My Country:  
 
  United States         Language:  
 
  English         My Currency:  
 
  US Dollar    
 
 
   23 Elul 5774 / Thursday, September 18, 2014 | Torah Reading Nitzavim - Vayelech       
Set as Home Page Add to favorites
Home
About Us
Breslev
VOD
Breslev Radio
Breslev Store
Donation
 
           Main Menu
BreslevBreslev
Holidays and Fast DaysHolidays and Fast Days
JudaismJudaism
SocietySociety
FamilyFamily
Spirituality and FaithSpirituality and Faith
Torah PortionTorah Portion
Chassidic PearlsChassidic Pearls
Parsha in a NutshellParsha in a Nutshell
David`s SlingDavid's Sling
Jacob`s LadderJacob's Ladder
Rabbi Winston`s WindowRabbi Winston's Window
Bnai YaacovBnai Yaacov
Chana`s BlessingChana's Blessing
Orot HaRav KookOrot HaRav Kook
Rabbi Gartner`s GardenRabbi Gartner's Garden
David`s HarpDavid's Harp
Parsha BeamsParsha Beams
BreslevpediaBreslevpedia
StoreStore
VODVOD
Breslev ForumsBreslev Forums
About UsAbout Us
Radio BreslevRadio Breslev
TefillinTefillin
MezuzotMezuzot
Daily YahrtzeitsDaily Yahrtzeits
The Three KeysThe Three Keys
Ask The RabbiAsk The Rabbi
Photo GalleryPhoto Gallery
BillBoardBillBoard
Newsletter SignupNewsletter Signup
PrayersPrayers
Contact UsContact Us
Follow usFollow us  Follow us
Breslev RSS FeedsBreslev RSS Feeds
           Mailing List
 Subscribe Subscribe Here:
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
               
HomeTorah PortionOrot HaRav KookThe Holy Cloud
The Holy Cloud
By: Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook zatza”l

  Email This Article  Print version
       
   

Translated and abridged by Rabbi Chanan Morrison
 
Parshat Achrei Mot
 
The high priest was permitted to enter the inner sanctuary of the Temple only one day in the year — on Yom Kippur.
 
"Speak to your brother Aaron, that he may not enter the sanctuary within the partition at any time... so that he may not die, for I appear over the Ark cover in a cloud."  (Lev. 16:2)
 
What exactly was this cloud inside the Holy of Holies? In Yoma 53a, the Talmud explains that this was a cloud of incense smoke. The ketoret (incense) played a central role in the holy service of Yom Kippur. Only after burning the ketoret inside the Holy of Holies was the high priest allowed to enter, as it says:
 
"Then he shall take a fire pan full of burning coals ... together with both hands' full of finely pulverized incense ... so that the cloud from the incense will envelope the ark cover." (Lev. 16:12-13)
 
What is this special connection between the ketoret and the Yom Kippur service? And why did it need to be finely pulverized, more than the incense that was offered on other days?
 
Beyond Time
 
Once a year, the kohanim would prepare an entire year's supply of ketoret — 368 portions. Why 368? One portion for each day of the year, plus an extra three portions for Yom Kippur. Why did Yom Kippur require an extra three measures of incense?
 
The central theme of Yom Kippur is teshuvah (repentance) and kapparah (atonement). What is remarkable about these concepts is that they allow us to rewrite the past. Teshuvah is not just about attaining forgiveness for past misdeeds. The Sages taught (Yoma 86b) that there is a level of elevated teshuvah by which "sins are transformed into merits." They further explained that "itzumo shel yom mechapeir" (Yoma 85b) — the day of Yom Kippur itself, even without the Temple service, has powers of atonement . What gives Yom Kippur this unique ability to transcend time and change history?
 
Within Yom Kippur rests the inner content of the entire year. The Torah employs an exceptional phrase to describe Yom Kippur: "achat bashanah" — "once in the year" (Lev. 16:34). Yom Kippur contains a singular quality that illuminates during the entire year. Thus the paradox: the special nature of the Day of Atonement appears achat — once a year, within the framework of time — but at the same time, it is bashanah — it influences and elevates the entire year, transcending the normal boundaries of time.
 
We can distinguish between three aspects of Yom Kippur and its special relationship to time. First is the special nature of the day itself, with its own unique inner holiness. Second is the quality by which it can repair and redeem the previous year. And third is its influence to prepare and elevate the coming year. Since Yom Kippur affects time in three directions — present, past, and future - the Yom Kippur service requires three extra measures of ketoret, above and beyond its quota as one of the 365 days of the year.
 
Extra Fine
 
Why did the ketoret of Yom Kippur require special treatment, being finely pulverized the day before Yom Kippur?
 
Despite the fact that incense engages our most refined sense (see Berachot 43b), the daily ketoret is offered witin the framework of time, and thus relates to our physical reality. But on Yom Kippur, the incense needs to be "dakah min hadakah" — it is returned to the mortar to be pounded until it becomes a fine powder. The ketoret of Yom Kippur must match the singular holiness of the day. It must be extraordinarily refined, unfettered by the limitations of physicality and our material needs. Only then will the ketoret correspond to Yom Kippur's lofty images of abstract spiritual thought and holy aspirations.
 
 
* * *
(adapted from Olat Re'iyah vol. I pp. 139-141)
 
Rabbi Chanan Morrison of Mitzpeh Yericho runs http://ravkookTorah.org, a website dedicated to presenting the Torah commentary of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, first Chief Rabbi of Eretz Yisrael, to the English-speaking community. He is also the author of Gold from the Land of Israel (Urim Publications, 2006).


 

   
 
 


Read more about Orot HaRav Kook
 
 
 See More Articles By Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook zatza”l
   If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:
     Subscribe for Free
Add your commentTop of articleEmail This ArticlePrint version
Related Articles
Amalek`s Assault               The Dignity of Clothing
Amalek's Assault The Dignity of Clothing

0 Talkbacks for this article     

Add Your Comment Add Your Comment  
 
 

Like What You Read?
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making
a better world.

 
Search
  
     
       Products of the Day
 
 
 

 
Our Price: USD $ 5.90
 
List Price: USD $ 11.80
 

 
Our Price: USD $ 27.90
 
List Price: USD $ 42.60
 

 
Our Price: USD $ 33.80
 
List Price: USD $ 52.90
 

 
Our Price: USD $ 33.80
 
List Price: USD $ 47.00
 
 
Breslev Israel 2004 - 2013 © All rights reserved
About Us Breslev Radio Breslev Jewish Forums Breslev Store Contacts How you can help
 
Breslev.co.il - Love, Soul, Joy
 
 
Designed by IGDM Company