Friday, May 22, 2015

The Secret of the Mishkan and Humility of Moses

Liquttei Moharan 70
(As I translated from Hebrew, any errors or mistakes here are mine, all additions in parentheses and brackets are mine)

"And it was on the eighth day, Moses called to Aaron and to his sons and to the elders of Israel..." -Leviticus 9

Everything is on the earth, as we see in reality,that everything grows from the earth and everything and all humans walk on and are set on the earth. It is impossible that anything will leave and be distanced from the earth except by way of a counter force. In other words, through something that forces the object and takes it up from it's place, from the ground, and distances it from the earth. And according to the strength of the counter force is the amount that the object is distanced. Afterwards, when the counter force is spent, the object returns to the earth.

For example, if a person throws something up into the air, through his strength the object is forced and it separates from the earth. According to the persons strength is the distance the object is separated from the earth up into the air. Then, when the strength he sent into the object by throwing it is spent, it comes back falling to the ground.

This is because the earth has the power of pulling (gravitational pull) and pulls everything toward it. For if not, nothing would be able to be sustained on it, since it would be natural to fall from the earth, since the earth is round and all mankind stands about it from all sides, as is known. Therefore, when the the counter force is spent, and the object falls down to the earth, everything that draws closer more below, the more it speeds up in its fall (i.e. the acceleration of gravity). This is a result of the object drawing closer to the pulling force of the earth; therefore it falls faster below.

Now, the sadiq (righteous one) is the aspect of dust because the sadiq is the foundation of the world (as dust is the foundation of the earth) as it says in Proverbs 10, "The sadiq is the foundation of the world" and everything stands on him and he has the pulling force to draw all things to him. This specific Sadiq who is the foundation of the world is a single entity in the world from whom all things are drawn. And even all the other sadiqim are only branches of him - everyone according to his aspect. There are those who are branches of him [the main sadiq] and those who are branches of branches.

This singular sadiq in the world is very humble and low and he places himself like the dust, in the aspect of Genesis 18, "And I am dust and ashes...", therefore he is the foundation of the world, in other words dust, that all things are upon it as stated above. And this is what we request [in the sidur] "may my soul be like dust to all", i.e. that our souls will have the pulling force  to draw everything to it like dust does. And this sadiq draws all the influxes/abundances to the word, in the aspect of Job 28, "The gold dust...", that all the influxes/abundances are drawn from the aspect of dust (humility).

Therefore, one who gives charity to this sadiq is immediately blessed because it is like sowing directly on the dirt which yields exponentially as in Hosea 10, "Sow for yourselves charity and reap according to kindness." However, if one gives charity to one who is not the aspect of dust at all (i.e. he has no true humility), it does not yield fruit. This is why Jeremiah cursed the people of Anathoth: "At the time of Your anger, do with them..", Jeremiah 18, [upon which the Sages comment in Talmud, Baba Qama 17:] cause them to stumble by poor people who are not fit [to receive charity]; i.e. that they won't be in the aspect of dust at all and therefore the charity that people give to them won't be like sowing at all [because it won't yield blessing].

Hence, it is proper that all people will be drawn to this sadiq who is in the aspect of dust and who has the gravitational pull. Only, through counter forces, people are pushed away and distanced from him. In other words, there are people that through their words and deeds, they compel other people to distance them from this sadiq. According to the power of the counter force is the distance the people are taken from the sadiq. Afterward, when the counter force is spent, the affected person will return and draw himself to draw closer to the sadiq who is the aspect of dust. For when the counter force is spent, the object returns to the dust, the sadiq who has the gravitational pull.

There are people who are very far from the sadiq for the fact that they are still caught up in the counter force which distances them; but afterward when the counter force is spent, they will return and draw closer [to the sadiq]. This we see, when a person travels to the sadiq, every bit closer he gets to the place of the sadiq, the more desire he has from the fact that he is drawing closer to the gravitational pull.

This is the aspect of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), for the Mishkan had gravitational pull, to draw Divine power to the place it was standing, as in Song of Songs 1, "Pull me after you and we'll run...", specifically "after you we'll run", because everyone who draws closer to him runs faster as a result of the gravitational pull. This is brought in Midrash Rabba Shemoth 31, that the word Mishkan is related to the word "mashkon" (a guarantee), as it was a guarantee to Israel that the Shekhina (Divine Presence) would dwell among them even if they sinned, as it is written, Leviticus 26, "And I gave My dwelling among you all and My soul will not be abhorred by you."

[Note: the word for pulling force, the word Mishkan, the word for dwelling, the word for guarantee, and the word Shekhina all come from the same root word M-Sh-K in Hebrew; meaning that their meanings are all interconnected.]

Hence, through the Mishkan, the Shekhina dwelt among Israel; for the Mishkan is the language of "pull me..." (see quote from Song of Songs 1 above), that it had gravitational pull, to draw Divine power to the place in which it stood. Therefore, it is impossible to erect the Mishkan except through the sadiq who is as humble as dust, the aspect of Moses who was "more humble than any man" as it is written in Exodus 40, "And Moses erected the Mishkan..." - no other would be able to build it except for specifically this sadiq who is the aspect of dust, gravitational pull, in order to draw Divine power.

This is the meaning of what is written in Deuteronomy 7, "Not for your greatness of numbers did HaShem desire you, for you are the smallest", upon which our Sages extrapolated (in Talmud, Hullin 89), "not... except because you make yourselves the smallest... did HaShem desire you". Because they made themselves small and insignificant they entered the aspect of dust which has gravitational pull, i.e. the Mishkan which draws Divine power to it. Therefore, HaShem desired them. This is the aspect of Isaiah 57, "I will dwell with the downtrodden", for through lowliness wherein a person makes himself like dust, he has gravitational pull to draw HaShem to him - that is the entire aspect of the Mishkan.

This is the aspect of the honor which is stated about the Mishkan as it is written in Exodus 29, "It will be sanctified in My honor", and in Ex. 40, "The glory of HaShem fills the Mishkan." All of the honor that every person has, from small to great, is only received from this sadiq who is the aspect of dust and Mishkan, that from him everything is drawn. All of the honor and greatness is only by this sadiq, and everyone receives from him as it is stated in Talmud, Meghilla 31, "Every place where you'll find his greatness, there you find his humility." Hence, in the place of humility and lowliness is where all glory and greatness dwells. As it says (see above), "I will dwell with the downtrodden." Therefore, all leaders of the world receive their honor from this sadiq who is as dust.

The same is true with renewal of honor. For at every time when honor is renewed, when an appointee moves to a different position (when someone gets promoted at a job, for example), leadership and honor are renewed - this is all through this sadiq. For according to his raising the Mishkan every time, that from there comes honor, in the aspects of "the glory of HaShem fills the Mishkan" (see above), is the amount that honor and leadership are renewed.

And this is the meaning [of the verse that started out this Torah], "And it was on the eighth day, Moses called to Aaron and to his sons and to the elders of Israel."
For when the sadiq wishes to call the heads of the people, he calls them by this, that he erects the Mishkan, where honor is. Through that he calls them and they all come to him to receive honor from him.

That's the meaning of "on the eighth day...", that Moses erected the Mishkan. Through that he: "called to Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel", who are the heads of the people, from little to great. For through building the Mishkan, he called all the heads of the people, who are the aspect of Aaron and his sons, etc. This is what our Sages in Talmud, Rosh HaShana 1, "Nisan is the new year for kings", for that is when the Mishkan was built, from which the honor of kings, appointees, and leaders is drawn.

Therefore, the building of the Mishkan was specifically on the first day of Nisan [note: Rebbe Nahman was born on this same day, rosh hodesh Nisan]. For this is the aspect of rosh hodesh (head/beginning of the month, but literally "the head of renewal"), that through this all heads/leaders are renewed. Thus, "the beginning of the month of Nisan is the new year of kings".

This idea of the Moses figure and also the idea from the Zohar about Moses-Messiah is mentioned several times throughout Liquttei Moharan. It is important to note that there is a concept that a Mosaic soul keeps returning to guide Israel with new Torah insights and advice. This soul had most notably come to the world as key sadiqim throughout the generations. The latest and final occurrence of this, before the coming of Messiah and the resurrection of the dead, was in Rebbe Nahman who was born on the head of the month of Nisan, the time when the Mishkan was built.

This Torah starts explaining how all human beings are naturally drawn to the specific Moses-sadiqim of which there are never two or more of at any one time. Naturally, if no one prevents it through false religions, false beliefs, or through agents of the Sattan who exist among observant Jews (all these are the counter force as explained in this Torah) - every sincere person looking for the truth will eventually find every Moses of the past including the Moses who is appropriate for their generation; in our case, Rebbe Nahman MeUman - because they have a gravitational pull from their humility.

If you ask how Moses could have written about himself, "Moses was the most humble man", or how Rebbe Nahman could have taught about his own greatness - how could this be humility? The answer is that humility is not self degradation. Humility is the recognition of one's own level. When a sadiq says "I am this great" or "I have reached this high a level", they are not taking pride in themselves for having achieved it, they are not being conceited like a normal person would naturally feel after saying such things. In actuality, it is testament that they are truly humble, if they are able to speak of themselves without feeling haughty and conceited. In other words, it depends on who they are, not on the words you see them say. An arrogant person could say "I am the most humble" and he would feel arrogance while saying it. You only know if someone is arrogant or humble by knowing them.

The difference between a humble sadiq and an arrogant person is that the former talks about himself without taking pride in his own actions, attributing all to HaShem. The arrogant take pride in themselves.

Another amazing point is that part of Exodus 32:32, which reads "If You will take up their sin...if not, erase me, please, from Your book...", wherein Moses is pleading with HaShem not to destroy Israel for the sin of the golden calf. If read backwards, it states "I am Nahman" and the letters after that are scrambled to read "from Uman". Moses himself stated that he was Nahman from Uman.]