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Taking it With You-Terumah-Ark-Between the Staves

Our Sages teach us that God constricted His Divine Presence between the two staves that were used to carry the Ark (Bereishit Rabbah 4:4). This appears very difficult to understand, since we know that, “There is no place empty of Him.” Furthermore, it is written, “The whole earth is filled with His glory (Isaiah 6:3),” and, “Do I not fill heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24).”


The Maggid explained that even though God’s glory “fills all the earth,” this is in a state where it is hidden from the world. For this reason He is called, “Hidden from all the hidden (Tikkunei Zohar 17a).” The only place where God’s Light was revealed was between the two staves of the Ark.

Even this revelation itself was a constriction on the part of God. God Himself is “Hidden from all hidden,” and therefore, only the slightest illumination of His Light can ever be revealed at all. Whenever He reveals Himself in any manner whatsoever, He must also constrict Himself. Our Sages therefore teach us that He, “constricted His Divine Presence between the two staves of the Ark.” (Likkutei Torah, Emor)

“Holy, holy, holy is God, Master of Legions, is the whole world is filled with Glory. And they received permission from one another and say: ‘ Only in the most exalted heaven, the abode of His Presence; holy on earth, product of His strength; holy forever and ever is God, Master of Legions, the entire world is filled with the radiance of His glory.’ (U’va l’Tzion).”

Although the heavens are “the abode of His Presence,” we are still able to access His Holiness on this Earth, the product of His strength. During the time of the Temple we were able to access His Presence from between the staves of the Ark. We can still access His Divine Presence through His Torah. We pray that, through what we have achieved in our prayers, we will be empowered to access the Devine Presence through our Torah study.

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