Vol 21.21 - Terumah 2 Spanish French Audio Video
(5742) Rambam (Beg. of chap. 4 Hil. Beis Habechirah); Boundary of the the place where the Ark was hidden;
Eternity of the Kodesh HaKodashim (Holy of Holies)
1. In the beginning of chapter 4 of Hilchot Beit HaBechirah, after Rambam writes that there was:
“a stone in the western portion of the Holy of Holies that the Ark was placed up etc.”,
“When Solomon built the Temple, he was aware that it would ultimately be destroyed. (Therefore) he constructed a place in it, to hide the Ark below (the Temple building) in deep, maze-like vaults. King Josiah commanded that (the Ark) be entombed in the chamber built by Solomon, as it is said (II Chronicles 35:3): "And he said to the Levites who would teach wisdom to all of Israel: 'Place the Holy Ark in the chamber built by Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel. You will no (longer) carry it on your shoulders. Now, serve the Lord, your God. Aharon's staff, the vial of manna, and the oil used for anointing were entombed with it. All these (sacred articles) did not return in the Second Temple. Similarly, the Urim V'Tumim that existed in the Second Temple did not answer with Ruach HaKodesh (Divine inspiration).”
One must understand (as the commentators ask):
What relevance does this whole elaboration and story concerning where and how and through whom the Ark was hidden, have with Halacha? The words of Rambam in his sefer Yad haChazakah are “stated as Halacha . . and it was not his style, Z”L, in this compendium, to deal with things that do not contain a law from the laws and are not Mussar or conduct and knowledge that are necessary”
This very aspect (how and where the Ark was hidden) is an “inconclusive debate” (במחלוקת שנוי). Therefore why does Rambam side with one view, since the aspect is seemingly not relevant to Din?
2. The commentators answer that “There is a great need for our teacher, in this matter, according to the view that he accepts further on in Perek 6 (6:15) from these laws that . .the sanctity of the Temple is not nullified . . for our teacher holds that this matter of the sanctity of the Temple not being nullified, follows the opinion of the one who holds that the Ark was hidden in its place . . Therefore according to the aspect of entering the Temple it is probable that the matter is dependent on this for it states: ‘within the dividing curtain, in front of the cover that is upon the Ark etc. (ל)מבית לפרוכת(ו)אל פני הכפורת)).
However, one must examine this answer, since
(In addition to that which Rambam himself, explains his reason why “it was consecrated for that time and for eternity” (קדשה לשעתה וקדשה לעתיד לבא), because “the sanctity of the Temple and Jerusalem stems from the Shechinah, and the Shechinah can never be nullified”. For, in this, the (place of the) Ark seemingly, is not specifically relevant – it is not understood)
according to this, Rambam should have stated concisely and explained that “the Ark was hidden in its place”
What is the relevance to Din from all of these aforementioned details?
3. One must also understand:
(“When Solomon built the Temple, he knew that it would ultimately be destroyed. (Therefore) he constructed a place in it“)
it appears that Shlomo built the “place” in the Temple of his own accord
(since “he knew it would ultimately be destroyed “.
This is puzzling. All the parts and details of the Temple were built according to god’s command – “All was in writing, from the hand of the Lord, which He gave me to understand etc.” Therefore how is it that Shlomo should build a “place” in the Temple of his own accord?
One must say that the connection between the Urim V’Tumim to the Ark is not just in that which “did not return in the Second Temple” but that they have a relation to the essential aspect of the Ark. And because of this reason, it is cited in Hilchot Beit HaBechirah together with the laws of the Ark.
4. One can understand this by prefacing a detail (דיוק) regarding the place (ארט), where this specific Halacha is placed in Rambam:
In the beginning of Hilchot Beit HaBechirah, Rambam states:
“The followings elements are essential when constructing this House: the Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies . . the Entrance Hall (Ulam) etc.”
And afterwards he states “We make in the Temple utensils etc. “, and he delineates the vessels of the Temple and their places
In the following chapters – Perek 2 and 3 – Rambam explains the form of the vessels etc., and in Perek 4, – the form of the Temple (the walls of the Temple, the Heichal, gates etc.)
The question arises:
The Ark belongs, seemingly, to the Temple utensils (Klei HaMikdash). How therefore, is it fitting to place the aforementioned Halacha (with all of its elaboration) concerning the hiding of the Ark, in Perek 4 (which concerns the form of the Temple)?
Therefore, this itself proves (געדרונגען) that the reason that the Ark is found in the Holy of Holies, is that (according to Rambam’s view) it is a part of the form of the Temple. The Ark is not just a vessel which is found in the Holy of Holies (similar to the other vessels of the Temple, which are found in the Heichal etc.) but rather it is a part of the Holy of Holies (the building) itself. For the Ark makes the Temple into a “house of god” (בית לה׳) as it states “I will set My meetings with you there“.
(With this it is understood, why Rambam does not count the Ark among the vessels of the Temple, which he enumerates in the aforementioned Halacha (in the beginning of the Hilchot Beit HaBechirah, 2:6) “We make in the Temple utensils etc. “. For the Ark is not a vessel (in and of itself). It is a part of the Holy of Holies)
However, according to this there is a great wonder:
According to this, it comes out that in the Second Temple, where the Ark was not found (in its place), that the Holy of Holies (of which the Ark is a part) was not complete (בשלימותו). This means that that in the Second Temple, it lacked (not only a part, but) one of the things that are the “essential aspects of the building of the Temple”?
In order to remove this very wonder, Rambam cites the entire elaboration concerning the hiding of the Ark. With this one can understand that even in the Second Temple, there was no lacking in the “building of the Temple” (בנין הבית).
5. The explanation of this is:
The intent of Rambam stating that “When Solomon built the Temple . . Therefore he constructed a place in it, to hide the Ark“ is not to decide (מכריע) where the Ark is hidden (for whatever occurred, occurred (מאי דהוה הוה)), but rather he means to innovate a law in the building of the Temple.
The hiding of the Ark is not an aspect of “bedieved” (after the fact) and that there was no choice (בדיעבד ולית ברירה). But rather, the building of the Temple was, at the very onset, set up, that the Ark would have (as it were) two places in the Temple:
This means that the hiding of the Ark was not an additional aspect (ענין נוסף) of the Temple (which was made in order to (and when it was required) to hold and protect the Ark), but rather that this is a law in the building of the Temple:
Just as for the completion of the Temple, a place (the Holy of Holies) must be built where the Ark should stay, in a revealed manner, so too must the Temple, have a hidden place (in the Holy of Holies) for the Ark (and with this, the eternality of the Holy of Holies, is forewarned, meaning that the Ark is an (integral) part of the Holy of Holies, as aforementioned.
And this is the explanation of Rambam’s words “When Solomon built . . and he knew that it would ultimately be destroyed, he constructed a place in it etc.“. It is not that Shlomo built the place of his own accord, God forbid, but rather that, at the time of the building, he must have known that it would be destroyed and he was commanded to build the place of hiding.
The Ark must be found in the Holy of Holies. If Shlomo would have just dug a place below (according to the command), not knowing the purpose of it, it would have come out that at the time of the building, the place was not sanctified as a place for the (holiness) of the Ark (in the Holy of Holies).
Therefore Rambam emphasis that “Solomon . . knew that it would ultimately be destroyed, (therefore) he constructed a place in it, to hide the Ark“. At the very onset he built a place of hiding for the Ark (as Rambam innovates, that this was a place (fit for hiding -) “below in deep, maze-like vaults“. Therefore it is understood that that he sanctified it as a (place of the Ark, and therefore) a part of the Holy of Holies.
6. According to this one can also understand the reason why Rambam continues and adds, that “King Josiah commanded that (the Ark) be entombed in the chamber built by Solomon“
In order to further prove that the hiding of the Ark in this place is (not an aspect of “bedieved”, but rather that) is was, at the very onset, established (אויסגעשטעלט) (- that this should be the (hidden) place of the Ark, as a part of the Holy of Holies) -
Rambam explains, that also the hiding of the Ark, came about (not at the time of the Churban – the time of bedieved, but rather) at a time when the Temple was not, at all, in danger. As is known, Yisroel was powerful in the time of Josiah. Moreover, the bringing of the Ark to its hiding place was similar and an approximation of bringing the Ark to the Holy of Holies, by Shlomo.
Therefore the verse precisely states the words: “Place () the Holy Ark in the House that Solomon. . built “. It was not a deed of removing and taking away the Ark from its place, but on the contrary, it is placing it in the House (). Therefore Rambam also cites the conclusion of the verse: “You need not carry it on your shoulders. Now, serve the Lord, your God“. Even though the Ark would, from now on, be in a condition of hiding, and therefore “You will not (have the possibility) of carrying it on your shoulders, nevertheless it is not, that there is now a lack in the Avodah of the Temple, but rather they still “serve the Lord, your God etc.” in the Temple (for through this (hiding) there is no lack in the building of the Temple).
7. According to all of the aforementioned, one can also understand why Rambam concluded the Halacha with the elaboration concerning the Urim V’Tumim in the time of the Second Temple.
Rambam cites an example for that which he states in the beginning of the Halacha concerning the Ark – that even in the Second Temple, the Ark was complete (in other words, in its place) even though there was a tremendous visible change – one did not see it in the Temple.
We find this also regarding the Urim V’Tumim in the Second Temple:
The Urim V’Tumim – according to Rambam – were complete also in the Second Temple. Even though there was a tremendous change “they did not answer etc. “, they were not heard. Their revealed aspect (as the Urim V’Tumim) was lacking the way it was in the first Temple.
Nevertheless they were complete and therefore (as Rambam concludes) they completed the amount of garments the Kohen Gadol (Note: the eight garments that he was required to wear).
8. According to all of the aforementioned, an innovation and wondrous thing comes out, not just in relation to the completeness of the virtue and the holiness of the Second Temple –
that even then, the Holy of Holies was complete and the Ark was in its place –
but with this, a virtue is also brought out in the holiness of the First Temple:
Even though, outwardly, the First Temple was not an eternal building. There could be and was a destruction of the Temple – nevertheless, in Pnimiyut, there was also placed in it an element of “eternality” (נצחיות). The First Temple contained a place for hiding, where there was no destruction, and the Ark is in its place “even until this day“.
The reason that “The original sanctity of the Temple was for its time and also all future time“(קדושה ראשונה קדשה לשעתה וקדשה לעתיד לבא) is because of the sanctity of the place “because of the Shechinah”. However, here Rambam innovates a deeper aspect, that even the building itself has within it, an aspect, a part, which is “for its time and also all future time“. The Holy of Holies was, at the very onset, built for “its time and also all future time “, it also has a place for hiding.
9. According to the aforementioned, one can also realize a new depth to the connection of the three Temples:
It is not that there are three (separate) Temples which have a relation to each other. However, primarily, it is that they are one Temple. The Second Temple and also the Third Temple are (in a primary part) not a new Temple, but rather it is that the (First) Temple is rebuilt anew (געבויט איבעראנייט).
Already in the building of the First Temple, it was established that there would be an aspect of “its time and also all future time“ (as aforementioned) – eternal - the Second and the Third.
(And one could say that it is similar in the aspect of Techias haMeisim (The Resurrection of the Dead). It does not mean that at that time, completely new bodies will be created, but rather that the bodies will be built upon from the “Luz bone” which is a bone from the previous body, in which there was no (“destruction”) loss.
And this is the aspect of “he constructed a place in it, to hide the Ark“. The place of the Ark is the “bone” (main part, as aforementioned) of the Temple, in which any destruction and loss is not applicable, and from it, the Second and Third Temple are built).
10. This Halacha in Rambam, brings out wondrous things in the general aspect of the Churban and Galut:
In the Temple, of its own accord, there can be no aspect of Churban - nations, of their own power, cannot have, God forbid, any dominion in the Temple, God’s house.
The reason, that in actuality, there could be the Churban of the Temple, is because in the Temple itself, at the time of its construction, there was given a place and a possibility for the Churban (א נתינת מקום און אן אפשריות אויף דעם חורבן).
This is similar to a Yid, in general. A non-Jew, of his own accord, does not have dominion over a Yid, except when the Yid (through his deeds and acts) gives room for this (גיט אויף דעם אן ארט).
(Moreover: not only it is that just a non-Jew cannot have dominion over a Yid, but also, l’havdil (to distinguish), the Heavenly Family and court (ב״ד ופמליא של מעלה), as it were, do not have any dominion over a Yid. And the “verdict” (din) that is ruled upon a Yid, must be with the “acquiescence” (הסכמה) of the Yid).
And this is what Rambam says:
The reason that there could be a Churban of the Temple, is because, at the time that Shlomo built the Temple, he did not just know that it was destined to be destroyed, but rather that he placed in the Temple itself, the (allowance of the) room (נתינת מקום) for its destruction – “he constructed a place in it, to hide the Ark“.
11. However, from this itself, namely that at the time of the building of the Temple, with the entire happiness and tumult which occurred then, that King Shlomo, even thought about its destruction and even performed a deed in conjunction with this, leads us to understand, that (even) the Churban itself is, in truth, related and brings the purpose of the building of the Temple.
The explanation of this is:
The Churban of the Temple was not for the purpose of destruction, God forbid, God forbid – but rather it was in order that through it, there would come an even greater elevation – descent for the purpose of ascent (ירידה צורך עלי׳), so much so until the Third Temple, which will be an eternal edifice, and will then be the completion of the building of the Temple. For it will be “god’s construction” (בנינא דקוב״ה) (“the sanctuary, O Lord,(which) Your hands founded “).
And this is why Rambam states: “When Solomon built the Temple, and (immediately) knew that it would ultimately be destroyed“- because it was a “building of mortals” (בנינא דבר נש). Therefore “he constructed a place in it, to hide etc. “. For from the very onset he gave in the building the (allowance) of room for the Churban, in order to afterward come to the elevation (through the descent of the Churban) of the Third Temple.
And this aspect, that it was “destined to be destroyed” because of the elevation after this, is emphasized in this aspect itself that Shlomo did – “he constructed a place in it, to hide the Ark“. For this contains two extremes:
This shows that the Temple is such that is “destined to be destroyed“. However on the other hand, the purpose of building the place of the hiding – is to forewarn the eternality of the Ark and the Temple. Through this one forewarned that even in the Second Temple there was no lack in the “building of the Temple”. And moreover – this forewarned that the Ark itself would remain complete and that from it would be rebuilt the Third Temple (as aforementioned paragraph 9).
12. According to this one can also explain (in Pnimiyut) the three expressions that Rambam states regarding the place that the Ark was hidden – “in deep, maze-like vaults“(במטמוניות עמוקות ועקלקלות).
With this Rambam is alluding to the virtue (עילוי) which was implanted in the Temple through that which “he constructed a place in it, to hide the Ark“, even though, outwardly this is connected with an aspect of destruction “destined to be destroyed“. However, specifically through the descent, there becomes (through the rectification of Teshuva over the descent -) the elevation. There will be revealed the level of “deep vaults“– the highest levels in godliness which, of their own accord, are “deep vaults“ (in the plural) “very deep, who can find it?“ which through normal Avodah, in a straightforward manner (עבודה רגילה, באופן ישר,), cannot be drawn down.
Specifically through the Avodah of Teshuvah, which comes about when the person conducts himself (not like the manner where God made the person upright, but rather) in a manner of “maze-like“ - there becomes manifest the aspect of “maze-like“, in a positive sense – that one draws down the “deep vaults“ (which are not drawn down in a manner of “straight light” (Or Yashar), but in a manner of Or Chozer – “maze-like“).
This will be revealed in the Third Temple, the eternal edifice that will be built and revealed speedily in our days mamosh, with the true and complete Geulah through our righteous Moshiach.
MSichas Shabbat Parshat Devarim 5741
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