Tuesday, July 16, 2013

God Dwells Within Us: The Human Beis HaMikdash

I was reading the Tisha B'av-To-Go put out by Yeshiva University, specifically the article by Rabbi Yehuda Willig, when I came across this fascinating Alshich (in Chapter 31 of Shemot) being cited:

ואם כן כיון שהמשכן אין השראת שכינה בו מצד עצמו כי אם באדם כמה דאת אמר (לעיל כה ח) ועשו לי מקדש ושכנתי בתוכם, כי בתוכו לא נאמר אלא בתוכם שהוא כי היכל ה' הוא האדם וממנו יתפשט אל המשכן. ואם כן אמור מעתה איך בשבת שהאדם הוא היכל ה' יעשה מלאכה במשכן שהוא עצמו מצד עצמו אין בו שכינה אלא ממה שנמשך לו מן האדם, שעל ידי היות האדם היכל ה' נמשך אל המשכן:

Well, actually, the one cited in the article was from Shemot, Chapter 25:

ושכנתי בתוכם ולא אמר בתוכו. והוא כי הנה שמעתי לומדים מכאן כי עיקר השראת שכינה באדם הוא ולא בבית מאומרו בתוכם.

This is translated as: It says that I dwell among them and not (that I will dwell) in it. And the idea is, because I heard those who extract from here that the main residence of the Shechinah is in man himself, and not in the home (Beis HaMikdash), from the fact that it says (I will dwell among) them. 

Rabbi Willig goes on to say:
This incredible concept demonstrates the thought we mentioned previously, that each person has such immense significance. Each person is charged with the responsibility to become a living Beis HaMikdash, to use his abilities and talents to bring more Godliness into this world. Therefore, with the loss of every single Jewish life, we mourn and grieve as we do over the loss of the Beis HaMikdash.
He then goes on to explore the idea that the earth with which God created Adam originated from the place the Beit HaMikdash would one day stand, and given what we now know (in addition to another point he sets up about Eicha vs. Ayekah), we understand why.


Anonymous said...

Very nice. Thanks for sharing!

Chandra said...

This is cool!

smb said...

That's beautiful. We can each make a holy place in ourself for G-d to dwell in . Each effort is leads us forward.