Building the Tabernacle

Parashat Vayakhel and Pekudei are read together this year, the sum of their gematria is 351, which is the triangle number of 26:

Vayakhel וַיַּקְהֵל 151
Pekudei פְקוּדֵי 200
    351

26 is the gematria of YHVH, the key theme of both portions is about building the tabernacle, which is the concept of a process, as symbolized by the triangle number. To build the tabernacle is the parable to build the man.

First in Thought, Last in Action

In any process of building, the last step in action is always the fulfillment of the initial thought.

The first thought in creation is symbolized by the first word in Torah Bereshit בְּרֵאשִׁית, meaning in the beginning, the gematria is 913.

The last sentence in the creation account is:

כִּי בוֹ שָׁבַת מִכָּל מְלַאכְתּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר-בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים לַעֲשׂוֹת because that in it He rested from all His work which God in creating had made.(Gen 2:3)

The last word is לַעֲשׂוֹת, which means “to do”, the connotation is that that the creation work is yet to be finished.

The unfinished work is the building of man, which is to be finished by man.

This is the secret of the relationship between God and man, in that man is not only the final product of the creation, but also an active partner with God.

In the same way that husband and wife must work together as partner in the creation of new life, God needs man to work together as partner in the creation of new man.

The ultimate purpose of creation is that God may dwell (tabernacle) with man on earth, and building the tabernacle is the parable of building the new man.

When the tabernacle in the desert is completed, it is written:

וַיְכַל מֹשֶׁה, אֶת-הַמְּלָאכָה So Moses finished the work. (Ex 40:33)

The gematria of this verse is exactly 913, which is exactly the gematria of the first word in Torah Bereshit, בְּרֵאשִׁית. It follows that when Moses finished the work, the work that was left to be finished is now finished by man. The action of Moses represents the “last in action” that completes the “first in thought” of God.

In the parable of husband and wife, the “first in thought” is husband, but the pregnancy and the final delivery are all by the wife who is the “last in action”.

Tabernacle and Man

The human body consists of three parts: the head, the upper and lower body. The head is connected to the upper body by the neck, the upper body is connected to the lower body by the diaphragm.

The head is of the mind, corresponding to “water”, this is the level of Neshamah.

The upper body is of the emotion, correspond to the “wind” of the lung which encircles the heart that circulates the blood, this is the level of Ruach.

The lower body encloses the digestive system with liver as the primary organ which is the reservoirs of blood and seat of desire, corresponding to “fire”, this is the level of Nefesh. The lower body deals with the digestion of food and excretion of wastes therefore is the filthiest part of the body.

Similarly, the tabernacle consists of three parts: the most holy place, the holy place and the court.

The most holy place is the most concealed, like the brain that conceals the thought.

The holy place is the intermediary paralleling the upper body of man.

The court is the where animals are slaughtered and burned on the altar, similar to the digestive system that burns the food. The ashes must be cleaned paralleling the excretion of wastes. Of the three parts of tabernacle, the court is certainly not the cleanest. The animal represents the desire of the Nefesh.

The Head – Most Holy Place

The right brain is the tablets, the left brain is the manna, and the cerebellum is Aaron’s stick that budded.

Right brain is of Wisdom, and the tablets with 10 commandments represent general principle without details.

Left brain is of Understanding, manna fell for 40 years symbolizing the process of developing the general principles into details.

Cerebellum is of Knowledge, which is the son, for Aaron’s stick that budded is the secret of the resurrection of the Mashiach, for ”his stick budded” מַטֵּהוּ יִפְרָח in gematria is 358, which is the gematria of Mashiach מָּשִׁיחַ.

The Upper Body – Holy Place

The primary organ in the upper body is the lung and the heart, which is connected to the head via the neck.

The lung parallels the menorah and the heart parallels the showbread, the altar of incenses is the neck that connects to the head.

Bread is the food for heart, in the same way that bread sustains life, so does the heart.

The menorah in form is an upside down lung. In the same way that the lung exchanges the wind of life with the wind of death, so does the menorah dispels the darkness with the light.

The sevens lamps of the menorah symbolizes the seven spirits of God, and wind and spirit are both called Ruach רוּחַ in Hebrew. The heart has two parts, corresponding to the two stacks of the showbread.

The Lower Body – the Court

The tabernacle is where heaven kisses the earth.

The court corresponds to the Sefirah of Malchut, which is of the mouth.

The altar in the court corresponds to the liver, which is the primary organ of digestion.

The other vessel in the court is the laver, which parallels the mouth. What mouth is at the external level is what liver is at the internal level. In the same way that the laver contains water for washing, the mouth produces saliva for cleansing and digestion.

Nefesh, Ruach and Neshamah

Before the destruction of the temple, the connection with God was made possible through the animal sacrifices, this corresponds to the level of Nefesh.

Following the destruction of the temple, the connection with God was through the prayer, which is the expression of emotion, corresponding to the level of Ruach.

At the Messianic age, with the return of Mashiach, the connection with God will be through mind, the level of Neshamah.

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