By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron
Discover the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land
And He Called
In this painting, we see 7 Flames, within a green human-like figure, which seem to correspond to the verse in this parsha regarding the fire upon the altar in the Mishkan, “a fire of fragrance to God”. As we noted before in parshat Truma our Sages link the human figure with the structure of the Mishkan. Therefore, the flames arising in such a figure allude to the fire upon the altar in the Mishkan. The number seven seems to allude to the Hebrew word for fire used in this verse “isheh” which our Sages homiletically interpret to allude to the word “ishah” -woman. Indeed according to the Kabbalah the woman is associated with the number seven – “sheva”, and hence we see names such as Bat Sheva, Eli Sheva for women, and also the marriage practice of the bride surrounding her groom seven times. In the context of the Mishkan/Temple the feminine is considered an allusion to the Holy Presence associated by the Kabbalists to the feminine [of course this does not pertain to the Essence of God, God forbid, rather to a specific type of Divine Revelation called “Shechina”]. Perhaps a more familiar conceptualization of this is the famously known “Shabbat Queen,” tying the Holy Presence that comes with Shabbat to the feminine “Queen.”
However, the green figure in the shape of a man with a beard seems to hint to a masculine aspect, not just because of the beard, but also because the color green according to the Kabbalists is associated with the sefira of “tiferet,” associated with the masculine. Nevertheless it should be noted that this is not any regular human figure. This great “man” – “adam” as our parsha begins “adam ki yakriv mikem” – “man that shall offer unto Hashem” – has wings in the color of the upper Light above him. These wings allude to the spiritual exaltation raising him to the Upper Light , turning man into an “angelic-winged” figure. Also notice how the people dancing around this “man” have a straight leg that does not split like the angels, according to our Sages.
Considering all this, it seems that there is an interesting union portrayed here between masculine and feminine spiritual lights, associated by our Sages to Heaven and Earth respectively, inherent in the Temple, where Heaven and Earth meet. Hebron too, a focal point of the Holy Presence and a key towards the rebuilding of our Temple.