Va-Yaqhel 5771 – 

According to Sefer Az Yashir Moshe (MetaTorah)

Moshe calls together a harmonious community that includes all factions… (Ex. 35:1)

The Sanctuary (Mishqan) that Moshe calls on all of us to participate in constructing, is a portable mini-Temple. As such it has to represent and include every single essential element present within the full spectrum of the Shekhinah Herself. Every truly sacred Temple whether portable or stationary is a fractal reflection on its own level of the Shekhinah who is Everything, from the very least all the way to Eyn Sof (The ALL).  We need such sacred constructions because our little eyes are too weak and easily distracted and cannot recognize directly that we are already blessed to be present within a divinely constructed Sanctuary, the Earth Herself, Goddess Gaea.

We also need a scaled-down microcosmic model to remind us that our own bodies, themselves fashioned in the “Divine Image,” have the potential to become sanctuaries, if we can master the Yoga of harmonizing all our energy systems with the deepest wisdom of the Heart, bilevavi mishqan evneh (“I’m building a sanctuary in my Heart”).

Through studying the construction and composition of this portable Sanctuary we can learn a lot about what we need to do in order to become ourselves a portable sanctuary that embodies and transports Holiness throughout time and space.  (See Reb Zalman’s translation of Ana Be-Koach.)

And here we need to recognize the essential difference between a portable Sanctuary (Mishqan) and a stationary Temple (Beyt Ha-Miqdash). The Temple can only come later after all the sacred battles relevant to a specific location (Milchemot HaShem) have been won, i.e., after everything has been eliminated that obscures and stands in the way of realizing the Shekhinah directly as Reality Herself right in that very place.

Many of us would like to jump over time and “re-build” the Temple without first constructing, creating and becoming a portable Sanctuary ourselves. But such a notion is inherently reactionary and regressive, because by merely looking backwards to where the Shekhinah has already been we cannot help Her reach where She still needs to go, ( mythically, the Third Temple). To getTHERE from HERE we always have to continue moving forward in order to master the construction of a portable Sanctuary. We have to become a sacred chariot (Merkavah) that can embody and transport Holiness throughout all reaches and stages of time and space. (“The Fathers and Mothers are the Chariot”)

The appeal of the “leap-frog beyond time and space” is powerful, because it appears to enable us to leap over and defy the fundamentally suffering nature of embodied experience.  But it is as illusory and unsustainable as any other limited fantasy model that obscures and separates the “two partzufim” of Reality that are essentially inseparable. (Qudsha Berikh Hu u- Shekhinteh.)  Any “Absolute” that is not sustained by the energy of conscious suffering within Time and Space is itself fated to fade away. (See what Gurdjieff says about the Absolute and merciless Heropass in All and Everything.) So, the Shekhinah wants and needs ushere to sustain and feed her.

How we feed and sustain the Shekhinah is a matter of scale and proportion.Since most of us cannot even begin to comprehend the Shekhinah as Whole, we need to work with limited fractal models that on their own scale reflect the Totality and that means coming together on some level in the construction of a fractal Mishqan. But, regardless of the level or the scale, whether as embodied individual, family, tribe, nation, multi-national, or globally, within time and space the sacred struggles that feed and nourish the Shekhinah, the sacrificial efforts we must make to sustain holiness on the Earth and in the Universe—miLeCHeMot HaVaYaH— the “Lechem of Being,” Divine Bread—cannot be avoided. We must provide HER with food for HER sustenance.

And here is where the problem arises that the archetypal meta-Moshe addresses.  The nourishing struggles we need to offer asPrasad, require of us discrimination and conscience. On the micro-Mishqan scale that means honestly acknowledging and addressing aspects of us that require refinement, however painful.  From the perspective of the larger vehicles, more expansive forms of the macro-Mishqan, this same sense of justice and conscience has also to be refined and expressed. These “struggles” are unavoidable and essential for creating, spreading, and sustaining holiness on the Earth.

But here is the problem.  While the conscious struggles rooted in conscience are not only required and quintessentially human, humanity on its own level cannot succeed in “bringing Mashiach,” the redeeming feature.  The reason is that we have one quintessentially human flaw that makes even our best efforts as futile as Sysiphus. As long as this chief human feature is not recognized and transcended, regardless of how “right” we may be in our expression and perceptions of conscience and “justice,” we are bound to fail every time in our efforts to bring about whatever we may think is “right.” That fatal flaw is Schadenfreude, the pathological pleasure we humans experience in the face of someone else’s suffering.  Unfortunately, this dubious pleasure greatly increases the more we think somebody “really deserves it.”

But no matter how terrible we may think someone else’s karma is, there is no one who is outside the reach of the All-Embracing outreach of the Thirteen Arms of the Shekhinah’s Pure Compassion (Thirteen Middot of Rachamim).  This very teaching is explicit in the midrash that is repeated at every Passover Seder in the Haggadah that tells us how the Shekhinah rebuked the Israelites for celebrating the drowning of their former oppressors who died while pursuing the Israelites into the Reed Sea.  (“My people are dying and you are cheering?!?!”)  It is one thing to celebrate the unconditional good fortune of being the beneficiary of Divine Grace. But Schadenfreude completely undermines the merit of any such celebration and guarantees that we will “lose it” again regardless of how high a level we may have reached.

And that is why our sages teach us that when it comes to conflict and opposition, the only kind that provides sustainance for theShekhinah is a machloqet le-shem shamayim: when we express our differences in support of Heaven’s interests. But differences cannot be expressed for Heaven’s interests as long as one is not rooted in the All-Embracing outreach of the Thirteen Arms of the Shekhinah’s Pure Compassion (Thirteen Middot of Rachamim) which exclude no one. As long as we hate someone and rejoice in their downfall, no matter how much we believe “they really deserve it,” we can know for certain that our struggle is not amachloqet le-shem shamayim and our “righteous” efforts will fail to provide sustainance for the Shekhinah.

The archetypal meta-Moshe who alone can put all the pieces together because “He” is rooted in unlimited compassion is theDivine Power calling on all of us to come together in the construction of every level of Mishqan that can feed the Shekinah by enabling holiness to move freely through all dimensions of time and space reaching everywhere, everything, and everyone.

May it be so. May it be so.

Shabbat shalom.

Received and faithfully transmitted by,

Moshe Aharon Ladyzhiner

Va-Yaqhel 5771

(The highest level is recognizing directly and clearly the absolutely limitless and all-encompassing energy of pure rachamim that is extended and includes all beings without exception. If one doesn’t attain this level of realization, regardless of how many high attainments and merits one gains for oneself, it will still be possible to “completely lose it” in some circumstance or another. Only the consciousness that is rooted in and permeated by all-encompassing rachamim can manifest critically as a machloqet le-shem shamayyim and thus have qiyyum.)