Beshalach: Chapter 26

Building the lower Temple


We hear that it is a commandment to build the lower Temple like the Temple of above, and that the Temple must have windows in it. One must not pray in the field because an edifice is required to bring down the Shechinah to human beings. Isaac prayed in the field, but he was one of the Patriarchs, and thus exempt from this.

Rabbi Aba speaks of a song [verse 339] that is composed of twenty-two holy engraved letters and ten sayings, and which is imprinted on the Holy Name. Rabbi Shimon says that while the children of Yisrael were standing by the sea and singing, God appeared to them with all his Chariots and hosts; every one of them saw what the other prophets of the world did not. All of them sang the same song simultaneously and in rhythm, and the Holy Spirit was in their mouths. It is obvious that they all perceived the supernal Wisdom at that time. When the song was over, the children of Yisrael did not want to leave because of their great longing to perceive God, until Moses showed them the radiant brilliance of the glory of the Holy One, blessed be He in the wilderness. Thus it is called "the wilderness of Shur (lit 'observe')."