Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Zion and Israel are one!

Tension between Israel’s warring tribes waxed and waned, in part because the tribal boundaries bordering the nations holy temple contributed to their division. Between the time of Noah’s Shem, 4717 years ago through King David 2849 years ago, the holy temple site was known by various names; Shalem, Yira’ Shalem and YeruShalem among others. The land of the holy site was designated by a mystical understanding of the spiritual construct as the foundation stone of creation and Zion, the place of peace for the world. The monolith, known as Mount Moriah, rose from the south, on the northern boundary of the tribal land of Yehuda up to the southern boundary of the tribal land of Binyamin on whose land most of the holy temple would ultimately be built.
The proximity between the temple site and the common border between Binyamin and Yehuda presented a major point of contention for the tribe of Yosef (Ephraim) on Binyamin’s opposite, northern boundary. Unlike Yehuda’s land, Yosef’s tribal land did not adjoin Binyamin’s southern border, as such it did not share a direct boundary with the nations holy temple site. Before Torah was transcribed by Moses, Jacob was confronted by this lopsided dilemma of the ‘spiritual construct’ and Rashi, the famous literal Torah sage struggled to interpret it, uncharacteristically reverting to mysticism to explain:
When Yaakov emigrated after first spending 14 years learning mysticism and studying, but before finally departing he returned to pray at the site his forefathers had once prayed. While locating the site to pray he was stopped by a sudden sunset. There, he made camp at the site of his father Isaac’s sacrifice and he named it Beit El.  Rashi considered Yaakov was at a different Bethel north of Jerusalem, in the territory of Yosef.  As such, he had difficulty reconciling with the traditional interpretation of Beit El which is Jerusalem. Rashi explained: That night Mount Moriah, Jerusalem (which incorporates Beit El) was mysteriously transported to Bethel. Indeed there is a midrash that explains on the night Yaakov slept at Beit El, the land of Israel was folded beneath him.
The midrashim grapple with the anomaly. Why Beit El and Bethel? Why did the land fold/roll up and why did Rashi say Mount Moriah moved? Jewish mysticism provides fascinating insight: Supernal Israel faces east, placing Binyamin’s land, including Mount Moriah at its neck, Yehuda’s land, its right shoulder and Yosef’s land its left. The northern border of Yehuda runs east-west, from the Dead Sea toward the Mediterranean. In the middle it rises the Judean mountains to a pinch-point on the southern base of Mount Moriah. At the tip of the pinch-point Yehuda’s land pierces into Binyamin’s land (Israel’s neck), right on Mount Moriah where, according to Kabbalah Yehuda’s land intersects the Southeast corner of the altar of Isaac the rest of which is built on Binyamin's land.This pinch point defines the location for the permanent altar of the temple.
Beit El of Yehuda/Binyamin and Bethel of Binyamin/Yosef reflect the points at which Israels neck meets its shoulders. After King Solomon, who built the first temple on Mount Moriah the nation was immediately and once again divided. The dueling kings of Yehuda, Solomon’s son Rehavam and the king of Yosef, Yerovam fought bitterly as did their tribes. Yerovam re-introduced idol worship at Bethel and on Dan's tribal land for the ten tribes of Israel and prevented them from visiting the Jerusalem temple on Binyamin’s land. The nation’s tribes were split and never again re-united on their designated land. The temple represented a source of power, which with proper appointment became the most desired spiritual and economic prize. But, no-one fully understood the mystical construct that designated the altar and temples location in order to effect natural order and truly harness its power.
The right (south) sided orientation of the temple site is the source of Israel’s might. Many of the tribes and their leaders failed to grasp its importance and to this day it continues to weaken the emotive, intellectual and spiritual expressions of modern Jews. ‘Zionism’ is no longer associated with its spiritual root, meaning and construct, as a result it is not fully expressed. Beit El is the City of David, which is Zion[1], regardless of past explanations, that does not qualify Bethel as the temple’s site. Collapsing Binyamin’s land or flying Mount Moriah, Israel’s most important site from Yehuda to Yosef simply illustrates the essential quality, strength and endurance of the right. It’s inherent desire is to go the ‘extra yards’ to, include and to bring peace, yet nothing can change the site of the altar, despite the left’s (north) desire to be closer to it.
Reliance on King David’s decision to construct a private altar on top of Mount Moriah, on the Temple Mount, is debatable. If the northern boundary of Yehuda had penetrated Binyamin deeper, to the top of Mount Moriah (at the Dome of the Rock) then land repatriated from Binyamin to build the first temple, which was to be replenished in Jericho, after building the third temple would have been granted to Yehuda, it was not! Folding Israel’s land to fit its spiritual construct is an inversion of the nations optimal disposition and the tradition dissuades its people from asking the very hard questions of its aboriginal root.

[1] 1Kings, 8:1

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