Third Temple Class 5

Why the dimensions of the Third Temple differ from those of the First and Second Temples:

(Chanoch adds: The simple answer is) two roots of creation

Now I will explain to you why the future Temple will be different from the first and second (chanoch adds: Temples). This is no empty matter. Pay careful attention and make every effort to follow. There are certain important points that you must understand first.

It is written: "In the beginning [Bereishit] God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). The sages commented that the letter Beit in the word Bereishit also has the connotation of "two," this being the numerical value of the letter Beit. The word Bereishit thus indicates two beginnings. You must grasp this great fundamental in order to understand things clearly and know the meaning of the idea of the rectification (Tikune) of the world.

chanoch's Commentary

i am about to go on a soap box so if you do not like soap boxes please skip to the next paragraph. Tikune Olam is a concept that is mentioned many times in our generation. It is usually explained as fixing the world. It is used as the idea of social justice. That the world is unfair and people need to step forward and ease the lives of others. This does sound like it is a sharing concept. How is this implemented? One way is people going to serve the homeless on major Jewish and American Holidays. And that is a good first step perhaps. Yet the Tikune Olam is much more that these kinds of actions. As it is explained in our modern generation tikune olam allows people to not change sufficiently. The reason for this limitation is the Rabbis and teachers who speak of Tikune Olam are not Kabbalists and no one ever asks the question, "What is the best thing for this individual?" Until this is done these "good deed" organizations are doing a disservice.


When the Creator blessed-be-He decided to create this world, He set the lights in their proper places and the guards at their posts, arranging all the different orders of creation in His Wisdom. This Wisdom (Chochmah) was exalted above all His other works, and upon this Wisdom everything depends. This Wisdom is signified by the Yud of His glorious, awesome Name.

But above Wisdom is found another beginning (Keter, the Crown) that is wholly concealed: "Deep, deep, who can find it?" (Ecclesiastes 7:24). This is what gives Wisdom its power and strength. Because of its intense holiness, this higher beginning is totally hidden within Wisdom and completely invisible from outside. When all the ministers and officers who receive from the King see that they all receive from Wisdom, they say, "Surely this is the beginning (Reishit) of everything, this is the source that never ceases." For this reason Wisdom is called "the beginning."

But included within Wisdom is this other, higher "beginning" [Keter]. There is no separation between the two. Everything brought about by Wisdom derives from this higher beginning and it is from here that Wisdom receives its orders. There is nothing in the world that Wisdom brings about that does not derive from this other beginning, signified by the cusp of the Yud. You will find that the cusp is never separated from the Yud nor the Yud from the cusp. Thus, all things have a beginning, and in addition, there is the beginning of the beginning. This is the concept of the two beginnings (Be-reishit) of which I spoke above.

Why did scripture use an expression that bears two meanings? The reason is that since the day the world was created until the present time the world has not attained perfection. Everything depends on man's deeds. Had man not sinned, the universe would have come to perfection. Because of his sin, it was not perfected. So far the creation has only come to the level of rectification corresponding to Wisdom. But there is a far greater, higher level that is still to be attained. For when the hidden beginning (Keter) is revealed in all its power and glory, all the lights will come to a far greater, higher level, after which there will be no more decline. The lights have not yet attained this level, but in time to come they will indeed attain it. And then abundant good will come into the world. Peace and tranquility will reign everywhere, and sadness and sighing will be banished. Of those days it is said: "On that day YHVH will be one and His Name one."

If I were to expand on this matter, it would lead into very extensive discussions that would take me way beyond the bounds of my subject. It is humanly impossible to grasp every single detail to the very end. Accordingly I will not stray far from the path. I will simply set before you a number of introductory explanations. Examine them carefully and you will gain an understanding of hidden secrets that are sealed up and reserved for the remnants whom God calls, secrets that serve as the garb of the Ancient One (cf. Isaiah 23:18 as explained in Pesachim 118a).

chanoch's Commentary

In Rabbi Ashlag's Ten Luminous Emanations Classes he teaches that Keter Chochmah and Binah are constantly unified yet have differences between them. He gives as an example a seed represents the Keter which includes everything that comes after it. The seed is small yet if we were able to see inside we would see the perception of the root, the trunk, the branches, the leaves, and the fruit that come after the seed. In the seed is the potential for a billion possible trees of the species that produced the seed. An example is an apple tree produces the seed so there are a billion possible apples trees that might come from the seed. Which tree will actually be produced does not get determined until the seed becomes the root. When this happens the seed disappears since it was connected to all billion possible trees. Chochmah then becomes the beginning of that particular tree. I hope this enhances your understanding of what Rabbi Luzatto is teaching.

The First Temple: Chochmah

What you must know is that until now all the lights and all the levels have been based only on Wisdom (Chochmah), whereas in the future the concealed beginning [Keter] will be revealed and all things will ascend to the greatest, most precious levels.

Know too that the sin of Adam spoiled everything and caused all perfection to become concealed, with the result that the world was not even able to return to its previous state [i.e. the level of Wisdom] except in the days of Solomon, when the Temple was first built. Thus it is written: "And God gave wisdom to Solomon" (I Kings 5:26). For then Wisdom was revealed in all its beauty and radiant glory, enabling all the lights to shine with great strength and joy. In those days, on every level in all the worlds there was only holy power and delight the like of which had never been seen. Even so, because everything was based only on Wisdom and did not reach the ultimate goal [of Keter], this peace and tranquility came to an end and the Temple was destroyed.

The Future Temple: Keter

But in time to come, when the hidden beginning I mentioned [Keter] is revealed, the happiness will be far, far greater, and it will never cease. All things emanate from their source. Likewise, all the rules governing the lights and their functioning, whether in motion or at rest, follow their source. Any change in the source from which the lights receive affects the whole world. For this reason, in time to come the world will undergo many changes, and the Holy Temple will certainly be different since this is the place from which life is channeled to all the creatures in all the worlds.

The First Temple then, corresponds to Chochmah, the Wisdom that was given to Solomon and with which he built the Temple, as I have explained, while the future Temple corresponds to the hidden beginning [Keter] that has yet to be revealed.

Nevertheless, there is certainly nothing new under the sun. All the changes and developments that have taken place and continue to take place every single day for the six thousand years of creation were decreed at the very outset. Even so, in time to come, when the boundaries of Chochmah are surpassed, the world will enter a new state of joy. This is a great fundamental, though I will not discuss it at length now. Let me just say briefly that initially God made all things the way they are now on the basis of Chochmah alone, yet they contain within them the power to be ordered according to the supreme beginning [Keter]. And when this beginning is revealed, everything will be drawn after it through the original power already planted within them at the outset. The entire creation will then be renewed as if it was born at that moment. That is why Isaiah spoke of: "The new heavens and the new earth" (Isaiah 66:22).

The Third Temple was built above at the time of the destruction of the First Temple

And now I will reveal a very great secret, so apply your intelligence resolutely in order to descend to the depths of the matter. Know that this future Temple is the one that Ezekiel the Prophet saw immediately after the destruction of the First Temple. You have already heard that the Temple above never ceased to exist even though the Temple below was destroyed. For the Temple in this world could only be built through the great power of the lights [the Sefirot], which radiated from level to level until they reached this world, producing the Temple. In the absence of this power the Temple could not remain in this world. But this did not mean that the Heavenly Temple had to be destroyed. It simply became darkened and did not shine as at first.

chanoch's Commentary

Just as a candle can not be seen in the light of the sun but can be barely discerned in the light of the moon.

However, those familiar with the paths of wisdom know a great secret: had those who lived when Solomon built the First Temple not fallen into sin but held firm to the path of purity, they would have ascended from level to level until everything was perfected. The world would then simply have changed directly from one state to another, and what was to have been revealed would have been revealed.

But the influence of evil and the proliferation of sinners caused the destruction of the First Temple that was built according to the initial design. When this happened, the Heavenly Temple no longer stood in its original form. In a single moment it disappeared and was rebuilt in a different form and structure: that of the future Temple. One building disappeared and the other appeared without so much as a hairsbreadth between them. However, the new structure was not revealed in the lower world. Only in the future will it be revealed. But in the upper world from that day on, so it was and so it is.

That is why Ezekiel saw it, for it was already built and standing. Had the Jewish People only been worthy, the redemption in the time of Ezra should have been like the redemption from Egypt, and their entry into the land should have been like Joshua's entry. Then they would have built the Temple according to the plan seen by Ezekiel, and the two Temples, above and below, would have been perfectly aligned.

Differences between the presence of the Shechinah in the First and Second Temples

Since the people failed to improve their ways, the redemption in the time of Ezra was a quiet affair and they did not have the strength to build the Temple according to the plan of the future Temple. On the instructions of the prophets among them they built it partly like the First Temple and partly like the future Temple which already existed above. But the time was not ripe for them to build it entirely like the future Temple.

Thus, in the time of Solomon the two Temples - in this world and the higher world - were in perfect alignment, and accordingly the Shechinah found a resting-place and dwelled in the earthly Temple. But the Second Temple was not similar to the Heavenly Temple and the Shechinah did not dwell in it.

Presence of the Shechinah in the future Temple

However, in time to come, not only will the two Temples be similar, but the Upper House will extend until it reaches the lower world. This is the meaning of the saying of our Rabbis that the Third Temple will be the work of the hands of God. For the Heavenly Temple will not be uprooted from its place. Rather, it will extend until it reaches the lower world, and then around it will be built a physical structure as fitting in this material world, and the two structures will be joined and become one and will never again separate. God's glory will be fully revealed there, as it is written: "And the glory of God will be revealed, and all flesh will see" (Isaiah 40:5). Then there will be complete peace and happiness forever.

There is an allusion to this secret in the verse: ". the Sanctuary, ADNY, that Your hands established [Konenu כננו]" (Exodus 15:17). The beauty of the limbs and ornaments of the Shechinah is revealed according to the way she receives. When the light of this beginning will shine, the glory of Her crown [Keter] will be greatly exalted. Thus, the Sanctuary will be built on the foundation of Keter, and the numerical value of the letters of the word KoNeNU, כננו (126) is equivalent to that of א' א"ד אד"נ אדנ"י which shines in this Crown. All these matters are very deep and far more rooted in wisdom than might appear.

chanoch's Commentary

In Pirkei Avot gematria is called the spice of the Torah. As we know food without spice is quite bland and is not really enjoyed. Yet spice is considered secondary. Now here the Ramchal is hinting that gematria is actually connected to the Sefirah of Chochmah which is wisdom. This is quite a new and unusual teaching.

Measuring the House with a measuring rod and linen Cord

". And behold, there was a man whose appearance was like brass with a linen cord in his hand and a measuring rod. And the man said to me: 'Son of man, see with your eyes and hear with your ears and set your heart on all that I will show you.'" (Ezekiel 40:3-4).

Note that all the dimensions of this House were measured with a "measuring rod" [Kney Hamidah, קנה המדה] (see Ezekiel 40:3). This great secret relates to my discussion about how this building is constructed in accordance with the lights of Keter. No matter where the lights spread out, every single one of them has within it the appropriate measure as it emerges from the source. It is this measure that keeps each individual light within its proper boundaries. Therefore, as this House is built in its proper form, the correct measure of every single part is fixed and everything stands in the proper order.

Let me explain this. All the various chambers, courtyards and other places are built by one "builder" : this is the ninth light [Yesod, Foundation], called by the sages "the life of the worlds," since it is the source of life for all. This light is called "a rod," and now indeed it is the "measuring rod," since it includes the quality of strict measure in order to set limits to the various buildings and structures that emerge from it.

It is really the "linen cord" [פתיל] that signifies the quality of strict measure, for linen is rooted in Gevurah, strength, strict judgment and limitation. The "cord" consists of ten very powerful lights drawn from Gevurah to set limits to all things and keep each creature within its proper boundaries. These ten lights are ten names of YHVH all expanded with Heh's [the "expansion" of 52] as known to the sages. [52 x 10 = 520, numerical value of the letters of פתיל .] These are the names of Gevurah which give measure and limits to all. It is from this cord that the light I mentioned [i.e. Yesod, the "rod"] receives its quality of strict measure. It is then called the "measuring rod," and all its buildings therefore emerge from it with their proper measurements.

Know that six hundred and twenty great and powerful lights emerge from the first light, the hidden beginning [Keter] that I mentioned earlier. They are rooted in two great names filled with power and strength: El El [א"ל א"ל]. For as these two names display their great power and glory, each one spreads into three hundred and ten worlds. [The numerical value of א"ל is 31; 31 x 10 = 310.] Twice three hundred and ten is six hundred and twenty, the numerical value of KeTeR, the Crown. For these two names are set in a most exalted, awesome crown. Three hundred and ten of these lights remained in their place, while the other three hundred and ten were given from Keter to Chochmah and Binah. They were divided between them so that each received one hundred and fifty-five (numerical value of the word KaNeH, "a rod"). This is the secret of the verse, "Acquire [kneh] wisdom [Chochmah], acquire [kneh] understanding [Binah]" (Proverbs 4:5).

It is Binah that sets limits and measures, for she is their source. When the quality of strict measure reaches Yesod it takes on her name and is called "the measuring rod." See how all this results from the revelation of that "beginning," for it is the source of these two rods. The left rod [the 155 lights, or KaNeH, taken by Binah] is for measuring, as I have said. The length of the rod is six cubits. Each cubit is six handbreadths. See therefore, how all the lights are bound together in this light, which is called "All," since all are contained within it. There are six directions [the six ketzavot, alluding to the six Sefirot from Chesed to Yesod, all of which are included in Yesod], and when they are all connected to one another, they make thirty-six, corresponding to the length of this rod [36 handbreadths].

Until now I have spoken in general terms and set forth a comprehensive introduction to the subject. Now I will turn to specifics and with the help of Heaven I will provide a clear, detailed explanation of the form and structure of the Temple in detail. I will follow the path of the flow of sustenance and blessing [Shefa] as it emerges from the source and spreads forth on all sides. I begin therefore with the place from which the flow emerges, and I will tell you in which directions it travels after leaving there, and which path it takes at the beginning and which path it takes at the end.

chanoch's Commentary

In this section, we have all Sefirot mentioned except Malchut.