Monday, May 26, 2008

Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh

בִּלבָבִי מִשְׁכַּן אֶבְנֶה לְהַדַר כְּבוֹדוֹ, וּבְמִשׁכַּן מִזְבֵּחַ אָשִׂים לְקַרְנֵי הוֹדוֹ, וּלְנֵר תָּמִיד אֶקַח לִי אֶת אֵשׁ הָעַקֵדָה, וּלְקָרְבַּן אַקְרִיב לוֹ אֶת נַפְשִׁי הַיְחִידָה

Bilvavi mishkan evneh lahadar k'vodo, Uv'mishkan mizbei'ach asim l'karnei hodo. Ul'ner tamid ekach li ess aish ha'akeidah, Ul'korban akriv lo ess nafshi, Ess nafshi hayechidah.

In my heart a sanctuary I shall build, to the splendor of His honor, and in the sanctuary an altar I shall place, to the rays of His glory. And for an Eternal Flame I shall take me The fire of the Akei'dah [Yitzchak's would-be sacrifice]; And for a sacrifice I shall offer Him my soul, My one and only soul. (A piyut from "Sefer Chareidim" by R' Elazar Az'kari- author of Yedid Nefesh)

In his sefer "Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh," R' Itamar Shwartz emphasizes the important point that our existence in this world is for the purpose of being davuk to our Creator; to be close with Hashem. As Dovid Hamelech says "V'ani, kirvas Elokim li tov" "And as for me, closeness to G-d is good" Also- as we say by every kriyas haTorah "V'atem ha'dveikim ba'Hashem Elokeichem, chaim koolchem hayom" "And you who cling to Hashem your G-d, you are alive, all of you, today." Meaning to be alive means to cling to G-d. One who isn't constantly concentrating on getting closer to his/her creator, isn't living in the truest sense. As the Zohar Hakadosh says, all the 613 Mitzvos are eitzos (advice) for us; each an opportunity to get closer to Hashem. If one looks at it that way, Yiddishkeit is never a burden, with 613 commandments that we must do, but rather its an amazing opportunity for us to serve Hashem through His 613 Mitzvos; each of which being another way we can gain a closer relationship with Him.
A he'ara of my own: In this physical world, limited by space and time, "closness" is judged by distance between 2 things; inches, feet etc. But if we look at the olam haruchni, the spiritual world, there is no such thing as space and time. So how is closeness measured there? I was taught that it is by similarity. By ruchniyus, the more similar one thing is to another, the closer they are. That being the case, it would seem that for us to be closer to Hashem, we must become more like Him. Now this is a well known concept. "B'tzelem Elokim nivra es ha'adam" Man was created in the image of G-d-so we are like Him already and we have the ability to become more like Him. "Ma Hu rachum, af ata rachum..." "Just as He is merciful, so too you should be merciful." We see how we should live our lives based on imitating the different attributes of Hashem. So here's my he'ara- I'd like to suggest that on Shabbos Kodesh we are closest to Hashem; more than any other day of the week. Of course that alone isn't my chiddush b/c tons of sefarim speak about the holyness of Shabbos and how Hashem comes and "chills" with us here, more on Shabbos than any other time. My chiddush is as follows: We work 6 days a week and rest on the 7th and we recognize that Hashem created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. SO: during the week when we work, our work is nothing compared to the work Hashem did during sheishes yi'emei be'reishis! He created the world!! Ay, but the rest that Hashem did on Shabbos, that we can actually come close to doing. One thing ca'nt be more at rest than another. If ur not working, then your not working! So I'd like to submit that b/c of that fact, that we rest on Shabbos just like Hashem rested on Shabbos- that makes us so similar to Him and therfore gives us the opportunity to feel real closness to Him each and every Shabbos.[I just wanted to throw that out there- if you like it take it, if not, just throw it right back...]
(Mishkan pic courtesy of Messianic Torah Truth Seeker)
(To buy Bilvavi Mishlan Evneh click
here)-I highly recommend it!
(Hat tip to DixieYid)


Bas~Melech said...

Thanks, this is one of my personal favorites. I still wish I understood more of the allegorical meaning of the second half of the piyut.

Anonymous said...

I like the Chiddush CR. Keep them coming.