This week we read the special haftorah for when Shabbat coincides with Rosh Chodesh, in which G‑d begins by saying: “The heavens are My throne, and the earth is My footstool.”1

In this final chapter of Isaiah, heaven and earth are used as a metaphor. What is the meaning of this metaphor?

“Heaven” is the Torah, G‑d’s wisdom, which is infinite. No matter how much you learn it and how well you grasp it, there is always more to learn and higher to strive. It is compared to a throne because when a king sits on his throne, he is lowered and closer to the earth. The Torah is G‑dliness being drawn down through our study.

“Earth” is the mitzvahs, which are done with physical, earthly objects. When it comes to doing mitzvahs, we are all equals. No matter our intellectual abilities, we do them the same. It is compared to a footstool, which raises the king’s feet off the earth. When you do a mitzvah and use a physical object for a holy purpose, in effect, you are raising its status, infusing it with holiness and bringing it closer to G‑d.

This is the key to bringing Moshiach, and this is our purpose: to draw G‑dliness down into the physical through the study of Torah and by uplifting the world to G‑d through the performance of mitzvahs. When our work is done, the world will be so open to G‑dliness that His presence will fill the world, and we will experience His glory in the physical. This is what the coming of Moshiach is all about.

The whole world will see and feel G‑d’s presence, and they will recognize Him as the one and only true G‑d, and that we are his treasure. This will cause all the joy and happiness the continuation of the haftorah tells about. The people of the world will bring their Jews “as a gift to G‑d . . . with joyous songs . . . to Jerusalem.”2

This is also the connection to Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh. Like Torah, Shabbat is from above; G‑d decided when Shabbat is, and we draw down its holiness according to our ability. On the other hand, Rosh Chodesh is sanctified by us, through the Sanhedrin, who determined when to declare a new month. We uplift the day into a state of holiness, bringing it up to G‑d.

The haftorah then tells us that G‑d will make a “new heaven and a new earth.”3 What are these about?

This refers to new levels of closeness to G‑d that will be achievable. Not that we will be far in any way. Rather, G‑d being infinite, there are always deeper levels of closeness to achieve, even for a person who has reached the level of “Heavens are My throne, and the earth is My footstool.” Meaning, even those who have been doing Torah and mitzvahs at the highest level will find a new level to achieve. The old level will pale in comparison to the new one.

Shabbat and Rosh Chodesh will also be new, as the haftorah says: “Every new moon and every Shabbat all flesh will come to prostrate before Me, says G‑d.” This is something that wasn’t done during the First and Second Temple eras, but when Moshiach will come, we will go up to a new Holy Temple every Rosh Chodesh and every Shabbat.

New heaven, new earth, new Shabbat, new Rosh Chodesh and a new Holy Temple. May it happen soon.