hollowing out an altar

Regarding the layout of the Mishkan, the Noam Elimelech explains the proximity of the Mizbeah, (the altar) the Shulchan, (the table of the show-bread) and the Menorah. (the lamp)

The Menorah reminds us of HaShem's greatness and then the Shulchan reminds us of our lowly physical needs, the Mizbeah shows that to rise up to HaShem you need to cycle between these two other states. This is the meaning of the "sovev" the platform around the Mizbeah upon which the Kohanim were meant to walk which was called "sovev" or "to circle."

He relates this to the passuk דרשו את ה' בהמצאו - seek HaShem where he can be found. Because HaShem can only be found by virtue of His own tzimtzum, we must seek him out through our own personal tzimtzum.

This echoes nicely something I said in a previous post. Avakesh also posted on the topic of tzimtzum two days after my own post. [Which either means I'm channelling ASJ's ability to connect to the collective subconscious of (at least) the jblogosphere or that it is somehow a response to my own posting, perhaps fearful that I was getting lost in my own terminology.]


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