The explanation of the unique advantage of the Third Beis HaMikdash over the First and Second Beis HaMikdash (including the Second Beis HaMikdash as it was suitable to be revealed in the form of the Third Beis HaMikdash [i.e., had the Jews not sinned and the Second Beis HaMikdash become the Beis HaMikdash of Redemption]), can be understood by first highlighting the superior quality of the Beis HaMikdash (in general),1 including as well the superior quality of the site upon which the Beis HaMik­dash stands.

(Even prior to the construction of the Beis HaMikdash,) its site is on a higher level than any other place in the world, as implied by the verse,2 “How awesome is this place; it must be G‑d’s abode.” Unkelos renders the latter phrase: “This is not a common place.” The world at large [apart from the Makom HaMikdash] is considered “a common place,” for it was created by the Ten Utterances of Creation that are called3 “common words.” The site of the Beis HaMikdash, by contrast, is not “a common place.”

[Why are the Ten Utterances of Creation referred to as “common words”?] Because these Ten Utterances [all begin]: “E-lohim said,” [employing the name of G‑d that reflects how G‑dliness has limited itself and enclothed itself in the natural order]. Within the site of the Beis HaMikdash, by contrast, was revealed the name Havayah4 [the name which reflects G‑d’s infinite dimension], as it is written,5 “Truly, Havayah is found in this place.”6

{This is so, notwithstanding the fact that the site of the Beis HaMikdash was also created by the Ten Utterances of Creation. Indeed, the beginning and foundation of existence emanating from the Ten Utterances of Creation was the creation of the even hashtiah (the Foundation Stone) of the Beis HaMikdash. This served is the foundation for the entire world.7}

The [inherent sanctity of site of the Beis HaMikdash] requires further elucidation. Seemingly, the superior quality of the site of the Beis HaMikdash as compared to the rest of the world lies in the [Divine] revelation that was to be found in the Beis HaMikdash — not in the place itself. For the site of the Beis HaMikdash too was created via the Ten Utterances of Creation (“common words”). However, the meaning of “this is not a common place” is that the place itself is uncommon.

The germ of this matter can be understood in light of the statement in Tanya8 that the world was created by the Divine Name Havayah. (Indeed,the name Havayah relates to the word mehaveh, which means “bring into being.”9) Nevertheless, were the creation to have been brought about by the name Havayah, then the world’s existence would have been nullified, [it would not have appreciated itself as an independent entity, but rather as an expression of G‑dliness].

[To make possible the perception of independent existence,] the actual creation came about through the [medium of the] name E-lohim. [With regard to the] creation of the site of the Beis HaMikdash, however, the name E-lohim did not conceal the name Havayah, [and within the limits of our material world was revealed the infinite quality of the name Havayah]. This is the meaning of the phrase “This is not a common place,” that in the site of the Beis HaMikdash, it was palpably revealed that creation emanates from the name Havayah.

The idea [can be explained] as follows: Creation from the Divine Name E-lohim is accomplished through hislabshus, [the enclothment of Divine energy within existence, ([as implied by the verse,]10 “In the beginning E-lohim created...”). Creation from the Divine Name Havayah comes b’derech memeila, in an effortless manner ([as implied by the verse,]11 “Let them praise the Name of Havayah, for He commanded and they were created”).

The manner of creation (whether b’derech memeila or in a manner of hislabshus) is indicative of the relationship between the created entity and its source. When the created entity is closely related to its source, then its creation comes about b’derech memeila.12

An example would be [the relationship of] ilah and alul, a cause and its resultant effect. Since the alul is comparable to the ilah, the creation of the alul from the ilah is b’derech memeila. {For instance, intellect and emotions: since emotions are closely related to intellect, therefore contemplation effortlessly leads to an emotion that reflects [the type of] contemplation.}

The same is true with regard to or, light, and ma’or, the luminary which is its source. Since the light is a revelation of the ma’or, [i.e., it is not a fundamentally different entity,] the light emanates from its source b’derech memeila. When, however, [the level of] the source of existence is distant from [that of] the entity brought into being, then creation comes about in a manner of hislabshus13 — the creator occupies himself and expends effort in bringing into being the created entity.

{The reason for this [can be explained as follows: Whenever one entity is brought into being from another, the question is: which is the priority? Is the entity of fundamental importance the source, and the created entity’s importance is that it expresses this source on a lower level? Or is the entity of funda­mental importance the result, and the source’s importance is merely that it precipitates the existence of that entity.] With regard to creation b’derech memeila, the main emphasis is the revelation of the source. [The classic example of this being light, which is not an independent entity, but merely a ray from its source which reveal its nature.]

[With regard to a pattern of causality, there is a difficulty. On one hand as explained, the transition from] the ilah to the alul (comes about b’derech memeila). [Nevertheless,] the alul is an independent entity — it is not merely a revelation of the ilah. [The transition from one to the other is, nevertheless, considered b’derech memeila, because there is a closeness between the ilah and the alul;] the alul feels its ilah within itself. For example, with regard to intellect and emotions, the emotive attributes feel the intellect [that brings them into being].

Hislabshus, however, creates an entity that is distant from its source. For hislabshus involves (not the revelation of the source [of the created entity], but rather) the source vesting (and occupying) itself in creating something new. Thus, the entity created through hislabshus is distant from its source, and is unable to feel it.

We may say that [this relationship] resembles [that shared by] a potential, koach, and the activity that results from it, po’el. One of the reasons why a po’el does not comes about from its koach [effortlessly,] b’derech memeila, but rather in a manner of hislabshus (the koach actively brings about the po’el), is because the po’el is very distant from the koach. For as is well known,14 the po’el is like a new entity when compared to the potential which made it possible. Since the koach is spiritual while the po’el is physical, drawing forth the po’el from the koach is similar to creating something entirely new (akin to creation ex nihilo).

[Indeed,] the unique dimension of koach is its ability to bring about something entirely new. From this we can appreciate that [although] it is the po’el which grants us knowledge of the koach, the knowledge of the koach that is gained from the po’el is limited to the fact that through the po’el we are aware [of the existence] of the koach. [The nature of] the koach, [what it is,] is not, how­ever, felt within the po’el itself.15 For since the koach is spiritual and the po’el is physical, this spiritual potential cannot be revealed within this physical activity.16

Additionally, the koach is not sensed within the po’el, not only because [of the nature] of the po’el (i.e., that it is far removed from the koach), but also because [of the nature] of the koach itself: Since the unique dimension of the koach is that it brings about the existence of something new — not at all of its level (as explained above), the manner through which koach transfers [energy] to the po’el involves concealment.

(For only through the concealment of the source is it possible to bring about something new that is not at all comparable to its source; only after the revelation of the source has ceased is it possible that there come into being something that is not of its own level.) Thus,17 the po’el that comes about from the koach in a manner that does not enable [the nature of] the koach to be appreciated.}

Similar concepts apply with regard the spiritual realms. As creation comes about through the name E-lohim, it follows the manner of hislabshus, and thus the creative life-force is not felt by the created beings. The created beings that were brought into existence through the medium of the name Elohim are self-conscious. [Even when they appreciate the need for bittul (self-nullification)], the manner in which they nullify themselves18 itself reflects their self-conscious (bitul ha’yesh).

Existence comes into being from the name Havayah, by con­trast, b’derech memeila. [There is thus a closeness between existence and its source, and the influence of Havayah] is felt with existence. [Bittul is the natural state of such existence. Moreover,] the bittul of these being is absolute — bittul bimetzius.19