In this Torah portion, G‑d tells Moses to build the Tabernacle. Maimonides writes:

The Tabernacle that Moses built was a temporary structure, as it is written, "For you have not yet come to the repose and inheritance that G‑d, your G‑d, is giving you." When [the Jews] entered the Land [of Israel, in the year 2488], they set up the Tabernacle at Gilgal, and it stood there for 14 years [until 2502], while they conquered and divided [the Land]. From there, they came to Shiloh and built there a stone structure and spread the tapestries of the Tabernacle over it; it did not have a fixed roof. The Tabernacle of Shiloh stood [thus] for 369 years [until 2871]. When Eli died, it was taken down. They went to Nov and built a sanctuary there; when Samuel died, it was taken down. They went to Givon and built a sanctuary there; after Givon they went to the permanent Temple. [The structures at] Nov and Givon [stood for a total of] 57 years, [until 2928, or 832 BCE, when the first Temple was built]. (Mishneh Torah, Beit HaBechira 1:1-2)

The significance of the Tabernacle [of the Sinai Desert], the Tabernacle of Shiloh, and the Temple [is as follows].

Know that in the Tabernacle, Zeir Anpin and Nukva were back to back on weekdays. This is the significance of the fact that the numerical value of the word for "Tabernacle" [in Hebrew, "Mishkan"] is 410, alluding to the two regressive iterations of the name Elokim. For the numerical value of the regressive iteration of the name Elokim, plus 5 units for the 5 letters of the name itself, is 205.

"Mishkan" is spelled: mem-shin-kaf-nun = 40 + 300 + 20 + 50 = 410.

The regressive iteration of the name Elokim (alef-lamed-hei-yud-mem):

alef alef-lamed alef-lamed-hei alef-lamed-hei-yud alef-lamed-hei-yud-mem =

1 + (1 + 30) + (1 + 30 + 5) + (1 + 30 + 5 + 10) + (1 + 30 + 5 + 10 + 40) =

5(1) + 4(30) + 3(5) + 2(10) + 1(40) =

5 + 120 + 15 + 20 + 40 =

200

This is the mystical significance of the verse, "And he came to the mountain of G‑d [Elokim] to Horeb": (Ex. 3:1) "Mountain" signifies the name Elokim, and therefore it is "Horeb" [rooted in the Hebrew word for "destruction"] for it signifies strict judgment, not settlement.

When they face back to back, everything is in a state of severe judgment….

The numerical value of the word for "mountain" is har", spelled: hei-reish = 5 + 200 = 205. 205, as we just saw, refers to the regressive iteration of the name Elokim. The word "Horeb" (in Hebrew, "chorev") means "destruction". Thus, this verse can be read, "And he came to the mountain, which signifies the name Elokim undergoing destruction," i.e. withdrawl, or regression. The name Elokim, we know, is anyways associated with gevura (judgment, severity), and its withdrawal signifies an especially negative situation, in which the divine beneficence is severly limited. The divine consciousness implied by such a situation is not sufficient to "civilize" reality, and therefore leaves reality outside its own realm a "desert" or "wasteland", devoid of divine consciousness.

Two times the numerical value of "mountain" [=205] equals the numerical value of "Tabernacle" [in Hebrew, "Mishkan", 410].

Thus, the two "mountains" of the "Tabernacle" are the two partzufim of Zeir Anpin and Nukva in their limited states of divine consciousness.

In fact, the two backs of Zeir Anpin and Nukva - signified by the two "mountains" just mentioned - were facing and clinging to each other [in the desert on weekdays]. This is why the Tabernacle existed in the desert, a desolate place. For it alluded to [Zeir Anpin and Nukva's] backs, since the numerical value of the word for "Tabernacle" is twice that of the word for "mountain", as mentioned.

When they face back to back, everything is in a state of severe judgment, signified by the name Elokim.

In the Tabernacle at Shiloh, [Zeir Anpin and Nukva] turned around to face each other, but [Nukva was manifest] only as the partzuf of Rachel, [whose stature extends] only from the chest [of Zeir Anpin] downward. Therefore, the structure [of the Tabernacle at Shiloh] had built [i.e. permanent] walls.

In the Temple, Zeir Anpin and Nukva were of equal stature….

The state of face-to-face is a more permanent and deeper union between the two partzufim. This was indicated by the construction of the Tabernacle, the "home" of the divine "couple", being built with permanent walls. But since this face-to-face union was not complete, only "from the chest down", the permanence of the structure was only in its lower half, not its ceiling/roof. Psychologically, this means that we are only able to express the lower half of the emotions, the aspect of the emotions directed toward expression. The higher aspect of the emotions, the emotions as they are informed by the intellect, the idea that produced them, is "truncated".

It would appear to me [Rabbi Chaim Vital] that after prayers [every day], [Zeir Anpin and Nukva] reverted to being back-to-back, and this is why it was still called a "Tabernacle".

Since the numerical value of "Tabernacle", as above, alludes to Zeir Anpin and Nukva being back-to-back.

This is also why the numerical value of "Shilo" is the same as that of "Moses" [in Hebrew, "Moshe"].

"Shiloh" is spelled: shin-yud-lamed-hei = 300 + 10 + 30 + 5 = 345.

"Moshe" is spelled: mem-shin-hei = 40 + 300 + 5 = 345.

For the numerical value of the shin [of Moshe, 300] is the same as that of the name Elokim spelled out with the letter yud.

 1 alef alef 30 lamed 80 pei 30 lamed lamed 40 mem 4 dalet 5 hei hei 10 yud 10 yud yud 6 vav 4 dalet 40 mem mem 40 mem 300 TOTAL  =

This serves to indicate that the original state [of Zeir Anpin and Nukva] was that of the "back" of the name Elokim [seen in its regressive iteration], but now, [in Shiloh], they are face to face, as indicated by the supernal form of the name Elokim, i.e. its spelling-out with the letter yud.

The letter yud signifies chochma, the highest conscious sefira, and whenever it is used to spell out a divine name (as opposed to the letters alef or hei), this indicates the presence of chochma in the state signified by that name.

The mem and hei [of Moshe] allude to the name Mah [= 45, Havayah] spelled with the letter alef.

The numerical values of mem and hei are 40 and 5, which together add up to 45, the numerical value of the name Havayah when it is spelled out with alef's, as follows:

 yud yud-vav-dalet 10 + 6 + 4 = 20 hei hei-alef 5 + 1 = 6 vav vav-alef-vav 6 + 1 + 6 = 13 hei hei-alef 5 + 1 = 6 TOTAL  = 45

This indicates that now, [at Shiloh,] Zeir Anpin is no longer manifesting the name Elokim, but rather the name Havayah as spelled out to equal 45, and also to indicate that it is facing [Nukva].

The name Havayah, associated with the attribute of mercy, indicates a much higher level of divine consciousness than does the name Elokim.

But in the Temple, Zeir Anpin and Nukva were of equal stature, and Nukva extended up to include the measure of the sub-partzuf of Leah. Therefore, the numerical value of the word for "Temple" ["Mikdash"] is the same as that of the word for "measure" ["midat"], as I have explained in regard to the mystical meaning of the verse: "…and the measure of my days, what it is" for Leah is called "the measure".

"Mikdash"is spelled: mem-kuf-dalet-shin = 40 + 100 + 4 + 300 = 444.

"Midat" is spelled: mem-dalet-tav = 40 + 4 + 400 = 444.

Leah is the expression of thought, as opposed to Rachel, which is the expression of speech and action….

The partzuf of Leah is the expression of thought, as opposed to Rachel, which is the expression of speech and action. Leah (thought) is more suited to express ideas and intellect, while Rachel (speech and action) is more suited to express emotion. Thus, Leah's position is opposite the upper half of Zeir Anpin, the aspect of the emotions that are still connected to the intellect.

This is the mystical meaning of our Sages' statement that in the days of King Solomon, the moon was full. (Shemot Rabbah 15:26; Zohar I:223b, 225b, III:46a)

King Solomon built the First Temple. The Midrash, counting Abraham as the first Jewish "king", counts 14 kings between him and King Solomon, and another 14 kings from King Solomon to the destruction of the First Temple. Thus, King Solomon is the 15th of 30 kings. These 30 kings correspond to the 30 days of a lunar month, and thus the institution of Jewish monarchy is seen as starting (as a "new moon") with Abraham, waxing until its greatest point in the person of King Solomon, and then waning as Jewish civilization became more decadent after him, until the destruction.

[Nukva] grew to equal the full stature of Zeir Anpin.

The moon is a correlate of Nukva, as can be seen (among other ways) in the correlation between the lunar month and the menstrual cycle. The full moon thus indicates the full maturation of the partzuf of Nukva, which occurred when King Solomon built the Temple.

Therefore, [when he dedicated the Temple], King Solomon made a fourteen-day feast, divided into two groups of seven, corresponding to Rachel and Leah.

"And Solomon celebrated the festival at that time, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from Levo Chamat until the wadi of Egypt, before G‑d, our G‑d, seven days and seven days, fourteen days." (Kings I 8:65)

Malchut is the seventh sefira of the midot, thus, the seven-day periods each correspond to the two aspects of malchut, the two sub-partzufim of Leah and Rachel.

Translated and adapted by Moshe-Yaakov Wisnefsky from Sha'ar HaPesukim, parashat Teruma; subsequently published in "Apples From the Orchard."

Reprinted with permission from Chabad of California. Copyright 2004 by Chabad of California, Inc. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this work or portions thereof, in any form, without permission, in writing, from Chabad of California, Inc.