Seeking the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land and Temple
“I have sought Your closeness, with all my heart I have called unto You, and when I set out before You, before me I have found You” (R’ Yehuda HaLevy). Our hearts and the hearts of our ancestors join us in the ever-long quest to seek the closeness of God always, to experience His Holy Presence, to know God with all our heart and soul. One of the highest fulfillments of this request is reached in the Temple, and one of the greatest and most powerful ways of bringing the Temple into realization is the spiritual, mental, verbal, and physical quest itself, as we learn from the verse: “The Holy Presence You shall seek, and you shall (consequently) come there (to the Temple Mount to build the Temple)” (Deut. 12, 5). Indeed, Jeremiah (30, 17) repeats the obligat of seeking Zion, by saying, “Zion is she, she has no seeker”, upon which our Sages remarked, (Suka 41a) “that from this it can be inferred that Zion must be seeked”. Based on this inference, our Sages halachically instituted many reminders of Zion, such as breaking a glass at a wedding, the four fasts, etc. Obviously, these halachic modes of conduct are not meant to limit our thoughts to these actions alone, but are, on the contrary, meant to open our hearts to indeed “seek Zion” and the Holy Presence therein. It is also clear from these sources and rulings that “seeking Zion/the Holy Presence therein” does not mean Jerusalem alone, but the Land of Israel at large (one of many examples: Gedalia fast (of the four fasts) commemorates the exile from the Land even after the destruction of the 1st Temple). Also, we find that specifically the holy city of Hebron has special potential in this spiritual quest, as explained at length in our introduction to “Uniting World Through Hebron” (in the “Torah of Seeking” section). For this purpose “Leshichno Tidrshu” was founded, to “seek the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land and Temple through Hebron” on a number of levels: 1. Kollel Hatzos/ “Leakma Shechinta”, 2. Seeking Zion, 3. The Torah of Seeking, 4. Cleave to Him, 5. “And Come There”
- Kollel Hatzos /“Leakma Shechinta” – One of the primary levels “Leshichno Tidrshu” advances its goal is through “raising the power” of this Holy Presence itself (“Leakma Shechinta”) through Torah and Prayer during one of the most auspicious times for this – the hours between midnight and morning – and also by one of the most auspicious locations for this Presence, Maaras HaMachpela. Our Sages teach that when the spiritual light of the Holy Presence is raised and greatened, all individual souls are illuminated by its great Light for both spiritual and material posperity. Indeed, this spiritual work is meant to hasten the Redemption at hours auspicious for redemption (the Exodus from Egypt began at midnight; the auspicious nature of these hours is found in many sources – see “60 values” posted on this site for a small glimpse) by our Patriarchs at Maaras HaMachpela in whose merit we will be redeemed. This lofty endeavor is taken on by “Kollel Hatzos Maaras HaMachpela – Asahel,” which is the topic of this section.
- Seeking Zion – Over numbers of years, weekly divrei Torah, as displayed together in this section, have been sent to thousands of readers across the globe by the Hebron Fund about “Seeking the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land”. These short divrei Torah, which encompass Tanach, Halacha, Talmud, and semi-Kabbalistic teaching, prayer, experiential stories and more on a constant level, are meant to reach out to all Jews wherever they are and connect them to our ultimate quest of Seeking the Holy Presence in Zion through the inspiring spirit of Hebron and our holy Patriarchs and Matriarchs. To receive these divrei Torah via e-mail you can sign up to our Toraletter list.
- The Torah of Seeking – This section deals with the more in-depth studies in “Seeking the Holy Presence in Our Holy Land and Temple.”
- Cleave to Him – One of the methods of seeking and connecting to the Holy Presence is found in the Torah’s commandment “cleave to Him”, which is interpreted by our Sages to mean cleaving to the Holy Presence through the Godly righteous who are themselves deeply connected to this Holy Presence. Ultimately, the goal is that we too ascend to this level of the righteous, bringing God into our very lives, as the Torah tells us, “and you shall be holy unto your God.” Therefore, this section’s goal is to connect to the archetypes of all the righteous, our holy Patriarchs and Matriarchs buried in Maaras HaMachpela, along with other righteous figures buried in Hebron (and abroad), by studying their lofty ways and teachings. As we just explained, this section also aspires to discuss methods of sanctifying ourselves, so we too may merit to be “holy unto our God”.
- “And Come There” – As mentioned above, the continuation of the Torah’s phrase “Leshichno Tidreshu” ends with the words “Uvata Shama”, which means “and you shall come there”. This ending phrase is the inspiration for this section of “Leshichno Tidreshu”‘s work, which deals with the practical aspects of this spiritual seeking, such as telling personal stories of Divine Providence in our Forum, and more. May HaShem aid us all on our Search for the Holy Presence in our Holy Land and Temple.