The Torah portion Naso concludes by relating that when Moshe would enter the Mishkan , he would hear G‑d’s voice emanating from between the two Keruvim. The portion concludes by stating once again: “Thus would G‑d speak to him.”1

Rashi2 explains that the verse reiterates “Thus would G‑d speak to him ,” to inform us that although Aharon may have been in the Mishkan at the time, only Moshe would hear G‑d’s voice.

This was no ordinary occurrence, for as Rashi goes on to say, G‑d’s voice was as powerful then as it was when it spoke at Sinai. Rather, it was a miracle that in the Mishkan only Moshe would hear it.

This gives rise to the following question: Since G‑d’s voice was so powerful, why did Moshe have to enter the Mishkan at all? And if G‑d desired that only Moshe hear Him, He could have done so, just as within the Mishkan only Moshe heard Him speak.

Rashi concludes by stating that “when the voice reached the entrance of the Mishkan it would cease, and would not emanate outside the Mishkan.” Thus, in order for Moshe to hear G‑d speaking, it was necessary that he be within the Mishkan.

But this, too, must be understood: Since by right the voice should have been heard outside the Mishkan , why did it stop at the entrance, thus compelling Moshe to enter in order to hear it?

This will be understood in light of Rashi ’s explanation that G‑d’s voice was “the same voice that spoke to him at Sinai.”

We find that “the voice that spoke to him at Sinai” also was subject to cessation, albeit not a cessation in space (as was the case with the voice in the Mishkan), but a cessation in time. For after Mattan Torah , “when the ram’s horn sounded a long blast,”3 the “Divine Presence departed and the voice ceased.”4

The reason for the cessation of the voice is clear: Were it to have continued following Mattan Torah it would have precluded Divine service predicated on man’s freedom of choice; when G‑d’s mighty voice in its full glory proclaims “I am G‑d your L-rd,”5 there is no room for choosing anything other than G‑d’s will.

Just as this is so regarding the cessation of the voice in time, it is true with regard to G‑d’s voice ceasing in space — at the entrance of the Mishkan.

Since this voice was “the [very same] voice that spoke to him at Sinai” — with the same degree of revelation and sanctity — it is understandable that were it to have been drawn down on an ongoing basis outside the Mishkan , then the whole world would have automatically been transformed into a Mishkan , and once again the ability to freely choose to serve G‑d would have been thwarted.

Moreover, “G‑d earnestly desired to have a dwelling place [specifically] in the nethermost level”6 — in the crass physical world. It was in such a world that G‑d desired that His voice be drawn down and revealed as man’s service transformed this world into a dwelling for Him.

Were this world to be constantly inundated by G‑d’s voice, then it would neither be a lowly world, nor would man be needed to accomplish its transformation, since it would be G‑dly in its own right.

There is a lesson here: We should not be satisfied with enclosing ourselves in our own private Mishkan of Torah study, where G‑d’s voice is constantly heard, and neglecting the rest of the world. Rather, man’s main service is to let the world outside the Mishkan know that which was revealed, thereby transforming the planet into a dwelling place for G‑d.

Based on Likkutei Sichos Vol. XIII, pp. 20-23.