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Sukkat Shalom B'nei Noach



What’s interesting, and which people don’t realize, is that there should not have been a mishkan. Why not?—because there is a famous pasuk—verse that says, “V’asu l’mikdash”—and they will make Me a mikdash, “v’shochanti b’socham”—and I will dwell in them. This is at the beginning of the Parshas—Torah portion “Terumah.” “Make for Me a mikdash,” means: make me a residence where I can reside. It should have said, “I will dwell in it” but it doesn’t say that. It says, “I will dwell in them.” That’s a very important concept because the mikdash, the makom shechina, the place in which the shechina resides, is a makom mikdash which is the place of the mikdash, right?

Where does G-d truly reside? He resides in the neshama. What G-d initially wanted was not a mishkan.  He could say:  I don’t need that because My entry point into the briyah, into the Creation, the place where a Jew can experience Me, is through his neshama. You don’t need an outside place to go to feel me. He says, “V’shochanti b’socham”—I dwell within you, within them.

What G-d originally intended was that His entry point be the neshama. The place wherein He resides is the neshama. A Jew can experience Him within himself; he need not go to the Beis Ha’Mikdash. The reason we had a mishkan was because of the cheit ha’egel—Sin of the Golden Calf.  From that sin, G-D told us: you have to build Me a mishkan because, even though I reside in you—because the neshama is the replica of the shechina that resides within us—you will not experience Me in you; you now have to go to a place to experience Me.

That, in many ways, was a onesh–punishment because we shouldn’t have needed a Beis Ha’Mikdash. Why do we have to go to a place—I ask you! If we’re part of G-D, why do we have to go to a place? In the beginning, we didn’t. It was within man. The neshama itself is the mikdash, the Beis Ha’Mikdash. We don’t realize that man is the Beis Ha’Mikdash. The Jew is the Beis Ha’Mikdash. His neshama is the Beis Ha’Mikdash. It was only because of the sin that a person had to leave his place and go to another place to experience G-D. We think the Beis Ha’Mikdash is “outside,” which is where G-D is. No! G-D is still within you, except you cannot experience Me in a place unless you go outside yourself. I’m still within you, G-D could say. It’s just that, to experience Me, you have to go to Yerushalayim–Jerusalem, to the Beis Ha’Mikdash, to experience “self.” That’s the mistake people make, thinking they go to the Beis Ha’Mikdash to experience something outside of themselves. They think G-D is in the Beis Ha’Mikdash. We’re walking around and we are the Beis Ha’Mikdash.

The Jews introduced pirud, separation, which means: you can no longer experience Me inside of you; you can only experience Me outside of you because of your sin. That’s what a sin does. Do you remember what a sin, ostensibly, says? When you sin, it’s as if you’re saying: yesh od milvado—besides G-D there’s something else, right? They denied G-D, in a certain way, by accepting the golden calf as a god, right? They externalized G-D. They said: besides G-D there’s something else.

G-D’s reaction was: okay, you believed that, besides Me, G-D, there’s also you, right? That means you have made me a zuloso, an “other,” outside of you. Fine, okay. Now you gotta go outside to experience Me. It’s the consequence of the cheit ha’egel but, really, the original structure never changed; it’s still within you. That’s what G-D is saying. It’s a very important chiddush—novel understanding.

The mishkan is the result of the sin, but the original Beis Ha’Mikdash is a man, is a Jew, but he continues you have to go “outside” to experience G-D’s presence. So that’s what the mishkan is, the first external Beis Ha’Mikdash.

Participant: How can we get in touch with ourselves, the part which is the shechina, like going to that makom? By going to that makom, what are the mechanics for experiencing it within yourself?

Another participant: It’s like a WiFi hotspot.

R’Kessin: You mean the Beis Hamikdash? What are the mechanics? You have to know one thing; G-D isn’t localized; He’s all over. G-d exists everywhere. “Moleh aretz kvodo”—the earth is filled with His honor, His presence. If you go to a place where He’s “at,” the shekhinah within you and the shekhinah outside are the same. Somehow, by going to that place and experiencing G-D, you experience Him and yourself because G-D within you and the G-D “out there” is one. The key point to remember is that the entry point into the briyah is you, not the outside. What you’re really experiencing is you. Experientially, it’s not like G-D is there and you’re here—no! G-D is here and G-D is in you.  You have to go to an outside place where He “is” and, instantaneously, it’s like a continuous ripple within you that you feel, but the entry point is within you. That’s really what nevuah—prophetic experience is.

It starts with the ten sefiros—Divine energies. They, collectively, are called the “partzuf”—configuration. As I said, the ten is “adam.”  A partzuf refers to a complete face which is a complete configuration.  Those ten sefiros are sub-divided to 613 parts. Those sefiros create a neshamah that also has 613 parts. That neshamah resides in a guf–body that also has 613 parts.

Therefore, a person in a guf, a body, has to do 613 mitzvahs, one mitzvah k’neged—to each part. Do you see the parallels here? It’s such a replica. Every time you do a commandment, you “open up” one part of the body, open one part of the neshamah to receive the “Light” of the sefiros for that particular part.

Man, physically, is a replica of the sefiros with his neshamah as a replica of the ten sefiros. The Beis Ha’Mikdash is also a replica and, therefore, has 613 parts; yeah, it does. The “Malbim”, at the beginning of “Vayikra” actually describes, and shows, how the Beis Ha’Mikdash is an Adam. The name of that configuration is called “adam,” an “adamic structure.” It’s a whole Kabbalistic explanation. The Beis Ha’Mikdash is an Adam but it’s an Adam of the physical universe. It’s one replica after another, parallels.

Ultimately, when there’s a third Beis Ha’Mikdash, that will be a replica of the world in its tikkun phase. That’s why the third Beis Ha’Mikdash will be different than the second. It has different dimensions. Why?—because it’s a replica of the entire world outside of man. Therefore, the Beis Ha’Mikdash Ha’Shlishi (third) that Yechezkel—Ezekiel talks about will replicate the exact status of the physical universe as reflected in the Beis Ha’Mikdash.

There are different stages of mashiach. There’s a Mashiach Ben Yosef. Then there’s the era of Mashiach Ben David which is the “real” messianic era. As the era goes on, things change. The Beis Ha’Mikdash Ha’Shlishi may serve as an external mikdash for a certain duration of time but afterward, maybe, won’t be needed.  Things will revert to the original 613 parts so there will no longer be a need for an “outside” Beis Ha’Mikdash.

By Yoeri Schepens

Sources: a shiur by Rabbi Mendel Kessin, Derech-Hashem-the-way-of-G-d-67

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