G-d’s Word

parashas Nasso 5781

“And when Moses went into the tent of meeting that He might speak with him, then he heard the Voice speaking unto him from above the ark-cover that was upon the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim; and He spoke unto him.”

– Numbers 7:89, JPS 1917 Tanach

As recorded in Torah, not until the leaders of each of the twelve tribes of Israel brought their offerings, did the L-RD’s presence appear within the Kadosh Kadoshim (Holy of Holies). It is interesting to note, how the phrase, “the Voice speaking unto him” denotes the voice of the Shechinah (G-d’s presence). The targum paraphrases, “the voice of the Spirit who spake” unto Moses, that descended “from the heaven of heavens” (Targum Yonaton, Numbers 7:89; sefaria.org). The Targum further associates the Voice with “the Word,” hearkening back to G-d’s Ten Utterances in the Creation narrative.


The building of the Mishkan (tabernacle) itself, a microcosm of the macrocosm, is likened to the creation of the world. Hence, it is appropos to think in terms of G-d’s presence being present, as He was in Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden); and, His Word being heard, as at the beginning of Creation. G-d’s presence will now rest between the two golden cherubim on the cover of the Ark of the Covenant; and, so, His voice will emanate from behind the paroches (curtain) that separated the Holy of Holies from the less holy area of the mishkan, called the Holy.


Woven into the fabric, are two depictions of angels that are symbolic of the angels that guarded the Tree of Life. Further lending authenticity to this understanding, are the names given to the wooden dowels of a Torah scroll, eitz chayim (tree of life). G-d compels us to choose life, by acknowledging His words, carefully inscribed on the two tablets of the Aseret HaDibrot (The Ten Statements); otherwise, referred to as the Ten Commandments. From these, stem all of the other commandments. We would be wise to heed the call, by entering into relationship with the L-RD, for the sake of procuring eternal life.

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