Third Temple Class ?

This class is based on the Translation by Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum of the Sefer Mishkney Elyon which translates as "The Upper Temple" by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto ("Ramchal"). Rabbi Greenbaum titled his translation as "Secrets of the Future Temple." It is available online.

Our tradition teaches that The Upper Temple will descend to Earth and will be completed by human beings and become the well desired Third Temple. This Sefer reveals many kabbalistic aspects of the Temple and the Services Performed within and around the Temple.

The Altar

Height of the Altar

It is here in the Inner Courtyard that the sacrificial Altar is located, as I have already stated. Let me explain its measurements, which involve the deepest secrets, for the Altar provides a place for all who need to ascend on it. The total height of the Altar is ten cubits built on three distinct levels. The height of the top level is four cubits as is that of the second [or middle] level, while the third [or bottom] level is two cubits high.

This is because there is a place here for all the Palaces [Heichalot] of the World of Beriyah according to their order of ascent. The top four cubits correspond to Keter, Chochmah and Binah in the Palace known as Holy of Holies, together with Desire [=Tiferet], which ascends higher than all the others. The middle four cubits correspond to Chesed, Gevurah, Netzach and Hod. The bottom two cubits correspond to Yesod and Malchut, which join together in the Palace of Sapphire Stone.

chanoch's Commentary

This pattern for the 10 Sefirot is unusual. We usually see it as 3 plus 7. What is the meaning of 4 plus 4 plus 2? i do not know.

i hope you understand that the purpose of Creation is to reveal the Light which is the fulfillment of Desire. This is why Desire ascends "higher than Keter of the World of Beriyah. What is higher than Keter of the World of Beriah? It is Malchut of ATzilut. What is the relationship between Tiferet of Beriah and Malchut of Atzilut? i do not know perhaps someone else does have an idea. Let me know now or by email later if something occurs to you.

Length and breadth of the Altar

Let me now explain to you the underlying principles governing the length and breadth of the Altar. Know that the Supreme Wisdom [Chochmah] contains thirty-two pathways under which all things are subsumed: these are the ten Sefirot together with the twenty-two letters of the Aleph­ Beit from top to bottom. Correspondingly the Lower Wisdom - Shechinah - is called "Glory" [KaVoD = 32], because like the Upper Wisdom she too contains thirty-two pathways, only in this case they are ordered from the bottom upwards.

Four lights descended from the Shechinah into the World of Beriyah. They are called Glory. When these lights reached their bottom level [i.e. the base (Yesod) of the Altar, which is thirty-two cubits square] all thirty-two appeared merged together in one place, as I will explain.

chanoch's Commentary

The Shechinah is the Malchut of Atzilut. The four Lights that descended to the World of Beriayah became Keter Chochmah Binah and Tiferet of the World of Beriah. This explains the connection but not the why to the question asked above.

The Altar Woodpile

As these four lights descended, a corresponding place came into being in this Altar [at the top, i.e. the Woodpile, Ma'arachah]. Initially it was twenty-four cubits square, corresponding to the twenty-four permutations of the letters of the name ADNY. Correspondingly, twenty-four divisions of Priests and Levites serve in the Temple, and thus the branches join with the roots.

chanoch adds that this may be the explanation of the 24 hour cycle to a day. Especially since the word Din - Dalet Nun means judgment which is likened to darkness in Kabbalah represents 2 of the 4 letters of Adonai.

Pathway for the Priests to step around the Altar

When Tiferet and Yesod - which are two Vav's - joined with the Shechinah, an additional cubit was added to the length and breadth [each cubit is made up of six (= Vav) handbreadths]. This formed a place twenty-six cubits long and twenty-six cubits wide, corresponding to the numerical value of the holy name of YHVH blessed-be-He. This place is called the Pathway for the Priests to step around the Altar [Mekom Hiluch Ragley Hacohanim], while the previous area is called the Place of the Woodpile [Mekom Hama'arachah].

Horns of the Altar

Afterwards Netzach and Hod also joined with the Shechinah. These two Sefirot are the two mighty horns of which it says, "And his horns are the horns of the wild ox" (Deuteronomy 33:17). This formed a place twenty-eight cubits square. This is because the Shechinah is called Bat Sheva [since it is through her that the seven lower Sefirot are revealed]. When she stands facing the four, namely Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malchut [i.e. when the Shechinah stands "face to face" with the bottom four Sefirot of Zeir Anpin], these twenty-eight lights appear [7 x 4 = 28]. These are the twenty-eight camps of the Shechinah.

As a result of the rectification brought about when the Shechinah stands facing these four [Sefirot of Zeir Anpin], four lights came down from above into the World of Beriyah. This explains the presence of four horns here [at the four corners at the top of the Altar]. They are the four letters of ADNY.

You must understand that the cubit of measurement used in the Temple consists sometimes of six handbreadths and sometimes of five. The cubit of six handbreadths derives from the male aspect, while the cubit of five handbreadths derives from the female aspect. The Glory revealed in the Altar is bound up with the Heh [female aspect] of the Divine Name, and for this reason the cubits of the horns are of five handbreadths.

chanoch's commentary

How can the same concept have two different meanings, especially something that is a measurement? 5 handbreaths or 6 handbreaths is the measurement of a cubit? Perhaps the 6 handbreadths is on a smaller hand so that the two measurements are equal. Actually this whole idea is to give you the opportunity to learn about relativity.

The surrounding ledge

The light now descended four levels, for in this way all the levels are joined together as one. Afterwards the Heh welled up again with great force and spread out even further than before, protruding another two cubits (of five handbreadths) in both directions [forming the surrounding ledge, Sovev]. Let me tell you where these two cubits came from. They are drawn down from the Palace of Desire, for each of the individual Palaces receives from its corresponding aspect in the Palace of Desire. Accordingly this section of the Altar is thirty cubits square.

chanoch's Commentary

As a student of Kabbalah do you know why it is now 30 cubits square. Also why is it square and not rectangular? This would be a method to display the difference between the 5 cubits and 6 cubits as discussed above. These are just some of the questions one can begin to ask about the third Temple.

The foundation

After another four levels [four cubits] the Glory spread out further. When it reached its lowest level it radiated in all its strength and greatness in the form of thirty-two great lights corresponding to the numerical value of the letters of KaVoD. At the base, therefore, the Altar is thirty-two cubits square.

chanoch's Commentary

i hope you realize that the alter goes from 24 square cubits at the top to 32 square cubits at the bottom in steps of two. Do you think these steps are equal in size? what do you think is the reason that each step widens out further. Some is explained but not all.

Position of the Altar and Ramp

The Altar in the future Temple is in front of the Sanctuary in direct alignment with its south and north walls, for it is written: "And the Altar in front of the House" (Ezekiel 40:47). The Altar Ramp is to the south. Let me explain to you the significance of this Ramp. The Altar itself derives from Malchut, while the Ramp standing at its side derives from Yesod. The Ramp is positioned to the south of the Altar [south = Chesed, the "right hand"] in order to rectify the Altar by connecting it to the right-hand side. This is why the Ramp is to the south, for in this way the Altar is drawn to the south.

This is in accordance with the underlying secret of the verse: "The mountain of the House of the Lord will be firmly established on the top of the mountains" (Isaiah 2:2) as I explained above [see "Cherubs and palms on the walls" p. 84]. The Altar itself does not intrinsically lean to the right since it is positioned in the center. But [through the position of the Ramp, which gives access to the top of the Altar from the south] the Altar "starts" on the south side. Since the Altar is thirty-two cubits from south to north, its north side is in direct alignment with the end of the north wall of the Sanctuary.

The Ramp itself is also thirty-two cubits long. Its length is thus identical to that of the base of the Altar, neither less nor more. In addition there are two smaller side ramps giving access from the main Ramp to the surrounding ledge [Sovev] and the base of the Altar [Yesod], which are the two bottom levels.

The Priests' Courtyard and Duchan

In this Inner Courtyard [Azarah] one step leads up [from the eastern section, the "Israelite Court", Ezrat Yisrael] to the place of the Levites [also known as the "Court of the Priests", which is thus a platform one step higher than the Ezrat Yisrael]. On this platform another three steps lead up to the place of the Priests [the Duchan].

The reason for these steps is that the place of the Levites [Gevurah] is one level higher than that of the Israelites [Tiferet]. Afterwards, however, the three levels [Chesed, Gevurah and Tiferet] join together so that all three are included in the place where the Priests [Chesed] perform the Temple service. The reason why there are not merely two steps up to the place of the Priests is that it is not exclusively theirs but rather it is the place where all three levels join together as one in Chesed itself. Understand this well.

Let me now explain the details of the Outer Courtyard [also known as the "Women's Courtyard"]. This is the place where the Chayot, angels of the World of Yetzirah, receive their sustenance. The distance from the outer wall of the Inner Courtyard to the outer wall of the Outer Courtyard [which surrounds the Inner Courtyard on all sides] is one hundred cubits in all directions, and you already know the secret of "one hundred".

chanoch adds: The word women in women's courtyard does not speak specifically to the literal meaning of the word women. It refers to the idea of a female; a receiver.

The Outer Courtyard includes the area behind the Holy of Holies

The Outer Courtyard surrounds the entire Temple building including the back [i.e. the Holy of Holies]. From the back [west] wall of the Temple building to the west wall of the Outer Courtyard is a distance of eleven cubits corresponding to the Vav [=6] and Heh [=5; 6 + 5 = 11].

In the first two Temples the Outer Courtyard did not surround the Temple building [but was situated to the east of the Inner Courtyard, the Azarah]. What is the reason for this difference? It is because behind the Temple, way, way down, is the place of impurity and the angels of vengeance. The original Courtyard did not encompass this place so as not to give them any share. But in the future, the world will be purified and the false gods will totally disappear. All that remains will be pure. This is alluded to in the verse, "For then I will turn to the nations a pure language that they may all call upon the name of YHVH to serve Him with one consent" (Zephaniah 3:9). This is why the Courtyard will surround the Temple building on all sides, for nothing will prevent this.

chanoch's Commentary

There are 10 species of Angels. Each species has billions of individuals. This is the meaning of "serve Him with one consent". This will apply to the Human species. We will be called the One species and each individual will take on the Name of HaShem being added

Position of the Vestibules of the gates of the Outer Courtyard

The Outer Courtyard has three gates. They are exactly the same as the gates of the Inner Courtyard except that the vestibules of the gates of the Inner Courtyard are outside their gates [i.e. they stand in the Outer Courtyard] whereas the vestibules of the gates of the Outer Courtyard stand inside their gates, inside the Outer Courtyard.

The reason is that the vestibule [ULaM = 77 plus 1 for the word as a whole] provides the holy bread [LeCheM = 78] that is given to all Israel and passes to the outside through the gates. The Outer Courtyard is strong enough to withstand the intensity of the light emerging there, which is why the vestibules of the gates of the Inner Courtyard are located outside their gates in the Outer Courtyard. However the Temple Mount [i.e. the area surrounding the Outer Courtyard] does not have the strength to bear this intensity, and therefore the vestibules of the gates of the Outer Courtyard stand inside their gates, inside the Outer Courtyard.

[As we have seen, there are three cells on each side of each gate to balance the flow of sustenance emerging from the gate.] The walls of these chambers derive from the vestibule walls, except that the vestibule walls are built with the light of the Vav [=6] while the chamber walls are built with the light of the Heh [=5]. For this reason, in the case of the gates of the Outer Courtyard, the walls of the two chambers immediately adjoining each gate on either side [on the outside] are set back one cubit further from the gate than the corresponding walls of the vestibule [on the inside]. For the vestibule walls are six cubits thick while those of the chambers are only five cubits thick. For this reason the prophet states very precisely: "And a border of one cubit before the chambers" (Ezekiel 40:12), and he relates the chambers not to the gates but to the vestibules.

See and understand: The bread [Lechem = 78], i.e. the Vestibule [Ulam = 78], goes no further than three levels: the Sanctuary and the two Courtyards [for the Sanctuary gates, which are on the level of Atzilut, and those of the Inner and Outer Courtyards, corresponding respectively to Beriyah and Yetzirah, all have their own vestibules]. But on the Temple Mount no vestibule is to be seen. This is because the Temple Mount corresponds to the world of Asiyah, while the bread we have been discussing is "bread from Heaven". This is the food of the angels, and this is what the Israelites also ate when they were in the wilderness. The bread of Asiyah, on the other hand, is literally the bread that comes forth from the earth, and this is on a far lower level since it only comes forth after many changes and transformations. This is why these vestibules reached only the inside of the Outer Courtyard.

chanoch's Commentary

Challah takes 10 steps to go from wheat to bread. This is also our path. We must raise our consciousness 10 steps in each lifetime to reach our personal Mashiach. The only way one reaches completion in our generation is to realize and constantly remember that the 4 phases and the 10 steps repeat at each step/phase/process of creation. This is the meaning of the What is above is what is below.

The Gallery surrounding the Courtyard

Inside the walls of the Outer Courtyard stands a magnificent paved gallery at the same height as the gates. It surrounds the entire Courtyard [except on the west]. On this gallery stand thirty chambers. As you already know, ground level always corresponds to Malchut. The flow of blessing and sustenance first enters these chambers, and from there it descends to the Courtyard below.

Let me explain the purpose of these chambers on this gallery. They are for the three great and exalted chiefs, Shmu'el, Metatron and Yehuel [שמועא"ל מטטרו"ן יהוא"ל], who are captains over all the armies of angels in the World of Yetzirah. Each has ten chambers. Not that they ascend in these chambers for, as I have already told you, all the recipients receive from the gates. But it is into these chambers that the sustenance and blessing destined for these angels flows first, after which it is then given over to them. It is from these chambers that sustenance flows down to the rest of the Courtyard.

"The Chamber to the side of the Sanctuary"

(Ezekiel 42:1)

Outside the Inner Courtyard at the two ends of its western wall stand two extraordinary chambers one hundred cubits in length. They are situated in the western section of the Outer Courtyard parallel to the main Temple building on its north and south sides. The width of these chambers is fifty cubits. Each has three stories, one on top of the other.

Understand that these chambers are where the angels actually receive the sustenance given to them from around the outside of the Sanctuary building, as discussed earlier. The sustenance flows out from the recess [Munach] into the cells [adjoining the Sanctuary walls]. As it leaves the cells it merges into a single flow in the Winding Staircase [Mesibah]. Then at a distance of twenty cubits it reaches these chambers, where the angels receive it.

These chambers are designated for eating the holy sacrificial portions, for this is the sustenance that comes down to the branches after they rejoin their root and after the beautiful unification [Zivug] that is brought about [through the sacrifice]. But note how far away they [i.e. the angels] are when they receive their share of the holy offering as compared to the souls of Israel, who receive their share from inside the Sanctuary [since their sustenance comes from the incense, which is burned inside]. This is why the sages said: "Israel's appointed place is further within than that of the ministering angels" (Yerushalmi Shabbat 2).

Although these chambers are considered part of the Inner Courtyard [for even the holiest portions, Kodshey Kodshim, may be eaten in these chambers, as in the Azarah], see how far away they are. The distance between the Sanctuary building and these chambers on either side is twenty cubits, because of the great light of the two Yud's [10 x 2 = 20] that built the interior of the Sanctuary. Indeed, the entrances to these chambers actually face the Temple building since it is from there that they receive. These chambers also have other entrances on the side not facing the Temple. These lead out [to the north-west and south-west sections of the Outer Courtyard]. I have already explained to you why the gates are fifty cubits high. These chambers are thus literally facing the cells [around the Sanctuary walls] for it is from there that they receive.

However the chambers on the uppermost stories are shorter than the lower level chambers because they receive from a very exalted place. Extending downwards from underneath the uppermost chambers are three great pillars. They descend from underneath the walls of the upper chambers: the walls are actually supported on these pillars. Thus these three pillars come out from the uppermost walls and reach all the way down to the ground below. The walls of the lower chambers are built behind the pillars, and because of this the lower chambers are wider than the upper chambers.

This is mentioned in the verse: "And the uppermost chambers were narrow, for the pillars consumed part of them, [namely] part of the lower and middle [chambers] in the building" (Ezekiel 42:5). That is, the pillars consume part of the space of the lower chambers, which are built around them, while the pillar itself provides support for the wall of the upper chambers [which are therefore narrower than the lower chambers].

For these pillars are not like the Courtyard pillars [at the ends of the walls of the vestibules of the gates]. The latter are outside and receive from their respective courtyards, which is why they rest upon them. But the function of the pillars of these chambers is to strengthen the building and they enter into its very thickness. That is why these pillars pushed their way down into the lower chambers in order to provide a foundation for the upper chambers. The truth is that they emerged prior to the upper chambers, and after the emergence of the pillars the wall was closed around them. As for the words in the verse, "the pillars consumed part of them" [מהנה], this indicates that not in every chamber is there a pillar, but there are three pillars in the entire wall.

Place for cooking the holiest sacrificial portions

There is a place in the north of the Outer Courtyard bounded on one side by these chambers and the Temple building and on the other by the western edge of the Courtyard. This is where the sacrificial portions are cooked in preparation for the Priests to eat them. Understand that cooking takes place in water [Chesed] on fire [Gevurah].

This is why fired food adds to our unhealth and why grilled food is also generally unhealthy relative to boiled foods.

Eastern chambers of the Outer Courtyard

Two more chambers similar to the first are situated in the eastern section of the Outer Courtyard, east of the Inner Court. One of these chambers is situated to the north-east of the third eastern chamber of the north gate, while the second chamber is situated to the south-east of the third eastern chamber of the south gate. In each case these chambers are one hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide, with entrances on both sides.

Let me explain their function. The "upper" chambers [i.e. those discussed previously, which are in the western section of the Outer Courtyard, parallel to the Temple building] belong to the Inner Courtyard, for that is where the captains of the angels of the World of Beriyah receive their share from behind the Temple building. However, those we are discussing now belong to the Outer Courtyard. Here the armies of the World of Yetzirah receive their share from the Inner Courtyard.

The main flow of sustenance comes out through the gates, while the sustenance which the angels receive from these chambers derives from more exalted lights of which the angels take their share here.

These eastern chambers have openings directly into the Inner Courtyard itself. Thus there are numerous openings for sustenance to reach the angels of Yetzirah. The inner [western] chambers are at some distance from the Temple building. However, the eastern chambers are directly adjacent to [the north-east and south-east corners of] the Inner Courtyard, for the light here does not have the same power as the light there, and therefore they are better able to withstand it.

Place for cooking the less holy sacrificial portions

At the four corners of the Outer Court there appeared four courts measuring forty cubits long and thirty cubits wide. In them shine four great lights. Their function is to put power into the less holy sacrificial portions [Kodshim Kalim] that may be eaten outside [the Temple Mount, anywhere in Jerusalem] in order to prepare them and make them fit for their recipients. All preparations take place on the level of Malchut. Accordingly these four lights are four names of ADNY. The reason why these courts are all forty cubits long and thirty wide is that each of the four root letters of these names when "expanded" consists of three "filling" letters [and every letter contains all ten Sefirot: 4 roots x 10 = 40; 3 "filling" letters x 10 = 30].

Vestibules in the courtyard walls

In the walls of the Outer Courtyard appeared structures in the form of vestibules which act as receivers for the light spreading out from the Temple building to the Courtyard. When the light reached the walls it made for itself places to dwell, but it did not have the power to burst through the walls except at those points where the gates are, because the light of the three great luminaries reached these points. All these vestibules are based on the secret of the Heh's: this is true of all dwelling places. For this reason these vestibules are five cubits wide [Heh = 5]. As the Heh's asserted themselves the light intensified, making their length five times five, i.e. twenty-five cubits.

Let me now discuss the Temple Mount. This is the place from which the officers of the World of Asiyah receive, and thus its walls, which set bounds for all the light contained within it, total five hundred rods by five hundred rods. [The measuring rod is six cubits long - Ezekiel 40:5.]

The rationale of these dimensions is bound up with the fact that all the lights that govern the running of the world work together in complete accord and perfect unison. They all join and become interconnected with each other instead of going each in its own direction. All their faces are turned towards one place, and likewise the spirit in them is directed to one place. Ezekiel refers to this in his vision [of the Chariot]: "Wherever the spirit was to go, they went" (Ezekiel 1:12). Therefore nothing is ever executed through Kingly Power [Malchut] that was not commanded by the King [Zeir Anpin], Who is the Tree of Life. This is a journey of five hundred years. That is why the measure of the Temple Mount is the greatest of all: five hundred. But it did not spread out any further, for as she [Malchut] receives, so she gives.

Greater size of the future Temple Mount

This future Temple will be superior to the earlier Temples. In the First Temple, each of the four sides of the Temple Mount was five hundred cubits in length, while in the Third Temple each side will be five hundred rods. The use of the rod as the unit of measurement in the Third Temple is bound up with fact that it will be built through the revelation of the hidden "Beginning" [Keter], as I discussed earlier [see "Measuring the House with a measuring rod and linen cord" p. 70]. Note that there are no chambers, rooms or cells on the rest of the Temple Mount [i.e. beyond the Outer Courtyard], because God's providence over His other creatures is not so directly attuned to each individual creature as it is in the case of man.

Gates of the Temple Mount

There are five gates in the walls of the Temple Mount, two to the south and one on each of the other three sides. The height and width of the gates are the same as those of all the other Temple gates. Understand that the wall itself is ADNY, as I have already explained (see "Walls and gates" p. 77) while the doors of the gates are simple letters of ADNY. The Aleph and Yud stand to the right and the Dalet and Nun to the left, and they are the ones that actually close the gate.

The light shining inside the walls is all drawn down through the name YHVH blessed-be-He. This is why it is written: "This is the gate to YHVH" (Psalms 118:20), for this is the name that radiates and goes forth through the gate.

Whenever any of these gates is opened, each one has known letters that stand out and flash up and down. These letters are in command of the "heads" of their particular gate [cf. Psalms 24:7] and therefore when these letters shine, those called to the gates may come forward and stand at the entrance to receive their due. Afterwards they return to their places. These letters are then hidden away again and can no longer be seen, and the gate is closed.

In the case of the gates of the Temple Courtyards, thirteen letters stand out at each gate, and similarly the number of those coming to each gate is thirteen. The three gates thus have a total of thirty-nine recipients according to the numerical value of the first three letters of YHVH when expanded [יוד הא ואו], for these are the lights that open the gate.

Jerusalem south of the Temple Mount

Let me now explain to you a very great secret relating to the four directions on the Temple Mount. It is written: "He set me down on a very high mountain, and on it was a structure in the form of a city on the south" (Ezekiel 40:2). Thus we find that the city is to the south, while the Temple is to the north. This involves a very deep secret, so make every effort to understand.

Malchut is inclined towards the left-hand column of Gevurah, while Tiferet is on the side of Mercy [Rachamim, which inclines more to the right-hand column of Chesed]. These two opposites must join together in order for the world to be run in a balanced way. The essence of pairing [Zivug] and connection [Chibur] is when right joins with left. Since the Temple is the place where this pairing and connection comes about, both right and left must be present. For when the left-hand force in this place is joined to the right-hand force, the harshness of the left is mitigated. All the different levels and branches of Gevurah are then sweetened through the influence of this right-hand force, and all become tempered with mercy.

This is why the Temple, which is the place where this joining takes place, is to the north, while the city is to the south. For it is after the sweetening of the north [Gevurah] through the influence of the right [Chesed] that the city emerges in this way. Understand this.

The four sides of the Temple Mount

You should understand that all parts of the Temple Mount, west, north, east and south, are in use. Even though the Temple itself is situated to the north, the southern area of the Mount has great power, and for this reason the area between the Temple building and the south side of the mountain is greater than on any other side. The second largest area is between the Temple and the eastern side of the Mount, corresponding to Mercy [Rachamim]. Third in size is the area to the north of the Temple, which is on the left [Gevurah], while the smallest area is on the west [Malchut], for this is the one that receives from the others and is less than them.

As to the five gates: The two gates on the south are the gates of Keter and Chochmah, corresponding to the Yud [of YHVH] and its cusp. The other gates are those of Binah [north], Tiferet [east] and Malchut [west], corresponding to the first Heh, Vav and final Heh of the Name blessed-be-He.

chanoch adds: Remember the 4 Phases.

First Stage: The Temple Mount ­­ Survival of the Creatures

Let me now explain some great secrets relating to the sustenance given to all the creatures of this world from the greatest to the smallest. All are ultimately rooted in the twenty-two letters of the Aleph Beit, for everything in creation derives from these letters and their various combinations and permutations. These twenty-two letters sit at the helm of the government [Malchut] generating infinite numbers of permutations.

The basic letter-combinations are the "two hundred and thirty-one gates" forwards and backwards. These in turn generate countless more complex combinations. Three ciphers appeared at first, and they head all the others: אבג"ד [Aleph-Beit-Gimel-Dalet in order] to the right, תשר"ק [Tav-Shin-Resh-Kuf backwards] to the left, and אתב"ש [Aleph-Tav, Beit-Shin or ATBaSh] in the center.

When the light from the holy union [Zivug] shone in this place, the abundant light and radiance gave new strength and power to the twenty-two letters standing there. One light in particular welled up with very great power. This light is composed of all twenty-two letters of the Aleph Beit as well as five others: MaNTzPaCh [ם' ן' ץ' ף' ך', these being the five letters that take a different form when at the end of a word]. This light is called Ochazah, אוחז"ה, as in the verse: "I said I will climb up into the palm tree, I will take hold [אוחזה] of its branches" (Song of Songs 7:9). The numerical value of the letters of this word is twenty-seven [corresponding to the twenty-seven letters].

After the union [Zivug], this light shines forth so strongly that it overshadows all the others. It is therefore very holy and has tremendous power to bring holiness into a person, together with the other names connected with it, which are embedded in the very same verse. Since this name arises out of connection and unity [Zivug], the verse says: "I will climb up into the palm tree." For as you already know, the palm tree always indicates connection and unity. It is then that this name Ochazah, which includes all the letters of Aleph Beit, gains power. The idea of the "branches" alludes to permutations generated by the letters.

This is the source of all the sustenance given to all those who need it. It therefore says: "And let your breasts be as clusters of the vine." (ibid.). "Breasts" is the name given to the supreme lights that give sustenance to the beings in the lower worlds. Why are they compared to "clusters of the vine"? For when the creatures of the lower worlds ascend to receive at the gates, they connect with and cling to the letters shining at the gate, as I discussed above, for these letters are their very roots. When attached there, they are like grapes attached to a cluster. As to the continuation of the verse, "The smell of your countenance [lit. nose] is like apples" (ibid.), this alludes to the odor of the sacrifice that rises up into the nose to sweeten the severity [Gevurah] found there.

Let me now complete my explanation of the subject of the sustenance. When Tiferet and Malchut joined together, three great lights emerged from the head of Tiferet and came down via Yesod to Malchut, where they reached these three ciphers. When they did so, who can describe the great splendor and radiance with which they shone? The light goes up and down each one of them repeatedly with tremendous force, spreading to all their derivative generations at once, and this is what gives every creature in the world the power it needs.

chanoch's Commentary

As a student of Kabbalah you should have recognized the idea of direct light - returning light and - balanced light. This is revealed in the above section i hope you recognize which paragraph.

Here is Song of Songs verse 7:9 as described and realize the other Names and the Power involved in this section and verse.

Hebrew: אמרתי אעלה בתמר אחזה בסנסניו ויהיו-נא שדיך כאשכלות הגפן וריח אפך כתפוחים

Please note that there is a missing letter in Ochazah.

English Translation: I said: 'I will climb up into the palm-tree, I will take hold of the branches thereof; and let thy breasts be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy countenance like apples;

Please reread the above section while you connect each piece of wisdom to the letters and words involved.

Second Stage: The Soreg - Renewal of the Creatures

After this, another light radiated from the head [of Tiferet] and shone down to the three ciphers and all their derivative generations. Through this great radiance, all the derivative generations were able to reconnect with their roots, making everything tightly bound together and deeply interconnected. As a result they all shone with a very great new light that gave them regenerative power for themselves as well as the power to produce new generations. However, these new generations came forth only through the mutual joining and interconnection of these lights.

As these lights embraced and combined with one another, a structure appeared in this place in the form of a partition of interlaced wood known as the Soreg. This encompasses the entire Temple Mount inside the outer wall. The outermost area [between the Soreg and the outer wall] contains the basic sustenance required to enable all the different species to survive. This sustenance comes from the first light that shone down to the twenty-two letters, as I explained above. This area surrounds all the others because it includes everything in creation, and everything else is located within it. The height of this partition is exactly ten handbreadths, neither more nor less. You already know the significance of the handbreadth and the measure of ten. This measure is sufficient to provide for all the creatures in the world.

chanoch's Commentary

Do you think that this sustenance is necessary for the revelation of the Resurrection of the Dead? If you are not sure why i am asking reread this second section.

Third Stage: The Cheil - Perfection of the Creatures

Finally a third light radiated from the head [of Tiferet] and reached the ciphers. This light encompassed all the lights and all the letters in their entirety, joining them all together in a single bond. This bond is expressed in the glorious, awesome name of YHVH blessed-be-He. This gave everything in creation the power to attain perfection through the mystery of Adam. This great secret is known to those versed in the ways of wisdom, who understand the actual process through which the world comes to be rectified.

The name to which I am referring is Adam, i.e. the expansion of YHVH with Aleph's: יוד הא ואו הא [= 45, sum of the numerical value of the letters of ADaM]. All God's works came into being through Binah, associated with the name EHYH. When the latter name is "expanded" as אלף הא יוד הא, it enters the middle Aleph of the expanded YHVH I mentioned, so that everything - YHVH, EHYH and everything else - is included in Adam.

Surrounding the area in which the light that I have been discussing spread out stands a wall ten cubits high known as the Cheil. The sum of the numerical values of the letters of Cheil [48] is equivalent to that of YHVH (26) and EHYH (21) [plus 1 for the kolel]. Thus all the measurements of the House are duly complete.

chanoch's Commentary

The Names Adam, YHVH, EHYH, Cheil, and "Everything Else" must be put into the proper sequence. Once someone has reached a level to know the Proper Sequence then the Yichud that person does will reestablish the perfection that existed prior to the Fall of Adam and Chava, in my opinion.

Steps leading up from the Cheil to the Courtyard

It remains for me to explain to you the meaning of the steps between the various areas of the Temple. These steps involve great secrets, for they are literally the steps upon which the worlds and their inhabitants ascend from world to world. Thus all the gates have steps leading up to them, though they differ in number in each case depending on their respective secrets.

Leading up from the Cheil to the Outer Courtyard on the eastern side there are twelve most imposing steps, while on the north and south sides there are seven steps each. Let me explain this matter. The lights are arranged in two different ways, which is why there are two different paths for their ascent, each path corresponding to one of these different arrangements. For the lights are divided into ten and seven. They are seven when arranged in the order of the Palaces [Heichalot] but ten when arranged in the order of the ten levels [Sefirot] themselves. Both need to ascend. How do they do so? They always start from the bottom. Each lower light joins and merges with the light above it until all are bound together in a single unity. For this reason there are as many steps as there are levels, in order to elevate them, step after step, to the top. That is why there are seven steps to the north and south corresponding to the seven Heichalot.

On the eastern side, however, there are twelve steps. Let me tell you why they are twelve. This is a very deep secret, and you must apply your powers of understanding. The Malchut of the level of the Chayot [angels of Yetzirah] remained on the level of the Ofanim [angels of Asiyah, for Malchut of the higher level becomes Keter of the lower level]. There on the level of the Ofanim this Malchut divided into two, completing the number of steps. [It would appear that the reference is to the steps leading from the Cheil (corresponding to Asiyah) to the Outer Courtyard (corresponding to Yetzirah).]

A new Malchut then came forth on the level of the Chayot and from this Malchut were formed two great heads over all the Ofanim. They stand over them in the form of a male and female. Thus there are ten levels with two heads over them. Since some of these heads were already in the world [of the Ofanim] itself, i.e. the first Malchut that I mentioned [which remained on the level of the Ofanim and divided into two], there had to be two more steps corresponding to these heads themselves [i.e. the two heads formed from the new Malchut of the Chayot, which stand over the Ofanim].

chanoch's Commentary

My comments will await my spiritual growth.

Steps from the Women's Courtyard to the Israelite Courtyard

From the Outer Courtyard to the Inner Courtyard are eight steps on all three sides. They occupy part of the vestibules leading up to the gates of the Inner Courtyard in between the cells of the gates. Let me explain to you the secret of these eight steps. They have known names of their own. These are two names containing a total of eight letters out of which these steps were formed.

For when the worlds need to ascend, power and energy go forth from the higher worlds to give the lower worlds the strength to ascend. When the Chayot [angels of Yetzirah, corresponding to the Outer Courtyard] want to come up to the Throne [World of Beriyah, corresponding to the Inner Courtyard], two most powerful lights shine forth to them from the throne, giving them the strength to ascend. As they go up, the power of these lights makes them sing a most pleasant song, for it is these lights that give them the strength to rise up. For this reason the angels will not leave them so as not to lose their strength.

These two lights come out from the Wisdom [Chochmah] and Understanding [Binah] in the Throne. The name of the first light is Kadosh while the name of the second is Baruch. Their roots are respectively YHVH and EHYH. When these lights shine on the Chayot, who can describe the thunderous surge of agitation and trembling and the roar the Chayot send back as they receive them in awe and fear, holiness and purity. From these lights the Chayot gain the strength to ascend. This is what is written: "And one called to another and said, 'Holy, holy, holy [Kadosh] is YHVH of hosts'" (Isaiah 6:3), while Ezekiel said: "And a wind lifted me up, and I heard behind me the sound of a great noise: 'Blessed [Baruch] be the glory of YHVH from His place'" (Ezekiel 3:12).

It is through these two names that the angels go up, and this is why the People of Israel rise on their toes when saying these two verses in their prayers. For when the Chayot move forward to ascend, they too say these words. At first it says: "And I heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters." (Ezekiel 1:24). But when they stand at the higher level to which they rise, it says of them: "When they stood, they let down their wings" (ibid. vv. 24, 25).

Understand how the steps came to be in front of the gates. It was when the light burst through the walls and spread forth outside that these lights [which brought the steps into being] were revealed to the creatures of the lower worlds.

Steps between the Altar and the Vestibule of the Sanctuary

Twelve steps lead up from the Inner Courtyard to the Vestibule of the Sanctuary. They are twelve because they correspond to the Palaces [Heichalot] of the Throne [Beriyah, i.e. the Inner Courtyard], of which there are six in the Palace of Desire [Heichal Haratzon] and another six, making a total of twelve. The highest of all, "Holy of Holies", is the one that goes up to the World of Atzilut [i.e. it is the "top step" leading into the Sanctuary and its Vestibule, which correspond to the world of Atzilut].

"The gate facing east shall be shut"

(Ezekiel 46:1)

Let me now explain to you a secret relating to the instructions given to Ezekiel as to "the Gate of the Inner Court facing east" (Ezekiel 46:1). The East Gate is a place of the most intense light and power, and cannot be opened for the creatures of the lower worlds except on Shabbat and the New Moon. This is because it is in direct alignment with the Great Gate [the center column], and must therefore be kept closed. It can only be opened for the Prince, namely the Messianic King. Because of his great strength and paramount importance, this gate will be open for him, but no-one else will be able to enter except on those two days.

Let me explain to you what is special about these two days. On these days the Shechinah receives a very great light indeed from Tiferet. Now let me tell you the difference between Shabbat and the New Moon. The New Moon is "down below" in the sense that the Shechinah [does not rise from her place but stays below and there] receives power from Tiferet - a new power to govern all her armies for her entire thirty-day circuit. Shabbat, on the other hand, rises to far higher levels. For these reasons this gate will be opened on these two days and the people will come to prostrate themselves and share its great light.

Pilgrims' exit route from the Temple

However, the obligation to appear in the Temple on festivals is bound up with a different secret. The purpose is to reconnect the branches with their roots three times a year. The roots are divided into two, one to the right and one to the left. The pilgrims [branches] must enter by one gate, proceed across the Temple and leave by the opposite gate in order for all the roots to be joined to one another and thus become interconnected and unified. When this happens, it is said, "And who is like your People Israel, one nation in the earth!" (II Samuel 7:23).

Water flowing from the Holy of Holies

By the entrance to the Inner House is a small path where the sweetest waters flow. Let me tell you where these waters come from and where they are going. These waters come from the innermost place of delight, a place of the most powerful Mercy [Rachamim]. For that reason, as these waters come out, their direction of flow is to the south [Chesed]. They then flow out of the Temple.

Where to? This is explained in the verse: ". And they will come into the sea, into the sea of the putrid waters, and the waters shall be healed" (Ezekiel 47:8). For their mission is to heal all gatherings of water from their saltiness by means of the tremendous mercy they contain. These waters are not the same as the basic sustenance given to enable all things to subsist, but rather a most precious light that shines from the Holy of Holies in order to temper the severity of Gevurah in any place that it is strong.

Even so, it says: "But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will serve to supply salt" (ibid. v. 11). For some Gevurah is needed in the world, and this is the significance of the salt required with all sacrifices. For this reason "they will serve to supply salt", and this is why some was left. If it were not so, Mercy would spread out on every side and all the powers of Gevurah would disappear.

In the time of the Mashiach mercy will spread throughout the world, and all things will be rectified and brought to perfection. All the lights will shine with a radiance unlike anything ever known. Holiness will spread without bounds, and all the worlds will be filled with serenity, bliss and joy, as it says: "This is the day that God made, we will rejoice and be glad on it" (Psalms 118:24).

And may it be the will of our Father in Heaven to quickly bring about His redemption in kindness and mercy, "And the city will be built on its hill and the palace will sit in its appointed place" (Jeremiah 30:18) speedily in our days. Amen!

chanoch's Commentary

When you go fishing, or swimming in a river did you ever notice which direction the water flows? You might also determine if the water flowing in one direction or another lets you catch more fish.