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Mishkan/Temple: How can something contain G-d?


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar II 8, 5779
How could a building like the Mishkan or the Beit HaMikdash, or a natural phenomenon like a cloud (at Har Sinai) contain the Presence of the Almighty (Ubiquitious, the infinite volume; omnipotent; omnipresent; omniscient etc. G-d)? Background for my question: In a midrash to Psalm 91, when Moses realized that the Tabernacle could not contain the fullness of G-d, HaShem proclaims, "The entire world cannot contain My glory, yet when I wish, I can concentrate My entire essence into one small spot. Indeed, I am Most High, yet I sit in a [limited] refuge" 1 Kings 8:12-13;
God cannot be contained, but He, as if it were, “limited” or “concentrated” Himself [in Hebrew: Tzimtzum”] in order to create the world, and afterwards, in order for us to have a “meeting place” [the literal meaning of the Mishkan-Tabernacle: Ohel Moed] with His Divine Presence, He designated for us (!) a certain place. Similarly, this is the concept until today of the Holy Land of Israel and of the Temple Mount.
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