Now I will explain to you why the Future Temple will be different from the First and Second. This is no empty matter. Pay careful attention and make every effort to follow. There are certain important points that you must understand first.

Two roots of creation

The word 'bereishit' thus indicates two beginnings….

It is written: "In the beginning [in Hebrew, "bereishit"], G‑d created the heavens and the earth". (Gen. 1:1) The Sages commented that the letter beit [the second letter of the alef-beit] in the word bereishit also has the connotation of "two", this being the numerical value of the letter beit. The word "bereishit" thus indicates two beginnings. You must grasp this great fundamental in order to understand things clearly and know the meaning of the idea of the rectification [tikun] of the world.

When the Creator blessed-be-He decided to create this world, He set the lights in their proper places and the guards at their posts, arranging all the different orders of Creation in His Wisdom [chochma]. This chochma was exalted above all His other works, and upon this chochma everything depends. This chochma is signified by the yud of His glorious, awesome Name.

But above chochma is found another beginning [keter], which is wholly concealed: "Deep, deep, who can find it?"(Ecclesiastes 7:24) This is what gives chochma its power and strength. Because of its intense holiness, this higher beginning is totally hidden within chochma and completely invisible from outside. When all the ministers and officers who receive from the King see that they all receive from chochma, they say, "Surely this is the beginning [in Hebrew, 'reishit'] of everything, this is the source that never ceases." For this reason chochma is called "the beginning".

Everything brought about by chochma derives from this higher beginning….

But included within chochma is this other, higher "beginning" [keter]. There is no separation between the two. Everything brought about by chochma derives from this higher beginning, and it is from here that chochma receives its orders. There is nothing in the world that chochma brings about that does not derive from this other beginning, signified by the cusp of the yud. You will find that the cusp is never separated from the yud nor the yud from the cusp. Thus all things have a beginning, and, in addition, there is the beginning of the beginning. This is the concept of the two beginnings (beit [the letter] + reishit) of which I spoke above.

When…keter is revealed in all its power and glory, all the lights will come to a far greater, higher level….

Why did Scripture use an expression that bears two meanings? The reason is that since the day the world was created until the present time the world has not attained perfection. Everything depends on man's deeds. Had man not sinned, the universe would have come to perfection. Because of his sin, it was not perfected. So far the Creation has only come to the level of rectification corresponding to chochma. But there is a far greater, higher level that is still to be attained. For when the hidden beginning (keter) is revealed in all its power and glory, all the lights will come to a far greater, higher level, after which there will be no more decline.

The lights have not yet attained this level, but in times to come they will indeed attain it. And then abundant good will come into the world, peace and tranquility will reign everywhere, and sadness and sighing will be banished. Of those days it is said: "On that day, G‑d will be one and His Name one." (Zacharia 14:9)

If I were to expand on this matter, it would lead into very extensive discussions that would take me way beyond the bounds of my subject. It is humanly impossible to grasp every single detail to the very end. Accordingly, I will not stray far from the path. I will simply set before you a number of introductory explanations. Examine them carefully and you will gain an understanding of hidden secrets that are sealed up and reserved for the remnants whom G‑d calls, secrets that serve as the garb of the Ancient One (cf. Isaiah 23:18 as explained in Pesachim 118a).

The First Temple: Chochma

What you must know is that until now all the lights and all the levels have been based only on chochma, whereas in the future the concealed beginning [keter] will be revealed and all things will ascend to the greatest, most precious levels.

Know too that the sin of Adam spoiled everything and caused all perfection to become concealed, with the result that the world was not even able to return to its previous state [i.e. the level of chochma] except in the days of Solomon, when the Temple was first built. Thus it is written, "And G‑d gave chochma to Solomon". (I Kings 5:26) For then chochma was revealed in all its beauty and radiant glory, enabling all the lights to shine with great strength and joy. In those days, on every level in all the worlds there was only holy power and delight the like of which had never been seen. Even so, because everything was based only on chochma and did not reach the ultimate goal [of keter], this peace and tranquility came to an end and the Temple was destroyed.

The Future Temple

But in times to come, when the hidden beginning I mentioned [keter] is revealed, the happiness will be far, far greater, and it will never cease. All things emanate from their source. Likewise, all the rules governing the lights and their functioning, whether in motion or at rest, follow their source. Any change in the source from which the lights receive affects the whole world. For this reason, in times to come the world will undergo many changes, and the Holy Temple will certainly be different since this is the place from which life is channeled to all the creatures in all the worlds.

When the boundaries of chochma are surpassed, the world will enter a new state of joy….

The First Temple, then, corresponds to chochma, the chochma that was given to Solomon and with which he built the Temple, as I have explained, while the Future Temple corresponds to the hidden beginning [keter] that has yet to be revealed.

Nevertheless, there is certainly nothing new under the sun. All the changes and developments that have taken place and continue to take place every single day for the six thousand years of Creation were decreed at the very outset. Even so, in times to come, when the boundaries of chochma are surpassed, the world will enter a new state of joy. This is a great fundamental, though I will not discuss it at length now. Let me just say briefly that, initially, G‑d made all things the way they are now on the basis of chochma alone, yet they contain within them the power to be ordered according to the supreme beginning [keter]. And when this beginning is revealed, everything will be drawn after it through the original power already planted within them at the outset. The entire creation will then be renewed as if it was born at that moment. That is why Isaiah spoke of: "The new heavens and the new earth" (Isaiah 66:22).

The Third Temple Above

The Temple above never ceased to exist, even though the Temple below was destroyed….

And now I will reveal a very great secret, so apply your intelligence resolutely in order to descend to the depths of the matter. Know that this future Temple is the one that Ezekiel the Prophet saw immediately after the destruction of the First Temple. You have already heard that the Temple above never ceased to exist, even though the Temple below was destroyed. For the Temple in This World could only be built through the great power of the lights [the sefirot] which radiated from level to level until they reached this world, producing the Temple. In the absence of this power the Temple could not remain in this world. But this did not mean that the Heavenly Temple had to be destroyed. It simple became darkened and did not shine as at first.

However, those familiar with the paths of wisdom know a great secret: had those who lived when Solomon built the First Temple not fallen into sin but held firm to the path of purity, they would have ascended from level to level until everything was perfected. The world would then simply have changed directly from one state to another, and what was to have been revealed would have been revealed.

But the influence of evil and the proliferation of sinners caused the destruction of the First Temple that was built according to the initial design. When this happened, the Heavenly Temple no longer stood in its original form. In a single moment it disappeared and was rebuilt in a different form and structure: that of the Future Temple. One building disappeared and the other appeared without so much as a hairsbreadth between them. However the new structure was not revealed in the lower world. Only in the future will it be revealed. But in the Upper World, from that day on, so it was and so it is.

That is why Ezekiel saw it, for it was already built and standing. Had the Jewish People only been worthy, the redemption in the time of Ezra should have been like the redemption from Egypt, and their entry into the Land should have been like Joshua's entry. Then they would have built the Temple according to the plan seen by Ezekiel, and the two Temples, above and below, would have been perfectly aligned.

The Shechinah in the First and Second Temples

Since the people failed to improve their ways, the redemption in the time of Ezra was a quiet affair and they did not have the strength to build the Temple according to the plan of the future Temple. On the instructions of the prophets among them they built it partly like the First Temple and partly like the future Temple which already existed above. But the time was not ripe for them to build it entirely like the future Temple.

Thus in the time of Solomon the two Temples - in this world and the higher world - were in perfect alignment, and accordingly the Shechinah found a resting-place and dwelled in the earthly Temple. But the Second Temple was not similar to the Heavenly Temple and the Shechinah did not dwell in it.

The Shechinah in the Future Temple

However, in times to come, not only will the two Temples be similar, but the Upper House will extend until it reaches the Lower World. This is the meaning of the saying of our Rabbis that the Third Temple will be the work of the hands of G‑d. For the Heavenly Temple will not be uprooted from its place. Rather, it will extend until it reaches the lower world, and then around it will be built a physical structure at fitting in this material world, and the two structures will be joined and become one and will never again separate. G‑d's glory will be fully revealed there, as it is written, "And the glory of G‑d will be revealed, and all flesh will see". (Isaiah 40:5) Then there will be complete peace and happiness forever.

There is an allusion to this secret in the verse: "…the Sanctuary, Ado-nai, that Your hands established [in Hebrew, 'konenu']". (Ex. 15:17) The beauty of the limbs and ornaments of the Shechinah is revealed according to the way she receives. When the light of this beginning will shine, the glory of Her crown [keter] will be greatly exalted. Thus the Sanctuary will be built on the foundation of keter, and the numerical value of the letters of the word "konenu" [spelled kaf, nun, nun, vav = 126] is equivalent to the sum of [the rebua value of the divine name Ado-nai cited in the verse:] alef plus alef-dalet plus alef-dalet-nun plus alef-dalet-nun-yud, which shines in this crown [keter].

All these matters are very deep and far more rooted in wisdom than might appear.

[Translated by Avraham Greenbaum in Secrets of the Future Temple from Mishkeney Elyon;
published by the Temple Institute and Azamra Institute]