This Shabbos we read a special Haftora for Shabbos Rosh Chodesh, which starts “So says Hashem, ‘The heavens is My throne, and the earth is My footstool.”
Yishayahu, in his final chapter, brings us the words of Hashem, where He uses heaven and earth as a metaphor. What is the meaning of this metaphor?
Heaven is the Torah, Hashem’s wisdom, which is infinite, and no matter how much you learn it and how well you grasp it, there is always more and deeper you can go. It is compared to a throne, because when a king sits on his throne he is lowered and closer to the earth. This is G-dliness being drawn down through our Torah study.
Earth is the mitzvahs, which are done with physical objects. When it comes to doing mitzvas, we are equals, no matter how great your intellect is, we do them the same. It is compared to a footstool, because a footstool raises the kings feet off the earth. When you do a mitzvah, you are taking a physical object and using it for a holy purpose, in effect, you are raising its status, infusing it with holiness, bringing it closer to Hashem.
This is the key to bringing Moshiach, and this is our purpose. To draw G-dliness down into the physical, through the study of Torah and by uplifting the physical world to Hashem through the performance of mitzvahs. When our work is done, the physical world will be so open to G-dliness, that Hashem’s presence will fill the world, and we will experience His glory in the physical. This is what Moshiach’s coming is all about.
Being that the whole world will see and feel Hashem’s presence, and they will recognize Hashem as the one and only true G-d, and that we are his treasure. This will cause all the joy and happiness the Haftora tells about. The people of the world will bring their Jews ” as a gift to Hashem… with joyous songs… To Yerushalayim.”
The Haftora now tells us Hashem will make a new heaven and a new earth. What are these about?
This refers to new levels of closeness to Hashem that will be achievable. Not that we will be far in any way. Rather, Hashem being infinite, there is always deeper levels of closeness to achieve. Even for a person who has reached the level of, “Heavens is My throne, and the earth is My footstool,” meaning, that they have been doing Torah and mitzvas at the highest level. They will find a new level to achieve. The old level will pale in comparison to the new level.
Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh will also be new, as the Haftora says “Every new moon and every Shabbos all flesh will come to prostrate before Me, says Hashem.” This is something that wasn’t done during the first and second Temple eras, but when Moshiach will come, we will go up to a new Beis Hamikdash, every Rosh Chodesh and every Shabbos.
New heaven, new earth, new Shabbos, new Rosh Chodesh and new Beis Hamikdash. May it happen soon.