In yesterday’s post we contrasted the bottom covering of the Mishkan that represents the service of Tzaddikim and the second covering that represents the Baal Teshuvah.
The bottom covering, woven from dyed sheep-wool, was made up of 10 separate lengths of fabric that were attached together. The second covering made of goat-hair, was made up of 11 lengths of fabric.
The numbers 10 and 11 are significant in Kabbalah. The Tikunei Zohar teaches “You are one, but not in a count… You are He who brought forth… 10 Sefiros.”
The 10 Sefiros are the refractors or channels through which Hashem shines His light to create and interact with the world. These are represented by the 10 lengths of wool fabric. Wool, which is naturally white, represents G-dy light as it is revealed and grasped within the worlds via the Sefiros.
The number 11 represents Hashem as He is “one” beyond the count of the Sefiros. The 11 fabrics of the second covering were made from black goat-hair, representing G-dliness as it is hidden and beyond revelation and Creation.
Parallel to the Sefiros, the Neshama possesses 10 faculties made up of intellect and emotion. These are the revealed or conscious expressions of the soul. The supra-conscious, hidden essence of the soul is “one” beyond “the count”, reflecting a connection to Hashem that transcends the intellect.
Whereas the Tzaddik readily serves Hashem through their conscious expressions of mind and heart in Torah study, prayer and Mitzvos, the Baal Teshuvah faces the challenge of their Yetzer Hara. In order to overcome their spiritual struggle, the Baal Teshuvah must dig deeper, revealing the hidden, incorruptible essence of their soul.