This week’s parshah, Parshas Ki Savo, begins with the mitzvah of Bikkurim, the obligation to bring a portion of your produce to the Beis Hamikdash each year. This is a way of showing appreciation to Hashem for everything He gave you during the previous year. The pesukim write a short tefillah that you are supposed to say when you give the fruits over the Kohen at the Beis Hamikdash. The tefillah ends with the following pasuk, “הַשְׁקִיפָה מִמְּעוֹן קָדְשְׁךָ מִן הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמְּךָ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵת הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּה לָנוּ …” “Look down from your holy dwelling, from the heavens, and bless your people Israel, and the ground which you have given us…” (Devarim 26:15).
The Ohr HaChaim asks why the pasuk has to say that Hashem should look down from two places, both His ‘holy dwelling’ as well as ‘the heavens’? Moreover, if these terms are referring to the same place, then why does the pasuk have to say ‘from the heavens’, it should simply say ‘from your holy dwelling, the heavens’?
He explains using a Kabbalistic idea. Hashem created two different sources of influence that provide support to the different aspects of this world, one influences the spiritual aspect of Humans and provides support for the soul, and one influences the physical aspect and provides sustenance for all living things. However, since the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, the source of spirituality has been cut off from this world, leaving the source of physical influence as the only one having any effect on us.
The terms in the pasuk ‘holy dwelling’ and ‘the heavens’ refer to these different sources. The term ‘holy dwelling’ refers to the spiritual source, an extremely high level that is referred to as “Kadosh”, “Holy”. That is why the pasuk calls it a holy dwelling. (The fact that the tefillah asks Hashem to ‘gaze’ down is also connected to this idea, but that is beyond the scope of our discussion.) “The heavens” is referring to the physical source of sustenance, that is why it is followed up by the phrase ‘and bless your people Israel’, it is a prayer that Bnei Yisrael should receive any and all of their physical needs for the coming year.
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