteous of HaShem:


Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XXXVII:1 AND BRING THOU NEAR UNTO THEE AARON THY BROTHER (XXVIII, 1). Thus it is written, Out of them shall come forth the corner-stone, out of them the stake, out of them the battle bow (Zech. X, 4). Observe now that when the peoples of antiquity wished to appoint a king over them, they used to bring one from any place and then appoint him over them, as it says, And Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom; and the name of his city was Dinhabah,... and Joab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead, etc. (Gen. XXXVI, 32 f).1 With Israel, however, it was different, for they produced from their own midst their leaders, kings, priests, prophets, and princes, as it says, ’Out of them shall come forth the corner-stone.’ This refers to king David, for it says, The stone which the builders rejected is become the chief corner-stone (Ps. CXVIII, 22).


The corner or foundation stone is clearly a very important part of this magnificent edifice – the body of Mashiach. Some have suggested that the “Chief cornerstone” is the capstone on a pyramid. This suggests that it is the culmination of all four corners. However, I understand that we are referring to the foundation stone. This is the stone that HaShem began with, when He created the world. The rest of the world was formed from this stone. Anyone who has visited the mosque on the Temple mount has seen a small part of this foundation stone. Notice how the Midrash equates the “Cornerstone” and the “Foundation stone” in this next midrash:


Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XVII:7 What is the meaning of ’babi'ah’? R. Aha said: [It means] Baya, baya [i.e. Woe, woe], the lodger is turning out the Master of the house! R. Berekiah said: It is written, For the bed is too short for one to stretch oneself-- histarea’ (Isa. XXVIII, 20) [which means], The bed is not able to hold a woman and her husband and her friend  (rea’); And the covering is too narrow (zarah) when one gathers (kanas) himself up (ib.) means, You have caused great anguish  (zarah) to Him of whom it is written, He gathereth (kanas) the waters of the sea together as a heap (Ps. XXXIII, 7). AND THE PRIEST SHALL COMMAND THAT THEY EMPTY THE HOUSE (XIV, 36). [This is an allusion to], And he [i.e. Shishak, king of Egypt] took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, etc. (I Kings XIV, 26). AND HE SHALL BREAK DOWN THE HOUSE (XIV, 45) alludes to And he [i.e. Nebuchadnezzar] destroyed this house--i.e. the Temple (Ezra V, 12). AND THEY SHALL POUR OUT THE DUST THAT THEY HAVE SCRAPED OFF WITHOUT THE CITY (XIV, 41)1 alludes to, And the people he carried away to Babylon (Ezra loc. cit.). In case one might have thought [that would be] for ever, Scripture tells us, AND THEY SHALL TAKE OTHER STONES, AND PUT THEM IN THE PLACE OF THOSE STONES (XIV, 42), as it is said, Therefore thus saith the Lord G-d: Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation stone, a tried stone, a costly corner-stone of sure foundation; He that believeth shall not make haste (Isa. XXVIII, 16).


Even the dust of the stones is understood by this midrash to refer to people.


Prior to the fall we know that Adam was a spiritual being, and to give him form HaShem used dust to mold him. He breathed life into him. Now we can see from this that the Beit HaMikdash was made of stone which really is nothing other than the same elements as dust. The Shechinah dwelt in the Beit HaMikdash (breath of HaShem). So if the body of Adam had life, the Temple had life.


The prophets also spoke of a "heart of stone" and a "heart of flesh":


Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:


So, this idea of a “stony” man and “fleshly” Beit HaMikdash comes alive in the Tanach.


The Children of Israel are called rocks and stones:


Midrash Rabbah - Esther VII:10  R. Simeon b. Jose b. Lakunia said: In this world Israel are likened to rocks, as it says,  For from the top of the rocks I see him (Num. XXIII, 9); Look unto the rock whence ye were hewn (Isa. LI, 1). They are compared to stones, as it says,  From thence the shepherd of the stone of Israel (Gen. XLIX, 24); The stone which the builders rejected (Ps. CXVIII, 22). But the other nations are likened to potsherds, as it says,  And He shall break it as a potter's vessel is broken (Isa. XXX, 14). If a stone falls on a pot, woe to the pot! If a pot falls on a stone, woe to the pot! In either case, woe to the pot! So whoever ventures to attack them receives his deserts on their account. And so it says in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar, Thou sawest that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, and the clay (Dan. IX, 45).


In this next midrash we will see that even the ordinary stones are “precious” in HaShem’s sight:


Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XV:21 He will rebuild Jerusalem with sapphire stones, as it says: Behold, I will set thy stones in fair colours,... And I will make pinnacles of rubies (Isa. LIV, 11, 12). These precious stones will shine like the sun, and the heathens will come and see the glory of Israel, as it is said: And nations shall walk at thy light (ib. LX, 3).


Even when the Bnei Israel were totally unrefined and sunk to the forty-ninth level of impurity, even then they were equated to stones:


Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XX:9 Another explanation of: AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN PHARAOH HAD LET THE PEOPLE GO. It can be compared to a man who found a heap of precious stones but did not know what he was holding. He said to a fellow traveller: ‘Do you wish to take this pile which is in my hands? ' The other replied: ' What use have I of your pile? ' But he said: ‘Take it and I will not stand in your way’; so he took it from him. When he entered the city, he strung together the larger ones separately, the small ones separately, and those of middle size also separately. Later, the one who gave him the pile entered the city and saw the man who had taken them from him opening up the bundle in the street and a man who came to purchase some from him, inquiring: ‘How much do you want for this little one?’-The reply was: ‘A hundred myriads [of dinars].’ ‘And how much for this large one?’-The reply was: ‘A thousand myriads. ' ' And the average-sized ones, how much? ' -He replied: ' eight hundred myriads.’ When he saw this, he rent his garments and said: ‘I had all this treasure in my hand and let it go out of my hands for nothing. Alas, for that man who allowed such [a treasure] to pass through his hands.’ So it was with Pharaoh. Israel was the pile of precious stones in his possession, for it says: My beloved is unto me as a bag of myrrh (S.S. I, 13). He began to cry: ’Rise up, get you forth’ (Ex. XII, 31).


* * *


When the Bnei Israel returned from Babylon, they found the Temple, walls, and city in ruins. When they rebuilt the Temple they had no ark to put in the Holy of Holies. In its place there was a very special stone:


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers XII:4 Of the wood of Lebanon (S.S. Ioc cit.) signifies that the building of the world commenced from the spot on which the Temple was to stand. R. Jose b. Ilalafta said: Why was it called Foundation Stone? Because thereon began the foundation of the world. Hence it is written, Out of Zion the perfection of beauty, God hath shined forth (Ps. L, 2). He made the pillars thereof of silver--kesef (S.S. III, 10).


Midrash Rabbah - Leviticus XX:4 After the disappearance of the ark there was a foundation stone in its place. Why was it so called? R. Jose son of R. Halafta said it was because from it the foundation of the world was constructed.


Thus we see that the ark in the first Temple sat on the stone that was the foundation of the world. The Midrash, though, paints an even more surprising picture of the foundation of the world:


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis LXXV:11 He [David] said to Him: ‘Sovereign of the Universe! Hadst Thou been wroth and forsaken and not helped Jacob, who was a pillar and a foundation of the world, as it says, But the righteous is the foundation of the world:


Mishlei (Proverbs) 10:25 As the whirlwind passeth, so [is] the wicked no [more]: but the righteous [is] an everlasting foundation.


The Midrash clearly indicates that Jacob (who is also called Israel) is a foundation of the world. Additionally, the righteous are the foundation of the world just as the foundation stone was the foundation of the world.


There is yet more to this foundation:


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord HaShem, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.


* * *


Excerpt from Sefer Charedim – The Book of the Awestruck (R. Eliezer Azkari, c. 1550) 66:27 – You are a Temple for the presence of the Holy King! As such, it is extremely important that you sanctify your heart and your soul, as well as all 248 limbs of your body. It is written, “The Holy One is in your midst [be’kir’becha]” (Hoshea 11:9), and “They [the people] are HaShem’s Temple” (Yirmiyahu 7:4), and “Be holy, for I, HaShem, am holy” (Vayikra 19:2), and “I will place My Mishkan [Tabernacle] in your midst [be’tochechem]” (Vayikra 26:11). HaShem means what He says: “I dwell in you!”



XII.  Preceding Names


Six (people) were called by their names before they were created,[17] and they are: Isaac, Ishmael, Moses,[18] Solomon, Josiah, and King Messiah.[19] Let’s look at these individuals and what connects them together.


Bereshit (Genesis) 16:11 And the angel of HaShem said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because HaShem hath heard thy affliction.


Bereshit (Genesis) 17:19 Then G-d said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.


1 Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 22:9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Shlomo, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.


1 Melachim (Kings) 13:2 And he cried against the altar in the word of HaShem, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith HaShem; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee.


The Midrash also tells us about three of these men.


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XLV:8 AND THE ANGEL OF THE LORD SAID UNTO HER: BEHOLD, THOU ART WITH CHILD, etc. (XVI, 1). R. Isaac said: Three were called by their names before they were born, Isaac, Shlomo, and Josiah. What is said in the case of Isaac? And God said: Nay, but Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac (Gen. XVII, 19). In the case of Shlomo? Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Shlomo  (I Chron. XXII, 9). In the case of Josiah? And he cried against the altar by the word of the Lord: O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord: Behold, a son shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name (I Kings XIII, 2). Some add Ishmael among the nations [i.e. non-Jews]: BEHOLD, THOU ART WITH CHILD, AND SHALT BEAR A SON; AND THOU SHALT CALL HIS NAME ISHMAEL.


Each of these men is intimately associated with the Temple. Let’s look at each of these men and their contribution to the Temple.


Yitzchak, Isaac


Pirke D’Rabbi Eliezer 32 How do we know (this with reference to) Isaac? Because it is said, "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac".[20] Why was his name called Isaac?[21] Because Yad (the first Hebrew letter of Isaac indicates) the ten trials[22] wherewith our father Abraham was tried; and he withstood them all. Zaddi (the second letter indicates) the ninety (years), for his mother was ninety years (at the birth of Isaac), as it is said, "And shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?”[23] Cheth (the third letter points to) the eighth (day), for he was circumcised on the eighth day, as it is said, "And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac, being eight days old".[24] Kuf (the fourth letter of the name marks) the hundred (years), for his father was an hundred years old (at Isaac's birth), as it is said, "And Abraham was an hundred years old".[25]


Yitzchak, Isaac, was THE sacrifice on THE alter in THE place of the Temple:


Bereshit (Genesis) 22:9 When they reached the place G-d had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.


Thus we see that even the animal sacrifices are the physical item that mirrors the spiritual reality.


The nameIsaac” means Laughter, according to Strong’s.


Now laughter is what happens when two opposite things come together. For example: when the arrogant stumble. The Temple is likewise, a place where two opposites come together: HaShem (The infinite Spirit) and man (the physical and finite).


Shlomo HaMelech, King Shlomo, built the Temple, designed by David, for HaShem.


Pirke D’Rabbi Eliezer 32 Whence do we know concerning Solomon? Because it is said, "Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest, for his name shall be Solomon".[26] Why was his name called Solomon? Because his name was called Solomon in the Aramaic language, as it is said, "I will give peace (Shalom) and quietness unto Israel in his days".[27]


II Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 7:11-12 When Shlomo had finished the temple of HaShem and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of HaShem and in his own palace, HaShem appeared to him at night and said: "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.


Thus we see that there were three phases in the building of the Temple – first, its essence in spirit was brought into being by Yitzchak. Its innate holiness was made manifest by that Patriarch of the Jewish people who himself was bound on the altar. Next, its physical building was completed by Shlomo. And thus it must be: first, the soul or essence must be brought into existence, and only then can the material manifest. Yitzchak prepared the essence, the neshama,[28] and Shlomo gave that essence, that ‘soul’, expression in a physical structure.


What is most interesting is how HaShem had King Shlomo build hidden subterranean tunnels beneath the Temple, AS PART OF THE ORIGINAL DESIGN. This suggests that these chambers were an integral part of the Temple structure. This is the deeper significance of the fact that King Shlomo built the Holy Temple “knowing that it was destined to be destroyed” and incorporated into it a hiding place for the Ark for that eventuality. Had the Temple not been initially constructed with the knowledge of, and the provision for, what was to happen on the ninth of Av, no mortal could have moved a single stone from its place. In the day of King Yoshiyah, Josiah, these hidden chambers would house the Ark of the Covenant. The very essence of the Temple!


These hidden chambers suggest that there is a hidden and a revealed Temple. The hidden Temple still contains the Aron, the Ark of the Covenant. This most important furnishing contains the essence of the Temple. The fact that it has been a part of the site of both Temples suggests that it is the essence! When the third Temple is built and the Aron is moved from its hidden chamber to its “revealed” chamber, then we will recognize this essence.


King Shlomo’s Temple held the ark in the Holy of Holies. The second Temple had an empty spot in the Holy of Holies because the ark was still hidden underground.


The final Temple will again have the ark in its rightful place. It will no longer be hidden and unavailable. Thus this structure will simply be a continuation of the presence of HaShem, because its essence has always been in this place.


This is the Temple that HaShem really desires, the Temple He modeled in stone so that we could see the reality:


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 66:1-2 Thus saith HaShem, The heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool: where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where [is] the place of my rest? For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith HaShem: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.


The name “Shlomo” means peaceful according to Strong’s.


Shlomo HaMelech was responsible for a kingdom at peace. His father had waged the wars and the struggles to prepare the kingdom for his son. In the same way, we must struggle and build in this world, but in the coming world we will have peace and no more kingdom building. We will be at peace in Messianic times, to work on ourselves, to build ourselves into a dwelling fit for HaShem, even as Shlomo HaMelech was at peace when he built the Temple of stone. We must always look for the reality and not get distracted by the physical. We must use the physical to understand the reality. Once the reality is understood, then we will not lose our focus. With a correct focus we will not be distracted in the laying of stone cornerstones. Instead we will be engaged in building up the lively stones.



The Temple is the place of peace because it is also the Prince of Peace. The Temple is “The Body of Mashiach”.


The Aron Kodesh


Yoshiyah, Josiah


Pirke D’Rabbi Eliezer 32 Whence do we know about Josiah? Because it is said, "Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name",[29] Why was his name called Josiah? (Because he was as acceptable)[30] as an offering upon the altar; she[31] said: A worthy offering let him be before Thee.[32] Therefore was his name called Josiah, as it is said, "And he cried against the altar", etc.[33]


Yoshiyah, Josiah, was responsible for the preservation of the Temple. It was Josiah who hid the Aron Kodesh (the Holy Ark), and the other essential Temple furniture, in the subterranean tunnels built by King Shlomo:


Yoma 52b GEMARA. To what are we referring here? If it be the first Sanctuary, was there then a curtain?[34] Again, if it is to the second Sanctuary, was there then an Ark? Surely it has been taught: When the Ark was hidden, there was hidden with it the bottle containing the Manna,[35] and that containing the sprinkling water,[36] the staff of Aaron,[37] with its almonds and blossoms, and the chest which the Philistines had sent as a gift to the G-d of Israel, as it is said: And put the jewels of gold which you return to Him for a guilt-offering in a coffer by the side thereof and send it away that it may go.[38] Who hid it? — Josiah hid it. What was his reason for hiding it? — He saw the Scriptural passage: The Lord will bring thee and thy King whom thou shalt set over thee,[39] therefore he hid it, as it is said: And he said to the Levites, that taught all Israel, that were holy unto the Lord: Put the holy ark into the house which Shlomo, the son of David, King of Israel did build. There shall no more be a burden upon your shoulders now. Serve now the Lord your G-d and His people Israel.[40]


Divrei HaYamim Bet (II Chronicles) 35:1-4 Moreover Josiah kept a Passover unto HaShem in Jerusalem: and they killed the Passover on the fourteenth [day] of the first month. And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of HaShem, And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto HaShem, Put the holy ark in the house which Shlomo the son of David king of Israel did build; [it shall] not [be] a burden upon [your] shoulders: serve now HaShem your God, and his people Israel, And prepare [yourselves] by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Shlomo his son.


King Shlomo brought the ark into the Temple for the first time. Now four hundred years later Yoshiyah, Josiah, is bringing it in again? Yes, here is where he is bringing it for the first time into its hidden chambers.


The name “Josiah” means “founded by HaShem, according to Strong’s.


In preserving the essential furniture of the Temple, King Josiah insured that the furniture would be preserved for the day of restoration. He also insured that the furniture would not be desecrated or abused by the Gentiles.


The Sages teach that just as the western lamp of the menorah burned miraculously and did not go out during the day, so too is the western lamp, and its reality, are still burning in its hidden place.


There is another stage, in the process of building, since essence and outer form are not enough. If that which is being built is to be part of the real world, it requires one more component, it must be given eternity. The Temple stood, it was alive with inner essence contained in an outer form, but it was to be destroyed. And in order to ensure that the destruction would be only outward, to ensure that the essence would remain alive even when the outer form lies in ruins, the heart was to be hidden. If the Aron[41] is hidden beneath the site of the Temple when above it the Temple burns and collapses, the meaning is that this is not a destruction, it is only a retreating into the unrevealed.


Just as Yitzchak prepared what was needed for King Shlomo to complete, King Shlomo prepared what was needed for Yoshiyahu to complete. And just as King Shlomo in fact completed his share in building, Yoshiyahu completed his share in hiding. That hiding was in a very deep sense a building. Yitzchak brought the heart to the world; King Shlomo gave that heart a body; and Yoshiyahu secreted that same heart away so that it remains pulsating and alive in hiding while awaiting its final revelation for eternity. Yitzchak built the neshama, King Shlomo built the body, and Yoshiyahu ensured that those two would never be permanently separated.




Pirke D’Rabbi Eliezer 32 Whence do we know about Ishmael? Because it is said, "And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child,[42] . . . and thou shalt call his name Ishmael".[43] Why was his name called Ishmael?[44] Because in the future the Holy One, blessed be He, will hearken to the cry[45] of the people arising from (the oppression) which the children of Ishmael will bring about in the land in the last (days);[46] therefore was his name called Ishmael.[47]


But what has Ishmael to do with the Temple Mount? Rashi gives us one very clear connection. On the verse "Sarah saw Hagar's son ... playing",[48] Rashi comments that Ishmael was involved in idolatry, incest, and murder. These are the very anti-thesis of the Temple and what it stood for. Precisely from the exile of Ishmael will there sprout forth salvation as described in:


Pirke De Rabbi Eliezer chapter 30 R. Ishmael says: "They (Ishmaelites) will do fifteen things at the end of days:


  1.  Measure the Land;
  2.  Make of the cemetery a holding pen for cattle;
  3. They will measure from them and by them on the mountain tops;
  4. Lies will increase
  5. The truth will disappear;
  6. The Law will be distanced from the Jews;
  7. There will be an increase in crime in the Jewish people;
  8. The paper and quill will wrinkle;
  9. The  rock  of the Kingdom will spoil;
  10. They will rebuild the ruined cities;
  11. They will  plant orchards and fields;
  12. They will  close the gaps in the walls of the Temple;
  13. They will construct a building on the site of the Temple;
  14. Two brothers will be their elders;
  15.  And in those days there will rise Tzemach (flower) - the son of David (i.e. Mashiach).


Ishmael’s descendants built the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.


Preceding Names in the Nazarean Codicil


In the Nazarean Codicil we find two more individuals who were called by name before they were born:


Luqas (Luke) 1:13 But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name Yochanan (John).


Matityahu (Matthew) 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, G-d with us.


Yochanan (John) and Yeshua were also connected with the Temple. Yochanan (John) was the one who prepared the way for Yeshua, the Greater Temple. He did this by preparing the “living stones”[49]:


Matityahu (Matthew) 11:10 This is the one about whom it is written: 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'


The name “Yochanan (John)” means “Favored of HaShem” according to Strong’s”.




Pirke D’Rabbi Eliezer 32 Whence do we know concerning King Messiah? Because it is said, "His name shall endure for ever. Before the sun his name shall be continued (Yinnon)".[50] Why was his name called Yinnon? For he will awaken[51] those who sleep at Hebron out of the dust of the earth, therefore is his name called Yinnon, as it is said, "Before the sun his name is Yinnon".[52]


Sanhedrin 98b The school of R. Shila said: The messiah's name is ‘Shiloh’, as it is stated, Until Shiloh come,[53] where the word is spelt Shlh. The School of R. Hanina said: His name is 'Haninah’, as it is stated, I will not give you Haninah.[54] The School of R. Jannai said: His name is 'Yinnon’; for it is written, E'er the sun was, his name is Yinnon (Ps. LXXII, 17). R. Biba of Sergunieh said: His name is 'Nehirah’, as it is stated, And the light (nehorah) dwelleth with Him,[55] where the word is spelt nehirah.

The Vilna Gaon says that these four opinions are one since the initials of Menachem, Shiloh, Yinnon, and Haninah make up the word Mashiach. The Gemara tells us that Moshe Rabbenu and King Solomon had many names. Similarly the Messiah has many names.


And Yeshua was the Temple:


Revelation 21:22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord G-d Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.


The nameYeshua” means “HaShem Saves”[56] according to Strong’s.


Everything that His Majesty King Yeshua did was to turn His people from their sins. It was their repentance which would allow HaShem to save them. The Temple was The Place where HaShem put His name and it was The Place where HaShem drew near to His people. The vehicle that HaShem used to draw us near was His Torah, His Mashiach.


Thus we can see that HaShem had a clear plan to build a Temple that was guided by those He named before they were born. This Temple was to be a place where men were to draw near to HaShem. In fact, the Hebrew word for sacrifice is Korban, which means “to draw near”. The ultimate way to draw near is to offer your whole body to HaShem as Isaac did. As a wife offers her body to her husband, so too will the Body of Mashiach, the bride, be offered to HaShem.


Now what does this have to do with names? A name is an expression of essence. In Torah, a name describes reality in the most exact way; it is in fact a non-tangible representation of that which it describes. A person’s name is the most compressed expression of the essence of that person; it holds the secrets of that individual’s existence and destiny. It is the core; in a sense it is the neshama.


The meaning of a name which is given before birth is this: when people are born into the world and then named, which is the usual order of things, the idea is that their essence begins to be manifest when they arrive in the world. They appear, and then a name must be found which is fitting. First there is the person, and then there is an expression of that person’s nature and purpose. But when a name is given before birth, when HaShem names a person before He brings that person into the world, the meaning is that such a person is already defined in essence, nature and purpose before his physical arrival. Such a person’s physical nature and material life in the world are destined to be perfectly matched with his inner being if he performs his work well. After all, that inner level is clear and revealed even before he begins his task in life.


First named and then born; such a personality will be one who most perfectly fits his spiritual identity. Such people must be very close to perfection in terms of carrying out their duty in the world; they are challenged with building that which most closely reveals its spiritual source. Their essence is clear; they must reveal it in perfect loyalty to its genuine identity, and therefore their work is to reveal all inner essence in perfect reflection in the world.


And that is the nature of the Temple. As we have attempted to understand, the Temple represents the perfect meeting between inner and outer worlds. It is the demonstration of harmony between inner and outer. This is the place which most clearly represents the indivisible bond between soul and body, spirit and matter. This is the physical place and structure which is in perfect harmony with its non-physical core. This is where HaShem’s Name is spoken, and this is where it is revealed.


At a deeper level, we say that HaShem and His Name are fitting: Your Name is fitting for You, and You are fitting for Your Name.” This is the way it is at the Source, and in depth this is the way it must always be; the name must be fitting.


Yitzchak, Shlomo, Yoshiyahu, and Yeshua; four who were superlative in their Divine service and who merited to reveal and eternalize the place of Divine service to the world. Yitzchak was a pure servant of HaShem, a pure burnt offering. Shlomo, whose name means wholeness and completeness and who reigned for forty years of near-perfect closeness between the Jewish people and HaShem. Yoshiyahu, about whom Scripture states: “And before him there never was a king who returned to HaShem with all his heart, with all his soul and with all his might according to the entire Torah of Moshe, and after him there never arose one like him”.[57] And Yeshua, whose name means salvation, who offered himself as an atonement for the Gentiles, and as Mashiach ben Yosef, His body epitomized the Temple as the head of the body.[58]


Six who were close to being perfectly fitting for their names; six who revealed HaShem’s Name in the place which is most fitting for Him.


* * *


The following internet article speaks to our subject:




http://ohr.edu/web/yomiyun2004.htm ====================================

 -- Where was the Temple?




by Rabbi Yirmiyahu Ullman


From: David in Ann Arbor


Dear Rabbi,


In a recent article you wrote that the mosque of the Dome of the Rock is not necessarily built on the site of the Temple. Would you please explain, because I have always heard that the rock under the golden dome is the "even ha-shatia" or foundation stone which was in the Holy of Holies in the ancient Temple. Thank you.


 Dear David,


Indeed, the Holy of Holies of both Temples was built around the even shatia or foundation stone. Its name refers to the idea that it was from this stone that the world was created, and as such is the foundation from which the world "spread forth". It was on this stone that the Holy Ark containing the Ten Commandments rested in the first Temple, and upon which the high priest placed the holy incense when he entered the Holy of Holies once a year on Yom Kippur (both Temples). When King Shlomo built the first Temple, he designed a secret labyrinth of underground passageways and chambers in which King Yoshiyahu later hid the Ark, the Tablets, the staff of Aaron, the manna, and the special anointing oil - which remain hidden to this day.


The theory that the Dome of the Rock is built on this stone is well grounded. The famous Jewish explorer Benjamin of Tudelo (Spain, 1100's) wrote, "On the site of the Holy Temple, Omar ibn al Katub built a large and beautiful dome". This appears to be the opinion of Rabbi Ovadia of Bartenura (1400's, born in Italy and buried on the Mount of Olives opposite the Golden Gate), who wrote, "I investigated the location of the even hashatia and many say it's under the dome built on the site of the Temple". Finally, the renowned sage of the Land of Israel, Rabbi David ben Zimra, (1479-1573) stated explicitly that the rock under the dome is the foundation stone of the Holy of Holies.


Nevertheless, based on ancient texts, archeological finds and scientific studies, some rabbis of the last hundred years have suggested that the Temple was actually located on the vacant part of the Temple Mount opposite the Western Wall.


First, the Zohar suggests, as understood by one of its classic commentators, that the foundations of the Temple remain hidden and that no building will be built there until the restoration of the Third Temple. Also, a disciple of the Arizal states that the writings of his master refer to this idea, explaining the matter in great mystical depth. But there are sources other than the esoteric.


The Talmudic sages record that the huge, open courtyard of the Temple was washed by opening an aperture to let water from an aqueduct run into the courtyard and out the other side. This aqueduct originated in Shlomo's pools in Bethlehem, made its way to the present day Jewish quarter, and on to the Temple Mount via Wilson's bridge. [In recent times, the Turks used this aqueduct, and much of it remains intact today.] The problem is that this water source entered the mount many meters below its current level. This suggests that the original level of the mount was much lower, and the rock under the dome was not in the Temple, but part of a rocky high place outside of it. What was this rocky high place?


Our Sages describe that there was a high point on the north of the Mount upon which was built a fortress to protect the Temple from invasion. This fortress, originally built by the Hasmoneans and later enlarged by King Herod, was called Antonia's fortress. It has been suggested that the rock under the dome is the top of the high place that was originally exposed, upon which the fortress was built. It overlooked the Temple to the south, which would place the Temple's location opposite the Western Wall. Josephus refers to this fortress and says it was built on a rocky hill that was steep on all sides. He also describes secret, underground passages to the north and south of the Antonia. Interestingly, early archeological research revealed long and narrow passageways north and south of the Dome of the Rock. But these are only a few of the underground caverns discovered below the Mount.


About a hundred years ago, archeologists found about thirty such spaces. Oddly, all of the caverns in the area of the Dome of the Rock are relatively small and symmetrical, whereas those to the south of the dome are very large, deep and asymmetrical. Some of these chambers were reported by the archeologists as having decorated ceilings, ruling out the possibility of their being cisterns. This suggests that the ruins of the Temple and its underground chambers are not in the area of the dome but rather opposite the Wall. Recent electro-magnetic and infrared tests have revealed other, previously unknown spaces under the mount, which may also have resulted from the same phenomenon. Somewhere in those deep, hidden recesses may be the holy objects hidden and lost so long ago.


On the verse, "you shall inquire after His dwelling and come there" (Deut. 12:5), our sages instructed: Inquire and find. This teaches that G-d will not reveal the secret of the Temple's location through a prophet until the Jewish people make an effort to inquire and search for it. Only then will He send a prophetic spirit from above to reveal it. In the merit of our inquiry, may we deserve to see the building of the Temple speedily in our day.




- Yoma 54b - Rambam, Beit HaBechira 4:1 - Beit HaMikdah HaShelishi, Shalom Dov Steinberg, pp 159-183 - Shut HaRadbaz, 4:648,691 - Bartenura, Darkei Tzion - Nitzutzei HaZohar on Zohar p. 480 - Emek HaMelech (intro ch. 9) in the name of R. Moshe Vital from the   Arizal - Tosephta, Pesachim 4:10 - Yoma 2a - Josephus, War of the Jews 5.5.8, Antiquities 15.7 - Sifri 8


(C) 2004 Ohr Somayach International - All rights reserved.


XIII.  Miracles


Understandably, life in the Temple environs was filled with constant miracles. In fact, to a large degree, natural law was suspended. On a  certain level, miracles did not even amaze people, because just through the experience of the Temple itself people sensed the realization that the Almighty was beyond these laws.


HaShem provided these miracles so that the Jewish People should have the ability to perform the Temple service without any impediments. The Almighty assured us that nothing in the world - including nature itself - would ever hold back the Jewish People's ability to reach Him.


Yoma 21a  Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: When the Israelites come up to the festivals, they stand pressed together,[59] but they prostrate themselves, with wide spaces [between them], and they extend eleven cubits behind the back wall of the Holy of Holies.[60] What does that mean? — It means that although they extended eleven cubits behind the back wall of the Holy of Holies, standing pressed together, yet when they prostrated themselves, they prostrated themselves with wide spaces [between them]. This is one of the ten miracles which were wrought in the Temple, for we have learnt: Ten miracles were wrought in the Temple:[61] 

1.       no woman miscarried from the scent of the holy flesh;

2.       the holy flesh never became putrid;

3.       no fly was seen in the slaughter house;

4.       no pollution ever befell the high priest on the Day of Atonement;

5.       no rain ever quenched the fire of the wood-pile on the altar;

6.       neither did the wind overcome the column of smoke that arose therefrom;

7.       nor was there ever found any disqualifying defect in the ‘Omer[62] 

8.       or in the two loaves,[63] 

9.       or in the shewbread;

10.    though the people stood closely pressed together, they still found wide spaces between them to prostrate themselves; never did serpent or scorpion injure anyone in Jerusalem, nor did any man ever say to his fellow: The place is too narrow for me to stay overnight in Jerusalem.[64] — He started with [miracles in] the Temple and concludes with [those wrought] in Jerusalem! — There are two more [miracles wrought] in the Temple. For it has been taught: Never did rains quench the fire of the pile of wood on the altar; and as for the smoke arising from the pile of wood, even if all the winds of the world came blowing, they could not divert it from its wonted place. But are there no more? Has not R. Shemaya of Kalnebo[65] taught that the fragments of earthenware[66] were swallowed up in the very place [where they were broken];[67] and Abaye said: The crop, the feathers, the ashes removed from the inner altar and from the candlestick were swallowed up in the very place [where they were taken off]? — The three[68] [referring to] disqualifications were included under one head, hence take off two and add two! But then all [cases of] things swallowed up ought also to be included under one[69] head, so that the count would be one short? — There are also other [miracles], for R. Yahoshua (Joshua) b. Levi said:[70] A great miracle was wrought with the shewbread, viz., when it was removed it was as fresh as when it was put on, as it was said: To put hot bread in the day it was taken away.[71] But are there no more? Has not R. Levi said: This matter has been handed down as a tradition to us from our forefathers: The place on which the ark stands is not included in the measurement;[72] and has not Rabbanai in the name of Shmuel (Samuel) said: The Cherubs were standing by sheer miracle? — The count refers to miracles wrought outside [the Temple], miracles wrought inside are not mentioned. If that be so, what of the shewbread which is also a miracle that happened inside the Temple? — No, that miracle happened outside, for Resh Lakish said: What is the meaning of the passage: Upon the pure table before the Lord;[73] the statement that it is pure implies that it was susceptible to uncleanness.


The shewbread stayed fresh – they still “steamed” fresh a week later.


Why was there more space when they bowed as opposed to when they were standing? It is when we demonstrate our loyalty that HaShem gives us approval.


The Sage tell us that there was no need to recite blessings over food during the time of the First Temple, because HaShem's Presence was evident everywhere.


All of these miracles expressed the manifest presence of HaShem in His dwelling place. As HaShem dwelt in His people He made sure that His presence was palpable, just as it was in Gan Eden. If we remember that:


The Temple = Mashiach = Israel = Torah


then we can know that HaShem’s presence in the Temple was a picture of His dwelling in His people. Part of this dwelling was communicating His presence to His people.


XIV.  Keruvim (Cherubim)


The first mention of  that the Keruvim in the Torah is in the verse describing the eviction of man from the Garden of Eden.


Breshit (Genesis) 3:24 "Man was evicted and Keruvim were placed East of the Garden of Eden,  and a revolving burning  sword was placed in order to guard the path to the Tree of Life"


As a result of man's sin, the Keruvim enter the world, in order to protect the "Tree of Life". In our prayers on Shabbat we note that “Torah is a Tree of life”, as we paraphrase Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:


Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:18 She [is] a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy  [is every one] that retaineth her.


It is therefore interesting to note that in the Mishkan the Keruvim protect the Ark which contains the Torah, and in Gan Eden the Keruvim protected the path leading to the Tree of Life/ Torah.


Cherubin – naked child like creatures with wings. They were male and female and they embraced each other. Some have suggested that they represent Adam and Chava (Eve) before they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This thought suggests that our yearning for Torah and intimacy with HaShem is modeled by the Keruvim.


The Holy of Holies is mirrored in our homes.  In the home, it is the secret inner chamber where husband and wife meet, just as in Gan Eden, the Mishkan, and the Temple the Keruvim are positioned in the “inner sanctuary”:


Yoma 54a Kattina said: Whenever Israel came up to the Festival, the curtain would be removed for them and the Cherubim were shown to them, whose bodies were intertwisted with one another, and they would be thus addressed: Look! You are beloved before G-d as the love between man and woman.


When the Romans came to destroy the Temple, they encountered the Keruvim engaged in an embrace of intimate love. The Romans dragged the embracing Keruvim through the streets to show what the Jews worshipped. This embarrassed the Jews who were violating this love. The Keruvim were modeling the love of HaShem when He had to punish His beloved children.


Bread and eating are connected to love. They are both performed with male organs (i.e. organs that are not doubled – like hands).


The woman is the home. That is why she walks around him seven times at the wedding. She is making a home.




The keruvim were found in three places in the Tanach. They guarded the way to the Tree of Life:


Bereshit (Genesis) 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.


They guarded the way to the luchot, the tablets of the law in the Holy of Holies:


Shemot (Exodus) 25:18 And thou shalt make two cherubims [of] gold, [of] beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.


The third place we find the cherubim is under the throne of glory:


Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 10:1 Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.


Now we know that this throne is associated with the Mashiach:


Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;


It is axiomatic that when we have cherubim in three places, then the three things that they guard must be related.  King Shlomo tells us that the Torah and the Tree of Life are the same:


Mishlei (Proverbs) 3:13-20   Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, For she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed. By wisdom HaShem laid the earth's foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; By his knowledge the deeps were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.


The above passage is read, in the synagogue, when the Torah scroll is returned to the ark. When we say this, we agree that the ultimate wisdom is Torah. This passage shows that whoever created the world is Torah and is the Tree of life:


Yochanan (John) 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d, and the Word was G-d. The same was in the beginning with G-d. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.


Thus we see that the cherubim guard the way to the Mashiach in Gan Eden, the Mashiach in the ark of the covenant, and the Mashiach on the throne. Thus we see that there is a direct connection between Gan Eden, the Temple, and the Mashiach. One might say:


Mashiach = Tree of Live = Torah


The "keruvim" do not restrict entry; they rather protect the Garden from the intrusion of those undeserving of return. But once man proves himself worthy, the - the path to The Tree of Life - no matter how formidable it may at first appear, suddenly opens and invites man inside. The Way is available to all who follow its path (Torah). When we “eat” of the Tree of Life we become a part of that tree. The fruit joins us in an intimate way.


XV.  King è War against Amalek è Temple


There is facinating patern that seems to repeat itself in regards to Amalek. When we come into eretz Israel, we were commanded to appoint a King (Keep in mind that a “King” is not just a king, but rather he is the emblem of government and of justice):


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:14-15 When thou art come unto the land which HaShem thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that [are] about me; Thou shalt in any wise set [him] king over thee, whom HaShem thy God shall choose: [one] from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which [is] not thy brother.


Next, after we are in eretz Israel, we were told to destroy Amalek:


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:17-19 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, [even] all [that were] feeble behind thee, when thou [wast] faint and weary; and he feared not God. Therefore it shall be, when HaShem thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which HaShem thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance to possess it, [that] thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget [it].


Now there are Hakhamim who have told us that Amalek is not just this one nation, but rather, Amalek is identified as any nation which is determined to destroy ALL Jews, no matter what the cost to themselves.


The third mitzva commanded to the Jewish People after they enter eretz Israel, is to build the Beit HaMikdash (the Temple).


Now, this pattern:

King è War against Amalek è Temple,

was followed in the days of Moshe. Moshe was appointed the leader, or King, over Israel. Then, after bringing the people to the borders of eretz Israel, in Shemot chapter 17, he waged war against Amalek. Lastly, Moshe was commanded to establish the Mishkan, the Tabernacle.


This pattern was followed again in the days of King Saul. First, HaShem brings the people into eretz Israel. Then He annoints Saul as King. Then, in Shmuel Alef (I Samuel) chapter 15, King Saul makes war against Amalek. Lastly, King Shlomo builds the Beit HaMikdash.



This pattern was followed again in the days of Mordecai and Esther. First HaShem causes his people to return to eretz Israel from Babylon, then He raises up The King (hinted at in Megillat Esther regarding King Achashverush) and also Zerubbabel to govern His people. Then the Jews make war against Haman and the rest of the Amalekites who wish to destroy the Jews. Finally, King Darius orders the rebuilding of the Beit HaMikdash.



Given this pattern, which was repeated three times, we would expect the pattern to occur again!


The Gulf war provided a hint towards this pattern. The Jews were in eretz Israel. They had established a government, a king. Then the people of the entire world – EXCEPT THE JEWS – made war against Saddam Hussein (an Amalekite), because of oil! Lastly, we have HaShem causing great controversy regarding the Har HaBayit, the Temple mount.


Now, the pattern of HaSatan has been to imitate the patterns of HaShem, with a twist. Therefore, we can expect that HaSatan will cause His own anti-mashiach to be made king over the Jews. He will then wage war against the people of HaShem. Lastly, this anti-mashiach will cause a temple to be built.


In, 1948, HaShem began bringing His people back to eretz Israel. Then He established a government, a king, over His people. Further, we expect that HaShem will complete this process when He brings us The Mashiach ben David, The King. At this time, we should expect to have a war against Amalek. This war should be the pattern for the final destruction for all of the Amalekites. Finally, according to Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 40ff, we should expect The King to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash.


The Israeli Government is also Amalek. If we treat the word as an English word whereby the prefix “A” means “without”, then A-malek = No King.


So, look for this pattern:

King è War against Amalek è Temple.


XVI.  Time and Space


The Mishkan, the Tabernacle in the wilderness, was the smallest of the dwellings we built for HaShem.


Dimensionally, the proportions of the First temple far exceeded the corresponding proportions of the Mishkan:















Shlomo’s Temple was much bigger than the Mishkan, and the second Temple was twice the size of the first Temple. This is why the people wept:


Ezra 3:10-13 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of HaShem, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise HaShem, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto HaShem; because [he is] good, for his mercy [endureth] for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised HaShem, because the foundation of the house of HaShem was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, [who were] ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.


The Talmud found a most poignant way to encapsulate the point we've made here:


Sanhedrin 7a There was this (man) who walked around saying, “When the love between my wife and myself was strong, we could have lain together on the width of a sword. But now that our love has faded, a bed sixty cubits wide does not suffice us.”


R’ Huna said, “This thought is expressed by the following passages concerning our relationship with G-d. At first it is written, And I (G-d) will meet you (Moses) there, and I will speak with you from above the Ark. [Shemot 25:22] (This was a total of 10 tefachim, or one and a half cubits.) Later it is written, The House that King Shlomo built for G-d, its length was sixty cubits, its width twenty, and its height thirty. [Melachim alef, 6:2]


While concerning HaShem and His relationship with His people as it was at the end, (before the Temple’s destruction) it is written,


Yeshayah 66:1  'The Heavens are my throne and the earth is my footstool, what house can you build for Me?'


Lovers will not find any place too cramped. When they drift apart, no place is big enough. Seeing the second Temple caused folks to cry because it did not have the Shekhinah and was so big that the marital intimacy was gone. We had trully left our first love.


Both the Mishkan and Shlomo’s Temple were extremely holy (to the extent that only the "Kohen Gadol," the High Priest, could enter the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur; however, the level of holiness was greater in the case of the Mishkan than in the case of the Temple of Shlomo.


The holiness of the second Temple was far below the holiness of  Shlomo’s Temple. Yehezekel shows us clearly that the Shechina had departed from this second Temple. Notice how The Glory of HaShem gradually departs from His abode:


Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 10:4 Then the glory of HaShem went up from the cherub, [and stood] over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of HaShem’s glory.


Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 10:18-19 Then the glory of HaShem departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out, the wheels also [were] beside them, and [every one] stood at the door of the east gate of HaShem’s house; and the glory of the G-d of Israel [was] over them above.


Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 11:23 And the glory of HaShem went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which [is] on the east side of the city.


On the other hand, the level of holiness of the Third Temple, to be built in the time of the Mashiach, will exceed that of all three spiritual centers that will have gone before it:


Yehezekel (Ezekiel) 43:4-5 And the glory of HaShem came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect [is] toward the east. So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of HaShem filled the house.


Now, if one were to read of the dimensions of the Temple described by the Prophet Yehezekel, they would quickly see that the dimensions are so much bigger than the second Temple that they boggle the mind. Further, this “third” Temple is too big to physically fit on Mount Zion. This suggests that we are NOT looking at a Temple of stone but a Temple of Living Stones!


Since we know that this Temple will endure forever, we find support for our position in:


Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord G-d Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.


In a previous study we examined Adam and the Last Adam. In that study we saw that the Lively Stones are part of the body of Mashiach – which IS the Temple.




Shemot (Exodus) 26:30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.


"You shall set up the Mishkan" (Hebrew: ifanv ,t ,nevu va-hakaimota et HaMishkan), the last letter of each word when combined is "tav, tav, nun," which has the same numerical value as the number of years the Jewish people were in Eretz Israel until the destruction of the First Temple (from the time the Jewish people left Egypt until they built the Temple 480 years, which stood for 410 years; subtract the years spent in the desert—forty (40) years--and you arrive at the 850 years they were in Eretz Israel). The first letters of the entire verse total forty, corresponding to the forty years the Jewish people were in the desert ..."[74]


We have a tendency to focus on the physical and external (stones, ark, altar, etc.), thereby ignoring the true essence, the spiritual. This was a mistake that we have made throughout history, always with disastrous results. As Hakham Hirsch writes in regard to the three times that HaShem rejected the Sanctuary, once in Shilo and twice in Yerushalayim, it was always made clear that the reason for the destruction was not any imperfection in the construction or maintenance of the Sanctuaries. The ‘external’ was in perfect working order. Rather, when we were no longer sanctifying and dedicating our lives to the fulfillment of His holy will and Torah, then HaShem’s presence could no longer dwell in our midst. At that point, the nations were able to destroy, not the Mishkan of HaShem, but rather, the gilded, golden shell that had once contained the sign of His presence, but had long since departed.


On Tisha B’Av both the first and the second Temples were destroyed. Many terrible calamities have befallen B’nei Israel on Tisha B’Av. It seems that this is a day of refinement, a day of tikkun. The Sages teach that  Mashiach will make His appearance on Tisha B’Av. This suggest that the stone building will give way to the lively stones. The lively stones will rise from the earthly stones.


Don’t focus on the externals, the stone building or even the cornerstone. Don’t be fooled by the physical, external adornments. The Shechinah either dwells or doesn’t dwell in our midst, not in the midst of any building. The only way to make the Shechinah feel ‘comfortable’ is to care about His true dwelling. We must build ourselves into an Ish (a MAN) or Isha (a WOMAN) of valor. We must become mighty in Torah and mitzvot. We must become a Miqdash in order for the Shechina to dwell in us.


The reason that the Torah details gold, silver, acacia wood, etc, is to show us how to build ourselves. We must take the physical things of this world and we must dedicate them to the will of HaShem. As we use the physical to build in this world, so we should use the physical to build in the Olam HaBa.


XVII.  Fit Vessels


“The Talmud Yerushalmi writes that every generation in which the Temple, which was destroyed on the 9th of Av, is not rebuilt, should consider itself as if the Temple was destroyed in its days. We mourn the loss of the Temple on the 9th of Av. However, do we yearn for the Temple to the extent that we have a drive to improve so that we should merit it being rebuilt? Do we feel the spiritual void that exists and therefore strive to perfect our character, to deal with our fellow man properly in business and social relationships, to adhere to HaShem's commandments and study His Torah with faith and devotion? If we do not attempt to better ourselves, we show, as the spies did, a lack of love for HaShem's Temple, His Beit HaMikdash. We would be just as responsible for the destruction of the Temple as the generation in which it was destroyed.”       Rabbi Yehudah Prero


To this I would add:  Every Nazarean who fails to strive to become a Hakham has failed in his mission to become a precious vessel in The Temple, The body of Mashiach.


Every Jewish man is called to be a Hakham. These men are the instruments of service. So, who are the stones?


Some men are formed, but unrefined and basic in shape. The stones would be the Am Haretz and the Bnei Noach who do not wish to refine and fashion themselves into a precious vessel. Those who become the vessels of service, have refined themselves and fashioned themselves into vessels fit for service in a place near to HaShem.


There is a big difference between an ordinary Synagogue and a Nazarean Synagogue. The Nazarean is pushed to become a Hakham. He is pushed to refine himself and form himself into a service vessel. The Nazarean is not one who is satisfied with being a rough stone. He wants to serve in nearness to HaShem, he wants to rule and reign with Mashiach:


2 Timothy 2:8-13 Remember that Yeshua Mashiach of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, [even] unto bonds; but the word of G-d is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Mashiach Yeshua with eternal glory. [It is] a faithful saying: For if we be dead with [him], we shall also live with [him]: If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us: If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.


Revelation 5:9-10 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to G-d by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our G-d kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.


Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of G-d and of Mashiach, and shall reign with him a thousand years.


These Nazareans are those who have exerted themselves in Torah study and the mitzvot. They have dedicated their lives to the justice of the kingdom:


1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.


So then, those Nazareans who have been trained in the Torah as Hakhamim will rule now and will also be qualified to rule with Mashiach when He returns.


The following chart suggests some relationships between the physical Temple, the Temple in typology as it relates to the body of Mashiach, and the Temple as it pictures the ultimate fulfillment when we return to Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden. When we return to Gan Eden we will have completed the circle, we will have gone “back to the future”:





Top of the Head

Holy of Holies

Gan Eden


Aron (Ark) containing the Luchot (tablets) – This is the Crown of Torah study.

Adam – Talmid Hakham and The Tree of Life

Lungs over the heart

Kervim (Cherubim) with their wings over the Aron



Shulchan (table of shewbread) – This is the Crown of Malchut (Monarchy)

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil




Nose and sense of smell.

Altar of incense and the Ketoret (Incense) – This is the Crown of Kehuna (Priesthood)


The Stomach

The brazen altar


The “food” the stomach.

The Korbanot - sacrifices


Throat – the origin of speech

chatzer – the place of the Maggid


Chest – the origin of song

15 steps with Levitical choir


Liquid in the body

Kiyor (Laver)

The river





The courtyard of the Jews

Working the garden

Yesod - “The foundation”

The courtyard of the women.

Trees on both sides of the river.


The courtyard of the Gentiles



Curtain and Walls around the Temple

Walls around the garden.


We “ascend” from the courtyard of the Gentiles all the way till the Holy of Holies. We ascend the entire way.


There were no sacrifices before Adam fell. He was a vegetarian.


Judaism is Post-millenialist. We bring the millenium.


In the Messianic age, we have death, plagues, and sin sacrifices. The Nazarean stands in the Holy place, the place of life. Over these there is no more death or judgment.


The Am HaAretz and the Benei Noach would be in the courtyard of the Gentiles. To these there will be sacrifices for sin, the sacrifices spoken by Ezekiel in Chapters 40-48.


Succoth speaks to this seventh millenium. Just as we offer seventy bulls for the nations, these are the sin sacrifices for those in the courtyard of the Gentiles. The plagues that come to those who fail to celebrate Succoth properly, speak to those in the courtyard of the Gentiles.


Succoth then shows the position of each group that make up klal Israel. To some there is intense joy (“Whoever has not seen the water well libation service has never seen joy”). To some there will be testing and sin sacrifices – those in the courtyard of the Gentiles. Lastly will be those who are outside the courts; to those we have plages and the second death.




I Corinthians 6:1-6 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.




The building of the mishkan was seen as an echoing of the creation of the world.  In fact the Torah uses a number of unique phrases in describing the mishkan's construction that only appear elsewhere in connection to the creation story.  A midrash relates to this as well, noting that if man was to emulate the All-Mighty in all ways, he had to be given the opportunity to create the world and it was through the building of the mishkan that this was symbolically achieved.









Tehillim (Psalm) 15 A Psalm of David. HaShem, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. [He that] backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear HaShem. [He that] sweareth to [his own] hurt, and changeth not. [He that] putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these [things] shall never be moved.


XVIII.  Mashiach


We have seen that Mashiach is the Torah. We have also seen that His Majesty is the Tree of Life. Finally, we have seen that Mashiach is the Temple. Therefore we have the following formula:


Mashiach = Tree of Life = Torah = Temple


There is one more fantastic concept that needs to be grasped:


Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Mashiach is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.


We know that the “Church” is another way of saying Israel from:


II Luqas (Acts) 7:37-38 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your G-d raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and [with] our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:


Now, we know that the group of people at the foot of Sinai, in the days of Moses, was called “Israel”:


Shemot (Exodus) 19:1-2 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they [into] the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come [to] the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.


Romans 12:5 So we, [being] many, are one body in Mashiach, and every one members one of another.


Now we can see that Israel is the same entity as Mashiach:


Yeshua = Mashiach = Torah = Temple = Israel


One of the most important facts about Mashiach is that his soul is a general soul that contains all the souls of all Jews. This means that the soul of every Jew is a part of Mashiach and thus there is a part of Mashiach in every Jew. This fact has wide ranging practical implications. Since the soul of every Jew corresponds to a unique part of the soul of Mashiach, each Jew has a unique role to play in preparing the world for Mashiach.”[75]


(Those who would like more background behind this fantastic concept are referred to a previous study Mashiach.)


Our Sages declare: "The Mashiach was born on Tisha B'Av, and Menahem [comfort] is his name."


Both the first and second Temple were destroyed on Tisha B’Av, the ninth of Av. Significantly, the Sages teach us that Mashiach will become manifest to the world on Tisha B’Av! This suggests an intimate connection between the Temple and the Mashiach. The prophet declares this relationship between destruction and joy:


Zecharyia (Zacharia) 8:19 Thus saith HaShem of hosts; The fast of the fourth [month], and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.


This suggests that when the physical stones are destroyed, they will be replaced by the lively stones which make up the body of Mashiach.




The Rambam tells us that there are 613 commands in the Torah. Each of these 613 commands parallel the 613 parts of the body. This suggests that there is a direct relationship between the Torah and man. Again the luchot, the tablets of the testimony, become flesh.




When we are restored in the Last Adam, we too will glow with the light reflected from the presence of HaShem:


Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of G-d did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof.


Now some may say that the light comes from the Lamb and not from the righteous. But we know that the righteous are the body of Mashiach. Therefore it will not be surprising to see that the righteous will glow:


Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.


Matityahu (Matthew) 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.


When we finally dwell in Gan Eden as part of the body of Mashiach, we will have HaShem dwelling us. We will reflect His glory and we will shine like the sun.


Tehillim (Psalms) 97:11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis I:6 And the light dwelleth with Him (Dan. loc. cit.) refers to the deeds of the righteous, as it is written, Light is sown for the righteous (Ps. XCVII, 11). R. Abba of Serungayya said: ’And the light dwelleth with him" alludes to the royal Mashiach. R. Judah b. R. Simon said: From the commencement of the world's creation ’He revealeth the deep things, ' etc., for it is written, IN THE BEGINNING G-D CREATED THE HEAVEN. but it is not explained how. Where then is it explained? Elsewhere: That stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain (Isa. XL, 22); AND THE EARTH, which is likewise not explained. Where is that explained? Elsewhere: For He saith to the snow: Fall thou on the earth, etc. (Job XXXVII, 6). AND G-D SAID: LET THERE BE LIGHT (I, 3), and the manner of this, too, is not explained. Where is it explained? Elsewhere: Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment (Ps. CIV, 2).


The Wall


Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XXIV:4 G-d said: ' In the Messianic age I will do thus for Zion, which is at present like a wilderness,’ as it is written, Zion is become a wilderness (Isa. LXIV, 9). ' In the Messianic age, I will be its protecting wall,’ for it says, For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and I will be the glory in the midst of her (Zech. II, 9).




Unity was the rule in Gan Eden. Unity was the rule at Sinai. Unity is the goal of the body of Mashiach:


Ephesians 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Mashiach: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of G-d, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Mashiach:


There is a day coming when all Israel will be formed into the body of Mashiach. This body will be exactly like the body of Adam HaRishon. It will include the bride of Mashiach, Israel:


Revelation 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.


As Adam HaRishon was male and female, so also will Israel the bride become a single body with Mashiach. This new man, the Last Adam will again walk with HaShem in Gan Eden. Them will the Last Adam be a fitting house for HaShem to dwell in.


XIX  Eden - Back to the Future


Adam was in the perfect environment to dwell with HaShem. Eden was to be the place where HaShem dwelt with Adam. When all things have been restored, then Eden will again be the dwelling place of Adam (the ‘last’ Adam - 1 Corinthians 15:45) and HaShem, as Shlomoh HaMelech said:


Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 1:9 The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new  [thing] under the sun.


The Midrash rightly equates the Temple and Eden and the place where HaShem will dwell:


Midrash Rabbah - Exodus XXV:8 G-d said to them: ‘Behold, I have exalted you over the whole world, and if you perform My will, I will make you dwell in the place I created before the world was established,’ namely the Temple, as it says, Thou throne of glory, on high from the beginning, thou place of our sanctuary (Jer. XVII, 12). ‘There will I exalt you,’ as it says, And make them inherit the throne of glory (I Sam. II, 8), ‘and then will I supply you with the delights of Paradise,’ as it says, O how abundant is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee  (Ps. XXXI, 20). Hence does it say, ‘ He shall dwell on high.’ Another explanation of ’ He shall dwell on high ‘. It is written, For Lord thy G-d bringeth thee into a good land (Deut. VIII, 7) to see the table that is prepared in Paradise, as it says, I shall walk before the Lord in the lands of the living (Ps. CXVI, 9). He [G-d] as it were sits above the patriarchs, and the patriarchs and all the righteous sit in His midst  (toko), as it says, And they sit down (tukku) at Thy feet (Deut. XXXIII, 3), and He distributes portions to them. Should you wonder at this, then recall how even in this world He placed Himself between the two cherubim for their sake, as it says, That lieth betwixt my breasts (S.S. I, 13), then how much more will this be so in Paradise? He will bring them fruit from the Garden of Eden and will feed them from the Tree of Life. Who will be the first to say Grace? All will respectfully request G-d to order one to say Grace; He will bid Michael to say it; and he will bid Gabriel, and Gabriel the patriarchs, and they will give the honour to Moses and Aaron, and they in their turn will ask the elders. They will give the honour to David, saying, ’It befits an earthly king to bless the Heavenly King.’ They will hand over the cup to David, who will say, ‘I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.’ They it was whom David praised when he said, Oh how abundant is Thy goodness, which Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee (Ps. XXXI, 20). Hence, For the Lord thy G-d bringeth thee into a good land,’ and for this reason does it say, ’He shall dwell on high.’


Gan Eden with HaShem and Adam was the ideal. When we failed we were given a substitute: the Mishkan. The Mishkan was eventually replaced with the Temple. When we failed with the Temple as an example, HaShem gave us the Synagogue. One day HaShem will send His Mashiach to restore all things. Then the righteous will become a part of the last Adam:


I Corinthians 12:12-25 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Mashiach. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body [were] an eye, where [were] the hearing? If the whole [were] hearing, where [were] the smelling? But now hath G-d set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where [were] the body? But now [are they] many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those [members] of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [parts] have more abundant comeliness.


In the body of Mashiach we will again achieve unity. In the body of Mashiach we will be a fitting bride.


Then we will be returned to Eden to the state we had before the fall. We will return to the ideal, then will the prophecy be fulfilled:


Tehillim (Psalms) 133 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity! [It is] like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, [even] Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there HaShem commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore.


When we return to Gan Eden we will be in perfect unity. Then will the last Adam dwell with HaShem.


So, we start with the physical Temple, then we proceed to the reality represented by the body of Mashiach. Finally, we proceed to Gan Eden, the beginning of all things.




The presence of HaShem will be manifest in Gan Eden by light:


Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord G-d giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis II:5 AND G-D SAID: LET THERE BE LIGHT, i.e. rebuilt and firmly established in the Messianic era, as you read, Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee,etc. (Isa. LX, 1)


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis III:6  It was taught: The light which was created in the six days of Creation cannot illumine by day, because it would eclipse the light of the sun, nor by night, because it was created only to illumine by day. Then where is it? It is stored up for the righteous in the Messianic future, as it says, Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sewenfold, as the light of the seven days (Isa. XXX, 26).




In Gan Eden we dwelt with HaShem face to face. We did not have any “house” because we lived in the garden in close fellowship with HaShem. Before that relationship was consumated, Adam sinned. As a result of that sin, we were driven from the garden of intimacy and forced to dwell outside the walls.


Later, as a result of sin, we were given the Mishkan. A small cramped house where we could dwell with HaShem, at least once a year. It is like a newly wed couple. They live in a small cramped apartment and yet they could not be happier. The Talmud describes this period as the time when we slept together on the blade of a knife. We just could not be too close together:


Sanhedrin 7a Another used to say: When love was strong, we could have made our bed on a sword-blade; now that our love has grown weak, a bed of sixty [cubits] is not large enough for us. Said R. Huna: This is alluded to in the verses: Of the former age [when Israel was loyal to God] it is said: And I will meet with thee and speak with three from above the ark-cover; and further it is taught: The Ark measured nine hand-breadths high and the cover one hand-breadth, i.e. ten in all. Again it is written: As for the House which King Shlomo built for the Lord, the length thereof was three score cubits, the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits. But of the latter age [when they had forsaken God] it is written: Thus saith the Lord, The Heaven is my throne and the earth my footstool. Where is the house that ye may build unto me?


However, as we entered the Promised land and we became overcome by the need to build houses and till the land, we moved further from HaShem as our love grew colder. It is like a married couple who has a king sized bed and finds that it to their liking more than a twin bed. In this environment we needed a big ornate structure, the Temple.


Later, as sin and the worries of this world continued to overtake us, we grew further from HaShem as our love grew ever colder. It is like a many secular married couples who live in separate bedroomes in a giant mansion and still see each other too often. This was the age of the second Temple. This huge structure was MUCH larger than the structure built by King Shlomo. Those who saw the first and the second Temples wept on seeing the second Temple because it size spoke volumes about our relationship with HaShem. We were no longer intimate:


Ezra 3:12-13 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, [who were] ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.


Things did get worse. As we continued to move away from HaShem, as sin continued to harden our hearts, HaShem finally “moved out”. He left the Temple and dwelt in Heaven with the earth as His footstool. Truly we were divorced from our spouse and lover:


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 66:1 Thus saith HaShem, The heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool: where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where  [is] the place of my rest?


The future holds hope, however. One day we will no longer need the physical Temple. One day Mashiach will be the “temple” and we will again walk in the garden with HaShem:


Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.


In that garden we will consummate the relationship we have with HaShem, and have true intimacy. Our relationship will be restored to what it was supposed to be.





On Tisha B’Av we mourn because HaShem has no dwelling in His People. We lament that we are not “The House” fit for HaShem. We do not mourn for dead stones, rather we mourn because the lively stones are not yet a house, a bride fit for HaShem to dwell in.


We must make it our goal to return to the ideal HaShem created at Gan Eden. We must become a part of the Last Adam. We must become a part of the body of Mashiach. It is only when we become a part of the Last Adam that we will become a fit house for the dwelling of HaShem!

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:


Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

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[1] Much of my understanding on this topic was taught to me by my teacher, Hakham Dr. Yoseph ben Haggai.

[2] Midrash Tanchuma, Qedoshim.

[3] The Shechinah is a Rabbinic term used to descride HaShem DWELLING with man.

[4] Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 26a


[5] See Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer 12, Bereshit Rabba 16, and especially Sifrei Ekev 41.

[6] Gemara Yerushalmi in Nazir

[7] In v. 18 we read, and took the stone-one-and according to the Rabbis they had miraculously become one. ' In the sense that He is called the G-d of Abraham, G-d of Isaac, and G-d of Jacob.

[8] I.e. one under and the others surrounding him. This is a natural reconciliation of the present verse with v. 18: in fact he took several stones, but put one only under his head (‘E.J.).

[9] I Tzefet (Peter) 2:5

[10] “Torah Commentary”, page 1340, by Rabbi Bachya ben Asher

[11] 1987 English edition of B'OR HA'TORAH

[12] Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi

[13] “Torah Commentary”, page 1220, by Rabbi Bachya ben Asher

[14] Gemara Yerushalmi in Nazir

[15] See Rashi's commentary on II Melakhim (Kings) 11:2, drawing a parallel between the Kodesh Kodeshim and a bedroom

[16] Bava Batra 7b

[17] Pirke D’Rabbi Eliezer chapter 32. In Mechilta, Bo. xvi. p. 19a; only Isaac, Solomon, and Josiah are mentioned. See Agadath Bereshit, 65, and Midrash HaGadol, c. 246. In T.J. Berachot i. 8 four names are mentioned, the three as in the Mechilta and, in addition, Ishmael; cf. Gen. Rab. xlv. 8. In T.B. Chullin, 139b, the name of Moses is mentioned, as also the names of Mordecai, Esther, and Haman, all these names being hinted at in the Torah. Luria observes that Cyrus (Is. xliv. 28 and xlv. i) should have been mentioned in the list of people named before their birth. This fact would not warrant the inference that all these people were pre-existent. This reasoning is, however, often applied to the name of the Messiah, as though it meant that the Messiah pre-existed because his name was named before his birth; see Hellenism and Christianity, p. i 7.

[18] The first editions add: "our Rabbi", or "our teacher". Since Moses’ name was not explicitly given before he was born, I will not elaborate. Pirke D’Rabbi Eliezer 32 Whence do we know about Moses?[18] Because it is said, "And the Lord said. My spirit shall not abide in man for ever in their going astray”.[18] What is the implication (of the expression), "In their going astray"?[18] Retrospectively his name was called Moses.'' For the life of Moses was one hundred and twenty years, as it is said, "His days shall be an hundred and twenty years".[18]Moses was responsible for building the Mishkan, the Tabernacle, which was the forerunner of the Temple. Further, the focal point of the Temple were the Luchot, the tablets that Moses carved out, which were written by HaShem, and brought down and explained my Moses.


[19] The first editions read: "the name of the Messiah". The Amsterdam edition reads: "our Messiah". The first editions add: "May the Holy One, blessed be He, cause him to come speedily in our days".

[20] ibid. 17:19

[21] See Midrash HaGadol, c. 256 ; Agadath Bereshit, 53; Gen. Rab. liii. 7: and Tanchuma (ed. Buber), Gen. 54a. Jubilees xvi.3 says: “And we told her (Sarah) the name of her son, as his name is ordained and written in the heavenly tables, (i.e.) Isaac".