Parsha Tzsaveh תְּצַוֶּה
What is this lamp which burns brightly and how does it relate to the inner atmosphere of ideation that are represented by the ‘Children of Israel?’ Also what is the oil that must keep this lamp burning in perpetuity?
Proverbs Chapter 20: 27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inward parts. 28 Mercy and truth preserve the king; and his throne is upheld by mercy.
The only way in which we are able to maintain our connection with Hashem is through our intention to always look for that presence which uplifts us and shows us the way within and without. It is the inner journey that accomplishes every unification without. Our thoughts revolve around the center of our consciousness being borne by Hashem in such a way as to burn brightly. The king in the verse above is the elevation of consciousness. It is for this purpose that we are enlivened into this world. Mercy is that quality of letting going that allows our highest thoughts to ascend and our lower thoughts to fall by the wayside. Truth is what we make within as we experience the connection with Hashem. This throne is where we reside in the highest sense of being. Through truth the throne never descends and by the agency of mercy it always floats effortlessly within.
What follows next is in consideration of the holy outerwear of the priests described in great detail. These garments in all their finery represent the inner architecture of consciousness that is represented by the twelve tribes of Israel. What are these twelve tribes? They are the highest reach that each area of thought is able to obtain. In fact we see that engraved upon these most precious jewels are the names of he twelve tribes. The appearance of each name appears as in a signet ring. This tells us that each quality of consciousness may not only shine individually but may also shine in concert with the grand whole.
All of this occurs on the mountain, which is the place of our highest consciousness. These garments are arrayed with order and perfection. The reason for all of this attention to detail is to provide Moses and Israel a pathway to return to Hashem. This is an important part of the instructions because once Moses leaves the mountain it is going to be difficult explaining everything that he experienced. The phrase ‘you had to be there’ will hardly suffice.
Note: The pathway of return is a mystical journey that all of us make when we seek Hashem in everything we do. The dynamics of this return have as its purpose the holy connection between Hashem and man. What is this holiness that we aspire to? It is the unification of consciousness symbolized in Kabbalistic and Rabbinic literature as the ‘unification of the name.’ It is the making whole of our consciousness so that like Torah we will be able to navigate with certainty our thoughts finding the connections that exist between each idea and the greater sense of what the connection of this idea is to the whole. This is why the elements of the sanctuary and of the garments worn by the priests have a special attention to them shown by Torah. This is described very well in this verse
Ezekiel 44:5 And the LORD said unto me: 'Son of man, mark well, and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the LORD, and all the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every going forth of the sanctuary.
The house of the Lord is the place of holiness within that we return to each day through our prayers and our service in the form of mitzvoth that we perform by guiding our thoughts ever upwards towards unification. The house is our body that we enter returning from sleep each night. We go forth from the sanctuary after having partaken of the holy feast described in this Parsha. The blood that is described being sprinkled on Aaron and the priest describes the essence of our attention that is purified by association with holiness.
Ex 29:33 And they shall eat those things wherewith atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them; but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy.
The essence of connection may only be achieved by becoming at one with it. There cannot be any middle ground here. The sacrifices are for the expiation of sins. These sins are thoughts that can never unify with our highest aspirations. Therefore they weigh us down. By letting them go (negative thoughts-emotions) by literally shredding them to pieces in the way the sacrifices are described only then may we partake of the essence of what is good called holiness.
There are three elements of this holiness that are described in this Parsha:
One: The garments are made holy by their design.
Ex 28:2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, for splendor and for beauty.
Hashem is telling us that what we wrap around ourselves determines the state of mind we experience. These garments are the thoughts that travel with us in the background of our consciousness. Make them beautiful shining in splendor like the jewels engraved with the names of Israel. Keep uppermost in your mind those thoughts that shine with connection. In this way you are always on the road to holiness seeking and finding and then sharing.
Two: The priests are made holy by their anointing.
Ex 28:41 And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and upon his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto Me in the priest's office.
Israel has been told that they are to be a nation of priests.
Ex: 19: 6 and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.'
What does a priest do traditionally? He serves as an intermediary between the people and G-d. In this case Israel is given the legacy of priesthood for everyone and the status and responsibility of being a holy nation. What this suggests is that every Jew has a special relationship to Hashem. This is a holy relationship. This means that as we contemplate G-d we are invoking within ourselves the highest calling. When we think about anything our attention is engaged until the thoughts begin to revolve around the center of our chosen subject. The action of these revolving thoughts produces a vibration within. This vibration by definition is either moving towards or away from the presence of Hashem indicated by the physical counterpart of that presence or the Shechinah that acts to produce the feeling of connection called bliss or absorption. This feeling of connection results from a linking of our thought vibration to that of the higher vibrations that are continuously produced via Hashem. Hashem represents the highest unity of vibration that we may achieve. We attach ourselves to this vibration through Torah study, mitzvoth, and contemplation. This attachment results in holiness. This holiness is our synchronous sympathetic bonding with Hashem or the vibration of Hashem in the manner of our highest understanding. There are levels of understanding through which we may attach ourselves symbolized by the Sephiroth of the Tree of Life. These levels may be compared to musical harmonies where the same note is repeated as the octaves ascend. In this way even though the understanding may not reach all the way up it still maintains its connection through harmony with Hashem. Aaron and his sons through their donning of the garments of holiness are enabled by association to vibrate with holiness, which in turn works to complement the overall holiness of Israel in its relationship to Hashem.
Three: The people are made holy by their association with the blood sacrifices.
Ex 29:43 And there I will meet with the children of Israel; and [the Tent] shall be sanctified by My glory.
Ex29:45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.
The purpose of the burnt offerings is revealed in these verses above. What is burnt and why is it offered? Our attachment to our task driven lives are burnt up by breaking the pattern of doing this and that without considering Hashem. What we offer is an open mind that is free of these attachments. Only then does Hashem flow quite naturally within. Change and innovation open the doorways for this to happen as the mind seeks out new avenues of contemplation the old task driven thoughts are replaced by creative connections defining the purpose described by ‘sanctified by my glory.’ What is the Tent of meeting? It is a gathering place for holiness. This holiness consists of everything related to I am or to Hashem as we are able to perceive this. What is gathered? Thoughts are gathered here. What is the name of those thoughts? The Children of Israel is their name. Why must they be gathered and why here? The Children of Israel are well known for their wanderings going astray here and there and losing sight of Hashem in the long run. They need a central place of uplifting where they may be unified with Hashem, renewed and then raised to the next level of unfolding. This Tent of Meeting may be likened to a crystal emitter of tremendous capacity that has the power to vibrate continuously causing in turn the sympathetic vibration spoken about earlier. This is an exact place within and is where we connect with Hashem.
Traversing the pathways of Torah we must always be on the lookout for the side doors that lead into the worlds without end beyond. There unspoken mysteries await our touch to reveal the many treasures of wisdom that issue forth. Starting out our minds open and then release our task-based consciousness. This results in the journey spoken about so often by our sages. The purpose then of this Parsha Tzsaveh is to pay attention along the way not missing the forest for the trees and allowing for the miracle of the journey to find yourself standing on that ancient horizon where our thoughts meet the promised land and Mashiach turns out to be only a short step away. It is for such a vision that I would travel a lifetime. Indeed for such a vision not only foretells the future it is the proof that such a future exists.