Daily Zohar # 2986 – Pekudei – To count or not to count
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“אֵלֶּה פְקוּדֵי הַמִּשְׁכָּן מִשְׁכַּן הָעֵדֻת אֲשֶׁר פֻּקַּד עַל פִּי מֹשֶׁה עֲבֹדַת הַלְוִיִּם בְּיַד אִיתָמָר בֶּן אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן”
“This is the number of the things for the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the testimony, as they were numbered according to the command of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest.”
The Tabernacle is mentioned twice in this verse to tell us that there are two aspects to it. ‘The Tabernacle’ is the holy vessel, which is the constructions and all material elements. The ‘tabernacle of the testimony’ is the aspect of the spiritual connection between YHVH and the people through the Tabernacle. The ‘testimony’ is God’s promise to be with Abraham and his decedents. ‘They were numbered according to the command of Moses’, tells us that Moses was the architect and the ‘commander’ because he had the ultimate spiritual connection to make the Tabernacle a reality using the light of Zeir Anpin and the Shechina. Zeir Anpin brings the Light from above and the Shechina from below to make the Tabernacle a perfect tool for spiritual unification.
Moses set the plans and the workers did the work. After the work completed, it was time to do the ‘accounting’ of the materials used in the building of the Tabernacle. The Zohar (Pekudei #20) tells that the other-side was roaming around the construction site of the Tabernacle, looking for opportunities to inject himself and cause some damage but he couldn’t find any. The Holy One Blessed be He forced the other-side to be with Moses when he did the ‘accounting’ of all the elements of the Tabernacle. Moses is God’s faithful Shepherd and everything was accounted for without flaws. The other-side had to leave ‘empty-handed’.
The Zohar adds that counting in a place that is not holy, bring destruction but when it comes to the Holy, counting give it strength and sustainability.
“אִם-יְהוָה, לֹא-יִבְנֶה בַיִת– שָׁוְא עָמְלוּ בוֹנָיו בּוֹ;
אִם-יְהוָה לֹא-יִשְׁמָר-עִיר, שָׁוְא שָׁקַד שׁוֹמֵר.”
“Unless YHVH builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless YHVH watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.”
This verse reminds us that we need a connection to YHVH before we build anything in this world. Every atom in this world is in constant motion, using life-force that is the thought of the Creator.
When we build with the proper consciousness, we draw strength and sustainability into what we do.
The other-side couldn’t inflict harm on the building or the builders because they were pure channels for the Light of YHVH.
Counting elements in the level of Malchut force limitation and isolation from the Endless Light. The Zohar uses the word ‘destructions’ to what we count. The Hebrew word for it is ‘חרבן‘ that comes from the root ‘חרב’ that means ‘dry’. Malchut is in a ‘dry’ state when there’s no connection to the flow of the ‘rivers’ from above that sustains us.
When we count spiritual elements, we strengthen our connection to that spiritual level. The word ‘Sefira’ is from the root that one of its meaning is ‘counting’. Our prayers are full of sections with a specific count of words, verses, and gematria values. When we follow that, we are able to ‘hold’ this spiritual energy and draw it down to our ‘limited’ world. Count of seven usually related to connection Zeir Anpin and Malchut. Counting 10 for the complete level from Chokmah, Binah and Daat to the lower seven sefirot. Counting 13 is even higher and it takes us to the concealed head of Keter. We find many secrets in the Torah when we read it in skip count of different numbers.