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June 29, 2017

Glossary – Shmini (On the Eighth Day) Parsha – Weekly Torah Portion

Inauguration of the Tabernacle

“Inauguration of the tabernacle” is the point from which we can bring offerings, meaning correct our desires in actual fact. In that state we can correct each desire by making it similar to bestowal, love of others, the Creator. We become similar to the Creator in that desire, understand the wholeness of creation, the eternity of creation. We ourselves become as the Creator, as it is written, “Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God” (Hosea, 14:2). This is what we should achieve, and these actions bring about great joy.

So it is not a coincidence that the revelation of the Creator is mentioned on the same day as the inauguration of the tabernacle. But what does revealing the Creator mean?

Upon beginning to perform the work of the tabernacle we discover the Creator according to the law of equivalence of form. As we perform the same acts as the Creator, the Creator “dresses” in us, and we begin to feel that our actions create our situation, our place, and our status. One who performs acts of bestowal and love, correcting one’s evil inclination, becomes like the Creator. This is why such a person is called “man” (Adam), from the word Domeh (similar) to the Creator.

It is said that Nadav and Avihu sacrificed with foreign fire. What does it mean?

Foreign fire is drawing light that comes to the will to receive in order to receive. Nadav and Avihu did not know it was impossible. They could not calculate. They intended to act with the aim to bestow; they wanted to sanctify even more, make greater corrections than was possible. This is why they failed. They ostensibly sinned, but it is not really a sin because they had no foreknowledge of it.

A sin is when we know that something is a sin, and yet we do it. We have no such sins. All our sins on the spiritual path are when we do not know, and matters suddenly appear as egoistic. Next time, we avoid it. It is not like the sin of Adam HaRishon, of whom it is written, “I have eaten and I will eat more.”[8] This was an actual sin.

From The Zohar: On the Eighth Day

On that day, there was the joy of the assembly of Israel, Malchut, connecting in ties of faith with all the holy ties in all the Sefirot of ZA. This is so because the incense connects all as one, which is why it is called “incense.” Nadab and Abihu came and tied all these together to the Sitra Achra, and left the Malchut outside because they did not connect her with the Sefirot de ZA. They tied another thing instead of the Malchut, which is why he later warns the priests, as it is written, “With this shall Aaron come into the holy place,” when he ties this Malchut, called, “this.”

Zohar for All, Shmini (On the Eighth Day), item 37

Upon reception of the light, Nadav and Avihu wanted to mingle all the desires together, to correct them and perform and act of bestowal with them, but without first performing the work of scrutiny. However, it is impossible to draw near at once; it must be done gradually. Only through this work that each of us experiences do we understand how to continue on the order of corrections.


[8] Midrash Rabah, Beresheet, Portion 19.

  

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